Carol Stern -- Co-Founder

24 years ago in a moment that was somewhere between haste and disgust I started Workgroup Connections, a software development and consulting company. I don't need to go into the details, but my company was completely centered around the technical staff. I vowed to never have a sales person in my company, and I actually managed to get away with this for several years, but I'm sure you can guess how that ended up. As a successful entrepreneur I am well aware of my strengths and weaknesses. My greatest strength is that I know how to hire and retain the best technical people. The majority of my technical staff has been with me for more than 15 years. Now for my greatest weakness. I have the remarkable ability to hire ineffective sales people. Yes you heard that right, I said ineffective sales people. This weakness has plagued me for the entire 24 years that I have run my company. I could tell you stories that could make you laugh, make you cry and make you feel outright sorry for me. I've wasted millions of dollars and thousands of hours trying to find the right sales people for my company. I can't even take credit for my most effective sales person because she actually found me. She literally walked into my office, introduced herself through a common acquaintance and said "I would like to work for you." I bet you are now wondering how I ended up here, starting a company that is completely focused on hiring effective sales people. The idea for JungoLogic came to me one evening when 3 independent ideas collided while reading the book Rework, by Jason Fried. For the past year I had been trying to come up with a new software solution that would grow my company. I had exhausted hundreds of new ideas but nothing intrigued me enough to make such a substantial investment. That same evening I had just parted ways with yet another sales person that I had invested 9 months in. I was so disappointed with my latest poor hiring decision. The idea of starting the process all over again left me frustrated beyond belief. I then looked over at my husband who was sleeping in the recliner next to me and there it was, my idea for JungoLoic became crystal clear. We had just celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary. This was amusing to most of my friends because after ending a 24 year marriage, I had vowed to never get married again. I had met my husband via a process that matched people using a personality assessment. I had the standing joke that I was lousy at picking men, so I just let the expert pick one for me and it all worked out. At this same moment I read a sentence from the Rework book that in essence said, if you are going to create a new product it should solve your own biggest problem. I laughed because my biggest problem was that I couldn't hire an effective sales person. So there it was. Why not create an expert to pick one for me? I started thinking through this and I realized that the majority of the sales people that I had hired were really good sales people. They just weren't right for my company. For example, I hired a few people who came from IBM that I knew were excellent sales people, but the results were the same and we parted ways. I eventually realized that working for a 20 person company that sells IBM software solutions, and working for IBM are two entirely different things that require two entirely different types of sales people. I started thinking through the concept of psychometrics and personality tests. Why couldn't I create a test that focused on important sales traits, then pick the traits that were most important to my company and use the results to find those people?

Welcome to my think tank. This photo was taken on a trail that I hike each evening with my husband Rich and our dogs Max and Blue. I have maneuvered my life to be able to live in the remote mountain town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. It is a unique and beautiful place that truly inspires me. It's a place where you can get a great workout every day by doing something enjoyable like hiking, biking or skiing, versus spending time in a gym. I have only lived here a short time, but I doubt I will ever leave.

Carol Stern spent the first 10 years of her career as an IT Professional in the banking and finance industry. She founded Workgroup Connections, a software development and consulting company where she has worked for the past 24 years.