That one small step you take today could lead to a multi-million dollar chain reaction? That’s what happened to Susan Wojcicki when she was 30 years old: “I had just got out of business school and bought a house. So I needed to get some renters in order to help pay the mortgage...”
So she rented out her garage to two Stanford students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who used it to start up their new company, Google.
Susan remembers the first year, with many “late nights together in the garage eating pizza and M&Ms, where (Larry and Sergey) talked to me about how their technology could change the world."
They finally convinced her to join as Employee No.18 and their first marketing manager, when she was four months pregnant. And her first job was to relocate them all to a proper office.
Called the “Mom at Google”, Susan was the first in the team to have a baby, and her “family first” philosophy led to Google topping the ‘Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For’ list.
The “family” grew, literally, with Sergey Brin marrying Susan’s sister, Anne, and having two kids. Susan herself had five kids. All while growing the marketing side of Google.
In charge of products, it was Susan who came up with the idea of Adsense, which grew to become 97% of Google’s revenue within the next 10 years. That earned Susan the nickname “The Money.”
She then focused on video, only to find a new start-up, Youtube, was growing much faster than Google video.
While working out what to do to compete, Susan stumbled on a Youtube video of two boys in China lip-syncing to the Backstreet Boys. She recalls “That was the video that made me realize that 'Wow, people all over the world can create content, and they don’t need to be in a studio.”
Instead of trying to compete, Susan convinced Larry and Sergey to buy Youtube, and six months later Google bought Youtube for $1.65m.
In February 2014, Susan became the CEO of Youtube, and today she is worth over $300 million.
What began with a simple decision to rent out her garage has led Susan on a journey that has included her being named No.1 on the Adweek 50 list in 2013, being called “The most important person in advertising” and “The most powerful woman on the Internet” by TIME in 2015.
And for Susan, the journey is still just beginning. As she says, “Google is fascinating, and the book isn't finished. I'm creating, living, building, and writing those chapters.”
Now it’s your turn. If Susan can do it (while raising five kids) you can too.
Take a step forward today. Any step. There’s no guarantee it will lead to the same magical journey that Susan has been on. But there’s no guarantee it won’t, either. You’ll never know until you try.
Also, relationships, connections and networking are very important to our success stories. If Susan had just rented out her garage and never bothered about getting along with the Google guys, big things would still have happened without her and she’d probably still remain anonymous as we speak. So let’s always work hard at building and keeping healthy connections, and always with positive energy.