This month’s professional spotlight features Tess Gebretensai. Tess is the Founder & CEO of UpSell. Learn more about Tess, UpSell, and her path to entrepreneurship below.

Could you briefly explain some of your responsibilities in your current career role.

I am the Founder & CEO of UpSell, a concierge search firm that helps connect top talent with the best brands. We have set out to turn the impersonal, one-size-fits all hiring process on its head – by taking a friendly, personable approach to the process from day one.

How did you come to decide that this was the right career path for you?

Working in the retail industry for almost 10 years, I learned to love the fast paced, results driven environment. I also learned that having the right people in the right positions can make the difference between meeting sales goals or missing them. I decided to use that experience and knowledge to create UpSell and help retail brands add team members that will help their company grow.

Is there a philosophy that drives your career?

Someone once told me that struggling doesn’t mean failure and whenever I hit a road bump I remember that. I can count more struggles than successes since starting UpSell, but when I push through and succeed it makes it so much more impactful.

What do you consider to be your greatest professional accomplishment?

My greatest professional accomplishment was taking a chance and becoming a business owner.

What’s one piece of advice you would give someone looking to transition into your line of work?

In regards to recruiting I would advise someone to build their network, be willing to connect with people to truly understand what it is they want and to be ready to have honest and frank conversations during the entire process.

For any budding entrepreneurs out there, in the words of the great marketing department at Nike, “Just Do It.”. I’m not joking when I say that I recite that to myself several times a day. Through action, you can learn so much.

Outside of all of your hard work and efforts toward building your brand, what do you do for fun? Hobbies?

I like to read (I love a good sci-fi novel), watch a great movie and spend time with my family and friends. Recently I started taking Krav Maga classes which are kicking my butt, but are fun and make me feel powerful and strong.