When Things Don’t Go According To Plan
As a young, high achieving student, Greta had her entire future mapped out. Her dreams of a law degree took a back seat when she discovered that she was pregnant at the age of 19. Greta knew that she could never balance the needs of a newborn with the grueling hours of law school – so it was time for a new plan.
Instead, she and her partner enrolled in Worcester State University to work toward their business degrees, balancing their expanding family and growing bills. Waiting tables at night after tucking her young daughter into bed was never part of her childhood dreams, but Greta and her now-husband did whatever they needed to do to survive.
When a relatively high paying opportunity as a roofing foreman presented itself, Greta jumped at the chance. As a young, millennial, female, immigrant from Albania, she certainly didn’t fit the industry profile. But she rolled up her sleeves and got to work.
After a while, she realized that she could apply everything she was learning in business school to the roofing industry – and transform the entire customer experience.
And a multi-million dollar company was born.
“Success Is a State of Mind”
Greta recalls the years of feeling like a failure, being raised in a culture that did not approve of children born out of wedlock. No matter what Greta achieved, she STILL felt that she had disappointed her family was somehow less worthy than her peers that had gone on to “successful” careers.
The loneliness and depression set in as she watched her peers catapult themselves into the career that she believed she was supposed to have.
Then one day, at 22 years old, she realized that she was letting everyone else define success for her. And it was exhausting. She actually had a choice – she could wallow in her perception of other people’s opinions, or she could choose a positive outlook.
Choose positivity and your own version of success every day
Greta realized that every day, she had been living by someone else’s agenda. What kind of mother did she need to be? What kind of business owner? Did she have a good enough education? Did she make enough money?
She realized that instead of living by other people’s definition of success, she would live by her own. Running a roofing company was never in her original plan, but the opportunity presented itself and she took it.
Now she’s a CEO of a premiere residential roofing company that employs 30 people and brings an excellent customer experience to homeowners everywhere looking to invest in one of their largest assets, their home.
Stop doing “more” and start doing enough.
When you’re trying to compete against someone else’s agenda, you may never find happiness and fulfillment. In fact, it’s a race to success that you’ll never win. Instead, start by defining your own measuring stick.
Make a list of everything that makes YOU feel like a success, big or small.
- Squeezing in a workout
- Closing a large sale
- Catching up on all your emails
- Focusing on one aspect of your marketing
- Improving one part of the customer experience
When Greta realized she could pare down her “to do” list to prioritize HER values, everything changed. She committed to doing just 3 things each day that made her life and business just a little bit better. And as she embraced her version of positivity and success, her company began to skyrocket.
Don’t let fear lead to regret
For Greta, her secret fear was being judged.
- Judged by the office professionals for being “just a roofer”
- Judged by the male dominated industry for being a woman
- Judged by society for being a young mother
- Judged by the seasoned roofers for not having enough industry expertise
The only way to grapple those fears was to own them. So she decided to embrace her history and make it all part of her brand identity. Greta became a vocal community leader serving on three roofing boards as an advocate for everyone in roofing, including women, immigrants, and the younger generation.
It’s tempting to watch and compare yourself to your competitors – but what’s the point? You’ll never be them, and you don’t necessarily need their definition of success.
By simply focusing on what made her brand different, Greta achieved more than she could have dreamed. Her insistence on bringing cutting-edge technology and an outstanding customer experience to homeowners, and using education as marketing instead of high pressure sales tactics made Golden Group Roofing stand out. Without even knowing it, being “different” actually brought her more success.
Listen to all points of view
Lastly, Greta reminds us that we can always be learning. Whether it’s from traditional materials like books and formal training or just listening to perspectives from customers and seasoned professionals, there are always ways to improve.
Because she and her partner were new to roofing, they immediately prioritized learning everything there was to know about the roofing craftsmanship and materials. She continued this quest for knowledge into all aspects of the business, including marketing, customer service, and employee management. When her customers gave her feedback, she listened and improved the process.
She even regularly asks her team members for feedback about the company and herself as a leader. The key is to be open to all feedback – both positive praise and constructive improvements.
Supporting each other to achieve our own versions of success
Greta is so passionate about helping entrepreneurs and small businesses build their own brand of success that she created a new platform for newcomers like she had once been.
The Rootless Entrepreneur is for anyone who is willing to set aside their fears, embrace positivity, and strive for their own version of success. For those who are setting out on their own, the Rootless Entrepreneur community is for you – complete with blueprints for success from experts who have come before you, ready to lift each other up.
Join Greta and countless other rootless experts who share their path to success on the Rootless Entrepreneur platform at rootless.com.