Angie Hicks, Chief Marketing Officer and Founder of Angie's List

Angie Hicks launched Angie’s List in 1995 after a friend moved to Columbus, Ohio, and had a difficult time finding reliable contractors. The list originally had 1000 members in Columbus, but it has since expanded to cover most major U.S. metropolitan areas.

I’ve had some great professional mentors, but my mother has been my biggest role model. Growing up, she worked full-time but she was always there for me. She showed me that you needed to work hard if we were going to make anything of ourselves, but that we first needed to take care of ourselves and our family. She had a great way of balancing her life, too. Her family was her priority, even though she worked full-time.

The biggest lesson I learned from her was probably to figure out what you’re good at and what you’re capable of. No good can come from trying to be something you’re not. So figure out what you want to do, and do it as best you can. I might WANT to be a race-car driver or a professional tennis player, but I’m not gifted in that way.

I would never be able to balance my life and stick to a priority list without seeing my mom do it first. Balancing work and family is key to keeping myself on track.