A former Goldman Sachs employee who launched a startup says the best piece of career advice she ever received is just 3 words

Becca BrownCourtesy of Becca Brown.Becca Brown, cofounder of Solemates.

Becca Brown has already had not one, but two successful careers — and she’s only in her mid-30s.

After graduating from Harvard University in 2000, Brown began working at Goldman Sachs — one of the more difficult places to land a job on Wall Street. Upon earning her MBA from Columbia Business School in 2007, she continued working for the bank but eventually left to launch her own business.

In 2009, she founded Solemates, a line of women’s shoe care products, with former Goldman colleague Monica Ferguson.

Their products are now carried in over 3,000 stores worldwide, and in 2014, the company sold about 200,000 pairs of heel guards, its signature product.

She attributes much of her success to a very important piece of advice she received in college: “Act as if.”

“It’s a mentality, a state of mind, a perspective,” Brown explains. “Things are not always going to go your way in business, in your career, and in life. There will be setbacks and disappointments, and you may be tempted to get down on yourself, but you have to act as if — as if it didn’t happen, as if it didn’t faze you, as if things had gone your way.”

The pearl of wisdom came from one of her college lacrosse coaches, Liz Berkery Drury. “While, when she said this to me, it wasn’t necessarily in the context of my career yet, I have carried this advice with me throughout my life and career, and I absolutely still follow it.”

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