There are lots of small business coaches, mentors and consultants “out there” and here I want to share a little bit about what makes me different, not better, just different.
My background. . .
A first generation American born in New York, I grew up in a small town in Massachusetts with 2 sisters, parents who worked way too hard for way too little and animals of all types. While we had the usual dogs, cats and aquarium, there were also chipmunks, chickens, homing pigeons and, for a while, an injured chicken hawk my Dad nursed back to health.
We rarely went on family vacations and I don’t remember my Dad ever calling in sick – even when he battled lung cancer (we lost this battle in 2007).
From a young age, I wanted to make a difference and my first *real* job was at a nursing home caring for the elderly. It taught me the value of life experience, caring for others and leaving a legacy.
I attended The American University in Washington, D.C. and came out with a dual degree in Russian Language and International Relations with studies in Natural Resource Economics and Mandarin Chinese (hey, I grew up in the Cold War and planned to make a difference).
While in college, the Cold War ended and I got a job in the Peace Corps Marketing Department. I loved everything about marketing, direct mail, public response and started studying all I could on the subjects.
After 3 years at Peace Corps, I went to work for the ACTION Agency and, within months, was made one of a group of 5 women to launch the AmeriCorps program nationwide. From overseeing our Ogilvy Adams & Rinehart marketing contract to working on Presidential events, it was a whirlwind time which taught me a lot and cost me my fiancé.
From AmeriCorps’ Marketing Department to their Finance Department… I left marketing to manage the Agency’s budget and earned an Associates in Accounting.
After several years, I quit and returned to Massachusetts to be closer to my family. I literally moved up one day and began work with a national satellite television company the next. My job was the Director of Business Operations and I worked there, commuting 126 miles daily, for the next 7 years managing accounts payable, receivable, commission programs for over 4,000 dealers, building moves (we grew so fast we moved 3 times in 3 years) and much more.
Another whirlwind time which left me exhausted, with an additional 100lbs and diabetes – I had put a company before my own self care.
DirecTV purchased that company and I decided to go out on my own – as a single woman with a mortgage, I had to be sure that my business would succeed and, within the first 6 months, I created a six-figure business and another crazy, exhausting job for myself.
Instead of having a business which supported and nurtured me, I had created a job. Commuting time was replaced with work. Corporate meetings with more work. Instead of lunch, I worked. Instead of vacations, I worked. I actually missed the entire summer season that first year.
And that’s when I woke up.
I hired an assistant, put systems in place, better leveraged myself and created Escalator Marketing™ — a business model unlike any other with a strong emphasis on Extreme Client Care™ and client retention.
Sounds good right? Then disaster struck…
In 2013, my youngest sister (and also best friend and primary assistant) was diagnosed with breast cancer. I went “all in”. Every doctor’s appointment, surgery, chemo appointment, radiation, months away from home in Virginia for proton therapy treatments, grocery shopping, preparing meals — you name it, we did it together or I did it for her.
Her cancer went into remission after 18 months of pure hell. 6 months later it was back, but “not bad”.
Then a “quick trip” to South Carolina to surprise my Mum with a visit found her ill and unsure of what was wrong. Turns out it was Stage 4 lung cancer. I stayed and became her full-time caregiver. She passed and I returned home from my “quick trip” almost 9 months later.
Returning home found my sister not well. More daily chemo and radiation, ending with another month in Virginia for proton therapy treatments and moving in with her afterwards. This lasted almost a year until she passed in July 2017.
2018 saw me divorced and on my own, moving from Massachusetts to South Carolina.
And yes, I continued to run my business during almost 4 years of constant caregiving and losing my Mum, sister/best friend/primary assistant and husband, with the business remaining profitable and over six figures.
When I talk about setting your business up to support you, it’s in the good AND bad times. It’s about creating a business that generates profitable revenue even while you’re in the midst of an unexpected crisis — even if that crisis lasts for years.
Flash forward to today…
I adore my business and partnering with clients, have my first “book book” coming out in 2022 and, as a voracious reader and tester, using my business as a lab or sorts, bring the best of what I learn to my clients which has resulted in an overall 89% client retention rate over 7 years.
Past experiences have shown me that while it’s okay to love my work (and I do!), it’s not my life. I’m also an organic gardener, a nature walker and a mum to my precious little Buddy (a ShihTzu I rescued in Summer 2020) and, having reversed diabetes without meds, a student of healing the body naturally.
I intentionally shared a lot about my background so you understand the experiences I bring to our mentoring – a perfect balance of marketing savvy, intuition and results-driven systemic implementation with a healthy dose of nurturing and love.
My style is to learn about your goals and then reverse engineer them to where you are now so we can create the quickest path to your goals possible without sacrificing your sanity or self care.
The sustainable success I teach takes time and work. If you’re looking for someone to tell you to call everyone you know and sell them a high level “X”, I’m not for you.
If you want a partner who understands the big vision and intimate details of running and marketing a successful, sustainable business; who understands you and where you are, who nurtures you while being completely honest and non-judgmental and who can pull from her years of hands-on business and marketing expertise, then we may want to chat.