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You Want to be the One Asking the Questions

Pay It Forward

In early June, I was invited by one of Bill.com’s clients, Glenbrook Partners, LLC, to be its guest at the Financial Women of San Francisco’s annual scholarship luncheon honoring extraordinary female students pursuing a career in finance and financial services.  

What an inspiring event. One by one, 11 women stepped to the podium and told the most heartfelt and honest life stories. How they had overcome every type of adversity to make their way in the world and make things better for their families. Several women credited their parents for helping them be the best they could be. Others cited a lack of parenting as the catalyst that pushed them to do more, be more. Every woman mentioned a special person, who in the course of her journey, had “reached back” and offered a hand to the one coming up behind them.

One woman in particular struck a chord. She started her working life as a data entry clerk. One day, it dawned on her—she wanted to be the one asking the questions, not the one answering them. That realization galvanized her into action: she applied to college and majored in accounting. Her drive got her into school. But, she got a shot at her first finance job, and then her second, via those who reached back.

Everyone in the audience chuckled when she said she wanted to be the one asking the questions. We all knew what she meant. A career in finance, or financial services, or fintech, can be incredibly rewarding, but first, you need to know what the numbers mean. You also need the wisdom to accept a boost when it’s offered.

This woman’s story brought back memories. I thought about the many times in my career when someone offered me a chance to do something new that I felt unqualified for. In each case, I walked through the door of opportunity, not because I necessarily believed in myself, but because others believed. When people take a chance on you, you will do whatever it takes to reward that confidence. As I was ruminating on this, I remembered that the people who opened the biggest doors for me kept showing up, checking in, pushing me forward—it was not a one-time deal.

Just like those scholarship recipients (and me), every business that uses Bill.com has its ups and downs. What separates the successful ones from the also-rans is the unquenchable desire to succeed and the ability to recognize and accept a helping hand when it is offered.

At Bill.com, we strive every day to offer a virtual hand to our clients, whether they’re SMBs, accountants or financial institutions. We want our customers to feel empowered. To understand their numbers so that they can ask the right questions. And, we keep showing up with new features which translate to boosts of productivity and insight. Our customers tell us that they can’t imagine operating their businesses without Bill.com. We’ve freed up their finance teams to do more strategic work that drives the enterprise forward and, hopefully, reach a hand back to the next budding entrepreneur in line.

June 19, 2017
Colleen Lindow
VP Strategic Partnerships, Bill.com
Colleen is Vice President of Strategic Partners, and has been instrumental in helping bank partners grow their business payment services as well as guiding several Bill.com platform initiatives with her deep knowledge in the payments industry. Prior to this role, she was head of Payments, Compliance and Risk, where she was responsible for operations, risk strategy and policy, and processing bank relationships. Lindow has spent her entire career entrenched in the payments world, with more than 25 years of experience in product management, sales, risk management, and operations both in the U.S. and Europe. Prior to Bill.com, Colleen held leadership positions with PayPal, eBay, Square, Visa, and Bank of New York Mellon. Colleen earned her MBA from the University of San Francisco and her undergraduate degree in English from Westminster College. She is a permanently certified cash manager (CCM) and has earned the certified anti-money laundering specialist (CAMS) credential. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, running, drinking good wine and hanging out with her rescue dog, Holly.