Membership Matters: Q&A with Laura Bernstein

Jun 13, 2017

1. Who influenced you in your early years to become a leader in your own life?  What did they do for you? 
My greatest role models have been my parents and my business partner, Bob. They have many qualities in common including generosity, patience, wisdom, kindness, love, and the ability to overcome great adversity. I strive to emulate these traits in both business and in life. They’ve taught me to believe in myself and in who I am, which has touched every corner of my life and every all my successes. My parents taught me how to be in life and Bob taught me how to be in business. Among his lessons, Bob reminded me daily that every interaction is an opportunity to build a relationship or to tear it down, but to choose wisely. Although this has become part of my DNA, I still forget at times. Even in his retirement, Bob’s words of wisdom hang in my office as a constant reminder of how I got here and where I am going.

2. What difficultly did you overcome that impacted your career for the better?

One of my biggest hurdles has been separating emotion from business. Early in my professional career, I was not aware of the impact my emotions had on my decision making. As I matured in business, I became keenly aware of its impact. I also became aware of the lack of emotions in my male counterparts. The combination of both drove me to form new habits. Key fundamentals such as delaying response, thinking through all possible outcomes, and knowing when to not engage further have all served me well over the years.

3. How has WIC impacted you personally and professionally?  What makes this group different than any other networking group?

After all of these years, the WIC events feel more like a reunion than just a networking group. I have met so many smart and talented women. I cherish the time with them and always look forward to kicking off Channel Partners with our event. Professionally, WIC has also been invaluable; an environment of collaboration, the opportunity to give, to learn, and to earn.

4. What mistakes have you made in your career and what advice would you give someone new to the channel? 

Some mistakes I’ve made in my career have been assuming that my goals aligned with my employers, not being honest with myself about what I wanted, and believing I had an endless amount of time to figure it all out. Success is about the value we bring to those around us and the joy we experience while doing that. The more value you can bring, the more you are worth.  Focus on learning more so that you can give more, and the money will follow.

5. Where do you see the woman in our industry thriving?

The merging of Telecom and IT, as well as the development of new technology, will continue to create vast opportunities for woman to thrive in every sector of the business. With every woman who holds a C-level position opens the door for more to follow. The path to wealth for the sub-agents and agents has never been greater. Residual income will continue to deliver flexibility on the road to success.

6. How are you positioning yourself to stay relevant and support your clients in the coming year? 

At CRA our job is to support agents and their customers. Staying relevant requires learning new technology and then developing reliable, meticulous process to effectively support that technology. Collaborating when it makes sense and listening to our customers are all part of our strategy for success.

7. When have you helped another woman gain confidence and connection and what happened?  

Throughout my career, I have been fortunate enough to experience the joy of mentoring. Not only did I learn a great deal, but the impact to the mentee’s self-esteem could easily be measured by the results they achieved. Sometimes simple gestures such as a smile, a pat on the back, or the acknowledgement of a job well done can make all the difference.