"You don't need to know it all when you start," Stacy Blackman, the founder and president of Stacy Blackman Consulting, says. "You just need to know enough to take one single step."
This week's Fairygodboss has followed her own advice. The business school graduate dabbled in various business and entrepreneurship ventures before realizing her true calling: helping others succeed. Now she works with MBA applicants to ensure that they get the chance to tell their stories—and live their dreams, too.
Fairygodboss of the Week: Stacy Blackman
Founder and President, Stacy Blackman Consulting
Los Angeles, CA
Tell us a little about your career. How did you get to where you are now?
After graduating from the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania with an undergraduate degree in Economics, I moved to San Francisco and started working in finance. After four years, I had an itch to do something more creative and consumer oriented, so I returned to business school at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern. My goal was to transition into brand management at a large consumer packaged goods company. I spent my summer internship working on the Haagen Dazs brand at Pillsbury, which was a pre-MBA dream, but quickly realized that a large company culture was not for me.
When I returned to school for my second year, my entrepreneurial wheels were spinning. I partnered with two classmates to launch an online registry, which we sold within a year! After dabbling in Silicon Valley for a couple years, I came up with the idea for Stacy Blackman Consulting. I saw that just as athletes, job seekers, and executives need coaches, so do MBA applicants. Every applicant to a top school can use help crafting and telling a compelling story. Eighteen years later, we are still running, thriving, and growing.
What is an accomplishment that you are proud of?
Running and growing Stacy Blackman Consulting while also raising my three children. I do believe that I have achieved the much-questioned concept of balance in my life. My company also allows each person on my 100+ person team find their own balance and live and work on their own terms, without a demand for constant face-time.
What is a challenge that you've faced and overcome?
When I launched Stacy Blackman Consulting, there was no service that provided assistance to MBA applicants. Before I could deliver a great service, I had to identify and educate the applicants, introducing them to a completely new opportunity. Now, MBA admissions consulting is a full-fledged industry with many players. I can say that we succeeded in identifying a need and overcame the challenge of educating our target market. Now as a result of the activity in the industry we are faced with a whole other host of challenges daily!
Who is YOUR Fairygodboss? and Why?
Whitney Hayes. Whitney emanates joy and energy, is positive and tons of fun to be around. She makes an impression on every person in her path and is fantastic at forging and maintaining relationships. She is a supportive and empowering boss and wants her people to grow. If you prove that you can get it done, she lets you take the lead, no politics, just positivity and good feelings all around.
What do you do when you're not working?
I exercise, travel, and spend time with family and friends. I also love art (looking, not creating)!
If you could have dinner with one famous person—dead or alive—who would it be?
What is your favorite movie?
Working Girl, the 1989 movie starring Melanie Griffith.
What book would you bring with you on a desert island?
Kahlil Gibrain's The Prophet.
What is your shopping vice? What would you buy if you won the lottery?
Clothes...I spend too much time on NetaPorter.com.
What is the #1 career tip you'd like to share with other women who want to have successful careers like you?
You don't need to know it all when you start. You just need to know enough to take one single step. If you try to map it all out, it can be overwhelming and paralyzing. Put one foot in front of the next and you will start to move and make things happen. If you are going in the wrong direction, you can always correct!
Why do you love where you work?
I love helping people achieve their most ambitious goals. Although the business school admissions process has not changed much over the years, each and every client we serve is unique. I love identifying their inner voice and their strengths, and helping them articulate their unique stories. It's the people that make the work rewarding and keep it interesting—and getting to guide them on this life changing journey is truly a privilege.
Fairygodboss is all about women helping other women - so each week, we celebrate a woman who made a difference in another woman’s career. Is there a woman who has made a difference in your career? Celebrate her and thank her by nominating her here.