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Entrepreneur Insight: Don’t Kick a Dog Because It’s Not a Cat

While writing Elegant Entrepreneur, I had the opportunity to interview some truly amazing women. You know, the ones you read articles about and are staggered at their lifetime achievements (and they’re not even close to finished). The women who inspire you to set bigger goals for yourself and dream big. One such woman is Janet Van Pelt.

Janet Van Pelt has held C-suite roles for the past 20 years at both public and private technology companies ranging in size from a handful to thousands of employees.  After founding and growing Echo360 into the premiere lecture capture solution used by hundreds of colleges, she’s now starting the same process with CourseMaven, a suite of SaaS solutions enabling access and completion for post-secondary learning.  When not working, she’s the mother of 3 children ages 10 to 17 and an enthusiastic if erratic golfer.

When I interviewed Janet and asked her for the wisdom she had accrued and wanted to share she shared a fantastic story and insight that any entrepreneur would be wise to learn from. As the CFO of Peachtree software, Van Pelt knew about the company’s large call center. One team handled support calls and another team made calls to upgrade clients. Several times, someone within the company would have the great idea to combine the two teams to save money. According to Van Pelt, that “great idea” never worked.  Why? The personality profile of a support person is the opposite of a sales person.

Van Pelt’s Insight: Don’t kick a dog because it’s not a cat. In other words, know your people and what is reasonable for them to do, and what is not.


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