I’m Maria Potoroczyn, the Director of Product at Visa. I advise startups and coach founders / operators in my spare time. I also write about my attempts at living in the present moment on Substack and I’m currently training as a meditation teacher.
Over the past decade, I’ve built a career in innovation and fintech. I’ve worked in consulting, large corporations, and small startups. I find my sweet spot at the intersection of strategy, technology, and design to help solve complex business challenges.
Way back when, in my undergrad, I majored in Social Anthropology. At the time, I followed my heart. But I also inadvertently built a human-centered toolkit that has helped me stand out in every workplace I ever joined. What I learned from that is following your heart usually works out.
I speak my mind and never shy away from the hard truths. I try as hard as I can to both embrace my Eastern European directness and to lead with kindness and compassion. I am a big fan of idiosyncrasies. “Both things are true” is one of my favorite sayings.
“Not your circus, not your monkeys” is another one - I try to practice the wisdom of knowing what I can and cannot control. That said, I have a knack for catalyzing my personal frustration into projects that try to make our world a little better:
When I found myself dead bored with CPG work as a consultant, I built a social innovation practice to serve non-profits and social impact organizations.
When I realized the gender gap in leadership was a real thing (yep, I was a very naive twenty-something, don’t judge), I founded WIN: Women in Innovation to lift women up into positions of power and influence.
When I faced life-changing burnout, I created Habit & Co to help others deal with stress, anxiety, and work-related mental health challenges.
Today, I write openly about whatever is on my mind and whenever that resonates with people - I invite 1:1 coaching partners into my container, to go through this interesting thing called life together.
Ask me anything about product leadership, untying your identity from your work, community building, taking and maximizing a sabbatical, recovering from burnout, living a more present life, or anything else that seems relevant given all the above.