Sheryl Sandberg explains what she did in her 20s to be successful in her 30s

Sheryl SandbergKimberly White/Getty‘I think it really was about getting on a rocket ship,’ said Sheryl Sandberg, pictured.

Sheryl Sandberg knows something about success.

The COO of Facebook joined the company in 2008, at age 38, after spending seven years at Google. In 2013, she published bestseller “Lean In,” her book of advice for working women. 

In an episode of Business Insider’s podcast “Success! How I Did It,” Sandberg spoke with Business Insider US editor in chief Alyson Shontell about her second book, “Option B,” cowritten with Adam Grant, which details the exec and mum’s experience working through her grief after her husband’s sudden death in May 2015.

Along with insight on how to build resilience and how to help a loved one through a difficult time, Sandberg spoke to Shontell about how she became a best-selling author and executive at one of the most famous companies in the world.

“What were the steps you made in your 20s to make yourself able to succeed so much by your 30s?” Shontell asked.

Sandberg answered: “I think it really was about getting on a rocket ship, being willing to take risks and do something that I hadn’t done before like work in technology, and finding the ways to start believing in myself.”

She also pointed to “Lean In” circles, the in-person support structures created by her first book. At the moment, she said, there are 33,000 circles in the world, and that number grows by almost 100 a week. “One thing that’s worth thinking about, if you’re in your 20s and you’re a woman particularly, but we have men too, are ‘Lean In’ circles,” she said. “We hear over and over again how much they work because they give women an explicit place to be ambitious and to support each other. None of us get through anything alone.”

Sandberg continued: “I’m a big believer that we have to commit to things and make them a regular habit in order to make them work. An explicit place, particularly for women, to dream big is really important.”

Listen to the full podcast interview:

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