AnnaMae LaQuatra is coming up on her one-year anniversary with AO1 Consulting, April 1st, to be exact. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, LaQuatra has been a highly successful Account Manager on the team since the day she began. From inspiring others to crushing sales goals, AnnaMae LaQuatra has a lot of valuable knowledge to share with those just entering the business industry. As we approach her one year mark, AnnaMae has shared with us her most influential experiences and valuable advice.
AnnaMae LaQuatra’s childhood was one of family, athleticism, and hard work. “I grew up in a small town, but competed with bigger schools as a softball player,” says LaQuatra, “so I had to work twice as hard to be seen by talent scouts. I feel like I grew up very fast as a child. My parents did a great job preparing me for adulthood. My dad owned his own business, my uncle owns his own window sales company, and my grandparents ran a real estate and investment company, so you could say I grew up in the sales world. One of the many lessons I learned was if you want something bad enough, you have to be willing to work twice as hard for it.”
One of the greatest struggles many young athletes encounter is the fear of injury and the consequence of losing everything in a split second. AnnaMae LaQuatra experienced this tenfold; after accepting a scholarship to play collegiate softball, the promising young athlete enduring a career-ending knee injury. Where many young adults might lose motivation in all parts of life, succumbing to the darkness of a passion lost; AnnaMae found a new way to harness her competitive nature and used her experience to propel her forward, rather than slow her down.
“I was always competitive by nature. I played many sports in high school. I ran track and cross country, I was a setter in volleyball, and I was running back on my junior high football team. However, I put most of my energy into softball; I started in center field, became a catcher, and eventually worked to become a pitcher. The competitive environment helped me discover my identity. The sports industry has long been a ‘man’s world,’ but I chose every day to be better than anyone. That is something I still do in the business industry. Sales are notoriously male-driven, and my personal goal is to be a highly successful female entrepreneur in the face of that struggle.”
Some of the most successful entrepreneurs find their careers in a complete moment of surprise. While many leaders hold life-long dreams of running a business, there are many led here by genuine interest and a surprising turn of events. “As a child, I dreamed of becoming a high school math teacher,” says LaQuatra, “eventually, I realized that I wouldn’t be totally happy doing that, so I took the hints from my family and started working in the sales world. Leaving my last job was a highly influential experience for me. In my previous job, I didn’t feel like I fit in, and also I saw zero growth opportunities. Now I’m in a work environment that I see incredible growth in, and this change has overall made my life so much better. It was a huge leap of faith at the time.”
One of AnnaMae LaQuatra’s greatest business tips to be a great leader, regardless of rank or status, is to be the leader you want to see in your office. “I exercise leadership and drive every day since that is the example that I have to set for others in the office,” says LaQuatra, “If I don’t do it, no one will.”
Great careers function as two-way streets, and that couldn’t be more true with AnnaMae. The Account Manager brings motivation, inspiration, and drive into the office each day, and the office gives it right back to her. “AO1 Consulting has helped me in my career development in every way,” says LaQuatra, “from sales and marketing tips, to leadership advice and team-building; I couldn’t thank my team enough. The most challenging thing I had to work through at first was my overall confidence in myself.”
“I think the strongest asset I bring to this industry is my confidence,” says LaQuatra, “I’ve worked very hard to improve that and feeling confident in the workplace, and your personal life, is life-changing.”
In five years, AnnaMae LaQuatra sees herself as a mother, a homeowner, and an unstoppable entrepreneurial force. “I am continually trying to ‘one-up’ myself,” says LaQuatra, “the person I see when I look in the mirror is my competition. To me, success is being better than what you were yesterday. I am motivated each day by the idea of what my future looks like.”