NextAdvisor Anastasia Leng: You're Never Too Experienced To Have A Mentor

Anastasia was recently named number 2 in Business Insider's The 30 Most Important Women Under 30 In TechAnastasia Leng is one of the NextAdvisors signed up to advise our community in our Business Advice Programme.

Anastasia is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO at Hatch, a new platform that enables you to customize jewelry, apparel, home decor, and more to create and purchase something unique to you. 

Before becoming an entrepreneur, Anastasia spent 5+ years at Google, working as a Product Marketing Manager on Google’s monetization products. She moved to London to work as a New Business Development Manager, where she led entrepreneurship efforts in EMEA and closed deals for early-stage technology partnerships for Google Voice, Google Chrome, and Google Wallet.

Anastasia is ready to start advising you on your business. For more details on The Business Advice Programme and to sign up, click here

During her time with Google, Anastasia was responsible for driving the company's social initiatives. She's also the brainchild behind Google Campus, a co-working space in East London's Tech City.

Anastasia graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a triple major in Psychology, Sociology, and French. She’s been a nomad all her life, having spent long stints in Bahrain, Vietnam, Hungary, Russia, France, England, and the US.

She was recently named number 2 in Business Insider's The 30 Most Important Women Under 30 In Tech.

TNW: Tell us about your current role/venture. What’s at the top of your mind with regard to your business?

AL: After 5 years at Google, I took a leap into entrepreneurship and co-founded a company called Hatch, a marketplace that enables you to easily personalize and customize any product you see on our site. We bring together unique artisans from all around the world with buyers looking for a more creative, thoughtful, and unique item, either for themselves or as a gift.

Currently, I’m spending most of my time thinking about growth. That’s very broad, I know, but what that translates to is spending most of my days digging and understanding user behavior on our site and optimizing and refining all parts of the acquisition funnel to better retain and engage our users. On a separate thread, I’m spending a great deal of time thinking about what users will expect from customization in the next 5-10 years and how we can better provide a service that meets the rising user expectations.

TNW: Which business topics are you most interested in providing advice on?

AL: 

I spent most of my time at Google thinking about partnerships and business development opportunities, and I spend most of my time at Hatch in all things data related. 

All those topics, plus how to generally grow and build a marketplace and a business foundation, are things I’d love to talk about.

TNW: How should a NextAdvisee approach their relationship with you, to get the best out of you?

AL:

As an advisee, make sure you know what you’d like to get out of the session and that I’m the right person to help you.

Come prepared with questions.

TNW: What do you see as the benefits of an advice relationship, for the advisor?

AL: I truly believe you learn something from every relationship and interaction.

Questions that may appear basic or simple at first glance and that force you to think about seemingly complicated issues in simple ways, can catalyze a brand new way of thinking about an old problem.

I often talk to my friends outside of tech about the problems I’m facing as they help me see things in a new light.

TNW: Do you currently have a mentor?

AL: I have loads of mentors, many of them were my managers during my time at Google, and I turn to each one of them for different issues that I encounter along the way. I think of them as my board of directors.

TNW: Which business matters have you most needed advice on during your career?

AL: I’ve sought out advice on everything from raising your first investment round to keeping a team happy and motivated to practical issues, such as renaming a company.

I don’t think you ever get to a point where you’re too experienced to ask for feedback or advice, and I have a group of people whose feedback I seek out on a regular basis.

TNW: What is the most useful lesson you have learned from a mentor?

AL: Much of your success in the early days boils down to your ability to empathize with people. Leave your ego at the door. 

Surround yourself with the most brilliant people you know and be unabashed about recognizing great ideas, no matter where they come from.

Most of the time they simply won't come from you.

TNW: Who would be your dream mentor in a fantasy world (they can be living or a historical figure)?

AL: Seth Rogen.

Anastasia is ready to start advising you on your business. For more details on The Business Advice Programme and to sign up, click here

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