Entrepreneurship can be a difficult career path. Only those who are able to "follow their hearts" will succeed, according to Founder and CEO of TalkMeUp, JJ Xu. On June 7th, JJ spoke to the summer 2019 intern cohort about her career and journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur. JJ knew from a young age that she wanted to be an entrepreneur and eventually be her own boss. However, knowing that this would not be an instant or easy journey to success, she took every opportunity she had to learn.
While working toward her Master's degree in microelectronics and solid-state electronics, JJ also worked in the sales industry working as a sales assistant making cold calls. She later continued on to work at Groupon as Director of Sales and City Head. At both jobs, JJ was able to learn quickly and climb the ranks by applying innovative mathematical models to enhance their existing marketing techniques.
After her rapid success in business, JJ gathered the courage to follow her passion for entrepreneurship. In 2011 she co-founded HotAppMarket and worked on it for 7 months. She never got discouraged during the process, but instead continued to let her passion drive her forward. In 2012, she started working for Huawei Technologies. After her time at Huawei, she moved on to be a marketing strategist at Magoosh, while working to obtain her MBA specializing in entrepreneurship from the Tepper School of Business. Upon getting her MBA, JJ once again decided to pursue her passion and started her second business, TalkMeUp.
An important part of being an entrepreneur is being open-minded and knowledgeable about the ever-changing world around you. Applying these skills, JJ was able to come up with the idea for TalkMeUp through a survey completed by her fellow classmates. The survey found that there was a demand for a tool that could assist students with their “real world” communication skills. Taking advantage of the opportunity in front of her, JJ created TalkMeUp. TalkMeUp is a unique and innovative software that uses AI to unbiasedly improve its users’ communication skills. It can detect flaws in its user's communication in situations like public speaking and interviews, and offer solutions. By doing this, TalkMeUp is more accessible and 90% cheaper than the conventional in-person interview and public speaking coaches.
JJ spoke about the importance of realizing that a detour is not always a bad thing in your career. It can lead you down a path and open new opportunities for you that may have never been possible before. Any roadblock that arose in her career was never able to hold her back, she only saw it as an opportunity and took it as a chance to learn. JJ always let her heart guide her through adversity because sometimes it's the paths we don't expect that can lead us to success.
We would like to thank JJ for her time and words of inspiration!