Megan Smyth | Crain's Boston

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

Megan Smyth

Background:  

Megan Smyth co-founded FitReserve to help customers juggle multiple gym memberships and boutique fitness classes. The exercise membership plan just launched in Washington, D.C., expanding from New York and Boston.

The Mistake:

I've had a variety of roles in the corporate world before leaving to start FitReserve—everything from public relations to several different positions on Wall Street—and I think one of the mistakes I made is when I was choosing my new job. I made the mistake of choosing a group based on what I thought was a sexier product rather than the team I'd be working with.

My company at the time gave me two job offers and I got decide which group I wanted to work with. I ended up choosing the one that was focused on very familiar companies. Because the brands were more familiar to me it was more exciting to me looking at the day-to-day roles and the types of companies that I'd be interacting with, on a more personal level. I ended up working with a small team. Within a few months I quickly realized it was probably not the right fit. I was working long hours, and I wasn't given any opportunity to acquire new skills and take on other roles and responsibilities. So I felt limited. If I had chosen a different team I probably could have grown into the role.

You shouldn't always seek what's glamorous.

The Lesson

The lesson is it's really important to surround yourself with the right people who are going to allow you to grow and challenge you. You shouldn't always seek what's glamorous. The larger opportunity for growth is in the day-to-day work and the team you're working with. So you should seek out mentors and bosses who are going to allow you that opportunity to grow within the role.

It's really more important that you work with a group where you have the right mentors who are really going to help you grow and allow you to pursue new opportunities.

Follow FitReserve on Twitter at @fitreserve.

Photo courtesy of Megan Smyth.

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