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Penny Power OBE: brains behind Ecademy social platform for business

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The International Women’s Day still fresh in our minds and with 10 days left of Women’s History Month, we are bringing you a series of interviews with inspirational women. These incredible women share their achievements in the worlds of sport, business and adventure.

Next to join our series is Penny Power OBE, a leading female motivational speaker and entrepreneur. She discusses her incredible career in this exclusive interview. Penny is the mastermind behind Ecademy. It was the first social media site for businesspeople, a pioneer behind LinkedIn. She is also the founding CEO of The Business Cafe.

Penny shares her vision for compassionate business practices, as well as the role that technology has played in her career.

Why did you become an entrepreneur?

“I became an entrepreneur when I was 33. It was a big chasm to cross, you know. I loved employment, but I knew I had to get a sense of leading my life, the way I needed to lead it.

“I needed to have control over my values and the impact I wanted to have. I also needed to have control over my own time. That was especially important when I became a mummy.

“I ended up having three children, I needed to feel that I could achieve both. I think it’s possible to achieve both, I really do.

How can we do business better?

“I suppose one of my big pieces of advice to the world is a single word, love. I started valuing love in business when I was 19 and that was in 1983. People used to laugh at me but my whole belief was that emotional wealth leads to financial wealth.

“It is something I have believed in for years. It’s what motivated me to start the first online community for businesspeople in the world. That was four years before LinkedIn. It’s called Ecademy.

“I wanted to create a community where love was allowed.  I think when you allow love, you allow the true values of people to come through and people relax.

“That gap between our identity and our truth can get closed, so we need to be in a space where we’ve got permission to be ourselves. I think what people want is to be in a loving environment.”

What role has technology played in your career?

“From a technical standpoint, it wasn’t taught to me, as in, ‘this is what tech can do to impact the world positively.’

“The only reason I’ve stayed in the STEM world all my life. Actually, if I went back and met my IT teacher, they would be stunned. They couldn’t believe that I was given an OBE for my impact on the technology industry. They would find that stunning!

“What I hooked on to particularly as a woman is not what the technology can do but the impact that it can have.

“If I look at my business… fortunately, I’m not scared of technology. It doesn’t mean to say I love having to learn about technology, you know. I don’t think there are many people that go, ‘oh goody, there’s something else I have to learn.’

“It’s something we have to prepare ourselves for, put time aside and be disciplined to keep relevant.”

This exclusive interview with Penny Power was conducted by Megan Lupton, courtesy of Champions Speakers.

 

We also love these productivity tips from the world’s most famous female entrepreneurs such as Oprah, Anna Wintour and Arianna Huffington to name but a few.