Cari Guittard, Professor of Global Management at Hult International Business School interviews Adrienne Cornelsen, Global Director of the Entrepreneurs Organization and founder of digital marketing firm, InSite Interactive. 


Cari Guittard: What inspired you to start InSite and what kept you going?

Adrienne Cornelsen: I started Insite in 1998 because I wanted to rely my own abilities, and because I felt that there was a better way… a way that others around me were not seeing. I saw the intersection of technology and marketing as a powerful transformer of our world. I wasn’t sure where it was going, but I knew in my heart that it was going to change everything with regard to how we communicate and connect. I wanted to be a part of that. As technology continues to evolve, and the applications of that technology continue to unfold, I have remain fascinated with how we are able to make our world smaller, be more connected, and remove barriers on a global scale. Just when I think we have maximized the potential, a new technology emerges that reopens my eyes once again.

Cari Guittard: You started InSite on your dining room table with many in your life telling you this was a crazy idea. Thinking back on that time, what do you wish you knew then, when you started your business that you know now?

Adrienne Cornelsen: You don’t have to do it alone. And you don’t have to have all the answers. Like many entrepreneurs, I launched my company without much experience in many aspects of running a business, yet I felt the need to keep up the image of having it all under control. It is incredibly stressful. I soon learned that we are all learning as we go, and it is essential to find a supportive peer-to-peer community.

I was blessed to find Entrepreneurs’ Organization in year 2 of my business. Since then, I have been surrounded by entrepreneurs just like me that are facing similar challenges and fears, balancing celebration with cautious optimism, and open to sharing their experiences. We learn from each other’s mistakes and success, and we have grown together through the years.

I also wish I had known that I would be in business for 15 years. When I started, everything felt so urgent and short-term. I could never have imagined that Insite would sustain 15 years of ups and downs, and successes and challenges. Had I known that, and understood the journey I was on, I would have focused each day on a more long term plan. I would have not sweated the small stuff, and given myself permission to pace myself, and accepted wins and losses along the way without feeling like the world would come to an end if I made a wrong decision.

To read the full article on The Huffington Post, click here. Written by Cari Guittard, Principal, Global Engagement Partners; Professor of Global Management, Hult International Business School.

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