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"Genius isn't born, it's forged out of commitment to serving something bigger than oneself." - Dr. Therese Rowley

With a network of more than 600 professionals from every industry, the mentor program is the crown jewel of 1871. Every day, mentors dedicate their time and expertise guiding our members from issues ranging from legal to tech and everywhere in between, forming valuable relationships and producing concrete outcomes. This week, we say hello to Dr. Therese Rowley, the CEO and Founder of Accelerated Alignment and The Conscious Business Network.

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  • What skills do you think are the most important for an entrepreneur to have? 

A balance of financial accountability and knowledge -- and how to access, reach, and serve a chosen audience; qualities for success include: knowledge that genius isn't born, it's forged out of commitment to serving something bigger than oneself. Successful entrepreneurs have determination, staying power, and the ability to distance themselves from the process of business to gain persepctives in the challenging times.

  • What's your tech/startup "prediction?"

Conscious, progressive tech leaders will disrupt industries and societies by solving complex global challenges faster than anyone has ever predicted. The future belongs to leaders who can create and sustain conscious businesses and social enterprises that care for the triple and bottom line.

  • What is one piece of advice you would give to a rising entrepreneur?

When you lose faith in yourself or the work or experience a setback, be humble enough to reach out to others - so you can find your ground and stay the course.

  • What do you consider your greatest success?

Learning how to be present with each person rather than rely on my education and experience to have the right answer to any situation. My young daughter taught me that no matter how successful I may be in business, a life worth living is about creatively responding in authentic relationship - allowing mistakes and remembering that humiliation is just humility's unprocessed sister.

  • What did you have to learn the hard way in your professional life?

Just because people are incredibly gifted, expertly skilled and even famous, does not mean they have good character. A person who persistently chooses not to be self-reflective, humble and integral, or who has not hard-earned good character, is an unworthy leader.

Now for the fun stuff... 

  • What do you like to do in your free time? Watch historical movies, especially 19th century Europe when Queens reigned!
  • Where is your favorite spot in Chicago? The bridge between Lincoln Park and the Lakefront on North Ave.
  • Which song is the soundtrack to your life? Takin' Care of Business, Bachman Turner Overdrive and The Children are our Future, Whitney Houston.
  • Do you have pets? If yes, what are they and what are their names? Yes, two fish: Goldie and Dayton Alexander.
  • What is your personal mantra? Everyone and everything has value, that when uncovered, can be connected to opportunity.
  • What is your favorite comfort food? Chai tea, soy milk, 195 degrees, an inch of foam and light water, please!

Follow Dr. Rowley on Twitter @Drtrowley or visit her column at the Huffington Post.


Are you interested in becoming a mentor or teaching a workshop at 1871? Learn more here.  

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