Meet an exceptional businesswomen whose unique approach and endeavors have helped her achieve an influential stature. This avid leader, Kim Vogel—Co-founder and President of BaseVenture, has led her company to achieve many impressive milestones. She understands the needs of clients and takes every measure to meet their requirements and elevate their business objectives.
BaseVenture is a cloud-based software company in the investment management space. It develops innovative solutions in the areas of financial reporting, data visualization and process management. Beyond founding and building BaseVenture, Kim held executive positions in multiple large tech and finance companies, worked as a certified public accountant and taught as a professor at Saint Mary’s College where she currently serves as a member on the Board of Trustees. She also has an MBA from Harvard Business School along with decades of experience working to grow and monetize companies.
Kim recently spearheaded the sale of BaseVenture to Fidelity Information Services (NYSE: FIS), a fortune 500 public company, accelerating the Company’s vision to digitize the back office of worldwide investment operations. Its employees have amazing new opportunities and the platform will reach more customers than we could have ever imagined. “It truly was a great transaction and we couldn’t be more pleased,” says Kim.
Balancing Professional Life and Personal Fulfillment
Kim confesses that work life balance is always a challenge and something she is constantly juggling with to try to ensure that she is not tipping the scale too far in any direction. With a seventeen year old daughter and a five year old son, there are a lot of demands that unfold daily. First and foremost the biggest enjoyment she has in life is being a mother. She reminds herself every day that she has worked so hard to achieve what she has so that she can ensure that she has flexibility in her schedule to be an active part of whatever her children are experiencing. Kim believes that balancing becomes much easier when priorities are clear. “My priorities couldn’t be clearer, my children come first.”
Expect the Unexpected
One of Kim’s biggest setbacks occurred early on in her career for which she is thankful. She was laid off at 23 years old from her very first professional position along with half of the office but she still took it personally. She quickly landed another position with better pay and more time on her hands which gave her the opportunity to apply to Harvard Business School. She doesn’t believe she would have ever applied if she hadn’t been laid off given the grueling hours of public accounting. It was a complete game changer in her life. HBS completely transformed her career path, exposing her to things that she would have never thought possible. She learned to live by the belief that “Setbacks are shortcuts to our ultimate goals, if we allow them to be”.
A Lookout for the Future
Kim truly believes, we get out of life what we put into it, and we are all co-creators of our own respective destinies. With that being said, there is still a lot of work to do. Her life journey continues to be a work in progress and she feels that there is so much yet to see, experience, and accomplish.
She firmly thinks that a key characteristic of successful people is the love of learning and never feeling one has achieved all they have desired. There is so much to experience and do in this world. “There is an endless supply of next steps,” says Kim. She is really proud of what she has accomplished but she also hopes that she never feels like she has accomplished enough. After one big accomplishment or meeting a goal, it is merely time to start thinking about and exploring the next challenge, it is the foundation for building on repeatable success.
Now that she is older, she tries to spend a bit of time acknowledging how her hard work has paid off. “I think one of my biggest realizations is how the timing around the work we do ISN’T closely aligned with when the rewards and benefits are received,” says Kim. “So much of the hard work has to be done early in life while the benefits and paybacks come down the road. I worry about the young adults in my family. I see how so much of their future depends on the decisions they are making in their late teens and early twenties. Those foundational years are pivotal and working hard early on sets the path for life. I still work hard, don’t get me wrong. Still too many hours however I also spend time looking around at what I have, the relationships that surround me and most of all the flexibility I have and constantly pat myself on the back knowing that this only exists because of all the hard work I did decades,” she adds.
Advice to Rely On
Kim advises that one must not feel that he/she has to do it all by himself/herself. She admits that her most successful ventures were achieved with a strong partner and together building out strong teams. She modifies the age old saying, “It takes a village to build a successful family and a successful company,” and therefore cautions that one should always seek out the best and brightest people to work with.
Complacency and stagnancy scares Kim, she never ever wants to stop moving and growing. The list of things Kim wants to do and learn is quite long. Surrounding herself with brilliant and driven people provides consistent inspiration and rejuvenation whenever needed.
It is easy to be allured and feels comfortable to work with people that are similar. Kim feels that this can be detrimental. Success in partnership comes from everyone bringing their differences and uniqueness to the table, having very different skills is what makes success in business complementary. She enjoys bringing valuable insights to the table while also knowing that she does not have to be a master of all things. When she looks back over the three companies she built, she realizes a solid partner is what initially attracted her to each one and building a diverse team is what made each of them successful. All three of these companies were technology companies, all with products based on engineering code and for better or worse she can’t read or write a single stitch of code. She is fascinated with the productivity, utility and efficiency that technology brings and adds her part to the development process and shapes her companies by focusing on these facets.
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