I launched a special blog series to honor and champion other women in business. This is a companion service to a new podcast that launched on October 1, 2020.
My intention is to share insights of lessons learned by businesswomen and also elevate their services to the greater community. The goal is to inform and inspire other women with ideas in order to empower them to grow their own business ventures.
I met Ali through my membership with Polka Dot Powerhouse – Central RI. I love her energy and entrepreneurial spirit. She has a huge heart and is also fearless – a fantastic combo!
1. How long have you been an entrepreneur?
I feel like I have been an entrepreneur my entire life, whether it was selling lemonade or friendship bracelets, I always wanted to be my own boss. It seems like each time I have worked for someone else, I wanted to break free and do my own thing. I’ve had a couple of other businesses in the creative world before pursing my true passion of organizing.
2. What motivated you to pursue being your own boss?
Working in the corporate world was the main catalyst for me wanting to be my own boss. Most employees are underappreciated, I knew my self-worth and I knew I would have so much more career and personal satisfaction working for myself.
3. If you could go back to your younger self, what kind of advice would you give yourself about your pursuit to create your own business?
I would tell my younger self to ignore the naysayers and critics. They are the ones that are afraid to take chances and feel the need to live by someone else’s rules. I would also tell myself to develop a growth mindset. Growing up I had a fixed mindset; if I didn’t get it right the first time I was a failure. I believed that innate talent and special circumstances created success. I was a perfectionist, which is so crippling. I never viewed challenges and failures as opportunities to improve, which are corner stones of a growth mindset.
4. Who influenced you – professionally?
Both of my parents influenced me. My father is a creative like myself and his drive is unlike no other person I know. Over the years I have worked with him on projects and we never take breaks. The funny thing was, we never wanted to. As my mother says about us, “You two are driven!” My mother certainly influenced me as well. She is a retired Registered Nurse that gave her all throughout her career. I feel like she never missed a day of work.
5. When was your moment of realizing, “you know what, I got this!”?
It was about my 2nd month in business and I was hired to organize an entire home. At first, I was a bit nervous, thinking, “Can I really do this? Will I be taken seriously as a professional?” But once I started the job, I found my voice, my client trusted me and it was a complete success.
6. How do you keep your momentum going to keep a healthy pace as a business owner?
Momentum has never been an issue for me. I can keep going and going and going. My friends call me the Energizer Bunny. Balance is what I have to focus on to keep myself at a healthy pace. In order to do that, I make sure I exercise at least 4 days a week. I also give myself a true lunch break to eat and read (my favorite past time!)
7. What advice would you share with someone who is thinking about, or just beginning, managing their own business?
The number one thing I would say is Network, Network, Network. I never realized what an incredible avenue this is for new as well as seasoned business owners. I just started networking in March of this year and I cannot begin to explain how many amazing people I have met and how much I have learned from them.
8. What surprised you the most as a business owner?
What surprised me the most is how much work it takes to get your name out there and to gain traction as a new business owner. I was naïve to think I could build a website, create a Facebook business page plus a LinkedIn profile and somehow people would miraculously know I was open for business and they would be jumping to hire me. When you are starting from scratch, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin and where to focus your efforts. I’m still learning how to do this every day.
9. Are you more of every little bit counts kind of person or an all-or-nothing kind of person?
I have been both! Years ago, I was definitely an all-or-nothing kind of person. In the past few years I’m learning that the “every little bit counts” approach is healthier in my opinion. I try to recognize the small wins of each day and recognize how they move my business forward. I try to see my achievements as a cumulative effect of the little things along the way.
10.Using a scale of 1 (scaredy cat) and 10 (evel Knievel) as far as taking risks, where would you put yourself?
This is a tough one for me to admit. I’m actually more a scaredy cat with my business but Evil Knievel with life in general. Here’s an example: It scares me to death to make videos to post on social media. I feel self-conscious and it is not in my comfort zone. But, I push myself to do it. On the flip side, I love doing daring things like zip lining, challenging myself to run a ½ marathon or a 150-mile bike race. My bucket list includes skydiving!
11. Can you share a favorite quote?
My favorite quote is a rather long one, “The Man in the Arena” excerpt quote of Citizen in a Republic speech by Teddy Roosevelt.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Learn more about Ali here:
- Instagram – @h.o.m.e.by_ali