First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Margaret Rothe: Well, thank you. I hope you and your family are well.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded CounselMore
Margaret Rothe: I am the founder of CounselMore, College Counseling Software. I spent my career in higher education. Like many, I burned out and found myself as a freelance consultant.
My time in higher Ed is no secret to my community, and before I knew it, I had a thriving college counseling company serving the high school to college transition. Soon I recognized the deficits in the tools we used every day. I knew the system of higher education, and I knew why these tools weren’t working.
How does CounselMore innovate?
Margaret Rothe: Once upon a time, there were CPAs (certified public accountants) in accounting houses. Now there are tax preparers on every corner. This is where high school college counseling is going, and CounselMore is their tool. We innovated by building a truly industry-tailored tool from the inside. Too many solutions were being brought to educators by people who had never done their job.
School counseling is a highly esoteric skill set that relies on college data that is often out of date and does nothing to drive a college readiness process. Independent educational consultants are also new entrepreneurs who find CounselMore is their best choice because of the combined business management, respect for the professional process, fresh college data, and a professional network for student success.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Margaret Rothe: We are a grassroots organization. COVID separated us, but we are very much all for one, so we are taking things one-day-at-a-time.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Margaret Rothe: Perhaps, I have made choices on employees faster than I may have before COVID.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and CounselMore in the future?
Margaret Rothe: There’s a lot of questions in that one question… I am the CEO of a startup. If I said I didn’t like stress, I’d be lying. We all do. It’s the challenge of thinking on your feet and twisting with your market. It’s not ever easy. I wouldn’t suggest just anyone jump in on entrepreneurship. My first company was much smaller, easier to manage. I also knew the ropes. With this company, I’ve had a learning curve.
I can confidently say now I am a CEO because I have the battle wounds and ribbons.
That doesn’t mean I won’t trip on my way to the light switch. It means that little stumble won’t stop me.
How do I deal with stress? I call the CTO and CIO, laugh, and then get back in the game.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Margaret Rothe: To be acknowledged in line with our competitors is a compliment. We are honored to be included in that conversation. CounselMore will continue to be in that conversation.
Your final thoughts?
Margaret Rothe: I believe our world is headed for a place where we will all need to set aside gain and look to the community for strength.
CounselMore and I believe that we contribute to the greater good by empowering college counselors to do what they love. Spend more time counseling students and less time clicking software. It’s all right there in the name, CounselMore.
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