651. Always the One to Ask Questions
Stephynie has been 100 percent self-reliant since she was in her mid-teens when she became legally emancipated. Looking back at her dynamic career accomplishments and life choices, she finds her teenage decisions explain a lot.
From an entry-level sales person fresh out of college to one of the youngest directors in Silicon Valley at a company now publicly held, to the CEO of a 500+ person software integrator at the age of 28, to founding a global information technology (IT) consulting firm at the age of 32, Stephynie Malik has amassed tremendous experience and a track record of success. She’s spearheaded and orchestrated multi-million-dollar acquisitions, closed global deals and strategic partnerships valued at hundreds of millions of dollars, and single-handedly grew her consulting firm into a global leader. As the founder and driving force behind MalikCo, Stephynie brings over two decades of dynamic IT consulting experience to her role as president and chief executive officer. Now, as the founder of ChiqueSpeak, she is making it happen again.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
“After college, I didn’t make any intentional decisions, except that I was done with school. I had some friends in Hawaii, so I jumped on a plane thinking I’d figure it out when I got there. Two days later I got a job working selling dinner cruises, sunset or music cruises. The average salesperson was making $150 to $250 a week. My first month and a half, I was making $800 to $1,200 a week. It’s because I was honest. Prospects would ask questions like, ‘The promo says the cruise offers unlimited drinks. Are they really unlimited?’ And I would say, ‘Yeah, they’re unlimited, until about 9 o’clock. Then you have two hours on the boat with no more drinks.’ I didn’t make a lot of friends internally, but I had a high success rate for attaining new clients.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
After steadily expanding opportunities for career growth and challenges, “I don’t think anything dramatic happened next except I started to become more thoughtful in my decisions. I started to be more selective. I had grown as an individual and had surrounded myself with some of the most amazingly well-intentioned mentors. I didn’t feel like I was isolated on an island and was able to balance a lot of ideas off these amazing people who had given me so much of their time and resources. So my decisions became more thoughtful, intentional, reasonable, and selective.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“In hindsight, I see that I structured my life accidentally at the beginning, then intentionally after age 25. I was 100 percent self-reliant from the age of 15-and-a-half, when I successfully became emancipated from my mother and moved out on my own. Later in life, that’s the reason why I decided intentionally to take a little bit of down time to find out what I was deeply passionate about and where my biggest impact would be. That’s what made me move over to human consulting.”
Steps to Success from Stephynie Malik
1. Don’t just state what you love. Dig deeper, do your research, and ask yourself follow-up questions. This thing you love, what do you love about it? How do you prefer to work or pursue your passion? Go beneath the surface.
2. Be intentional and specific about your skills, your income goals, the practical aspects of doing what you love.
3. Train yourself to listen deeply, follow up and follow through. This is crucial to building relationships.
Connecting With Stephynie Malik
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Careers: Consultant, Sales
Topics: Honesty, Listening, Relationships in Business