Trailblazing Women Entrepreneurs (3/28/18)


[MUSIC] Good afternoon. Wow, that was really wonderful, so
cooperative, a cooperative class. First, before I, I don’t want you to
overlook, we are live streaming this event today, so welcome to all our [INAUDIBLE]
across our campuses, across Wade County. Thanks for joining us, and be sure,
if you have questions at the end, you can send those in on your question or
raise your hand. So thanks for joining us via computer. And thank you to all of you that
are here today and joining us for this spectacular event. I just wanted to first welcome
you to Western Campus. And thrilled that you could join us today. I’ve all ready met, I think,
everyone but just let me reiterate, I’m Barbara Brothers, the Executive
Director of Corporate Business Solutions. And for those of you not fully familiar
with Corporate Business Solutions, we operate like a small business,
actually, inside of Waytek. And our team thinks like entrepreneurs, so we’re an interesting mix,
an interesting group of the college, and happy to be a part of
bringing this to you today. If you’d like to learn more about
corporate business solutions, please visit us on the web at
corporate solution.weighttech.edu and you can send in if you
have questions after that. Please contact us, there’s a way for you to fill out any
questions that you may have. So this is the final of five events recognizing Women’s History
month at weight tech. We had, for those of you maybe not
familiar with the full series. We had a women’s resource
fair earlier this month. We celebrated. Someone who attended it and found value. We celebrated women in military. So thank you for joining us as well. We celebrated women in health care. And we celebrated women as
leaders earlier this week. And we have our,
two our panelists here today. Thank you both for serving and
sharing your stories. I think a lot was learned for
those of us who attended it. Today, we celebrate trailblazing
women entrepreneurs, these are the folks that
I wanted to meet shortly. And these events involved
a lot of different areas and really touched every part of Wade Tech. And, we were able to hold all of
these events of four of our seven. Campus full of patients.
>>Woohoo! Alright.
>>[APPLAUSE]>>That’s tremendous, absolutely tremendous. So as you can see, if you guys know, that’s a lot of ground to cover,
physically and geographically. That’s a lot of departments and
areas within Wade Tech. And we’re so thankful to have
one of Wade Tech’s Finest, bringing all of this to us by leading
the charge, Sandra thank you so much.>>[APPLAUSE]>>So for those of you who don’t understand, right, when she’s not leading
the charge it’s womens history month for vaytec, she is based at our [INAUDIBLE]
health sciences campus she where she is known as our student activities
coordinator, Sandra, thank you so much.>>Thank you.>>Thank you so much, you have done a spectacular job.
>>With the series. And so well in fact,
all of us are already looking forward to how you’re gonna top it next year.
>>[LAUGH]>>We’re with you, Cathy.>>We’re looking forward to it. So thank you for that.
>>Thank you.>>So I’d like to introduce our panel and moderator right now, Laurie Powers, she is our VP of communications and
marketing here at Wake Tech. Laurie had a long and successful career
as a news anchor, reporter, and producer. She leads the team that provides public
relations, graphic design, marketing and communications to support
the entire weight tech team. And let me tell you,
that is one big position and department. It literally touches everything we do,
every department, every interactor. They have a very big job [INAUDIBLE]
Little to do here at Wake Tech and we are very appreciative to Laurie and
her team for doing it, and doing it so very well. So what I’d like to do now is welcome
Laurie to the stage and have her introduce our panelists for today.
>>[APPLAUSE]>>Well thank you, this is a treat for me. Yesterday, I got to be on
a women’s leadership panel for women leaders at Wake Tech, and
today I get to ask the questions. So this actually is a place
where I feel most comfortable, is being the one asking the questions
as opposed to answering. Thank you very much for having me. The Merriam Webster dictionary
defines a trail blazer as someone who makes a new
track through a wild country. A pioneer. An innovator. Mr. Webster must have
known our panelists today. Each of our trail blazers started their
own businesses at a time where there were few, if any, women entrepreneurs. Yet they not only started successful
companies they did it in style earning awards and
accolades along the way. They have all after they have all shared their stories with us today we’re
gonna open up the floor for questions. So I want you to join me in
welcoming our three panelists and we’re going to get
started with Sheila Ogle. Now Sheila worked in
advertising in 20 years, before opening her own
advertising firm in Cary. She started one of the first
co-working spaces in the triangle. Created a wedding, an event venue,
and then added a catering business. She formed the Carrie Community
Foundation, and the Ogle Family Fund. And she owns that magical pink house on
Academy Street just up the road in Carrie. It’s the pink Victorian home and
it’s so beautiful. Sheila is a serial and
social entrepreneur, and also serves on
the Wake Tech Board of Trustees. Sheila, we thank you so much for
all you do for Wake Tech, and for supporting our institution. Please join us, and tell us your story.
>>[APPLAUSE]>>[APPLAUSE] Well thank you Lorri. And I knew Lorri from way back, in her days when she was doing all that
stuff, producing and working at WRAL. When I started working,
when I worked at WRAL, which was many many many years ago But
this is a real treat for me to be behind the podium because
in our trustee meetings I’m sitting out here so this is kind of fun for
me, but yea, in the marketing materials they
were calling us entrepreneurs and trailblazers as Lori said and You know
an entrapruner is like a business person. Or a tycoon. Or they say an indrustrialist. Or a financier. Or a capatalist. And as Lori said. A trailblazer. A pioneer. A leader. An innovator. An entrepreneur, a creator. But I will tell you that
a leader is a person that takes people where they would
not normally go on their own. And I would say to you that we are risk takers with a vision, an idea or a dream, or a way to make a better life for
our families and for ourselves. We go into business for ourselves,
so that we can work 80 hours a week, instead of 40.
>>[LAUGH]>>Right.>>[LAUGH] But the thing about it is it’s for ourselves. We have long hours, we wake up in the
middle of the night wondering how we’re gonna make the next payroll, or how we’re
gonna pay rent, or the utility bill. And how in the world are we gonna
handle all the work single-handedly that we brought in, but then we worry
about how we gonna get the next customer. So what in the world would have made
me leave the security of a job, a paycheck, benefits, vacation? Was I crazy or was it because I found out that I
really was a risk taker with a vision? I was at Howard Marilyn Partners for
20 years, but there was no room for growth there. I was not challenged, and there was little opportunity for
a woman that didn’t have an MBA. I was in my mid-40’s with a long
working career ahead of me. My husband had left me for another woman. My children were gone, but
I had a great personal relationship with a wonderful man,
that later became my husband. I knew if I quit,
I could always find another job, because I had a lot of contacts
in the advertising industry. But I also knew that I had saved
enough money that I could live on for a year, if things really got hard. Was I crazy or
was i just having a mid-life crisis?>>[LAUGH]>>But when I quit, as soon as I did, the idea for my first company
began to crystallize in my mind. And I learned at that time
that when the pain of staying where you are is greater than the pain
of doing something different, it’s time to take the next step. The biggest challenge in starting
that business was learning how to sell my company and
not just sell my work. How to manage a real company and
not just a department and how to manage people and how to network. My lord, we had to network like crazy. We had to make connections and
get recognized in the business world as a business
person and not just an employee. After starting my ad agency, I guess
the best decision I ever made was hiring my first employee which was probably the
scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Because now I not only had to worry about
funding my company, but now I had another mouth to feed and it was terrifying
to think about that responsibility. I went to a personnel company and
hired this gal part-time, so that I didn’t really have to feel like
that I was totally responsible for her. So I called the personnel company and
I told them that I wanted an employee that was outgoing, that could talk
on the phone really good, and that had PC computer experience. So they sent me Becky. Becky came into my office, and she probably had the lowest self-esteem of
anybody I had ever seen in my entire life. She sat through the interview,
she never lifted her head. She had Mac experience, no PC experience. But she was living and breathing and she could start the next day.
>>[LAUGH]>>And so I hired her>>[LAUGH]>>I did, but I will tell you, she worked for me for 17 years and she was absolutely
one of the best employees I ever hired. Because what that did, is she was able to sit at that front desk,
I had a real gatekeeper. She became my gatekeeper. But she would answer the phone,
she learned how to do the computer. It allowed me to go out and sell my company and
to bring in more business for the company. I knew that I could not grow
my company unless I did that. And so, my company actually did
begin to grow, and it thrived, and I was in business for 20 years until
I sold that company five years ago. But I’ll tell you a funny personal story. My daughter’s an attorney and she started her business just like I did,
one-person company, and I think we had given her office space
at the ad agency to start out with. She would run down to the courthouse and
do a case and she would come back and make copies and answer the phone and
make appointments. And I said, Elizabeth,
if you don’t hire somebody, a paralegal or an intern, I’m going to go to Meredith and
I’m going to take a paralegal course and I’m going to come and
I’m going to go to work for you. And so, she hired somebody. [LAUGH] And her company now is thriving and she’s doing really good but
we really do laugh about that. But anyway, about the time while
I had my advertising agency, I saw a lot of opportunities before me and
it was a challenge. And I learned that I could
hire really smart people and surround myself with those people and they could accomplish my vision,
that I didn’t have to do everything. So that idea really was one of
the best things that I ever learned is that you can hire really smart
people, let them do what they need to do. It makes you look really good but
it makes them look even better. So, I learned at that time too
that it’s important to work on your business and
not always in your business. And to get involved in the community and
above all, to give back to your community because that’s one of the best
networking things that you can do is to get involved with nonprofits and
get on nonprofit boards. Give back to those nonprofits of the
knowledge that you’ve accumulated through the years and also to help and
mentor other women. Because when Lana and Pat and I started
our businesses, we didn’t have mentors. We didn’t have anybody to look up to but
each other. We mentored ourselves, but boy,
did we have a good time doing it. [LAUGH]
>>Still do.>>We still do. But men did not take us seriously, and we had to prove ourselves to
the men in the business community. You girls have so many more advantages
than we do, because I feel like That we have kind of paved the way for you
all to come behind us and take advantage of all the things that we learned,
and all the things that we’ve done. And it’s a proven fact that
women-owned businesses have much greater success rate than
new businesses started by men. So I guess I would say I’ve made a lot,
a lot, of mistakes along the way. But I would say that one of my biggest
mistakes was not taking the leap sooner. But I learned so much at my company. I learned skills that allowed me to
do a really great job for my clients. I learned how to run a company and have an environment in my company
that was friendly to my employees. Because what I learned early on
is when my employees were happy, they made our customers happy. So what I would say to
you now is take the leap, if you feel a call to do that. And yes, be afraid. Because if you’re not afraid, I would
be really, really worried about you.>>[LAUGH]>>But the one thing that I would say to you is you cannot walk on water
if you don’t get out of the boat.>>[APPLAUSE]>>What a story, and I know you’ve had such an impact in
our community, so thank you, Sheila. And now I’d like to bring up
our next speaker, Pat Long. Pat and her husband Dwayne founded
Longistics, one of the nation’s leading providers of logistic solutions in
the pharmaceutical and food industries. She founded Rare Bird Trading,
a company that helps US and China retailers expand
international markets. She was the first woman president of
the North Carolina Trucking Association. She was appointed by Governor Perdue to
the North Carolina Logistics Task Force and the North Carolina
Maritime Task Force. She is also a founding member
of the Centennial Authority. An appointed committee that built and
manages the PNC arena. So please welcome Pat Long. Pat.
>>[APPLAUSE]>>Last night I couldn’t found a portfolio, so I brought my
Star Wars book to make my notes on.>>[LAUGH]>>So in case anybody is looking.>>[LAUGH]>>[COUGH] I have known these ladies right over here 20-plus years, I guess, and
I found some new stuff about you today. So I was very happy to hear that,
so I’m looking forward to Lana’s. Thanks, but wonderful ladies and
have worked very hard. [COUGH] My journey is a little
bit different, like everyone’s. And yes, you do have to be a risk taker. So that’s kind of number one,
you have to know that about yourself. Pretty independent type person, so it makes it a little easier
when you feel that way. But I guess I call our vision,
which is my husband and I started the trucking company and
a staffing company the same day in 1984. So we call it the $500 and a dream vision.
>>[LAUGH]>>Because that’s what I had. We had a mortgage on the house,
we had a four year old child, and we had two cars that weren’t paid for, and a few weeks of salary,
probably, saved, but not much. So our family and friends, my gosh,
they came and put canned goods on the porch trying to be smarty.
>>[LAUGH]>>[COUGH] They did everything they could, because we had some pretty good jobs,
and we worked hard and, a little family, here we are. But this is something that we prayed
about and that we wanted to do. And so here we did. October 1984,
formed two companies at the same time. Hardly could pay the incorporation
fee to the attorneys, but we did. And didn’t really have
an attorney that we knew. We just went into someplace and said,
can you incorporate these two businesses? And we did. And we started on our kitchen table. So we couldn’t afford
a truck to have a truck for a trucking company.
>>[LAUGH]>>So [COUGH] my gosh, so Dwayne, my husband, had an old Wagoneer, we had a typewriter that was
a manual typewriter in the back, that is called trip leasing. So you would represent other
trucking companies that you would do brokerage type business. So he would meet, cuz they couldn’t
come to our house, my gosh, so we’d meet them at truck stops and type
out their trip lease and had it to them. So that’s kind of how that started. Now, the staffing industry,
I had been in HR, and I was a customs broker,
and different things. So it was kind of one of those
natural things, temporary staffing. We had to staff our own company, why not? So I would go make sales calls on
companies that do their truck driver leasing or their warehouse people or
things that I probably would need myself. And then I could develop the people
kind of for that kind of thing. But anyway, that’s kind of how we started. We had no money, and about six months
into business, and we we’re getting paid, I mean, we had some good Fortune 500-type
customers, and we were getting paid. And so we were running it that way,
and paying our mortgage. We didn’t get behind on anything, but we
were paying our mortgage and doing stuff. But boy, it was kinda tough. So one day, we’re riding down
the road near Crabtree, and we were talking about,
we need a credit line, gee. And so we stopped at Southern National
Bank, just a little bank that was the local quiet bank, and
not the corporate main bank, or anything. We stopped in there and
asked to see the manager. So he came out, and he was about our age,
maybe a little older. And we went back to the room with him. And we started telling him about our
vision and what we were doing and he liked us and he listened to us,
he didn’t kick us out right away.>>[LAUGH]>>And so we thought, hey, this is going pretty good! And he said,
well how much do you think you need? And we said, well how much can we get?
>>[LAUGH]>>[LAUGH] So he looked at us dead in the face
after a few minutes, and he said, do you have anything of value? And I said, we stalled a minute,
and we looked. Cuz I mean, we didn’t have anything,
except the things we owed for. And my husband had bought me
a surprise right after we been he’s got a truck driver
to bring us back a bird. Cuz I’d always wanted a parrot,
I’d always had birds, but I could’ve never afford a parrot. So he bought me this parrot back from
the Quarantine Station in Miami. And he’s a yellow nape and he’s the best
talker, love her, love her, love her. Still have her. And I said, we have a bird that talks.
>>[LAUGH]>>He did not laugh He looked straight and pointed right straight at us,
and he said, rare bird, $10,000.>>[LAUGH]>>And that’s how we got our first loan. So [LAUGH] it was amazing. And we walked out of there going, wow,
we got $10,000, you know what I mean?>>[LAUGH]>>So [LAUGH] so [LAUGH] anyway, I said I’m gonna name something that
one day because that’s too good a name. So years went by and we developed not
only the transportation company but the staffing company. And we opened up in Texas, Louisiana, Atlanta, Tennessee. All these things for the staffing company,
doing computer things and whatever. And then before I knew it,
I had 2,200 employees. And then in the trucking company,
we started it out with just types of trucking, and we realized that
we needed to be a niche carrier. Where we’re not hauling potato chips,
we need to kinda, because we weren’t going to be some
of the major, major, major things. So we started looking at technology. What’s in today’s industry. And so
the technology of your satellite tracking, all of the different security
type things that we could do. So we rented some trucks and one of our friends had become one of the
people at one of the leasing companies. And he said I’m gonna give you
this truck because they will not fire me if you can’t pay for
it because it’s so old. And Grant said, my name is on this truck,
I will always pay you. In the end our drivers took a parade and
carried it back at the end. But we added trucks and all that. [LAUGH] But we started in doing
the high tech like Nortel, Inside Deliveries, IBM,
all those kinda things. And made it real specialized. And then we started seeing,
these things are getting smaller. They’re gonna be UPS things before long,
they’re not these giant frames and all this stuff. Now what are we gonna do? So, we’re having a dinner party one night,
and my girlfriend had set me beside
this guy that was a head of and he started talking to me, and
he said what do ya’ll do, [SOUND]. And I told him about that we
had satellites on board and we could follow the trucks. And we were the first people in the
United States that had this technology. And this type thing. And he said, I want you down in
Greeneville tomorrow to see me. And he said,
you want me to send my private plane? And we went, no, we can drive down there, it’s okay.
>>[LAUGH]>>So we went down there. [LAUGH]
>>And we went down there and unbeknown to us, the way that
security was, even the pharmaceutical industry that they kept up with trucks or
trailers if they got lost is. And we still paint
numbers on top of trucks. So if a helicopter or somebody is
looking they can see the number. Number 202 or
whatever on the tops of these trucks. But we talked about our
pharmaceutical things, and we talked about what we could do. So we worked on a security plan with them,
and we were the first people to, I’m very proud to carry AZT to California. And so there are pharmaceutical
careers kinda started from that. And then glaxo and this is such
a great area for pharmaceuticals. And it got to be in our industry
where somebody would say, well who does your trucking? Well you need to call lawn,
and we’d go well, okay and we’d get a call from a big
company saying that. We’d go into San Francisco. Different places and built this thing. So it was exciting and fun, and we always have kept up with the biggest
technology that you can find. But we did that and
the staffing company was doing well, and then we did the warehousing. And then, we decided we needed to
have a foreign trade zone, and it’s not where you keep foreigners. People don’t know that. [LAUGH] You see the sign, it says, foreign
trade zone, and you don’t know what it is. But it’s an area where you
don’t pay as many taxes, or you don’t pay it right then. I mean, it’s just like we do projects
like Fila skates for instance. When the skate comes in,
the boot comes in, the wheels come in,
all these other things. And it costs about $300 for these skates,
just to have all this and paying for it with the tariffs and all that. Well, what we did,
since we’re a foreign trade zone, we can change something inside the zone. And so it doesn’t cost that. Or we do China, and not like China China, but you know you’re
eating off china from different companies. Eating off china, whatever. Plates and dishes and stuff. Usually it’s 35% tarriff on that,
still is 35% tarriff. So we’re able to take it in,
sell it to the cruise ships maybe. Or we don’t sell it,
but our customer’s do. And it may not ever enter the country, because it’s a not to the,
the ship is not part of the US. So, we do that, and
then also they pay taxes delayed. And so they delay the taxes to when
they sell something and it moves out. So that became a bigger thing. Then we got an opportunity to open one in Texas at Alliance Airport, and
our partner was Ross Perot, Junior. My goodness. What a great partner. And I got to ride in his helicopter. So things just progress along, and
you get different opportunities. And you gotta take the risk,
and you gotta kinda go for it. So things just kinda progress. But, anyway, now, I could talk about
all that stuff all day, but anyway. A challenge. The biggest challenge for me, and
sometimes it still is, is to be a wife, a mother, the businessperson,
and balance all these things, because you’re obsessed,
80 hours a week, whatever. And our businesses are 365,
24 hours a day. They’re just not, you don’t go
home because it’s 5 o’clock or anything like that. But trucks and people are 24 hours a day. I mean, we have people working
three shifts Christmas day. It doesn’t matter. There’s something going and
security and things have to be there. So trying to manage
separating these things. I know my husband and I would say. We’d be talking about something and
whatever and I’d have to go, now wait a minute. I am right now the partner,
I am not the wife. Let’s talk about this as, whatever. And we would laugh about it, very good
partner in that, we worked well together. And it’s enhanced our marriage and
our years together. So it’s been a very great thing for
us personally. My son though made a rule
when he was little. He got so sick of hearing us
talk about it, that we couldn’t, while we were eating or at dinner,
we would not talk business. And so we’d sit there and go no. No, we can’t talk about it.
>>[LAUGH]>>But we would, so we had to spend time with our son,
and do things. And I never regret. We would change clothes in the car
on the way to a t-ball game, and my husband was coach, or
we’d do all these things. But fitting all this in
together is very tough and is hard to manage and
hard to separate your relationships. Because they have to be compartmentalized. So that’s probably been my
biggest life challenge. I guess the best thing,
and I know you said that, the best thing I did was
we went into business. We love it. And we loved all the things and
all the opportunities. We’ve been all over the world,
we’ve done all these things. We love the opportunities that
it’s given us and our family. Because we, and
we feel like we’ve worked hard. [SOUND] I realized years ago that you
have to kind of reel yourself in, if you’re thinking you’re, I’m successful
in this and I’m doing this kinda thing. Because it got to be I could go to a dry
cleaners and they messed up a dress or something, and
I’d want to start a dry cleaners. So I go stop that. You can’t do that. You’re not a superwoman. You’re not gonna, I dont know
anything about dry cleaning, but I can do it better. I know I could. [LAUGH]
>>[LAUGH] So we had to work on that. [LAUGH] And my husbands kind of the same
way, and I go I don’t want to do that. And he’d talk me into it sometimes or not. So we started ten plus businesses,
we’ve sold some. We’ve gone [NOISE] and it’s not too good
this time, but we always paid everybody. We never went bankrupt in it. We always did a thing and we always
worked through it, whatever it is. The worst thing, okay,
you all gave us this list. So it was a good thing to go by. It made me think some.
>>[LAUGH]>>The worst thing. First of all, I’m a positive person. So that minute you going no, but then you just go on with it and
you just face it and whatever. So there’s lots of mistakes along the way,
that you could do. But I guess our probably one that’s
the most recent one that was started in 2006 is we opened up with a lot of local
Chinese the North Caroline China Center. And that we went to Asia and
opened up there, and they’re not very good in their co-chain. And co-chain for those that don’t
know is that from your food, your pharmacueticals and everything else, from start to the time you put it your
mouth has to be a certain temperature. And so they have probably 70% of
their food in China that goes bad. Because I don’t have the right temperature
of controls and the right things. So we can help them,
we can fix China, we can do this. So we go over there and
we open up an exhibition center. Hints, Rare Bird Trading Company. So the trading company,
I’ve got things like wines and the North Carolina furniture and
Angus barn stuff and all kinds of things that
North Carolina meant. In fact, there Purdue came over and
opened up our exhibition center. And we did this to help North Carolina and
at the same time, we just thought this was great. And so love Asia, love all the things
we saw and did, and it was wonderful. But the Chinese do not want
to buy anything from us. They want to sell you everything. And so the tariffs there,
just to get in or the licenses, or what they do is just
insurmountable type things. And it made it very hard, and we spent
a lot of money doing this kind of thing. Except over there, my company’s called
RubyLynn, which is good neighbors and friends. And so what I do now is I
source things for people, which I can find over there a good
sourcers and know how to do all that. And I buy things,
I was always buying, I and I have given everybody anything
that they had over there. I’ve brought it back in, and
hey, you need to do this. So I started that. So [COUGH] anyway,
we said if Google can’t make it, neither can Logistics and Rarebird. It’s just one of those things. Advice, crazy hours, don’t expect 8 to 5. If you’re not gonna go in to it and give
it at all, do not bother, just stay in. Be comfy at your job and
do whatever, don’t do that. Limit your partners, be very careful
in your partners that you pick, because partners have different ideas, they have
different things going on in their lives. So you have to really kind of limit
your partners, and no extended family. Try that [INAUDIBLE].
>>[LAUGH]>>No extended family. They’re excited about what you’re doing,
some of them wanted to come in and do different things. But it’s usually not as good idea, for anybody, it’s not just me,
it’s anybody I know. I live by the foru P’s, patience,
persistance, passion, and prayer. And I put passion first, I mean,
patience first, excuse me, because I don’t have any. And so I try to really work on my
patience thing, so that’s what I live by. Also a good accountant, lawyers. Lawyers are something that
are very interesting to me. Each lawyer has his own expertise. So don’t just pick one lawyer and
go to them, and pay them to learn your business over,
and over, and over again. A lawyer for HR, a lawyer for contracts,
a lawyer for all these different things. It doesn’t matter if they’re
the same firm or not, but you’re paying somebody
else to educate someone. So pick your lawyers carefully with
what you’re looking for at that time. [COUGH] When the bankers told us one time, it affects the presence of banking rally,
and I don’t want to tell you who it is. But he said,
bankers are your friends in thick. And we always laugh and
think that is so funny. Because you’re gonna have your ups and
downs, you’ve got to make relationships with bankers that understand your
business and that can advise you. And know okay, this is a time
of year that this might be this, things that you can talk o them about. So you need a good relationship,
not jiust walking in and going, I need $10,000 again. So we were babes in the woods, but
you learn everything the hard way. But I’m about smart enough now,
I don’t wanna learn anything else.>>[LAUGH]>>So the ups and downs will be there. So my advice is, take a deep breath, face it head on, and enjoy the wild ride. Because our holy think that it’s
a wonderful thing to do, thank you.>>[APPLAUSE]>>What a story, I’m just so amazed. I mean I’m amazed at how the evolution
takes place on how these businesses have gotten started and
have been so successful. But what I’m so impressed with is how
you’ve been able to work with your husband all those years.
>>[LAUGH]>>That must be tough.>>Well, you’re right, he says even if you hate him,
you stay with him until you love him [INAUDIBLE].>>[LAUGH]
>>[INAUDIBLE]>>That’s awesome.>>I’ve been married 40 years.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Excellent.>>So I had to tell you all one of the funniest things Pat
[INAUDIBLE] has ever said. So we’re sitting at dinner one night, and we’re talking about, this was early on.
We had been working hard, and you come home and you eat out a lot.
And so Pat said, so one night,
I thought I was gonna cook dinner and so I told her, come on, come on,
we’re gonna have dinner, and he went and got the car.
>>[LAUGH]>>I just had to share.>>[LAUGH]>>What a story.>>[INAUDIBLE] [LAUGH]>>Thank you for sharing, Sheila. All right, let’s move on to our third speaker, Lana Calloway.
[LAUGH] Lana founded Exhibit Resources, a company that provided branded
environments for trade shows, exhibits, And corporate interiors, earning
a Triangle Business Journal Fast 50 award and Pentacle Business award.
She successfully exited that company after 25 years,
and shared her expertise with the special event company in
Enterprising Women magazine. Lana is a member of
the Women’s Presidents Organization, which is an organization for women who
have built million dollar businesses. She is also a recipient of
TBJ’s Woman in Business award. Lana Callaway. Let’s welcome her. And Lana, tell us your story. Come on up.>>[APPLAUSE]
>>Well, it’s difficult to follow
these fabulous stories. And my dear, dear friends. Dear, dear friends. They did give us a list of questions that
we are to answer in our introduction. So I’ll try to weave that in. The first question was what made
you decide to start your business. And basically, I needed a job, so.
>>[LAUGH]>>But to back up just a little bit and let you know how I got started,
is in 1985, I worked for a major agricultural chemical company in
Greensboro, and I was an administrative assistant, and thought I had the best
secretarial job in the world. That’s what I went to high school for,
I took shorthand, and I took an accounting course, so I was prepared to be the best
secretary for the rest of my life. I landed a job as a secretary
in the marketing department. And fortunately for me, I was working for
a woman in the corporation that managed the trade show program for
that company. And one day, she said, here, if you
want to do trade shows, you can have it. And so, she ended up being one
of the early mentors that I had in building my career and
building my skill sets. So I managed 50 trade shows a year for
this company, and found that I absolutely
loved what I was doing. With just a high school education,
I didn’t have college background to support me, but I found that I
could use the skills that I did have, which was organization,
tracking project management, basically a service mentality. Because I worked for
everybody i the company, I managed all of the programs for them. It gave me an opportunity to travel and
to learn everything there was about the trade show industry, and
I had known very little about that before. But this company was very strong
with leadership development and they taught, I got my first computer
training class through that company. So I found that I was really
good at those skills, and decided that I had worked my way
after ten years through that company and had gone as far as I possibly
could without that college degree. So I decided that I wanted to work for other exhibit houses and
get the other side experience. So I work for a couple of exhibit
companies and learned the design and building and
production end of trade shows. We learned the sales side of it, and decided after that second employer
that we didn’t exactly see eye to eye. And I just thought that there were
different ways that I could do it, and I had enough confidence after ten years that
I was thinking about starting a business. So two of my clients at the time said,
well, why don’t you start your own business,
you know you can count on us for clients. We are here because of you anyway, so
you can just take that to the bank. So I decided to start my own business. So how hard could that be, right? So I rented a room, and I rented a desk,
and I rented a file cabinet. And I had my Rolodex. And I started Exhibit Resources in 1991. And I had two fabulous clients, Balsan,
and I don’t know if you remember, that was many years ago,
they were baking goods here in the area. Balsan and PC Management. And I kept those clients
until both of them moved on. So One of the biggest challenges I had in
starting a business is there’s this thing called entrepreneurial,
you have an entrepreneurial seizure. Which means you know your industry, you
know what you want to do, you have a love of something, and then there is
the reality of running a business, starting a business, managing it,
and it is two different things. Completely two different things. I knew one, but
I sure didn’t know the other. And I found out quickly [LAUGH] that
you get a PhD in how to run a business, because it is just long hours, hard work. You learn about taxes. You learn when to hire employees. You learn about human resources. You learn all of those things as you go. One of the biggest challenges I did
have in the business was the financing. I think I was always under capitalized. I thought that $500 in the bank and starting my business was
the way to get started. But after two years of hiring
that first temp employee, and knowing that we needed to grow
the business, I went to a bank. Not realizing that most banks require
that you have three years in business, they want three years of tax records,
three years of solid financials, they want collateral,
they want a rare bird. They want-
>>[LAUGH]>>In order to give you money, they want that type of thing. I was very fortunate that
I went to CCB at the time. They became Sun Trust later. And I had a twenty-some year relationship
with Sun Trust because of this loyalty. This female banker was a friendly
female banker, so she also wanted to help me at my second year that
I needed money to grow the business. So I went into her office with my
business plan on a yellow legal pad. I didn’t realize you were
supposed to have a nicely bound plan with a strategic plan
included with financials. But Barbara Doolittle, that I just still
love to this day, decided that she would help me with my first financial need, which was a $15,000 loan backed by
the Small Business Administration. And I would only get the $15,000 if I put
5,000 of it in a CD held by the bank. So that was the terms for
me to get financing back in those days. A lot of times,
if a woman was trying to start to get financing they would have
to have their husband cosign. And at the time I happened to be single,
so that didn’t work really well. But that $15,000 loan was what I
needed to start the business growing. It led to paying that loan,
and eventually a $50,000 loan, and eventually a $100,000 loan that helped
me grow the business over the years. So I still think fondly of that
female friendly banker that gave me the opportunity to grow my business. One of the other questions they asked was,
what was the best decision you ever made? I look back, and
I think Exhibit Resources, we had a really good reputation. We had built the business to the number
one exhibit house in North Carolina, and that meant that we had clients
in lots of different industries. In the pharmaceutical industry,
technology, private industry, and our job was to design and build
exhibits for them to take to trade shows. We stored their exhibits in our warehouse. We had staff that took their
exhibits to the trade shows. Set up the exhibit,
tore down the exhibits, brought them back. So we managed 50 shows for some clients,
we managed one major show. We had exhibits that ranged from couple
of thousand dollars to a $500000 exhibit, so everything in between. So we had a really good reputation, and
people kept saying to me, you really ought to start an office in Charlotte, you
ought to start an office in Greensboro, that way you could cover the state. But we took a really careful
look at the commitment that was, the real estate in three
different locations. Having personnel in three
different locations, having samples in different locations. How would we transport from Charlotte to
Raleigh, from Greensboro, back to Raleigh. So, the best decision I ever
made was not to do that, not to move forward and I made that
decision based on solid financials. Solid advice from advisers, and knowing that that was a risk I was
not willing to take at that point. And that proved to be a very smart
decision because the economy tanked about a year after that, so I would
have had major issues to deal with. So, that was following
that gut that just said, the gut and the the backup not
to move forward with that. It also ask what was one of
the worst decisions you ever made? And one of the worst decisions I
ever made was to hire a friend of a friend.
>>[LAUGH]>>So stay away [LAUGH] Stay away. A dear friend that knew of a friend
that wanted a sales position, he was a high level executive
with a company, and was in California,
wanted to move to Raleigh. Was looking for a position, and because he’d been to a trade
show once in his life, she felt like he would be very qualified.
>>[LAUGH]>>So, big mistake, cuz my gut kept telling me,
this is wrong don’t do this, and I didn’t listen to myself, and
that’s something you have to do. There are times that you get
the statistics you can make a good solid decision, but there’s times that gut
speaks up just says, don’t do that. So, don’t hire a friend of a friend. So that was a tough decision because
that ended up being a legal case that it took six months to get rid of that,
clean up that mess. And if I had followed that gut
feeling early on I think I could have avoided that. And some of the best
advice I could give you in starting a business would be, enjoy it. It is hard work, it is long hours. there are moments that you’re in
your office with the door closed and you are just ugly crying, because
you’re not sure about a decision or what has to happen next, but I wouldn’t
trade it for anything in the world. During those 24 years that I had
Exhibit Resources, both of my children ended up in the business
with me and it worked really well. My daughter had an interior design degree,
and that ended up supporting the design and
production side of the business. My son had been to the Navy, and went
to Wake Tech, and got an architectural technology degree, and was on the
production/building side of the business. So this opportunity allowed us
as a single mom and two kids, to have a wonderful,
close relationship, travel many wonderful places together,
representing Exhibit Resources. So, for
25 years it was absolutely fabulous. I sold the business three years ago. One thing I would say about selling
a business, is you really need to start that plan, have that idea in place,
because sometimes that can take a year, a year and a half, two years, to find
the right partner, and make sure that you are transitioning the business
the way you want to transition that. But have a good time Jump out there,
do it.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Well thanks to all three panelists for sharing their stories. We’re gonna bring up some chairs now, and
I know that the time is moving along. So we’re gonna set up some chairs, so that you all can have
an opportunity to ask questions. Shall I move this, and take that out, got it.>>[INAUDIBLE] I’m going to walk around because we have a microphone so
I think that’ll work out just fine. Before we get started, I have one question
I’m gonna take the liberty of asking. You talk about following your gut,
did Sheila and Pat, did you have the experience as well? You just have to follow your gut even
though it might not have been what you were planning to do.
>>Well yeah, but my problem is I wake up in the middle
of the night with an idea, and it is like God you told me to do that.
>>[LAUGH]>>But, you do follow your gut. Because when you’re people like we are, and people in this room,
we’re visionaries, we’re idea people, and it’s like you can’t turn your
brain off to just do nothing. And so, all of us that have started
businesses you have nothing to back it up, except when.
>>That’s very important.
>>[LAUGH]>>And you will have advisors, and people that have been in business or not
been in business tell you certain things. And I think one of the things
as a HR person that I’ve kind of been my whole life,
you really can get a good feel of people when you
have hired as many people. I said I’ve hired everybody but
a jet pilot and a brain surgeon, so you kind of get a feel for
people and things like that. And another part’s the contracts or
things or customers. One of the things that we did was
have a statement of principals. And each person in our company has
to know the statement of principles. And with that is, ethics,
people we do business with and how do we treat each other in the company. We want principled
entrepreneurs not just that. So, your gut and how it kind of
takes over some of those things. But follow your guidelines
when you set them up. Then there is a lot of things to do,
but I think she was sad without people. Tire slow fire fast.
>>[laugh]>>Fire fast especially if it is a friend of a friend.
>>[laugh]>>Alright, let us go ahead and ask if there are any questions. To the audience and
I’ll come around and give you a mic and then I’ll walk back over. Excuse me.
>>Hi ladies and thank you again for being here. This was amazing. I just wanted to ask. I was curious if you came from
a family of entrepreneurship. So like for
those people that may have their parents. Into business and
they kind of saw it, they lived it. They know what that really looks like, it may be an easier transition to say I’m
going to step up and have the confidence. Where as someone who is a first time, solopreneur kind of
stepping up into a world, where you don’t really even know what that
looks like, what advice would you give? And, did you have that experience? Of having, growing up in entrepreneurship.
>>Who would like to start?>>I can start, because it’s a really easy answer. Absolutely not, [CROSSTALK]. My mother was a waitress her entire life. But I think what she gave me
was that ethic working hard. She worked 12, 14 hours a day. So that gave me that same sense of working hard, getting ahead, giving
my kids something that I didn’t have. She did she the best she could do without
I think that [INAUDIBLE] during that time. But I knew I really didn’t have members. Again I went to school to
be a secretary because the small town that I was
from at the time I was from. I’m not telling you the year.
>>[LAUGH]>>That is what we did. They were either teachers, nurses, or
secretaries, or they stayed at home. And so that’s what I got from that. I will cherish that forever.
>>No, my mother was a administrative person for
The Department of Health Services until she passed away last mont,
we miss her she retired before that. But and my dad was a bus driver, and what he did was he had a part
time used car thing on the side, that when he wasn’t working
he sells some used cars and I learned how to sell cars, I loved it. My dad was a great guy, so
that was the entrepeneur for that. On my husbands side his
dad was a minister and his uncle had restaurants,
I think it was called the Strep Boats. So my husband worked at
the Strep Boats his whole life and he saw his uncle to and
do things like that. But that’s not that we have.
>>I was lucky. My dad was a self maide man,
he didn’t have a college education. But he started in a grocery store and ended up having a store and
I remember my first job. I was 13, 12 years old,
which was child labor.>>[LAUGH]>>But I worked in this hardware store selling red fishing worms and dipping minnows.
>>[LAUGH]>>And running fishing license, but he would tell me, you never can
make any money unless you work for yourself and that even though I had jobs
up until I started my first company, I always in the back of
my mind remembered that. So I really did have a great mentor in my dad.
>>Any other questions?
>>I would like to know how you guys support each other
since it’s been more other mentors or role models how did you
guys Asked her about these.>>Gosh well we sort of all became friends I guess through the Chamber. One of the first things I did after I
could afford it after two years of being in this was to join the Raleigh Chamber. And we got involved in a chamber and met each other through that,
you know, doing really grunt work for the chamber and then working our way up to
be on the Executive Committee, and Chair. But still, back then, there were not
women, a lot of women at this, Business. And those of us that were. We kind of clung to each other. And we would sit around and
talk about our challenges. And give each other advise based on our experience.
>>For the first few years. You can’t look up. I just didn’t even look up to
be a mentor or receive anything. We were too busy working. You know I had friends that were friends,
but I didn’t look up. One of the businesses we opened was the
Rahleigh Edge, which was the tennis team. [INAUDIBLE].
And it was the first professional sports team in Rahleigh. And so we had the tennis team,
so we can join the chamber but we actually started to go because we
needed customers to come in again.>>[LAUGH]>>You were networking.>>I was networking. And so when we did that
that started to do things. You were a small business person. [CROSSTALK] I was Economic developer
person off and then you did whatever, so we all kind of met that way with girls and
a lot of our other friends that way and then we just all kind of networked
that way and supported each other. So I think the Chamber was
a very good part of what we did.>>Yeah and I always tell people too one of the first
things when people come to me about business is,
join your local Get out of your office and join the chamber because it allows you
association’s with people in high places. And when your doing all that grunt work,
you know, they’re way up there but there seeing you working, you get
to know them on a first name basis.>>And they have educational.>>Ya, lots of educational, educational things and it comes with it. Yes, yes.
>>I think we’re like we said when we did some samples back then,
when we found someone that was a like a person you know
you kind of congregate to them. And it was one of the first things that I
did was join the local group called NAWBO, which is National Association
of Women Business Owners. I mustered every day the courage that I
had to walk into that meeting one day and pretend that I-
>>[LAUGH]>>I could actually be in the same room with these other women business owners. So it was so that first step is
those friendships, that networking, that opportunity and I’m still a member
of that organization, was president, on the board, and so forth. Because then you learn to give back and you can recognize the next person
that’s walking in that door for the very first time and
being able to reach out and mentor those. [INAUDIBLE]
>>[LAUGH]>>[INAUDIBLE] [LAUGH] Another question right across the room. Are you sure?
>>Yeah.>>Okay. Thank you. First of all [INAUDIBLE] [INAUDIBLE]
stories for us to listen to, and I believe [INAUDIBLE] it was so
impressive and energizing for me because for the first time I’m seeing
women of your category come out and say the things that happen in there
don’t Might feel like it’s hard, and I thought this, and
I think that is very authentic. And I appreciate you saying that, because
I think when you have those kinds of saddened conversation that takes us
to the next step where we want to be. And so, I thank you for your attention
to the issue, and I think you asked some of the questions earlier, and
you need all [INAUDIBLE] of many nations. Explaining part of the of many other
nations today are looking at young. So when they see a village, and
you’re forever young, actually, how do you bring up those same things,
I tell my colleagues, we need to go up,
don’t forget to send the elevator down. So how do you do that with young people, because everyone wants to
cuz it’s the right thing. But how do you find you, or how do they
come up to you, or people that you meet to take them to the next level?
>>I think that goes to what you guys have
already been talking about, is giving back at some point, and the importance of so
much that we can learn from you. What would you say?
>>Well of the organizations that I talked about, that is a great way to mentor
the next group of women business owners. As you move up with experience and service, you’re able to reach back and
answer questions for those new business owners, like,
the taxes and how to hire an attorney, and what the next business stage will be. So I’d really,
I’ve been a member again of Nova, and WPO, which is another organization,
Women’s Presidents Organization. And that’s an organization that supports
other women business owners and helps them grow their businesses to
the level that they would enjoy. And we always try to hire interns so that
we can bring them into the business and work for us, for the summers and
give them experience in our industry. For, eight or nine years,
I think, that were coming from as ways to support somebody that may have a
thought about starting their own business.>>Well, one thing that is news to me is, it’s not for everybody, okay, it’s not. And I think that,
you don’t want to discourage anyone, because I wouldn’t want somebody
to tell me, don’t do that. But I know at our companies, I try to make
people entrepreneurs where you give them, where they can grow and they can
have ideas, and they can do things, that we can fulfill yourself within
companies if they will let you. You don’t have to start your
own business to do that. And then there’s been some ladies or
even some men, that we can offer to stock in
the business, or do this or that. I don’t want to do that. But they were great and
they’re great people. They don’t want any risks, they don’t
want their name on the back line, they don’t want their
name on some of this. So it’s not for everybody, but
as long as you work in a company that you can hire people and give them a voice. I didn’t have a voice in the system and
the places I worked, that’s why I didn’t want to work there. The bad apples ran off the good apples,
it’s what happens. So there’s always those kind of people,
but remember everybody doesn’t have to be out there on their own doing
that it can be entrepreneurs. And I think that’s a real important
part for companies to develop.>>So I know that we, like us three, there are many others like us that
have come up the same way we have. And I like to think about our
mentoring to other women, whether they want to be a risk taker,
or be involved with a risk taker. Is we’re trying to reinvent ourselves, so that there’s a group behind us that is
coming along and we have a wonderful, it’s kind of a group, it’s sort of
just haphazardly put together, but we call ourselves.
>>[LAUGH]>>And it came up one night, you know, we’re just sitting around and
we tried to come up with a better, more professional name, but
nothing else describes us any better. So we probably had 200 women on this
contact list that once a quarter, some of us get, I mean,
they’re really some high level women in the lawyer market that
are involved in this, but these women are invited to come out for
networking, another networking event. But we are there to support them and
everybody goes around and they might say, I’m new in Raleigh and I’m trying to
get involved on a non-profit board, so I can give back,
while I’m looking for a job. Or I’m trying to get into such and
such company does anybody know Mr. X? And out of that group of wonderful,
old broads, comes a lot of contacts where these young
women that are coming up behind us. So I think that we,
where we are today, owe that back, to really pay it forward.
>>While, I make my way over to the next question we do wanna remind folks that we
are streaming this on EagleStream, live. So if anybody is watching on their
computer, you can text in the question and we can ask that question for you.
>>Thank you, I wanna thank-
>>Lord.>>[LAUGH]>>I wanna thank each of you for sharing your success story and sharing it
with humor, so I really appreciate that. But I know when you first started,
there had to be some level of fear or uncertainty. And I don’t want you to go back, too far,
but can you just kind of share how you dealt with that, maybe a failure, because
I have a friend who tells me that I am afraid to fail,
that’s why I won’t start my business. So can you speak to that
a little bit to that for us?>>Good question. It’s all about taking the risks.
>>[LAUGH]>>Yeah, it is about taking risk, it’s about being willing
to take that risk. But if you don’t fail, you haven’t tried. So it’s okay to fail, because after you fail doing that,
if you’re the kind of people, crazy people like we are.
>>[LAUGH]>>You just have another idea, and you try that, so
if you’re really serious about it, something’s gonna click, but
never feel that it’s bad to fail, it really, really is not.
>>I think that, You learn a lot more, they say, from your
failures than you do your successes. You can’t be scared like, she said, you’ll fail, you’ve got to move
forward with that kind of thing, and I think that there’s levels of failures. That didn’t work that way or
that won’t do. But nobody would hire me now,
but back then, I would say, I can always get a job.
>>Yeah.>>And each thing that you do, gives you more experience
to take to something else. So it doesn’t matter, gosh,
I didn’t do that because so and so. And so then people go and do something
else, and then you can always get a job. I mean what’s the market, four percent? We need people. So so try something and move on. But you want something, so don’t be scared.
>>Well I think, it’s natural to be scared and
maybe to be cautious. Of taking those kinds of risks. But in my case, like I said earlier,
I needed a job. And I knew this one thing, and I knew it was the one thing
that I was really good at. And once I made the decision,
it was just, absolutely no turning back. It’s just, whatever it took,
the long hours, working over the weekend, you get the book work done, so that I
can go work for clients during the week. And bringing by kids in to help me,
before I could pay them. But whatever it took to make it work,
I had made that commitment, and there was just no turning back.
>>Let me say one more thing about that. I think, too,
that we’ve been in business since 1984. Still still. I still get scared. I still have a million dollars here,
which used to be ten thousand dollars. I still have some of these things. I still have all of these
things that you invested in. Or you do things, so that the or
the whatever never goes away. It’s just different. And you handle it differently. So it’s just the way evolution is in life. That you get more adverse to it,
or you don’t. And so some people, my god, I can’t
pay my next month’s house payment, or whatever, but you find a way. You find a way and move on from that. So you’ll be scared the whole
time you’re in business [INAUDIBLE]
>>[LAUGH]>>It’s just the way it is.>>That’s the bottom line.>>Is that true?
>>Yeah.>>Okay, we do have a question from if we could ask Dr. Roddenberry to ask it.
>>Yes, Laura is online. I don’t know if any of you know her. But she wants to know. You have to do lots of. Things that you dont wanna do when you
are kind of on your way to the top and there are things that you just
have to hold your nose and suck it in [INAUDIBLE] for
you now at this point in your career, what is not [INAUDIBLE] for
you at this point in your career? What lies did you break? As to whom you’re gonna work with,
what you’re going to do, do you get to make any demands?
>>I’m still [INAUDIBLE] I think the only thing that
has been true the whole time, is our statement of principles. We will not do business or
depend of any unethical practices or do business with people that do. So I draw the line, if anything is shady,
anything is whatever going on, or anything illegal or
any of those things, I draw the line. And so there’s times that I’ve walked out, no, we’re not interested in
doing this kind of thing. So if you stay true to
your original type things, I think you’ll always be doing that. Now, some of the things that I did in
the beginning I don’t have to do mail, but I let my employees and
people know I’ll still do it. I would never not go get somebody a cup
of coffee or clean up the kitchen. I’d never do something else that I did. So I don’t think there’s anything
Thing that I wouldn’t do. But as long as you stay
true to your principles and you put that in your company I
think there’s not much anybody else [INAUDIBLE] would say.
>>I think that pretty well much, okay. We do have another question right here.
>>Thank you so much for being vulnerable.
>>So you talked about the security of your previous employer,
employment and needing that security. But I find that there’s another
decision that I am struggling with, in terms of security, and
that is the security of your retirement.>>[INAUDIBLE] So I’ve been in corporate for over 25 years. And a year and a half ago I left. And I have a little nest egg. I’m committed to the vision
of a new company. Do I touch that? How much of it do I touch? By any means necessary. I’ve got some money there and so, it’s another area of security
that I’m making a decision around. And that’s the security of [INAUDIBLE]. So I made that one big decision
to be corporate but [INAUDIBLE]. And I just left my financial
planner before coming here, so it’s all very fresh. [INAUDIBLE] question that
I have to ask myself.>>Sure, I’m sure that that is in the lines of all as well as
folks who work for companies. Is always thinking ahead and be to retire. So Shelly, do you wanna take this one?
>>Yeah, I would say not to [INAUDIBLE]>>Because when we went into business, we found the money somehow
to get our company started. And once you lose that money, it’s gone. And I’ve learned early
on that it’s better To use somebody elses money and pay it back.
>>[INAUDIBLE]>>Because if you’re using your own money, it’s a lot easier not to pay it back. And that’s your security for later on. Your business maybe succeeding and be
the best business ever, but then there’s always that chance that maybe it doesn’t,
and then you’ve lost that money. So you know, these other ladies
may have a different opinion, but I would say not to touch
your future money. But there will be some way out there
that you can get enough money to start a business.
>>Well I had $500 in a rare. If they were so active [INAUDIBLE].
>>[LAUGH]>>So I say, the first thing you have to
do is you have a vision, and you’re saying to yourself,
I’m not gonna fail. I will spend it all and get lonely. I would. I mean,
that’s just the way I look at things. You cannot worry about, hey, you’re young. You got plenty of time [INAUDIBLE]. [LAUGH] So to me, that’s just my advice. I would do that. Now I’d be a lot more assertive,
because I’m a little bit that. But I don’t have to do that, so
it depends on your age, I guess. It depends on a lot of things. But I say with confidence,
I’m not gonna fail no matter what, because I’m gonna make it happen. And I’ll get a job flipping hamburgers
on the side to make sure my business is going okay, and
that’s the way I would do it. So I believe in the risk because you
have to believe in yourself, and you have to believe in what you can do.
>>Maybe it’s possible to use part of that nest egg just as collateral,
and back up, and go apply for funds or maybe a small business
loan to get started, but it shows that you have some
reserve if you need it, that that will give you an opportunity
to use other funds to get started. That’s one of those good questions of [INAUDIBLE]
>>I thought it was fine.
>>[LAUGH]>>We do have a small business center here I think
>>[LAUGH]>>[INAUDIBLE] Plus I see some more questions in the back, just a second. Do you ladies have time for a couple more questions?
>>Sure.>>Yeah, we’re good, we’re good.>>Okay.>>Can’t you tell we can talk all day?
>>[LAUGH]>>We’re really holding back.>>[LAUGH]
>>[INAUDIBLE]>>Thank you all for coming and thank you for
delivering those cookies for me, it took me back to my childhood at Boston
>>The cookies that you took, I remember passing them out all the time. Now that you all have been
successful what about retirement? Are you retired and
do you ever forsee yourself retiring from the day to day operations of
your businesses and things like that? I know you said you sold yours,
yours is still active. I’m not sure about in the day-to-day and
things like that so. And I hope you have a retirement for
your [INAUDIBLE].>>[LAUGH]>>I think retirement is the hardest thing we’ve ever done, seriously,
when you are so driven to get up and do something everyday and
I don’t think we should ever retire. Because when you think about
the intellectual property that we gain over the years,
why would we sit back and do nothing? You know, when I saw my advertising
agency, talk about being scared. I was in a building that my husband and
I have built and we had sold. And so I had 5,000 feet of square space
that I was a tenant in this building And I decided to sell my ad agency and
they were going to stay there. And as soon as the ink was dry,
they moved. So I had 5,000 square feet of space and
a two year lease. And here I am at seventy
some years old and I’m Get up in the middle of
the night worrying about a lead. Well I went to the town and I got the town
of Kerry to give me a grant to start a small business incubator in downtown
Kerry so that I could fill up that space. And now I have 15 tenants, small businesses that I can mentor And
then I can help them. And so yes, I am retired, but
I will say to you, I’m busier now. I [INAUDIBLE] when I had time really,
to do the stuff that I did. But, it’s fun to be able to take
all this knowledge that we gain. And it did it back. Its just like you asked your question and you got three different opinions,
which is not unusual. [LAUGH] But it’s three different ideas of
knowledge that we were able to give you. And you can pick whichever
one you want to. But I would say no more I’ll never retire. [LAUGH]
>>I’m just tired not retired is what I always say.
>>[LAUGH]>>But I slowed down some and I have different things but I can tell you
this I still know where truck is laid. Because I’m instant online with every
one thing I do, I know what’s going on, I can feel it in my gut and
the drum’s beating on what’s going on, and then what’s going on I still
keep up with the customers. I’m out there every time. But I enjoy that we’ve made the long-term
relationships over the years, and they want to see them off, so
we’re you know, still involved in that and it’s still there, so, but I don’t,
you know, I bite my tongue, and don’t say anything sometimes when I
read something, but they work through it. There’s different ways to skin a cat,
but at the same time you should. This you just kinda do other things like
today when we’re doing something else.>>Yeah. I sold the business three years ago and
part of the contact that I have was I completely sold the business, and
then took some time off But after you do the sort of projects that you want
to do and you clean out the closets and update your photo albums [INAUDIBLE]
>>[LAUGH]>>But you still have so much I want to do. So what I’ve done is channel my time and
effort into a non-profit that I’m working with trying go down syndrome
network and I’m hoping that with that group to help them build that
organization, so I’m using my skills. I’m giving them my time, I’m doing all the things that you
think you would never do again but we are, but I’m helping this organization
grow and it is such fulfilling work, so again don’t think I’ll ever
100% retire either, but, really enjoying giving back to the community.
>>Did you have a question?
>>Our bodyguard.>>Always our bodyguard.>>That’s right. [LAUGH]
>>[LAUGH] Great stories, ladies. Enjoyed coming up the hill today with you. I want to know about your systems,
your daily rituals that get you going, and if you deviate from your daily ritual,
be it prayer, meditation, journaling, whatever it is you do to get
your Creative spirit going and if you don’t do this, or you don’t follow
your system, you’ve had a bad day, or somebody’s messing up your day,
or it’s not good. So good, bad, ugly daily rituals for your systems.
>>And it maybe happens because of the coffee [CROSSTALK]
>>Yeah it would be [CROSSTALK]>>[LAUGH]>>Yeah, it would be that first cup of coffee, my daily devotion,
really starts my day, gets me going. When the weather’s nice and it’s not
20 degrees, I like to walk 2 miles. But normally, I have my day planned and
It’s different every day. It could be a board meeting or whatever. But I like to have a plan. But then, like, I like to have
a day that I call my free day, that I really can work in my yard or
do things that I didn’t normally do when I had [INAUDIBLE] so to me,
everyday ends this world with a prayer. I’ll tell you about it. I could have never survived
everything through the years that I’ve gone through.
>>We have a chaplain at our company, and he was It’s a everyday thing for us. And so we read that. I read it when I get up. And it’s always something good and
he puts stuff on Facebook for us. [INAUDIBLE] It’s more employee-type-driven
that, he puts it on Twitter too. But I read that, and I’d love to say I do
yoga every morning, but darn it I’ve tried and I just can’t get there every morning.
>>[LAUGH]>>But the main thing I do, which is really ridiculous,
is when I get up and I don’t feel like doing something,
I throw on a color. Because you always wear black, I throw on
red, and blue, and purple and whatever, and it just brightens my spirit and
I’m out the door. The people energize me. So if I’m at home and [SOUND]
>>And I get in the car and I get to the office or
I go somewhere like this, no energizing. And I think that’s the thing,
you have to love what you do. I love people, and so people give me
the energy to do what ever I’m doing. And it’s always changing everyday. Whatever I plan to do,
seems to not get done. I would say a good strong cup of
coffee and some inspirational reading. I do have some books that I read,
something short, something to just get me
uplifted through the day. But that and my
>>The more we travel the mountain, the more we will get to. Any other questions before we wrap it up?>>What a fantastic stories you have.>>[LAUGH]>>They haven’t even started.>>[LAUGH]>>Best one.>>Because you have it, you just get it in life. But with each story that you’ve told us,
you’ve gone through a transformation. We’ve heard about your journey. So what I’d like to ask you is,
how are you documenting this?>>Great question.>>I see books.>>[LAUGH]>>I see workshops.>>[LAUGH]>>I know you go on speaking engagements, that’s not without a shadow of a doubt,
we can tell that. But how are you actually recording this so
it could be a legacy as well? [INAUDIBLE] a moment here on this Earth.
>>Ooh, maybe look at [INAUDIBLE]
>>[LAUGH]>>[INAUDIBLE]>>It probably [INAUDIBLE]>>[INAUDIBLE]>>Well, I had written one sitcom that I’ve never done. It’s called Temporary Insanity.
>>[LAUGH]>>And it’s people coming in to apply for jobs. I’ve got a million stories.
>>[LAUGH]>>I mean, it’s just insane some of the people that come in with a bird on
their shoulder, which I can’t believe.>>[LAUGH]>>Just some of the things and I said if there was as many people with
their cars broke down that can’t come to work as that we couldn’t drive in Raleigh.
>>[LAUGH]>>Or funerals.>>Funerals right you cannot do that, so I have done that and the second I’m working
on a book called Climbing Mount Tai. And Mount Tai is the tallest mountain,
holy-type mountain in Asia. And I was hoping the book was going
to be about the giant success. But instead, it’s going to be about
the trials and tribulations, and some of the things that we went through. So they pointed over, so I don’t know if
it’ll ever get done, but that was it. I did the title and
then I started writing the book.>>[LAUGH]>>I did that scrapbook, it’s from the 25 years of
a company starting from my original sketch on a piece
of paper with crayons. Sketching out what
the logo might look like. And what the covers would be. So from that original sketch all the way
through 25 years of the different, 3 different locations that we had. Some of the employees we
had at Christmas parties. Service awards that we had. Some of the awards that companies won,
we got photos of that. So I have this huge scrapbook of those 25
years, that we’re really really proud of. So I [INAUDIBLE]
>>Well, good for you girl.>>[LAUGH]>>I get through most of mine seriously. I am writing a book, but it’s not about
my business career, unfortunately. But I’m writing a book about my house
that is quite entertaining as well. But now that you bring that up,
we probably should get the old broads together and collaborate on.
>>[LAUGH]>>And collaberate on somthing.>>Well let me just say thank you to our wonderful panelists,
if we can give them a round of applause.>>[APPLAUSE]>>I just want to say I wanted to make notes of three important
things that I learned today.>>Okay!>>For entrepreneurship. Don’t hire extended family and friends.
>>[LAUGH]>>Number two, you have to have guts in more ways than one.
>>Right.>>And if you want to start a business, make sure you have a rare
bird in the house.>>[LAUGH]>>Thank you very much.>>[INAUDIBLE]>>Barb, did you have a few closing remarks, Barbara or Katie?
>>Yeah, we’re good.>>Are we okay?>>I’m sorry, what did you say?>>Closing remarks? I didn’t know if Barbara
was gonna close this out? Did you have anything? I’ll just say
>>Okay God bless.>>So, we have parting gifts>>Okay.
>>All right!>>For you guys. Thank you so much. We reallly enjoyed hearing all of your stories.
>>I’m happy we were able to do this seriously. How about one more round of applause?
>>[APPLAUSE] [MUSIC]

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