Sara Roach Lewis Of SRL Solutions: “Culture is set from the top”

The last thing every entrepreneur needs to manage the highs and lows successfully is a vision with a plan attached to it. You need to know what your North star is. You need to know what your core values are. You need to know what you’re working toward. And then you need to have a […]

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The last thing every entrepreneur needs to manage the highs and lows successfully is a vision with a plan attached to it. You need to know what your North star is. You need to know what your core values are. You need to know what you’re working toward. And then you need to have a plan for how you’re going to get there.

Being a founder, entrepreneur, or business owner can have many exciting and thrilling moments. But it is also punctuated with periods of doubt, slump, and anxiety. So how does one successfully and healthily ride the highs and lows of Entrepreneurship? In this series, called “How To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur” we are talking to successful entrepreneurs who can share stories from their experience. I had the pleasure of interviewing Sara Roach Lewis.

Sara Roach-Lewis is a feminist business strategist, entrepreneur, facilitator, mentor, and coach with over 15 years of expertise and experience. She’s the host of the Breakthrough podcast (on hiatus) and founder and CEO of SRL Solutions.

Sara is on a mission to help women business owners double their annual revenues and build their entrepreneurial resilience. Her coaching and training are driven by the belief that women’s businesses should support their busy lives, not take over their lives — even when times are tough.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

I’ve always liked to orient myself to geography because I grew up and still live on a tiny little island on the east coast of Canada called Prince Edward Island. We have only about 155,000 people in our whole province, but we swell to about 1 million visitors a year when people are allowed to travel.

In terms of how I got started, I worked for a small not-for-profit feminist organization for a lot of my career. Much of the work that we did had to be very strategic, and it was a really great learning opportunity. We were strategic in the projects that we applied for, in how we worked, and with our partnerships. We did a lot of advocacy and relationship building, particularly with the government. My time at the organization allowed me to hone my vision and my core values as a person. I believe that gender equality can solve all of the world’s problems. I recognize that when women have more wealth and prosperity, they tend to spread that wealth, and that makes a better community for all of us. I lead with that belief in my business as well.

After years in that role, I was ready for a change. I went to work for a small startup as the project manager, helping them create systems and processes that would scale with their business. That work gave me an opportunity, after years as the leader of an organization, to see if I could bring my skills to a different role and I could.

What was the “Aha Moment” that led to the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?

It wasn’t so much an aha moment as it was a process of elimination.

When I moved to the start-up, after years as the leader of an organization, I was questioning, ‘Can I work for someone else?’ The answer was a resounding no!

My employers were amazing people who remain good friends of mine. But I realized if I couldn’t work for someone else in this situation, it wasn’t in the cards for me in general.

I no longer wanted to work in the not-for-profit sector. I learned that I wasn’t interested in working for someone else. I didn’t want to work for the public sector. That left me with starting my own company.

In your opinion, were you a natural born entrepreneur or did you develop that aptitude later on? Can you explain what you mean?

I definitely was not a natural-born entrepreneur. I didn’t even start my business until I was 45. It took me a few years after the entrepreneur seed was planted in my head before I took the leap.

A number of years before I started my business, I was working on a national project for the organization I led. I hired a marketing firm to help us develop branding and promote the project.

It was 2013, and I didn’t know anything about marketing, branding, or sales, but it had many of the ingredients of what I like to do: we were going to empower women’s voices and bring women together.

Through the process of working with the marketing company, I was asked to share my vision for the project. At one point, an owner of the company, Kerry Anne, jumped in and said I sounded like an entrepreneur, that I had a real entrepreneurial spirit.

I laughed it off and didn’t think much of it because I didn’t see it. In retrospect, I was very entrepreneurial, but I didn’t know that I could be an entrepreneur.

Was there somebody in your life who inspired or helped you to start your journey with your business? Can you share a story with us?

Certainly! There was my friend Kerry Anne, who sparked in me that I could potentially be an entrepreneur; a few years later when I was ready to leave my leadership role with the not-for-profit organization, I had that in my mind as a possibility. But I still needed more nudges.

At that time of transition, I said to a good friend of mine, Susan, who has decades of experience as a very successful business owner herself, that I was thinking of getting my MBA because I wanted to learn about business.

She said, “oh, for goodness sake, Sara, if you want to learn about business, go and work for a business!”

I listened and left the organization and began working for the startup company, which led to starting my own business. If it hadn’t been for those two nudges, I don’t know that I would have ever started my own business.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

I bring a non-judgmental understanding of the experiences of women in the big and the little ways that make up our lives. This understanding comes from a research and evidence-based perspective, as well as my own personal experience.

From my time working with vulnerable women at Women’s Network PEI, I learned to meet people where they were because you can cook up the greatest plan for someone, but if they don’t believe it can work for them, it won’t.

Women need to create businesses that work for their lives and not businesses that they have to squeeze in around their life — or a life that they need to squeeze around their business.

The complexity of women’s lives is very real, and it can’t be glossed over by adding more hustle or motivation. Learning how to integrate their business into their lives is key to their success.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

My attitude is one of the things that makes me a good leader and has been instrumental in my success. I often talk about the 90/10 rule. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% your attitude towards it. That quote came to me many years ago when I was working for the Women’s Network. It was the first year of a program called Trade HERizons. We had 12 participants who had experienced very difficult lives. We took the participants to do a ROPE Course, which stands for “Rite of Passage Experience.” You climb a tree and you shimmy across a thin cable and climb back down a tree. It’s quite outside of most people’s comfort zones, but after accomplishing this, you learn that you can do anything. It really does give you this experiential boost of confidence.

One of the women involved was Clara Roach. She was in her early seventies at the time, facilitating this scary physical experience for the other women. Clara was a beautiful soul who had such a great spirit about her. The women loved her. This seventy-year-old woman’s authenticity and positive attitude cut through the scary experience that they were in, and it helped them find what they needed within themselves to push through to the other side, to the other tree. She told us that quote that day, explaining how it’s your attitude towards the experience that is what really matters. I bring that with me today to all that I do.

The other character trait that I bring is optimism, which ties in with an attitude. I literally wear rose-colored glasses! I love to look at the sunny side of life and find the silver linings in the cloud. I believe that the ability to look at a terrible situation and see the opportunity in it is a vital trait of a good business leader.

The third characteristic that contributes to my success is confidence. Not ego, but the confidence that comes from making evidence-based decisions. When I’m making decisions for my business, when I’m working with clients on their businesses, I look for evidence and facts. Sometimes, it can be difficult to see past the emotional reaction to a situation. But taking stock of the information we have, the evidence we have and taking aligned action from there brings confidence.

For example, I live with a chronic illness, Meniere’s Disease, which is an imbalance of the fluid in the inner ear leading to dizzy spells, hearing loss, and ringing in the ear. It is quite miserable to live with when it is active. When I first started my business, I found myself in a very active phase. I could have felt defeated and like giving up, but I didn’t. Instead, I looked at the information and the facts — what can I do, how long can I do it for, what do I know offers relief, etc.

It meant that I worked in 20-minute blocks and then had to lay down. It meant I adopted a mindfulness practice. It meant adjusting my expectations for deadlines and outcomes. What it also meant was that I could continue my business. I looked at the data and my annoying reality and made it work for me. The confidence that I learned from that time in my life and business is with me now. I know there is a way to make my business work for my life, whatever season I am in.

Often leaders are asked to share the best advice they received. But let’s reverse the question. Can you share a story about advice you’ve received that you now wish you never followed?

We hear so much about how the ‘riches are in the niches and that we need to niche down to grow. I felt a lot of pressure to find my niche before I even really knew what I was doing. I always knew that my niche was going to be to work with women, but there was an awful lot of pressure to drill deeper.

I do agree with the power of niching, but it’s not advice that I give startups. It’s advice that I give to folks who have a couple of years under their belt and really want to ramp up. That’s when you need to niche down. But I know now that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking a little bit of time to figure out what you do well, what you actually enjoy doing, and what pays really well, before THEN niching, rather than trying to rush through that discovery phase too quickly.

The advice that I wish I’d never followed, at least as early as I did, is that you have to niche.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them create a work culture in which employees thrive and do not “burn out” or get overwhelmed?

In order to create a work culture where employees thrive and don’t get burnt out or overwhelmed, it really comes down to the fact that your words and your deeds as a leader need to match. Your employees are going to believe your actions, regardless of what your words are, and if the two don’t match, there will be friction. And they will believe your actions every time.

Going back to my Women’s Network days when we were working on the huge national project, I was beginning my workday at four in the morning, firing off a bunch of emails to my staff.

What they weren’t privy to was that I was also leaving work earlier. Or, if I was working at home that day, what they didn’t see was that I stopped working at noon.

But I came to realize that I was creating so much anxiety in them because all that they were seeing were my actions — getting all of these emails in their inboxes at crazy hours in the morning made them feel pressured. It also made them question if they were expected to be starting their workday at that time, too.

Of course, that was never my intention. And I would tell them all the time, but my words were not meeting up with my actions. So they believed my actions.

Culture is set from the top. If you don’t want your staff to burn out or get overwhelmed, then try not to do that yourself. They’re going to imitate the behavior, you model. So practice your own good self-care and manage the workload so that you don’t get overwhelmed yourself.

Of course, as a business is growing, there will be seasons where you have to sprint. But setting an agreement with the team that the sprint is temporary and a means to an end, rather than the regular expectation, is critical.

Recently we were working on a report, and my staff person took the lead on this. There was a deadline attached to it, and she worked throughout the weekend in order to meet it. It is not our culture to work on the weekends. But she was aware that, in order for her to meet that deadline, a sprint was needed. If that happens, then your actions need to reflect the culture. So, during that sprint, I ordered dinner for her family to help them get through that time and the Monday following the deadline was a day off to make up for the lost weekend.

What would you advise other business leaders to do in order to build trust, credibility, and Authority in their industry?

It’s about knowing yourself and being authentic.

I think given our world these days and the fact that we are living through a pandemic and a time of great social unrest, authenticity is more critical to building that trust, credibility, and authority than ever before.

As a trained mediator, I know that when trust is lacking, we assume negative intent in others. There is a multitude of ways in which trust has broken down in our society — in the last few years especially — and it is a natural response to assume negative intentions. I believe the best way to build trust is to be authentic. We know that business moves at the speed of relationships. So building that trust and authentically is more important now than it’s ever been before.

What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors?

One mistake that is very common is around our expectations of the time.

People underestimate how long starting a business will take, how long it takes to build your website, how long it takes to really figure out your brand and brand voice. They underestimate how long the sales process takes. This is where that shiny object syndrome comes into play. When the strategies they’re implementing don’t start to bear fruit as soon as they’d like, they want to completely shift strategies. We see this play out with startups and beginner CEOs often.

What they need to avoid this mistake is a good, solid plan.

I created the Entrepreneur Planning Program to give people the opportunity to look at what their big vision is. From there, what is your vision that you have for your business? What are your goals for the year? Then we dial it back and create a tight (but flexible) plan for the next 90 days.

What typically happens is that people are both amazed at how long things take and at how much you can accomplish in 90 days when you focus.

The other mistake that trips up CEOs and founders is that they think that everybody else has this beautiful business that is just ticking along behind the scenes. They think there’s an elegant solution that they just need to get their hands on.

But the reality is everyone is just figuring it out, whatever stage they’re at. When you figure out one issue, you uplevel to something you haven’t had to figure out before. New level, new devil. And I think the sooner that you can realize that there isn’t an elegant solution and get comfortable with your own messy business, the sooner you can put your energy toward the action you need to take in the next 90 days that drives the bigger picture.

Ok fantastic. Thank you for those excellent insights, Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview about How to Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur. The journey of an entrepreneur is never easy, and is filled with challenges, failures, setbacks, as well as joys, thrills and celebrations. This might be intuitive, but I think it will be very useful to specifically articulate it. Can you describe to our readers why no matter how successful you are as an entrepreneur, you will always have fairly dramatic highs and lows? Particularly, can you help explain why this is different from someone with a “regular job”?

What I know is that there are joys and challenges to every job, in every sector.

What I love probably the most about being an entrepreneur is speed. In the not-for-profit world, great ideas would go from the staff to the board, to the funders, then wait for a call for proposals, then wait for six to nine months for a response, and only then would public consultations begin. So, a great idea to execution can take a year to get started.

In business, the fact is that you can come up with an idea on a Monday and, depending on what it is, you can launch it on a Wednesday. That is absolutely exhilarating to me. In a sense, you’re then also able to create your own reality.

As business owners, we do face a lot of pressures. From staff, clients, cash flow, and so on, but at the end of the day, if you’re focusing on your core values for your life and your vision for your business, then you really do get to create the life you want. And that is pretty darn exciting.

Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually high and excited as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.

I don’t think anything can compare to that first sale you make as a business owner.

For me, it was an especially exhilarating high because sales were not something I came into the business feeling comfortable with at all. As the leader of an organization, I could write a proposal for 300,000 dollars, no problem. But I couldn’t ask you for 20 dollars for my kids’ raffle ticket. I came into the business with the sense that sales were icky and uncomfortable and required manipulation.

I really struggled with that, but my way of overcoming any challenge is to dive in and learn all I can. I signed up for training, where I learned that sales is a process and that it can be learned and applied to selling high ticket offers, to selling yourself, to anything, really. I also learned that I had to do a lot of mindset work to uncover my belief in the value that I could bring to someone else.

I practiced. Before I felt ready, I put out a little post on Facebook, advertising my new business, and had my first sales call. I was so nervous, but I followed the process; I made the offer and she said yes! That was for a 2800 dollars program over three months. The high from that yes and the confidence that it gave me was amazing. I’ve moved on to make many more sales, including packages for 50,000 dollars, but for me, nothing quite beats that high from the first sale. It was the boost of confidence I needed to know I could do this entrepreneur thing.

Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually low, and vulnerable as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.

I generally refer to the first year in my business as a year-long crisis of confidence.

I started my business when I was 45. I went from being recognized as an expert in gender, consulting with government ministers and the premier because I represented a provincial women’s organization and because of my years of experience and expertise. My identity was very much wrapped up in being the leader of this organization.

When I started my own business, I had to learn how to be in business.

I signed up for a coaching certification program out of the US and I surrounded myself with people who were doing what I wanted to be doing. I was just hoping to replace my 68,000 dollars income, though I found myself among people who had goals of 300,000 dollars months. They talked about things that were above my head, and I felt like I didn’t know what was going on a lot of the time. But I knew it was where I needed to be, so I soaked it all in. But it was difficult to start from scratch in a lot of ways.

I went from being a subject matter expert to feeling like I didn’t know anything. I didn’t know my elevator pitch, who I served, my niche, the value I could bring. That made me so uncomfortable. And that’s to say nothing about my fear of selling anything!

There’s a tipping point when you’re learning. Soaking up everything I could about business led to more questions, and advice started to contradict itself. Should I be on Facebook or LinkedIn? Should I try and find clients on Instagram? Do I join a group? Because I didn’t have confidence, I kept taking in more and more information, following advice from anyone, and I bought every course out there. Until one day, in December, a little over a year into my crisis of confidence, I was listening to an audiobook and heard the author say: “it’s your business. You do what you want to do.”

I thought, right! It’s MY business. I get to decide. It was like a switch went off, and that was the end of my year-long crisis of confidence. I still have times when I’m not sure, but remembering that this is my ship to steer always helps.

Based on your experience can you tell us what you did to bounce back?

Part of it is sitting with the discomfort. It was frustrating at times, but I still had innate confidence in myself and a general attitude of optimism that I was going to be able to figure it out. It took a lot of throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what would work, but that is optimism in action. Getting up time and time again, knowing that it wasn’t a matter of if I was going to figure it out, it was a matter of when helped me bounce back.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “Five Things You Need To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur”? Please share a story or an example for each.

The five things you need to successfully ride the emotional highs and lows of entrepreneurship are a positive attitude, gratitude, a community, a solid self-care practice, and a strong vision with a solid plan.

I have lived my whole entrepreneurial journey with a chronic illness, called Meniere’s Disease, that can cut me out at the knees at any time, generally for four to six months of the year. When it’s active, I can only operate about 50% of the time. During these times, a positive attitude is critical. I have two options, focus on what I hate about the situation and what could happen as a result of the disease, or focus on what I can do, which is to control my reaction and remain optimistic. I focus on the fact that I think business is fun. I get to do what I enjoy and what I’m good at; what I’m not good at, I just don’t do. I hire people in my business to do the things I don’t want to do because my attitude toward business is that this is just good fun and nothing serious is happening here.

The second thing that I think entrepreneurs need in order to successfully ride the emotional highs and lows is gratitude.

We know that every entrepreneur is just trying to figure it out and that there are no elegant solutions; we understand that there are always going to be lows. What we can best hope for is an ability to bounce back more quickly.

I believe that gratitude and humility are a part of that.

I am very aware that part of the reason why my business has been so successful over the last year during a pandemic is due to my privilege. For example, one privilege I have is that I am able to focus on my business because my kids are 13 and 17. They’re still a lot of work, but they’re a lot less labor-intensive than babies or young children. Being grateful for that, in the good times and the hard times, is vital. On the days when I am too dizzy to get out of bed, I can beat myself up, or I can say, I am incredibly grateful that I can lay here until this dizzy spell passes because I know that my kids can get their own food.

The third thing that entrepreneurs need is community. I don’t mean an audience. I mean the people that you can be authentic and vulnerable with throughout this journey that you’re on. Being an entrepreneur can be incredibly lonely. You need to have friends, supporters, and mentors who will understand the path you’re on and be your shoulder to cry on, cheer you on when you are afraid to take action, and celebrate with you.

The fourth thing an entrepreneur needs to be able to handle the highs and lows is a self-care practice. I’ve been on both ends of this one, so I speak from experience.

When I was transitioning away from the private sector to my own business, I did not have a self-care plan. I was stressed, I wasn’t eating well, and I didn’t have a mindfulness practice to speak of. I was not taking good care of myself at all.

At this point, I was sick about half the time. So on the three or four days a week that I could get out of bed, those days had to count. I realized that I needed to do whatever I could do to be in maximum health. I started a 90-day plan to feel better. My starting point was being able to go outside in the backyard and walk around for five minutes because that’s what I could manage. But I went outside and I walked every day for that first year. Even in blizzards.

That was four years ago. I would love to tell you that it’s been smooth sailing, but I still live with Meniere’s Disease, and it still cuts me out at the knees on the regular. But integrating this self-care practice into my life has made a massive impact. I regularly exercise and get out into nature, I eat better and I have a meditation practice. I have more energy to get the clarity that I need, I’ve lost 80 pounds, and I have a greater sense of fun in my business.

The self-care routine is integral during the highs and the lows and everything in between. You need the energy, clarity, and focus when you’re in an upswing to stay grounded and moving forward, and you need it on a low to help you bounce back faster. Getting momentum back after a low requires a lot of energy and focus. You need to have that pool to draw from.

The last thing every entrepreneur needs to manage the highs and lows successfully is a vision with a plan attached to it. You need to know what your North star is. You need to know what your core values are. You need to know what you’re working toward. And then you need to have a plan for how you’re going to get there.

Oftentimes entrepreneurs think that plans are constraining, but they’re not. A good plan lets you know if you’re moving in the right direction and allows you to adjust the course, so you can’t get too far off track. It reminds you of your vision, so you don’t get distracted and lost.

We are living during challenging times and resilience is critical during times like these. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?

Resilience is your ability to bounce back. Our businesses don’t exist in a vacuum. We have personal lives, we have our inner world, and we have our businesses. Things happen in all of those areas and there is spillover. We need to be able to bounce back so we can keep moving forward. Having a clear vision calls us home when we’re feeling lost or at a low point. I am on a mission in my business to help a thousand women hit seven figures in the next five years because I believe that gender equality can solve all of the world’s problems. I believe that more wealth in the hands of women means more wealth in the hands of all of us. It means better communities for everyone. Having that vision helps me orient myself in relation to the greater good that I hope to achieve in my business, and that is what helps me bounce back. That helps me be resilient.

Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Would you mind sharing a story?

I grew up in a fishing family; my parents were both commercial lobster fishermen. My dad absolutely loved what he did. It was the core of who he was. He came from a long, long line of fishermen. He started fishing when he was 14 with his dad and he just loved it. And he had such a passion for what he did. Unfortunately, he also had a bad back.

He had undiagnosed scoliosis, which predisposed him to have a weak back, and smashing around on the boat did nothing to help it. After 35 years of fishing, he was in agony all the time and had to stop fishing.

It was difficult. Being a fisherman was the core of who he was. But he had such a strong belief in himself and an abundant mindset, always looking for the positive. An opportunity presented itself to open a marine supply shop in our little town of 1500 people full of fishermen, and he seized it.

He always was in agony, but he was an incredibly happy person, a total optimist, and someone who could see the good in everything. When he needed to go on long-term disability from his shop in his mid-fifties, he still didn’t let that keep him from what he loved. He had a little pleasure boat, and on the days when he could, he would go fishing. That was his idea of heaven. He was doing what he loved to do.

My dad died five years ago, ten days after he had a stroke. Despite the resulting limited mobility, he was talking about going fishing, planning for it until the end. His optimism, his outlook, and his resilience really impacted me and taught me that you can have a very difficult life and still find extraordinary joy in the big and the little things.

In your opinion, do you tend to keep a positive attitude during difficult situations? What helps you to do so?

I tend to keep a positive attitude, even during difficult situations. Last summer I went kayaking with a friend, and we were having a great time. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful setting. Then all of a sudden, I had a dizzy spell. You can probably imagine that it’s unpleasant to be dizzy in a kayak. And so I did the things that I thought would help. It was not an easy situation to be in, but I just kept positive and thought to myself, ‘nothing serious is happening here.’ I knew I didn’t need to go to the hospital. I just needed to get out of this kayak! I reminded myself that I wasn’t alone, that my friend was here. By keeping calm and positive, I was able to guide myself in, and my friend helped me to her truck. I couldn’t open my eyes. But I just kept saying to myself, nothing serious is happening here. Nothing serious is happening. I’m going to get home and get help going up the stairs and I’m going to lay in bed and this will pass. This is the attitude I choose in business and in life so I can continue to move forward, no matter what is thrown at me.

Can you help articulate why a leader’s positive attitude can have a positive impact both on their clients and their team? Please share a story or example if you can.

I think that a leader’s attitude sets the tone. One of the things I did during the pandemic was work with leaders in the arts and culture sector. Folks who run theaters, host festivals, and events, and lead the film and music industries, in one of the sectors that have been profoundly impacted by the uncertainty of the pandemic.

When we first entered lockdown in March 2020, we moved our in-person training online. In the early days of the pandemic, we met weekly, and they were hard calls. Each week someone else would announce their difficult decision to cancel the season of performances. I did a lot of prep before those calls — these folks are all leaders in their organizations, and this was their place to be vulnerable and to share their fears and worries.

I was intentional about setting the tone, creating a space where they could be open and honest and where they could find support during challenging times. There was so much fear and uncertainty, and yet those calls were full of so much beauty. These leaders were so supportive of each other during difficult times.

I found that when we focused on authenticity and honesty, saying this is hard and we’ll find a way through it together, it re-energized folks. We wrapped up each call with a check-in, and invariably folks reflected on how much better they felt.

The theme was often — we don’t know what’s in front of us, but how are we going to bounce back? I think that really made a difference.

Ok. Super. We are nearly done. What is your favorite inspirational quote that motivates you to pursue greatness? Can you share a story about how it was relevant to you in your own life?

I love the Henry Ford quote, “if you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re probably right.”

That quote came to me again during that first year that we did Trade HERizons, the program designed to support women to explore careers in skilled trades. The program is very successful and continues more than a dozen years later. But in that first year, there were so many unknowns, creating a 14-week training program from scratch, working with vulnerable women, trying to break into an industry that is traditionally male and not always welcoming to women.

Our first guest speaker was Josh Silver, a leader in the trade sector where I live. He was so enthusiastic about carpentry, trades, and this emerging opportunity to see more diversity in the sector he loved so much. He hooked the women with his passion and ended his presentation with the Henry Ford quote.

It powerfully and succinctly speaks to the importance of attitude and belief in self.

How can our readers further follow you online?

You can find me on Linkedin: or via my website:

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!

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