NetWorks Sports Small Business Profile – Knowetry Consulting (@Knowetry)

The NetWorks Sports Small Business Profile is a brief vignette that provides a closer look at companies founded by individuals who have been involved in the sports industry at some point in their career.  These business owners will share their journey as an entrepreneur as well as insight for those of you interested in starting your own venture.

NetWorks Small Business Profile on Knowetry Consulting and its founder, Stacy Parson

Name: Stacy Parson

Title: Principal

Company Name: Knowetry Consulting

Company Website:



When did you start your company and what was your inspiration for starting it?
I established Knowetry Consulting in October 2009. My inspiration to start my own business was to spend most of my days doing work that I love.

What’s your Elevator Pitch?
The “Pitch”: I want people to leave every encounter with me knowing more about themselves and how they fit into the world. “Know your story. Live your story.”

What I Do: I use an approach of “grounded innovation” — the action-orientation of a consultant with the reflective, discovery-based methods of a coach — to help my clients increase their personal and professional influence.

The Knowetry(TM) Consulting vision mapping process is at the heart of my coaching practice and helps people visually chart the course from “Now to What’s Next.” By doing this, my clients create a vision that provides inspiration and lays the foundation for the new ways of thinking, communicating, and behaving required for future success. This simple, creative and practical starting point sets the stage for a coaching experience characterized by innovative methods of achieving real-world results.

What is your company’s Mission Statement?
I support people in making the shift from being High Achievers to becoming Happy High Achievers.

What is your favorite part of owning your own business?
My favorite part of owning my own business is getting to focus most of my day on doing exactly what I love to do — Having conversations that help people clarify what their dreams are, and how they want to impact the world.

Tell us about your career before you became your own boss.
Prior to moving into my coaching and facilitation practice full time, I was the Director of Employee Development at Yahoo! Inc. The highlight of my time at Yahoo! was leading the design and implementation of the first organization-wide career development framework, which included a foundational workshop that has been very well received — in the last six months I’ve been to Singapore, Bangalore, Munich, and London to certify trainers, and it is being delivered globally in 15 countries. Yahoo! expects to have about 2,000 employees complete the workshop by the end of 2011. In 6 months, the workshop and related resources contributed to a 7% increase in career engagement, as measured through their employee engagement pulse survey.

Prior to that I was at Deloitte Consulting for 10 years – 5.5 years as a Change Leadership consultant, 3.5 years as an internal career coach, 1 year as the leader for Professional Development for the Consulting practice.

Before that, 3 or 4 roles that seemed random at the time, but contributed to the set of skills that prepared me for my roles at Deloitte.

Were you previously involved in the sports industry?  If so, what capacity?
Stanford Women’s Basketball (1986 – 1990); Graduate Assistant Coach, University of Washington Women’s Basketball (1990 – 1992); 10 years coaching 8 yr – 12 yr girls in Catholic Youth Organization (CYO), North Coast Express Basketball, and National Junior Basketball (NJB).

What was your goal when starting the company?  Has that changed?  What is your long-term vision for your company?
My original goal was to find work that I loved so that I would not spend the next 30 years doing something I was capable of, but only mildly interested in. I wanted to combine my strengths, interests and leadership capability in ways that made a real difference in people’s lives. When I wasn’t finding exactly what I wanted to do in a structure/role that I wanted in Corporate America, I began thinking about how and when I would establish my own practice. My target client base for coaching has always been professionals in high demand professions (consulting, high tech/Internet, legal, finance). Recently, I have deepened both my interest and experience in working with professionals who have immigrated from India, and who want support in navigating their careers within American corporations. My long term vision is to maintain a sole-proprietorship, however, I do want to continue to increase my impact by partnering with others, and creating solutions that can be scaled to reach a broader audience. In 2005, I set a goal to help create 5,000 Happy High Achievers, and thanks to the platform provided at Yahoo!, that goal is likely to be reached within the next 18 months. So, it’s time for me to recast my vision…

What is it like running your own company?  Give us a “day in the life.”
I’ve intentionally defined my area of focus so that I can spend most of my time doing things I love. On most days, I’m doing some combination of the following: 1) Developing Relationships and New Business — talking with people about what’s most important to them or their organizations and how I can help them (developing/enhancing relationships and new business). 2) Coaching and Facilitating — working with coaching clients to clarify their vision for impact, design a plan forward, help them overcome challenges, and provide accountability and support; or facilitating groups of 10 to 200 during career development, leadership development, and coaching skills workshops. 3) Design and Development of Solutions — thinking of creative ways to help people take action toward their personal and professional dreams and designing those solutions to use in my coaching and facilitation, 4) Deepening my Expertise — reading about and exploring what makes people tick and how we can support each other in realizing our full potential. 5) Improving my Leadership — thinking about what my strengths are and how I can build and use them to make a difference. 6) Operations — Oh, and I do spend a bit of time on the operations side – scheduling, client engagement and practice administration, budgeting and invoicing, and an occasional visit to the Apple Genius Bar.

What are the greatest challenges of owning your own business?
I’m a person who has a lot of interests and likes to explore possibilities, so my biggest challenge is to stay focused on my niche and to make choices about how to spend my time that are going to return the most value. I’m continually checking in to make sure I’m doing the work I really want to do, and not creeping into the areas of work that I “can” do but that will ultimately lead me out of my “sweet spot”.

What has been the biggest surprise you’ve had in being an entrepreneur/business owner?
I’m enjoying the business development aspect much more than I expected that I would.

What are the greatest rewards of entrepreneurship & business ownership?
For me, the greatest reward of owning my own business is when people share with me how our work together has helped them to fulfill their dreams of success and satisfaction – buying a new home, getting a promotion, designing the family and relationships they want, establishing a new business, overcoming a fear, becoming more at ease with themselves and the impact they are having in the world, clarifying and living their purpose.

Is there a mentor (or mentors) that has helped you along the way?
I have been SO blessed with many mentors and supporters at every stage of my life. My family makes sure I understand that when you have people who will love you no matter what, it gives you courage to take risks in the world. My youth basketball coaches (Rey Lopez and Donis Bailey) helped me understand that I had options, helped me dream and believe that I could achieve things that not very many other people do. My high school coach (Craig Raub) taught me how to acknowledge my capabilities with humility. My college coach (Tara VanDerveer) taught me how to have intention, conviction, and develop the capacity for success on a large platform. My mentors at Deloitte (Eileen Fernandes and Eileen Raney) always asked me to step further toward my edges, but would never let me fail. Vance Caesar (whom I’ve never met) coined the term “Happy High Achiever”, which I have shaped my work around. One of the founders of Co-Active Coaching (Laura Whitworth) taught me how to listen for the conversations that want to happen, “assess and not vote”, and to “ask for 100 percent of what I want 100 percent of the time”. Susan Burnett at Yahoo! teaches me how to create outcomes that live on even after you move on. And, Natalia Gabrea at Hiruko Center teaches me how to be courageous on a daily basis.

I am ALWAYS looking for people to help show me the way.

Please share any advice for readers who are considering starting their own business.
My advice to anyone considering starting their own business (especially a service business) is to: 1) know what your “secret sauce” is, and when and how it is valuable to others 2) be really clear about the solution you are providing, and for whom; 3) focus on being more “interested in” vs “interested to” the people you meet (from Good to Great by Jim Collins) 4) ALWAYS support and be generative with your network because they will sustain you

Favorite Book: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Favorite Movie: The Usual Suspects, but really liked the Adjustment Bureau too

Hobbies: Reading, listening to live music, wine tasting, creating playlists, discovering new bay area food spots

Favorite Place to Vacation: Right now…India

What’s playing on your iPod: Kinsmen by Rudresh Mahanthappa (and 26,000 other songs)

Android or iPhone: iPhone

Mac or PC: Mac and iPad

Favorite TV Show: Mad Men

Favorite Restaurant: A Cote in Oakland, CA

Favorite Quote: “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist


For more information on Stacy & Knowetry Consulting, log on to

Sign up for the NetWorks Sports “Changing the Game” Newsletter today!!

NetWorks Rising Star – Melanie Murphy

NetWorks is committed to supporting young professionals looking to get their foot in the door in the sports industry.  Our team has received an extraordinary amount of support throughout our careers and are truly impressed with the generation of young leaders who are ready to help take the sports industry to all new heights.  If you know of any individuals like this, please let us know about them.  If you are in a position to hire or recommend these NetWorks Rising Stars, please contact us and we will put you in touch with them.  They are our future!

Mel Murphy Photo

Melanie Murphy - Stanford Women's Basketball

Today’s NetWorks Rising Star is Melanie Murphy

“Melanie is an extremely bright & ambitious individual who has a strong entrepreneurial spirit and determination to be very successful in the business world.  A true team player & innovative thinker, Melanie will be a huge asset for any company looking to exceed their objectives.”
–Angela Taylor, President – NetWorks Sports Consulting

Name: Melanie Murphy

College: Stanford University

Degree(s): Bachelor of Arts in Communications with Minor is Science, Technology, and Society.  Master of Arts in Communications with concentration in Media Studies – conferred June 2011

Resume Available: Yes, upon request (send email request)

Tell us a little about your background.
I am a Brooklyn native with 16 years of basketball experience. I am currently pursuing my BA and MA in communication through Stanford’s Co-Terminal program.  I will graduate this June with a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree from Stanford.  Both achieved while playing for the Stanford Women’s Basketball team for the last 5 years.

What type of work experience have you had?
I currently work 1 on 1 with parents and their children helping them to improve their individual basketball skills. In this job it is important to be able to quickly adjust to the needs of each individual client in addition to being adept at time management.

What type of job(s) are you seeking?
I majored in Communications and I am currently on track to receive my MA in Media Studies. I would like to find an entry-level position within public relations, marketing, human relations, or social media department.

What is your greatest strength?
My greatest strength is my ability to communicate with others. It is extremely important for all organizations to build and maintain good relationships.

Tell us about a project that you completed successfully.
With Stanford’s graduation ceremonies only about a month away, I think that a very relevant project I completed successfully was finishing my Masters degree while competing at the highest and most elite level of division 1 basketball team. Although I was constantly competing for Championships on the basketball team, I was successfully able to create and lead an academic team of my own in order to complete my study on the satire in media.

What experience (if any) do you have in the sports industry?
I currently manage the career of WNBA player Candice Wiggins. Successfully booking appearances, public speaking events in addition to increasing her social media presence. (@candicewiggins twitter following: 13,700 and counting)

Why do you want to work in the sports industry?
I want to work in the sports industry because it has made a great difference in my life. Whether teaching important life skills or opening doors and opportunities that otherwise would have not been available, a goal of mine is to continue to open doors for others as well.

Who has had the biggest influence on your life?
Before college I would’ve said my parents have had the biggest influence on my life. They instilled in me the values that has made me the person I am today. However, Tara Vanderveer has made the biggest most immediate influence on my life.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10-years I see myself as a manager of high profile clients in the sports industry, helping them with not only their immediate careers but with creating long lasting businesses for them in the future.

Anything else we should know about you?
I have a diverse array of interests both professionally and socially. I started investing my own money in junior high school, and would like to invest in real estate as well. I am always willing to learn new things, but my biggest passion lies within entrepreneurship.

For more information about Melanie or to request a resume, please send an email to