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Name: Alexandra McConnehey

Business: See Jane Fix, a provider of tech repair services

Industry: High Tech

Location: Seattle, Washington, U.S.

Reason for starting: I started See Jane Fix because I hated the way I saw customers getting treated in repair shops. Their eyes would glaze over as a tech would make them feel like a fool for not knowing what was wrong with their phone. What happened to customer service and treating others with kindness and respect? See Jane Fix is my attempt to right this wrong. To make people feel comfortable and to empower them with knowledge, rather than belittle them. If a customer walks out smiling, I’ve done my job right.

Related: Why Aren’t Women in Tech? Job Discrimination

How do you define success? My idea of success is being able to look at the whole picture and feel deeply grateful, especially when things aren’t going as planned. I’ve adhered to different ideas of success in the past, and they’ve left me feeling deeply dissatisfied. I believe true success is the ability to be grateful, to know that we can’t control every situation, and that life is often wild and chaotic and unpredictable. In the face of “failure” real success is the ability to stay gracious and grateful.

Biggest Success: Everyone knows the first step is the hardest step. Leaving my old job and branching out on my own was terrifying, and I remember calling my grandmother and crying and telling her I couldn’t start a business because I could fail. I knew how to fix things, and I knew how to talk to people, but what else did I actually know? She laughed and said “So what if you fail?” And she was 100% right. So what if I fail? My biggest success has been overcoming my own fear of failure and just starting.

Related: Read about another High Tech female entrepreneur here.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? My biggest challenge has been separating myself from my business. Some days are rough and repairs don’t go the way you planned and you end up losing money rather than making money. The daily challenges of getting exposure and fixing things can be exhausting, and I’ve really had to work on not equating my self-worth with the success of my business. I combat this by making little lists of what I’m grateful for and spending time reflecting on how truly blessed I am to have this opportunity.

Who is your most important role model? My mom is hands down my biggest role model. She attended medical school and had me and my younger siblings all before she was done with residency. As a kid, we were always part of the family business, whether it is was doing filing or cleaning bathrooms. My mom instilled in me a strong sense that I am entitled to nothing, and that I should be grateful for all the work I should happen to do, even when I was waiting tables with my liberal arts degree. She is wise, strong, and full of laughter.

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Edited by The Story Exchange