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Women of Qualified: Anna

Meet Anna Li! Anna is our Director of Customer Success and spends her days at Qualified leading our team of Success Architects to help clients generate more pipeline and revenue. Anna is passionate about marketing technology and creating a remarkable and memorable customer experience. She’s also a competitive marathon runner with a passion for good-quality sleep. Learn more about Anna and how she encourages her team to prioritize their wellness and stay balanced here at Qualified ⬇️

Tell us about your journey to Qualified–how did you come to join the team?

Anna: I first started my career in marketing, doing demand gen and marketing ops. Then, I pivoted to Customer Success when I joined the Pardot implementation team. I was at Salesforce for almost 7 years. 

Then, when I heard about Qualified, I was blown away. I’m a marketing automation nerd at heart, and when I saw the technology, I knew it was the future. I felt the same way about Qualified as I did about Pardot, Marketo, Eloqua, and other marketing automation tools a decade earlier. I wanted to be part of the team that defined the space, discover best practices through trial and error, and become a thought leader in this field.

What are some of the benefits and challenges that come with working remote?

 Anna: Working in a remote-first environment has its obvious perks. Save time commuting, work in the comfort of your own home with your own office setup, and be able to spend more time with family who are also working from home. But it’s also allowed me to work with colleagues from all over the world. Instead of hiring exclusively in tech hubs like San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, and Portland, we’ve hired from everywhere in the US and Canada. That means meeting and working with people from all over the world, and more diversity in perspectives, skills, experiences, and personalities. 

The challenges of course are that it makes it very difficult to meet up and have organic water cooler chat. And time zone differences! I have a few team members who are 4 hours ahead of me and I always keep that in mind when I’m responding to messages and scheduling my Slack messages, so they receive them the next morning rather than late at night.

How do you prioritize your own wellness, personally and professionally?

Anna: When I’m on vacation, I completely disconnect. You can’t reach me. I don’t check email or Slack. Taking time off is my opportunity to recharge, and if I peek at my work messages, I know I’ll start thinking about work, and I'd be cheating myself of the opportunity to recharge. So I really don’t feel guilty about it at all.

I also prioritize sleep. I don’t always succeed, but I always strive to get 8 hours of sleep a night. I think sleep is so vastly underrated, and it’s the single best thing you can do for your wellness, and it’s free! Getting enough sleep will improve every other aspect of your life.

Professionally, I prioritize my wellness by having a strong support network. I have a ton of people I admire and respect, and can go to for help. I have my boss and mentor Dan Darcy, who equips me with tools and provides guidance when I’m in a difficult situation. I also have my team of peers at Qualified, that I’m very thankful to call close friends. It’s a safe space and there are no stupid questions. We often bounce ideas off of one another and sometimes call each other out, which is possible only because we have such a high level of trust and respect for each other. Lastly, I also have a career coach through a service called BetterUp. My coach has been so helpful in bringing a fresh perspective when I’m stuck in a tough spot.

How do you encourage your team to pursue work/life balance?

Anna: I encourage my team to have work/life balance by setting boundaries and blocking time in their calendars. For example, I have a team member who brings his daughter to swim lessons every Tuesday afternoon. He’s doing a great job and clients love him, so I’m fully supportive of him carving out time to spend with his family. I also let my team know that I don’t expect them to work nights or weekends, so if they find themselves working a lot of hours, they know to come to me, so we can discuss shifting some projects off their plates, or where they can pare back. 

My team is very dedicated and high-performing, and I know I need to help them set boundaries and lead by example, so that they have work/life balance and don’t burn out.

Lastly, hit me with a humble brag 😏

Anna: I’m a competitive marathon runner! In 2019, I spent a year trying to qualify for the Olympic Trials in the marathon. As a woman, you needed to run 2:45 in order to qualify. I trained very intensely all year, ran 3 marathons in 99 days, and fell short of my goal by 24 seconds! It was heartbreaking! But it taught me that you could put everything you’ve got into something day in and day out, make a ton of sacrifices, ultimately fail at what you set out to do, and still consider that time well spent. I learned a lot about myself and my limits that year.

So I’m back at it again! This time for the 2024 Olympic Trials, and it’s even harder! The time to beat is 2:37. This time, I’m much smarter and more experienced. I’m going for it again, because what’s worse than the pain of failure is the pain of always wondering what-if? Life is short, chase after the goals that scare you and light a fire within you.

Anna, you're an incredible example for our team and we're grateful for everything you do to build such a strong connection with our customers here at Qualified.

Posted on
July 22, 2022
by
Shelly Weaver

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