Marilynn Joyner on the Power of Expanding Your Network
Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:
Marilynn Joyner is the Founder of Her Workplace, a recently launched career community platform for corporate women in junior to mid-level roles to exchange knowledge, share stories, and build relationships. Her Workplace is an inclusive community with members from diverse backgrounds and industries, and it differentiates itself by providing a safe space for women to share stories. Currently, Her Workplace is digitally focused with the hopes of opening physical workspaces for women to work and network in. Marilynn’s passion to create Her Workplace came from her own lack of professional development, mentorship, and networking opportunities throughout her career. She has spent over 10 years as a broker in commercial real estate representing and consulting for organizations on their office leasing initiatives throughout major global and national markets. Her clients throughout her career have ranged from Fortune 500 companies and law firms to start-ups and co-working operators. She’s differentiated herself through her unique knowledge and experience working with a diverse portfolio of companies undergoing various business and real estate challenges. Marilynn holds an MBA from both Columbia Business School and London Business School, a Masters in Real Estate from Georgetown University, and dual B.A in Dance Performance and Political Science from The University of South Carolina.
What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?
I love being an Entreprenista League Member because it’s exciting to be able to connect with other like-minded founders to exchange knowledge and resources. The network is an impactful support system that is really difficult to find elsewhere.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
After recently finishing business school, I decided to start looking for solutions to provide women with easy access, inexpensive career resources, and networking opportunities. I always found it difficult to find the right career platform throughout my career, so I took this leap to be part of helping and supporting women in the workplace.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
I spent over 10 years in the male-dominated industry of commercial real estate where I’ve represented a variety of clients on their office space needs throughout major markets. One of my more recent clients is one of the largest co-working and conferencing operators in the world. The experience of working with them provided me with knowledge of the coworking landscape and how the industry will continue to grow with the increase in hybrid working.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Yes, I always wanted to own and run my own company!
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out, and did it go as planned?
I started with friends, family, business school contacts, and colleagues. The best network to start with is your immediate one because those close to you can help advocate for you and spread the word.
What is the biggest challenge you have encountered along the way and what did you learn from it?
Growing! It’s so hard to build a community and prove the concept. But, I’ve learned a lot about what women are looking for and the resources they need to succeed in their careers.
What is the accomplishment you are the proudest of to date?
I am most proud of finishing my MBA. It was a lot of work and a lot of travel, but the connections I made and the knowledge I absorbed was life-changing. I came out of the program with a completely new outlook on life and business.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
Yes, absolutely! I always go by the phrase, work smarter not harder. Technology is a huge component to lean on because it can help take the weight off of small, mundane tasks. In addition, I think it’s extremely important to get enough sleep and take care of yourself both mentally and physically.
What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?
A piece of advice would be to dig in as much as possible. Get involved and make as many connections as you can because you never know how you can help someone and how they can help you too!
What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?
I am so proud of recently being featured in Forbes sharing my insights on hybrid working and women in the workplace. It really helped me gain exposure and spread my ideas and insights on what organizations can do to better support women.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
We are starting to fundraise this Fall to expand our platform into opening physical workspaces for women to work and connect. Many women are still working from home or going to the office a few days a week. We want to provide an inclusive space where women can go outside of their homes and office that also provides events, amenities, networking, and programming.
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