From a very young age, Sue Marks has valued entrepreneurship and a strong work ethic.
After her grandparents immigrated from Germany in 1919 with nothing, her grandfather built a life for them in Milwaukee as the owner of a small printing business.
Sue married at 19 and finished college at night, earning a BS in Business Administration from Marquette University. Like her grandfather, she never stopped working.
Sue is founder and CEO of Cielo, a fast-growing recruitment process outsourcing firm. Headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin, the company has 1,800 employees and $200 million of annual revenue. She previously founded and ran ProStaff and HRFirst, which she sold to Kelly Services Inc., a Fortune 500 staffing firm, in 2000.
"There’s always been a war for the best talent," Sue says. "And actually right now, we’re back in a full-fledged war for talent in the United States, and globally."
Sue has also invested in, or been on the boards of, a number of tech and tech-enabled service companies, some of which she is still involved with.
Known as "Sue-isms," here are some tips Sue has for other entrepreneurs:
- Risk is the price you pay for opportunity
- Fail Forward
- Ask forgiveness, not permission
- GSD (Get Sh** Done)
- Don’t take “no” from someone who can’t tell you “yes”
- JFDI (Just Focus and Do It)
- We hire happy, friendly, smart people who walk fast
- Aim High and Fake it ‘til you make it
- Don’t just follow the rules, make them