July 31, 2017
Holden Page is a Crunchbase News editor and columnist.
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Jill Nelson is the founder and CEO of Ruby Receptionists, a Portland, OR-based firm that offers virtual receptionist services to small businesses. The company has raised $38.8 million in private equity, according to Crunchbase, to answer phones with care.

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And much like the receptionists she employs, Nelson brings her bright personality to Crunchbase News as the latest founder to participate in our Proust series.

What would you otherwise be doing right now?

After Ruby, I am destined to help other small business. I have something in mind that involves business mentorship and funding to really empower people that have service skills but maybe not business experience [to] help them become business owners.

Your main fault?

On my Hogan assessment, I scored 2/100 on prudence, so I’m not very prudent. [But] my main fault is my inability to stick to a routine. If I get an idea, passion, or momentum, it will either get me to the finish line or if I don’t, I will be distracted by some other idea. I’ll cram; I’ll get things done.

The quality you most desire in a tweet?

To be inspired. Be able to communicate an idea succinctly and creatively.

Your idea of misery?

Being isolated, not being able to talk to other people.

What do you appreciate the most in your friends?

So many things. I really feel appreciative when they are able to provide perspective. Especially if you have sort of mental conflicts and someone is willing to share their own experience and help you figure things out while still being supportive. Also, just for the friendship, fun.

Your chief characteristic?

Passionate. I speak with my hands, very expressive, and I definitely have a lot of conviction.

What skill do you wish you possessed?

Better memory, the ability to retain/recall facts.

Your most impactful book?

Rockefeller Habits by Verne Harnish. That introduced me to the whole concept of vision, mission, values, creating a long-term strategic plan that ties to your mission, vision, and value.

What defines success?

Do right by others. Make others feel good, supported, empowered.

When is confidence lost?

When what I believed to be true is not true.

What virtues do others have that you don’t?

Ability to think before speaking.

What impact do you want to leave behind?

Support somebody in their journey that enabled them to be successful.

What’s the biggest problem tech is failing to solve?

Human connection. Not solving equity.

Editorial note: Some of the answers have been edited for brevity and clarity.