Adam: Thanks again for taking the time to share your story and your advice. First things first, though, I am sure readers would love to learn more about you. What is something about you that would surprise people?
Brittany: I’m an early riser! I love the morning and use the quiet time to pray, mediate and write in a gratitude journal. I started this practice when I took the entrepreneurial leap about a year ago and it’s been life-changing.
Adam: How did you get here? What failures, setbacks or challenges have been most instrumental to your growth?
Brittany: Hard work and being in the right place at the right time. It’s definitely a little bit of both. I’ve always been a hustler, chasing after discomfort and pushing myself to do something when I wasn’t quite ready. But I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for people noticing that and taking a chance on me. I’ve had amazing champions along the way that believed in me even when things didn’t go quite right. Those were the defining moments that made me realize I could get up and keep going, that progress and forward momentum is far more important than getting it right every time.
Adam: In your experience, what are the defining qualities of an effective leader? How can leaders and aspiring leaders take their leadership skills to the next level?
Brittany: I’m a huge fan of Kim Scott’s book Radical Candor. She talks about how from a young age we are all taught “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all, ” but then you get into a leadership position and all of a sudden have to say things that don’t feel great to say and certainly don’t come natural. She takes those insights and breaks down what it means to be an effective boss without losing your humanity. I’m a firm believer when you genuinely care about your team and recognize and appreciate them for who they are at their core as people, it makes the tough conversations not only easier but more effective. Most people want to improve and welcome feedback that’s going to make them better, it’s just about ensuring the direction is clear and constructive and the delivery is compassionate. If you haven’t read Radical Candor, it’s a game-changer.
Adam: What are your three best tips applicable to entrepreneurs, executives and civic leaders?
Brittany: 1) If your physical health isn’t in order, nothing else in your life will be. My husband and I are both cancer survivors. If your health isn’t at the top of your priority list, you’re doing yourself, your business and those you care about you most a complete disservice.
2) People matter. I’m a huge fan of Maya Angelou and subscribe wholeheartedly to her quote, “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I think when we look back on the accomplishments of our life, it will be the way we treated people that will define how great a life we actually lived.
3) Be grateful. We can all find something, if even just that the sun is shining today, to be thankful for. A positive mindset is crucial to your well-being, your ability to lead and the opportunity, and great responsibility, we all have to impact each other for the better.
Adam: What is the single best piece of advice you have ever received?
Brittany: To live with grace, from my Dad
Adam: What is one thing everyone should be doing to pay it forward?
Brittany: Be kind. Smile, look people in the eye, and remember everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.
Adam: What are your hobbies and how have they shaped you?
Brittany: I try to be good to myself and others consistently. I volunteer within our local community through my church. I invest my time in building quality relationships. I forgive and forget. Working out to me is more about clarity of mind and feeling good than it is about looking a certain way. I dance around my house. I blast music I love and sing my heart out. I take baths regularly. I meditate. I practice gratitude. I light candles. I drive out to the beach at least once every other week to breath in the ocean air. I get a massage regularly (of course!) Life is short and we only get one shot, I try to remember that to make each moment count, and find I feel like the best version of myself when I choose to focus on the things that matter most to me.