Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Chief Brand Officer and one of the founders of Voices.com, the industry-leading website that connects businesses with professional voice talent. A respected mentor and speaker, Stephanie is considered one of the most connected people in the industry and has been listed on the PROFIT Magazine 2013, 2015, and 2016 W100 lists, a ranking of Canada’s top female entrepreneurs. Stephanie is also the author of Voice Acting for Dummies, a book she wrote, and built her business around, one goal: to help people accomplish their goals.
My first job ever was… A professional soloist at weddings. I also taught children how to sing and coached them in preparation for auditions.
I decided to be an entrepreneur because… I have always wanted to help people and my early way of doing that was through song. Eventually, my passion to help others led me to become an entrepreneur. It wasn’t something I planned or decided; I just pursued what I loved to do, and with time it became a fully functioning company.
My proudest accomplishment is… Being a mother and a wife. It has allowed me to help build into the lives of others and guide my children in becoming great human beings in society.
My boldest move to date was… Becoming a female leader in a tech business while also being a creative person. I think people who hear that I lead a tech company expect me to be more technical or financial, but I built my own creative space in the company.
I surprise people when I tell them… That my husband and I work together in the business. I am often asked what it’s like to work with my spouse on a day to day basis and how we manage to make it work.
My best advice to people starting a business is… Do something that is meaningful to you. Don’t do it unless you’re passionate about what you are doing. If you don’t have a passion for it, you won’t have the fire within you to keep yourself going. You have to have a reason to do what you do, and that reason needs to be greater than the paycheck at the end of the day.
My best advice from a mentor was… Pick one thing and do it well. Don’t split your vision, energy, or your passion for different things. If you’re going to do something, give it your full attention.
“You have to have a reason to do what you do, and that reason needs to be greater than the paycheck at the end of the day.”
I would tell my 20-year old self… I would quote Polonius of the famous play, Hamlet: “To thy own self-be true.” Become a student of yourself — know who you are, and always be true to that.
My biggest setback was… The point in my career where I found myself taking things too personally in business. However, looking back, I realize that it helped build my character, and taught me the importance of surrounding myself with like-minded people who can guide and remind me to keep things in perspective.
I overcame it by… Coming to terms with the fact that sometimes in business, you have to make decisions that perhaps others may not be okay with, and trusting yourself enough to know that these moves are necessary for the well-being of your customers and your business as a whole.
Work/life balance is… A work in progress. Sometime you’ll have to invest more time in other areas of your life, but I think it’s important to remember that you can’t get back the time you lose with your family. You can always come back to work and make up for lost time, but nothing can ever replace your family.
If you googled me, you still wouldn’t know… I love black licorice.
I stay inspired by… Surrounding myself with people. I especially get inspired by learning what motivates others.
The future excites me because… I know that the best is yet to come. It is a privilege to be part of a company that connects people who create content that educates, entertains, and informs, and being able play a role, even in a small way, in creating a better world for it.
My next step is… To continue to lead in our industry and inspire others. I would love to speak to even more groups of people about what they can do to succeed in this space and inspire them to make good choices.