My career in photography led to where I am today — through photography I built companies and worked in businesses that taught me much. I’ve had a range of opportunities to grow as a woman in the workplace, as someone who had to learn to deal with corporate treachery, with working as a professional while my personal life was in turmoil. By knowing how to accept, relax, and live as a woman in today’s world, I’ve worked for myself and as an executive in the corporate arena. At heart I’m an entrepreneur, and I’m at my best when I’m coming up with ideas for new companies, polishing those ideas, and working with a team to implement them. And, now helping others through my products, services, and writing.
Here are a few highlights of my story:
- Photo editor for Elle magazine. This was great training for me, because I started fresh when the company was fresh. I came aboard when Hachette launched Elle in Germany, and so I set up all its support systems there. I learned how to produce shoots, I did photo research, I handled negotiations with photographers, technicians, models. Basically, I set up the department, and I learned all aspects not only of the photo business, but also how to organize.
- Beate Works. I was president and chief executive officer of my own company for over 13 years. This was where I learned the ropes of becoming an entrepreneur — how to raise money (and how to lose it), I found out how to network more efficiently. I learned how to ask for help. My company evolved over the years. I created a photographic industry services business — this included managing photographers, producing photo shoots and, eventually, the syndication of high-quality stock photos. I eventually sold this business to Corbis, which is owned by Bill Gates.
- Corbis. Here, I was senior director of photography entertainment, for two years. This was a bracing, dynamic position, in which I evaluated and designed new strategies globally for all entertainment-related brands for Corbis, one of the world’s largest providers of images. This was, in a sense, a “corporate challenge” for me. That’s because I was at the helm of Outline, a multi-million dollar vision that operated as its own entity within Corbis, with 24 offices in 18 countries. You can see that I had to think globally, even while acting locally: I combined various entertainment teams, made sure everyone was in line with corporate strategy, wrote business plans, financial plans, contracts. I even had to reduce staff by 20%, and cut costs by 50% — without losing revenue! I also worked closely with — and learned immensely from — marketing, sales, legal, and corporate communications staff. It was both humbling and gratifying, and taught me about how to live with success.
I realized I am not cut out for corporate life. So, I put on my entrepreneur’s hat, and taking what I learned from my various positions, I created The Women’s Code and ego-Rhythm™ processes and plans that help you learn to live better, as other women have already found out. You can too.