I became an entrepreneur at age six when I began selling hand-drawn pictures to my neighbors for a penny.
I loved money and was always interested in getting coins of any size or those marvelous green dollars. I had two great role models. My dad would today be classified as a workaholic, and my mom managed to do it all and smile at the same time.
My dad took over his family moving business, Steinway Moving and Storage, and gave it 200% at all times. His moving trucks were always shiny on the outside and so organized and clean inside you could almost eat off the floor. He provided incredible customer service to every client, and when he introduced me to a customer, they would invariably compliment my dad and talk about how he was one of a kind. He was a special man who cared deeply about each person he dealt with. He had an incredible impact on my career, and I often think about him when I say to myself, “I love my career.”I know he felt the same way.
Back to me at six years old, looking a bit like a ragamuffin. I was not a tomboy, but my main goal was having the most fun I could, so I didn’t want to worry about my clothes. I decided to expand my business by selling my own version of wash-n-dries. I took paper towels, soaked them in warm water, added dish soap, and wrapped them up. Now I had two products to sell. I liked that they were fast to make, and people loved to buy them.
Steinway Days: Beth with her older siblings, Terri and Jamie. (I am the one in the middle)
I remember going to my neighbor Susie and asking her if she would like to buy a picture for a penny. She always invited me in and made sure I left with money, cookies, and a smiling face. Funny to think that 10 years later, I was the main babysitter of her three children and following my journey as an entrepreneur in a different way.
Throughout my entrepreneurial journey, I have continued to follow Dad’s legacy of loving my career. To avoid falling into the family workaholic pattern, I’ve focused on maintaining resiliency. Still, I have my Dad to thank for ensuring I can relate to clients struggling with workaholism.
In December, I had an opportunity to be interviewed by The Wall Street Journal’s work/life journalist, Susan Shellenbarger. Her first question to me was,“Do you have many clients that are too busy, rushing, and passing along second-hand stress?” I laughed and told her that all of those aspects come with success and that I could name a dozen clients who fit into that category.
Susan interviewed one of my clients (Sunita from Millennium-Takeda Pharmaceuticals) about busy-ness and stress and how coaching has given her actionable strategies that have impacted her personal and professional success. When I see a client progress like Sunita has, it strongly reinforces my belief that I am living the journey I was meant for as a career and leadership coach and trainer.
Most of my clients know I am not a strong believer in New Year’s resolutions. Instead, I encourage them to think about what went well the year before and what changes they’d like to make.
How is your journey going? Are there changes you would like to make in 2014? Send me an update—I love to hear from past and present clients and others who really care about the journey they are taking.
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