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37300921 Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur

37300921 Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur

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of a Resilient


Frumi Rachel Barr, Ph.D.



Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur
Persevering to Success

By Frumi Rachel Barr, Ph.D.

21265 Stevens Creek Blvd. Suite 205 Cupertino, CA 95014

Released: March 2007 eBook ISBN: 1-60005-040-9 Paperback ISBN 1-60005-139-5 Place of Publication: Silicon Valley. No patent liability is assumed with respect to the use of the information contained herein. the publisher and author(s) assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. but no warranty of fitness is implied. photocopying. Warning and Disclaimer Every effort has been made to make this book as complete and as accurate as possible. stored in a retrieval system. recording. The information provided is on an “as is” basis. No part of this book shall be reproduced. USA Paperback Library of Congress Number: 2007922023 Trademarks All terms mentioned in this book that are known to be trademarks or service marks have been appropriately capitalized. While the people and events portrayed in the book are based loosely on real events. Happy About® cannot attest to the accuracy of this information. all the characters are fictional. Use of a term in this book should not be regarded as affecting the validity of any trademark or service mark. California. Neither is any liability assumed for damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein. or otherwise without written permission from the publisher. or transmitted by any means electronic. The authors and the publisher shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damages arising from the information contained in this book. . based on composites of many people the author met or worked with over the years.Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur: Persevering to Success Copyright © 2007 by Happy About® All rights reserved. mechanical. Although every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this book.

' Reading her story is like swallowing a big dose of courage. mother.” Cara Good. happier and better woman each time. In experience after experience. Sure. friend and community leader. we'll see doors open for us. You feel as though you could overcome anything because she has faced life's hardest challenges with aplomb and transformed herself into a stronger. Frumi's book is a page turner. A Recovering CEO. and I loved the advice she gives at the end. Frumi reminds us it is in the stew of our total life experiences that we have every ingredient necessary to create. What she delivers is not her personal ingredient list. "The Frumi Fix is a recipe for turning yourself inside out so your true self can shine. Frumi illustrates how asking ourselves the right questions allows the best answers to show up. our special offering to others. you'll experience inside-out at it’s best. WunderMarx Inc. And that’s the magic. Once you've digested the Confessions and get your first taste of The Frumi Fix. rather the inspiration and courage to mix up our own -. things can get crummy.Praise for Confessions of a Resiliant Entrepreneur (from the back cover) "No one is better equipped to coach and nurture female entrepreneurs than Frumi. Frumi understands an entrepreneur's excitement. And I guarantee you'll return for a daily helping. This special book is a keeper!" Joanne Rodasta Wilshin. Author 'Take a Moment and Create Your Life!' . done that. temptations and fears intimately because she's 'been there. and serve. 'Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur' would be it.from the inside out." Ann Hult Crowell. but if we keep our focus up and our eyes open. President. Author & Speaker "Frumi Rachel Barr inspires us to not let catastrophes get in the way of our success. herself a successful entrepreneur. If 'The Little Engine That Could' were re-written just for women entrepreneurs.

happyabout." Marilyn August. Author."Don't miss this book filled with personal courage as Frumi bares her soul telling how she overcame whatever obstacles were put in her way.com/ Layout Designer • Val Swisher.oakhillcorporation. 'Journey to Wealth & Wisdom' "An endearing account of a strategist's relentless quest for personal growth and fulfillment." Katharina Martinka.what it takes to create a purposeful. Oak Hill Corporation http://www. A definite must read for everyone (not just women) who wonders if they have what it takes to follow their dreams. LLC Publisher • Mitchell Levy.calsongraphics. Resilience is Frumi's authentic real deal -. President. Frumi is a role model and inspiration for all entrepreneurs whether practicing or aspiring.com/ Copy Editor • Valerie Hayes . fulfilling life.info/ Executive Editor • Francine Gordon Cover Designer • Cate Calson. Business Advisor and Attorney. http://www. http://www. Martinka & Associates Consulting.

I could never have written this book without Claudia Suzanne and my awesome coach. And finally I’d like to offer a special acknowledgment to my clients of the last several years for allowing me to serve you and help you on your own journeys. There have been many friends. Marilyn. Special appreciation goes to my brother Manny. there was no way MaryWayne was going to let me out of it. Garry. Katie. Acknowledgments This book represents a labor of love and has been a long time in coming. Heather. Joanne. PhD . The power of coaching at its finest! Let me not forget my children who have found my path intriguing and sometimes not too embarrassing. father and late mother. my fabulous friends. Ann. MaryWayne Bush. I owe my passion for coaching to all of you. Susan. Your success is mine! Frumi Rachel Barr. Once I expressed a desire to write a book.Dedication To my Mother Layah Surchin Borod An extraordinary leader in her community 1914-2006. relatives and clients who have watched my journey over my lifetime. Dr. Pat and Rachael – Thank you for all of your love and support.

• Please contact us for quantity discounts at sales@happyabout.info/30daybootcamp/life-makeover.info Happy About is interested in you if you are an author who would like to submit a non-fiction book proposal or a corporation that would like to have a book written for you. please e-mail bookupdate@happyabout.php • The Business Rule Revolution: http://happyabout.info • If you want to be informed by e-mail of upcoming Happy About® books.info/business-rule-revolution. .php Savvy About This book is part of the Savvy About series driven by Francine Gordon.info/globalswtestautomation.info/overcoming-inventoritis.php • Happy About LinkedIn for Recruiting: http://happyabout.php • Happy About Joint Venturing: http://happyabout.info/prosper/ • Memoirs of the Money Lady: http://happyabout.info/jointventuring.php • 30-Day Bootcamp: Your Ultimate Life Makeover: http://www. Please contact us by e-mail editorial@happyabout.php or at other online and physical bookstores.info/memoirs-money-lady. Other Happy About books available include: • Overcoming Inventoritis: http://happyabout.info/onlinenetworking.info or phone (1-408-257-3000).happyabout.info/confessions-entrepreneur. Savvy About books are written by successful business women to support the professional growth of existing and future successful business women. It is available online at http://happyabout.happyabout.php • Happy About Online Networking: http://happyabout.info/climbing-ladder.php • Happy About People-to-People Lending With Prosper.php • Climbing the Ladder of Business Intelligence http://happyabout.php • Happy About Global Software Test Automation: http://www.info/linkedin4recruiting.A Message From Happy About® Thank you for your purchase of this Happy About book.com: http://happyabout.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Starting Out Strong . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . In with the New . . . . 97 What Really Matters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .95 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16 How Coaching Works . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Moving Up. . . . . .C o n t e n t s Intro Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Another Stale Marriage . . . . . . . . . . . 65 New Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 Work and Family. . . . . . . 49 Moving Out. . . . . . . 119 Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur vii . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 New Me . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Part I Frumi’s Story. . . . . . .5 Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Hatched for Success . . . Moving On. . . . . 41 Out with the Old. . . . . . . . . . . 87 Part II Your Frumi Fix. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Building—and Breaking—From Scratch . 107 Where Are You Now . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Setbacks are for Working Through . . 33 I Got the Clocks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 New Adventures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 New Man . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Epilogue Appendix A Author Your Book Epilogue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133 About the Author . 135 Create Thought Leadership for your Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137 Why wait to write your book? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129 Book Summaries . . . . . . 138 viii Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

So what. they persevere in the face of tremendous odds specifically because entrepreneurship is the belief that I can do what I want to do. I married entrepreneurs and.In tro Introduction My life has been about entrepreneurship from start to finish—or at least to present. are entrepreneurs? People who want to work independently. Somehow. After building and running several companies. not corporately or for someone else. Entrepreneurs will find any way to fulfill their dreams. I switched my focus to helping other entrepreneurs learn how to impose a degree of balance between their passions and the rest of their lives. entrepreneurs find the solutions they need to do exactly that. I was raised by an entrepreneur who was raised by entrepreneurs. People who have an idea—or a whole series of ideas—that becomes their dream and drives what they want to do with their lives. exactly. even when people consider their ideas silly or a lost cause. Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 1 . how it grows—even how it dies. People who want to build a business and control how it functions. I quickly became an entrepreneur. In fact. although I started out working a regular job.

I wished someone had told me earlier! But aware or not.” It’s always the more motivational: “You can do it. too bad. When I discovered that truth later. could not do it at all. you almost got it—if you just stretch one more inch. could not do something right then—not that I. Corporate people have a driving need to be financially responsible and secure.” It’s never: “Too bad. I was probably hatched as an entrepreneur. Where some dads might say. The Director of Entrepreneurial Studies at USC once explained it by describing a father playing catch with his son. you were encouraged to do it. ** As far as I can tell. “Oh. “Oh. My parents brought me up to think the phrase “You can’t do that” only meant that I. you missed the ball. ” when their son misses a catch. the entrepreneur-breeding parent would say something more like. you can do it. being a woman never deterred me. those are the breaks. They’re not interested in having an entire company’s success or failure ride on their shoulders. They want the security of knowing their paycheck will be there every two weeks. you’ll have it. I had no idea women were treated differently from. Entrepreneurship is an approach to life that says I’m going to keep doing it. The conviction that you can be an entrepreneur comes from an internal belief system created by your environment and by the way you are raised. as their child. keep doing it until I get it right. you can do it. as a woman. It’s all a question of language and attitudes. In my house. or had more obstacles in business. Which is how entrepreneurs are produced. not for pursuing an all-encompassing dream and its inherent all-encompassing liability. keep doing it.And it doesn’t matter if they suffer through a whole series of failures before finding the one business that does work. Corporate people have a different attitude. than men.” 2 Intro . because my parents’ language and attitudes during my formative years were such that I was bred to be an entrepreneur. if you wanted to do something.

I hope my experiences will help you leverage the lessons of your next move.” as leadership expert John C. PhD February 2007 Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 3 . People get so enthused about their big ideas they want to jump in with two feet without pacing themselves—which is certainly part of the entrepreneurial “I can do it!” attitude. sometimes the desire to be an entrepreneur is so great the obvious gets ignored. I get calls all the time from young people saying. As an affiliate of Startup Nation.Of course. You see. Well. What if it takes two years instead—can you quit your day job on that basis?” This book is for all those young. Let’s look at what’s likely to happen. I’m one of those people with twenty-eight years of experience whose every year was brand new. and who learned to adapt the lessons from previous situations to the next thing I was doing—and use them to move forward. We all know people who claim to have twenty years of experience at something. wait—transition into this. The trick is to “fail forward. I’ve done a lot of failing forward. but actually only have one year of experience twenty times over. It’s also for all those well-established entrepreneurs who have made their success. starry-eyed entrepreneurs. Maxwell says: to take the lessons you’ve just learned. “Wait. that’s great. Frumi Rachel Barr. wait. Prepare your business plan. that’s what being an entrepreneur really means: being in a constant state of failure. If you have a day job.” I say. and now want to somehow fit a life into their dreams. even when you’re successful. You’re probably thinking you’re going to have money in six months. “I want to quit my day job and start this company. add them to your strengths and leverage your learning in your next experience.

4 Intro .

" .Part I Frumi’s Story "You must do the things you think you cannot do." .Eleanor Roosevelt "Do or do not -.there is no try.Yoda .


” OK. Interestingly. I brought my little brother home from school. My father was an entrepreneur. On the contrary. gave him milk and cookies and felt very grown up. I felt he was my wonderful responsibility. the daughter of two hard-working parents. My father grew up in Winnipeg. where his parents were entrepreneurs and all his uncles were involved in the family bottling company. my parents must have taught me a lot because I never felt neglected or unloved. Together. Then WWII broke Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 7 . now they’re happy too. My kids would interject right around now. they created two can-do kids. My parents were a mixed breed: my father was an entrepreneur and my mother was an executive in a series of non-profits. My mother worked as the executive director of a women’s organization. so my brother and I were latchkey kids. “… and they never fought. manufacturing flavors for soft drinks. in Montreal. so he studied food chemistry in university. He wanted to carry on the R&D (research and development) part of the business.C h a p t e r 1 Hatched for Success I grew up in Canada.

my sole ambition was to go to university and get my degree in physical therapy. because women who became doctors didn’t have time for their families. running charitable organizations and doing fundraisers across the country. That’s when I met Carol. From then on. my parents were unknowingly sending me mixed messages.out. ** When I was very young. Meanwhile.” 8 Chapter 1: Hatched for Success . my parents realized there was nothing for Dad to do in the family business. if the son went to medical school—which was a big deal—that was it. She felt it was her duty to get a regular paycheck. The daughter didn’t get to go somewhere else. didn’t have a university education because her brother went to medical school. so they left Winnipeg and he followed his big dream of manufacturing a cola similar to Coca Cola. They corresponded while he was away fighting and when he came back. on the other hand. I wanted to be a doctor. I was going to be a physical therapist. Just before he went overseas. Mom went to work in the nonprofit world. he carried her off to Winnipeg as his bride. At that time in families like mine. From that moment until I graduated high school. though. For instance. in typical 1950’s fashion. my father let me know I could do anything I wanted to do—except be a doctor. but he definitely knew his business. he met and briefly dated my mother in Montreal. just like Carol. “Never let on that you have a big idea of your own. like my uncle. Within two years. It left me with an ulna-nerve lesion that required physical therapy. never really had any skills as an entrepreneur. and she was very proud that she could support my father’s dream of having the ultimate extract company.” she’d tell me. Carol actually walked me around the physical therapy department to show me all the different machines and what the various patients were doing. My mother. Meanwhile my mother. I got it in my head that no matter what happened in life. told me women always had to be basically subservient to men. He never really had any marketing skills. until an accident I had at age eleven changed my life. “Always let them think the big ideas are theirs. the wonderful physical therapist who became my inspiration.

then Hebrew and Yiddish the other half. while my grades were average—B’s and C’s with the occasional splattering of an ‘A’—I was always behind the rest of the class. I wasn’t very good in the Hebrew and Yiddish part of things. In fact. you can do it” because I wasn’t doing it. having learned their lessons with me. They always saw the difference with my brother. ** Another mixed childhood message was the result of starting grammar school too early. He was the one who always got straight A’s. he did brilliantly. Talk about pressure: I was three! The Hebrew day school I attended went through the seventh grade.Yet Dad maintained that I needed to be independent. I was okay in English. he was the one who was smart. so I was always afraid of being a total failure. I was only three. it occurred to me that maybe my parents worked really hard at saying.” he’d tell me. Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 9 . afraid that I would never amount to anything. but being very shy. Not being a language person. no one knew how smart or not smart I was. Maybe they encouraged me to counterbalance the fact that I wasn’t as smart as they wanted me to be. Years later. “You should be able to earn your own money so you can make your own choices. high school starts in eighth grade. Obviously. Also. afraid that I was stupid. so long as we realized we could (and should) do anything we set our minds to accomplish. then. As a result. In Canada. “Can I have a dollar to buy milk and bread?” the way his mother had had to. “You can do it. We learned four languages in grammar school: English and French in equal proportions for half a day. they were pretty typical parents who wanted the best for me and my brother. I didn’t raise my hand in class. As a result. I was afraid every day I went to school: afraid that I wasn’t smart. so I was always small. In other words. They held Morrie back so he’d be a year older than the rest of the class instead of a year younger. He didn’t want me to have to go to a man and say. Except be a doctor.

wanted to immediately expel me from school—or so I thought. my third-grade English teacher went to bat for me. I would take him by the hand when we walked home from school. now I was terrified. I never had a chance to erase my changes. I remember lying in bed that night. Unbeknownst to me. Morrie is still the favored son. I cleverly made all the minuses into pluses—in pencil so I could erase them when I took the report card back to school.And who had the beautiful blue eyes. “Isn’t she cute?” Fortunately. He would sit outside my door and wait for me while I was with my girlfriends. We had a very loving relationship. where I had been afraid before. “What was she thinking? Why would she do that? I can’t imagine she’d do something like that!” My illegal action caused such a hullabaloo that. my mother told me that my little brother was mine. So I changed them. so I had a lot of pride in him. a unified front. I looked at my less-than-spectacular report card and thought. I can’t imagine she would do something like this without having a very good reason. it was always. I had hazel eyes. it was. The principal.” 10 Chapter 1: Hatched for Success . “I want to find out what’s at the bottom of this. uh oh—how am I going to take this home? I was afraid of disappointing my parents with my poor marks. “Oh. That was a very clever strategy on my parents’ part. my mother had a parent-teacher meeting to which she took my report card. Mr. waiting for my mom to come home from this meeting—Dad was out of town—and then hearing her talk to herself as she came through the door. “Frumi’s such a sweet little girl. We felt as if it was the two of us against the world. I’m the one who tries harder—like Avis! ** Once when I was in third grade. We laugh about it all the time. For him. though.” she told him. Human (he never seemed human to me!). On the other hand. Luckily. what a gorgeous little boy!” For me.

calm down!” she said. even. not the actual end—I’m still shy. Being small. “I’m afraid. “I know you’re having some problems. she said. I felt as if I could cope. “criminal” tendencies notwithstanding. “No one’s going to make you go to another school!” Yes. anyway. to introduce myself to twelve people who were going around the room for the express purpose of introducing themselves. Until recently.She lived on our street. so we often walked home together. Plus. For the first time. I thought she was a speed walker. but my self-image could never seem to catch up with the mixed messages coming from my parents and teachers. I got to stay in the Hebrew day school. What if I didn’t say the right thing? What if I tripped over my words? What if I sounded dumb? I did it. but what made you do that?” “I don’t want to have to go to another school!” I blurted out.” “Frumi. yet at home. Entrepreneurs have to face down their fears every day they’re in business. There. slowing down just a little. for example. At school. The beginning of the end. Add to the stew the fact that both my parents grew up in fairly Conservadox-type Jewish homes yet didn’t really live up to the school’s standards—we kept kosher at home. ** Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 11 . We won! It was a wonderful cap to the whole experience of leaving home by myself and meeting strange new people in a totally different city. All the people I know are right here. very shy—until I was thirteen. That day as I hustled to keep up with her. when my parents sent me to Winnipeg to visit an aunt and uncle. I heard that I could do anything. in fact. I entered a twist contest with a third cousin. My heart pounded with fear. I was afraid to stand up in front of a crowd—afraid. I just want to stay here. I don’t know anybody there. I was shy—very. but didn’t eat kosher out—and my life seemed filled with hypocrisy and confusion. I sensed that I wasn’t very bright. It was the beginning of the end of my shyness.

When I look back at my childhood. on the other hand. everything would be fine. I had everything I needed because. And I know I took the best of both their outlooks and put them together to create my own perspective. In fact. I matched the two systems and made them my own. We were a pretty well-functioning family. I grew up believing that whatever happened. My parents loved each other. Totally. for instance. we looked like the kind of “happily ever after” household you used to see on television. we lived totally in abundance. was the optimist. everything would be fine—if I just strategized and planned. in yet another aspect of the entrepreneurial spirit. As a working mother. I listened to her planning processes and unconsciously absorbed her strategies and concepts. a brilliant policy from my perspective. they always snuggled and cuddled and appeared happy. it’s worked. the one who believed that whatever happened. 12 Chapter 1: Hatched for Success . She always said that if a woman had to work outside the home. My father. I see the strengths and business tools I learned at my parents’ knees. Mom had to be a strategist and planner. And so far. Consequently. she was entitled to create support systems in the home that allowed her some comfort and ease. I didn’t even know we were poor.

McGill art students.C h a p t e r 2 Starting Out Strong I started University at the ripe old age of sixteen. I went to the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy at McGill University in Montreal to get my Bachelors of Physical Therapy (BPT). I did fairly well by the time I finished. very heavy course. These became the basis for my business learning. how to look for symptoms. and how to create solutions for those symptoms. much later. such as Psychology 101. The first year I went to university. I didn’t start out doing so well. Physical therapists. though. It was a very. had thirty-six hours of specified classes along with a smattering of regular. After leaving the Hebrew day school and graduating from Outremont High School. general-education classes. for example. I had gotten well over eighty percent in Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 13 . fully three times that of the other students. on the other hand. I got straight A’s my last year. This line of study taught me some important guidelines—how to manage time. My MBA came much. had twelve hours of school per week. I actually failed two classes: chemistry and physics. totally focused on becoming a physical therapist.

something that scored no points with my mom. My family was very Zionistic. Peter—my first-year heartthrob—used his left hand to hold my right. I’d met Richard in high school and had planned to lose my virginity with him at my senior prom because “everyone” said you were supposed to lose it by the time you left high school. a sixteen-year-old college student learning all about virgins in some long English poem. when he came back to fight in the combined US-Canadian force called The Devil’s Brigade. for me to volunteer to go to Israel in 1967 when the Six-Day War was about to erupt. But I didn’t. therefore. And so. however. I told my father. was only my heartthrob. not my love interest—that was Richard. I lost my virginity to Richard in my first year of college. I’m still a virgin. They felt he was arrogant and thoughtless and showed a lack of respect for other people. so I couldn’t take notes! Clearly. But I was a university student who could do anything I wanted to do—I had certainly grasped that concept by then—so I didn’t stop seeing Richard. My parents hated him. I loved his mother and two brothers. Looking back. I had fun hanging out at their house and going to their country place. My father and his six siblings had gone to Israel in 1933 and my father stayed until 1940. His family had a lot more money than our family. They so did not want me to be with him. “There’s something wrong with me. they were right: Richard was a self-absorbed rich kid. Unfortunately. My family knew the Israeli emissary to Montréal personally. Richard thinks I should lose my virginity because everybody else has already lost theirs. he would park his car right down the middle of our duplex’s double driveway with no regard for anyone else’s parking needs. but I held Peter’s hand all the way through the course at McGill. I liked their lifestyle. ** In the summer between my second and third years at university.chemistry when I matriculated from high school. as he was one of the people who 14 Chapter 2: Starting Out Strong . my priorities were skewed. It seemed perfectly reasonable.” I have no idea why I told my dad this. I just spent more time with his family. For example. Peter. So there I was. I went to Israel to visit my grandparents. but—as any father would—he forbade me to ever see Richard again.

even when I didn’t know what life was all about. When I think about how I bullied my parents into allowing me to go. It turned out to be only a six-day war. I believed them. I had a skill that would be valuable in a military situation. Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 15 . Working with Israeli amputees impressed me so much that I later became a specialist in lower-limb prosthetics. I realize my parents were right. My father certainly knew much more about war than I did. I have to give them credit for letting me live my life the way I wanted to. I knew he could sign me up as a volunteer. So I went for it. they were being hypocrites. But someone developed a prosthesis that actually encouraged the wound to heal. in retrospect. The instant prosthesis was just being developed at that time. but it could have been a disaster. I also knew that. I might have never come back. and those who would go to a Kibbutz to pick vegetables. They finally signed and I got on the list of volunteers to fly over. When my volunteer group got off the plane in Israel. Everything will be fine. the people in charge divided us into two groups: those with skills. having just finished with my third year at McGill. amputees had to stay in bed for two or three months until their wounds healed before they could get up on a prosthesis. regardless of the risk. But since I was still only nineteen years old. and our emissary friend nudged them a little more at dinner. They refused to sign. Once again. so people could get up right away and not lose their walking patterns and neurological pathways. my parents had to sign the papers for me to go. a military rehabilitation center just on the edge of Tel Aviv. They sent me to work at Tel Hashomer. I told them that considering our family’s history and their Zionism. they accepted that “can do” spirit they had encouraged me to have all my life: devise a plan and go for it. Against their better judgment.came to dinner at my parents’ house every Friday night. Until then.

Other than that one sad incident. I answered the door to find one of my patients standing there. One day I was sick and stayed home. But eventually. To make matters worse. throwing it at the hoop and horsing around to try to make him laugh. I let him in when he appeared at my door because I knew him. his girlfriend ditched him when he lost his leg because he was an amputee. And I still had to see him every day at the hospital! He would tease me as if it had all been a joke. He absolutely refused to have an artificial leg. this is just what my father said could happen! Why didn’t I protect myself more? I not only felt violated physically. he was spending his days sitting in the gym. He just sat in his wheelchair. Only nineteen years old and his whole career was gone. he started playing with 16 Chapter 2: Starting Out Strong . The bell rang. I felt violated mentally due to my conflict between protecting his stump so it would not hurt or bleed all over the place and protecting myself. After about a week. I kept thinking. he started laughing. it worked. thinking he must be dead because everyone around him was dead. My heart went out to him. Afterwards. court-martial him. I never thought he would rape me. He woke up on the battlefield wounded and alone. and commuted every day from their house to the hospital. worse.While in Israel. This soldier had lost his leg above the knee in the Negev. the soldiers were wonderful. But he was so angry over his girlfriend and everyone else deserting him that he no longer had any rules or boundaries left. He had been on the Israeli basketball team but when I saw him. I’ll never forget Zvika. I told some of the other soldiers not to leave me alone near him but I never told them why. I was traumatized but I knew I couldn’t tell anyone. He thought I was the stupidest thing on two feet. I was terrified that I was pregnant. I never told anyone. I had never been a basketball player but I started dribbling the ball. I lived with my aunt and uncle. ohmigod. I was afraid my uncle would kill him or. He was so devastated. His name was the Hebrew word for miracles. a Brigadier General in the police force. He actually resented being alive because his whole unit—made up entirely of kids with whom he had grown up—was gone.

needing to be motivated. All the way through school. needing to know that life was still worth living. breathing inspiration. if not for her. that nothing was ever quite the same. I still have it. They were all in tough situations. when girls could ask a guy to marry them. He accepted. he called and said.” Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 17 . During my senior year at McGill. very intense relationship with a guy named Jordie. Sadie Hawkins Day. I must have attended a number of them. Someone even wrote a newspaper article about us. I returned to doing regular physical therapy when I came home but it never meant as much as working with those heroes. She had given me a goal. at the end of my stay. “I can’t go through with this. and even though I hadn’t believed I was all that smart. never gotten to thank her adequately. and one of the things I like so much about life: having the chance to make a difference. however it happens. he walked me to the bus stop—on an artificial leg. remembering her had helped keep me going to achieve my goal. I never would have been a physical therapist and. I had a very short. I thought about Carol. But the next morning. who had died from leukemia. one of the big triumphs of my stay in Israel. It only lasted six weeks until February 29th. Zvika’s triumph highlights yet another aspect of the entrepreneurial spirit. I’ve made a mistake. in fact.me and. I would not have been able to save my own life three years later. That was so special. That same senior year. every time I met another living. but this one stands out in my mind because the award was presented by her family in memory of Carol. And yet. I’d never gotten to tell her. I was only there for three months altogether but those three months truly changed my life. Being in Israel at that time was very inspirational—so inspirational. ** Every time I helped an Israeli soldier. I attended an awards ceremony. Jordie encouraged me to ask him. so I did. I had wanted to go back and tell her how much she had inspired me when I was eleven. if I had never been a physical therapist.

go to Europe for a year. decades later when I was visiting Montreal. I would go out with someone. So I turned back to Richard. “Go for it” gone awry! In any event. I would have!” An interesting wedding. I had promised my cousins and grandmother that I’d return. I just didn’t fit into his planned life. But I didn’t want to go. Richard and I had an all-out Jewish wedding. Poor guy. “A man is supposed to marry his dead brother’s wife—so if Richard hadn’t married you. my fallback lover. I grieved for months. then go out with Richard again. He was my best friend. By the way. Moreover. I wore a velvet dress with a ten-foot-long train that I could hardly drag along the carpet. a not-so-interesting marriage—and only the first of four! 18 Chapter 2: Starting Out Strong . Doug. I said yes. I’d have to go back to Israel that summer after graduation and work at the hospital. All through college. “I’d like some closure. my Plan B. This has bothered me for thirty years. Finally. the idea terrified me. What happened?” It turns out he’d had his whole life planned out—finish law school. tore up his prepared speech and toasted us instead by saying. 1968.I was heartbroken. It was more than being gun shy. He had met me the wrong year. I couldn’t eat. I had been totally in love with him. I knew that if I didn't marry him. break up. And always there. I couldn’t sleep. Richard’s brother and best man. I actually called Jordie and said. He was lovable and familiar. come back and open a practice—and I didn’t fit. he never knew I married him to keep from going back to Israel—or that I married him on the day Jordie and I had said we’d get married: December 22. He’d asked me to marry him more times than I could count.

Richard was in the retail business—ladies’ clothing stores—and usually worked very late hours. I’d been working at the Veteran’s Administration (VA) hospital for about six months. I was forever looking out the window. By the time I married Richard. but I wasn’t all that enamored with being married. As soon as an opening came up at Jewish General. I was doing my best to be a good wife. It was so disconcerting: I had one life at work and a totally different life at home. I had started there when I first graduated because they had an opening. where I had met Carol. That experience became an important part of who I was then and who I am now. I would do all kinds of things just to fill time Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 19 . but was really just waiting for an opening at the Jewish General Hospital.C h a p t e r 3 Setbacks are for Working Through At twenty-three. I moved over. and the value of fighting for whatever was worth having. This was my crucible. waiting for him. as the result of my physical therapy training. the value of persistence. In the meantime. I felt as if I was always waiting. I was fortunate to self-diagnose Hodgkin’s. which taught me the value of life.

I received a list of patients to see every day—sometimes a very heavy list—and each person had to feel they were getting my very best. I still got through everyone on my patient list. Being a people person. But we were earning the same wages. which meant figuring out the little quirky things that would allow me to do my job effectively. some of which should be obvious. My patients had to feel loved and safe or the physical therapy wouldn’t be as effective. those years as a physical therapist taught me two vital entrepreneurial concepts: time management and how to look for symptoms and create solutions. ** School fails to teach you so many things. But I had to make it work and. I soon realized other people just couldn’t manage the same kind of workload I could. For instance.” Everyone has to have a good experience with me. That’s my intention. such as when you actually have a workload. For the first time. but now I would call it “The Client Experience. but they nevertheless seemed to elude some of my coworkers. but life outside of work was very ho-hum. While making each person feel special. it occurred to me that people worked at different paces and had different abilities—and that things weren’t necessarily fair in the workplace. I’d walk through the hospital as if it were my community. I realized I needed to start at the top of the building and work my way down. Where I might handle twenty patients in a day. I had to manage my time well. I didn’t use the term then. from the chief of such-and-such to the janitors. Work was an entirely different situation. at the same time.because I didn’t have many friends except for the women at work. someone else could only handle twelve. My first taste of inequality. It also helped to plan how many patients I could do before lunchtime—simple ideas. especially once I moved to Jewish General. you have to make it work. Regular physical therapy may not have been as stimulating as Israeli physical therapy. make everyone feel special. I was passionate about helping people. I soon knew everyone’s name. From a life-training perspective. something I’d learned from my role model Carol when I was eleven. 20 Chapter 3: Setbacks are for Working Through . You can’t leave out a patient because you just didn’t get there.

One day that August. I knew what to do. I was a physical therapist. “My neck hurts.” I figured out how and in what order I was going to get the work done. Over the years. I didn’t just “let it happen. which. I thought it had something to do with the waterskiing but then I felt it. we went waterskiing and I fell. just treat the symptom. I’d think. let’s treat the person. Fortunately—or so I thought—I didn’t. If one person wasn’t available. The second is the spirit of entrepreneurism. I would see another.” The first way is the tried-and-true corporate path. planning and re-planning. Douglas got mono. The pain might have been due to their posture or their back—or their back problem might be due to their neck.To me. he said. So I called one of the Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 21 . I was always strategizing. many businesses. the sheet says this person’s neck hurts. it was a simple matter of strategizing and planning. Discerning the root cause of the problem was a process. He told me I had torn a strap muscle. That night as Richard and I were eating dinner in a restaurant. I could deal with a torn strap muscle.” But it wasn’t always about their neck. Patients had presenting issues or symptoms such as. It was huge. I went to see a doctor the very next day. I took down my Grey’s Anatomy and tried to figure out what strap muscle I could have torn but it just didn’t make any sense. I have found that people approach most business issues in one of these two ways: either “Here’s the symptom. I wouldn’t just think. I also looked for symptoms and created solutions. ** Richard and I had been married about a year and a half and were living with my brother-in-law for the summer when mononucleosis broke out in the area.” or “Here’s the person. which might be due to how they sat. why does this person’s neck hurt? It was a study with each person. Once I figured out the underlying problem. “What’s that big lump on your neck?” At first. is an entrepreneurial constant. of course. another entrepreneurial concept that has served me well through many.

orthopedic surgeons I knew at the hospital. “Dr. Heller, Dr. So-and-So told me I tore a strap muscle and to forget about it, but I can’t believe I should. It’s huge. Can I come see you?” It was five o’clock at night, but I went right to his office. He looked at my neck and grimaced. “You know, you’re a good girl and I like you a lot so I’m going to tell you something. This is something bad. You need to take care of it. I don’t know what it is but I’m going to send you to Dr. Steiner.” I automatically began strategizing. “It’s five-fifteen, Dr. Heller. Dr. Steiner is in his office until six o’clock. Would you call him for me and ask if I could come right over?” Dr. Heller said yes. Dr. Steiner said yes. I was in a medical building at the bottom of a hill and Jewish General was at the top, so I went charging up the rise. Later I realized that if the lump had been an aneurism, I’d have been dead by the time I got there, but since it didn’t have a pulse I just raced up the steps. Dr. Steiner was a cardiovascular thoracic surgeon having a mid-life crisis, so he always wore torn operating room (OR) shirts that showed his tanned, hairy chest. As I sat on his examining table panting, he said, “Why are you so out of breath?” “It’s not because of your OR shirt, Doctor. It’s because I ran up the stairs.” For some reason, that statement struck him as funny, and set us on the course to a close relationship. But the lump on my neck wasn’t something he handled, so he sent me on to the chief of surgery. After that, things happened at whirlwind speed. I had a biopsy within a week, confirming the diagnosis of Hodgkin’s. I had my spleen out within another week. (I remember my first thought at seeing the breast-to-groin incision: I won’t be able to wear a bikini! Such are the priorities of a twenty-three-year-old.) The pace of it—the swiftness in which I had the biopsy and the surgery—is why I’m still here.


Chapter 3: Setbacks are for Working Through

The idea that I was dying didn’t hit me until I noticed five other people in the hospital who also had Hodgkin’s. They all died. I was the only one that didn’t. By then, I had realized I really wanted to live and was terrified I wouldn’t make it. But my fear was nothing compared to Richard’s. He was terrified I was going to die. My devoted husband—the guy who had asked me to marry him so many times I couldn’t count them, the guy who cried so hard when he heard the news about my Hodgkin’s—visited me only once in the hospital. Fortunately, my mom, my brother—with his horrible sympathy-pain stomachaches—and my mother-in-law were all there for me. Richard’s brother Doug sat up with me all night before my operation. In fact, both Douglas and Morrie subsequently went to medical school and became doctors because of my illness. But Richard couldn’t even bear to kiss me. He was afraid he would somehow catch my cancer. When the doctors took out my spleen, they tied my ovaries behind my uterus and told me not to have children. When I was in the hospital, I had nurses around the clock. When I underwent six weeks of radiation with all its typical side effects—my hair fell out in back, I became very frail, I was in a lot of pain—my mother drove me to and from the therapy. When my father-in-law thought I was going to die, he promised to buy me a car. All of a sudden, everyone was feeling some kind of empathy. But not my husband. I didn’t work during radiation but went back to work as soon as I could. Not for the money—I didn’t want to be alone in the apartment! I was alone all day and most of the night with all the fear and anxiety. As it got closer to Christmas—which, in the retail business, means long, long hours—Richard worked morning, noon and night. It wasn’t much of a life. Even after the surgery was declared a success and I’d finished the entire course of radiation, he never lost his fear of my dying—or, more accurately, that we’d have a couple of kids, then I’d die, and he’d be stuck with the children. Later in life, he very much regretted his attitude, because he never got married again or had children. But at the time, he couldn’t see past the word “cancer.”

Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur


After a while, in fact, I started thinking I would die if I stayed with him simply because we get what we expect and he expected me to die! Right around that time, a friend took me to see Love Story. As I sat in that theater and watched Ryan O’Neil sit by Ali McGraw’s bed throughout her entire illness and death, I started to cry—not because of the film itself but because there I was, living through something so similar, but with no support or love from my husband at all. I cried for three days. My prognosis was considered “Unknown” for five years. I had to go to the doctor every couple of weeks, then every three months, then every six months to have my blood checked. In the meantime, my relationship with Richard just kept deteriorating. He still wouldn’t kiss me. He couldn’t get over his fear, so in his mind, I was practically dead already! He was right about one thing, though: I really wanted to have children. When they told me I couldn’t, it became even more important. But, obviously, I wasn’t going to have them with Richard. We split up in December, two years after we got married. I wanted to live. One part of me says I wouldn’t have known I had Hodgkin’s if it hadn’t been for him and the water skiing making the lymph node swell so much it bulged out on my neck. On the other hand, my mother says if I hadn’t married Richard, I wouldn’t have been with Douglas, who had mono, so I wouldn’t have developed Hodgkin’s in the first place. But who knows? It might have shown up later in my life anyway. My parents never really liked Richard.


Chapter 3: Setbacks are for Working Through

Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 25 . this was very flattering. my parents took me with them to a beverage-industry trade show in Philadelphia. Along the way. which was his way of saying he found me attractive. a patient of mine invited me to tour his office furniture factory while the physical therapists were on strike. blue-eyed—and hitting on me. thin as a rail with my hair just starting to grow back. He was thirty years old. blond. December. There I was. One particular fellow from Coca Cola came to the booth every day. That little tour resulted in my taking a position in the factory that evolved to the Chief Operating Officer—although we didn't call it that in those days. 1970 Before Richard and I split up. I thought. I married the owner. working at my father’s booth. I spent a couple of wonderful afternoons with Jim. I’m still a woman.C h a p t e r 4 New Adventures In the early seventies. I don’t have to not be kissed. He would tell me I was a mess. By the third or fourth day. Wow. giving away chocolates filled with his cola substitute.

Richard later said he knew something was up because when I got back to Montreal. It just popped up. I finally realized I could deal with the situation better on my own. The anxiety and panic would build up in my chest every day. I had given Richard every penny of what I’d earned for two years. I wasn’t looking for it. I want to totally focus on being alive. and went to see an attorney. It was the only way I knew to get out of a situation in which I felt trapped. And I was shocked. Not only couldn’t Richard do anything to help it. “It’s not about money. It wasn’t a strategy on my part—I didn’t expect it. After the affair with Jim reminded me that I was a viable. “How long will that take?” “Well. “I can get you lots of money because his parents are rich. attractive woman. So I told the lawyer. I just want to be free. I knew I was still sick and facing a long recovery but I also knew I wanted to live. I just went home. I told him I wanted a divorce. A week or so later. who made me feel undesirable. divorces can take as long as three years. I’d never realized I would do such a thing. and my “Unknown” prognosis terrified me. I didn’t stop at the store to see him. Richard had already said he would make it easy for me. But it was wonderful to feel like an attractive woman again after living all those months with Richard. I’m going to be dead. We both sat in the living room and cried. It was time to move on. rejected and pushed to the curb.” At that time in Canada. you had to either prove adultery or claim some mental cause to get a divorce. physical therapy is 26 Chapter 4: New Adventures .I’m a very loyal person but I’ve done this a couple times in my life.” And that’s how I left my marriage with only the money from our joint account: $100. It wasn’t big money but it wasn’t shabby.” the lawyer said. who transformed their basement into a little apartment for me. his constant fear that I would die just made it worse. If I fight about money for three years. I don’t want that. So I moved back in with my parents. He’d get pictures taken of himself having an adulterous affair—just as long as I didn’t ask him for money. Richard and I certainly weren’t going to make it together.

I came unglued. Steiner’s physical therapy specialist. It cost $2100. Richard said he lost it all to poor investments. All through my entire ordeal with Hodgkin’s and the rape in Israel and everything I went through with Richard. I decided right then that I was too raw. Dr. I only had $500 and had to pay the $1600 over twenty-four months. I was a puddle. A nice Jewish girl. I had expected to find more in our joint account. where every time I was happy I was afraid I was going to die and every time I saw something tragic. It was almost that simple. So. ** Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 27 . of course. Even worse.a profession. Beth was eleven years old and dying. Steiner took one look at it and said. I’d never had one Valium. I want to at least have lived a little. and get back on my feet. I was Dr. At that point. “That’s a car for someone in the fast lane.” “Yeah. As I took a Valium. live rent-free in the basement. So I gave up physical therapy. I didn’t understand that but I didn’t ask for an accounting of it either.” It made sense to me. but when that little girl died. my mother had to come collect me. He also had a little girl patient with lupus. I was traditional. Leave the financial matters to the man. which meant I could make money. She asked her parents if I could be with her when she died. I still had my job. I was the first of the boomerang children. it was the most ridiculous car for Montreal winters. ** My parents were thrilled to have me back. I couldn’t do physical therapy anymore. He had open-heart-surgery patients and amputees. I was in the midst of five tough years. but if I die in the next five years. the first thing I did was buy a car: an MGB convertible.

I’d like to marry her. Meanwhile. He’d been a catalyst for me. then I was going to look gorgeous. but there was nothing more to it. where she introduced me to a doctor friend of hers.” “Have you talked to her?” “No. the divorce was moving forward. I started dating again. “You know. Evelyn and I went to Baltimore. we have so much fun together. Richard had undergone an attitude adjustment. He was very sweet.” “I have nothing to do with it. Andy went back to Baltimore and I went back to work. unbeknownst to me. But … we don’t know your prognosis. the Coca Cola guy. it was awfully sweet. five years is a very long time. I thought after this had happened several times. I’m never going to have a normal life ever again! Everyone thinks we have to wait five years. I’m really falling for you. Andy. I thought I’d talk to you first. not the end itself.” Ohmigod. By the time I met Kenneth. And I was in a hurry. He would invite me to the store and 28 Chapter 4: New Adventures . It seemed like every one would eventually say. So I went to Florida with my girlfriend Evelyn to relax.” my father said. Mostly I dated doctors because that’s who I met at the hospital. We kept in touch for a couple of years. “I think you’d better talk to her. On the way up from Florida (and Atlanta). At twenty-three. I took a short side trip to visit Jim. Along the way (and unbeknownst to my parents). “You’re so great. I think we should break it off. He felt so guilty about not being able to handle my Hodgkin’s that he decided the least he could do was make me look good. and probably no one would marry her because she’s been sick. he called on my father. your daughter has had a really tough time. We spent a weekend in Atlanta enjoying the falling snow—and that was the end of that.” In retrospect. But I’m a doctor and I can take good care of her. a means to an end.Within a few months of leaving Richard. If I was going to be single. I guess he must have fallen for me hard because he decided to come visit me in Montreal where. but at the time I didn’t see anything positive about it.

He lived in a really nice apartment—without a stick of furniture in his living room. but he had a need to present them a certain way. When Beth died and I fell apart. He was in the hospital for elective surgery on a bone spur and needed crutches. I knew where I really belonged—in Kenneth’s business. I ended up working with him even while I continued as a physical therapist. Kenneth’s company made acoustical office panels and decorative plants.” he said.shower clothes on me: a fur coat. “Well. Walking around with him. We got engaged that Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 29 . When the physical therapists went out on strike. which was really a lab that made soft drinks in great big vats rolled around on enormous dollies. “Why don’t they do this? Why don’t they cut the fabric this way?” Kenneth was an industrial engineer yet here I was coming up with all these concepts. He was as amazed as I was. never married and sure I was “the one” for him—but he never told me the one-hundred percent truth about anything. Kenneth invited me to tour his factory and see where he worked. I was amazed at everything I could see—and had a million-and-one suggestions. Everything was “show” to Kenneth. I started doing the purchasing. hot pants. My parents found that odd. one for him and one for his brother-in-law. He was thirty-two years old. They actually didn’t care for him anymore than they had for Richard. He had a lot of British class-conscious issues. I actually met Kenneth before I had my epiphany with Beth. he pursued me relentlessly. I looked great. “why don’t you come work here while you’re on strike and see if you like it?” So I did. both for offices. Then I pretty much took charge of operations. hot shot. British. mini-skirts. but he fell for me hard. The shrinkage in his stores was very high that year. I was so taken with that factory! I’d never been to one before other than my father’s shop. two businesses in one.” They were only two little station wagons. I’d never had so many clothes in my life. He claimed he owned “a fleet of cars. I went up to the ward and gave him the crutches—and from that point on. all kinds of outfits.

“You know what? We only need ten people. They didn’t have thirty-five family members. Kenneth sold his car. he just appeared to be well off. “You’re having thirty-five? We’ll find thirty-five!” An interesting relationship from the beginning. I’ve never been smart enough to see all the red flags before a marriage. But first. so in the end he figured that his father. It’s my car. We figured we could get seventy people in the house. it was normal for him to have only one car in the family. When we get married. But not entirely. a two-seater. and had been totally dependent. I think the truth is he really liked my zippy little MGB and just figured he’d take it over. 30 Chapter 4: New Adventures . who was in the business with him. you can have sixty.” My car was a symbol of my independence. But mine was an MGB.” “No. shortly after I turned twenty-five on October thirteenth and just a few weeks shy of a year after my divorce from Richard. But by the time we had this. thirty-five of our family and thirty-five of theirs. It was almost like a competition. so we got married in my parents’ house. I was adamant that he wouldn’t. That was not going to happen again. I’ll drop you at the hospital and then I’ll take your car and go to work. “How can you just sell your car without talking to me?” I said. would pick him up. I could never come and go as I pleased.000 on that wedding—I didn’t want to have a big affair again. It was. You can’t do that.summer and married in November. He claimed he sold his car because his mother never drove. our first big blow-up. they had to scrape to find people to invite. The stupidest car you could have! It didn’t make any sense as a family car.” It was never like that. Kenneth wasn’t really making any money. although I got along with his family for the most part. But they never said. he had already sold his car. The whole time I’d been married to Richard I’d had to take three buses to get to and from work. while I was still living at my parents’ home. Because I’d been married once before—my parents had spent $10. Oh no. “What are you going to drive?” “I’m going to drive your car.

My aunt’s system worked: it was an unbelievably succulent turkey. I was coming up with all kinds of ideas and implementing them—something Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 31 . I began to realize that I was an entrepreneur at heart. “I know you have a really quick turkey recipe. but Kenneth’s parents did.” As soon as I got home. already snowing. The night before. she didn’t and wasn’t. as I learned over the years. so I never. And I loved the factory! Every day. My mother-in-law was blown away. How do you do that?” The system had to do with wrapping the turkey tightly in tinfoil so it only took twelve minutes a pound to cook. it was the second Monday in October. driving all the way across town in the snow. I had never prepared a turkey in my life. I really got my teeth into it. So I just said. and challenges. Now. I transitioned to working full-time with Kenneth in the factory. I had no idea what to do but I wasn’t going to tell her that. ** After we got married. “Okay. She wanted the recipe but I never gave it to her. problems. ever gave her the recipe. Well. not a dry morsel on the bird. working together was a sensible way to integrate our work and our personal lives. He reasoned that because he had invited his father into the business. Maybe if she had told me what to do or been nice to me … but no. At least I took it that way. so this was a natural progression for me. I’ll bring the turkey back by noon. we happened to be over there and my mother-in-law said she was having trouble with her oven. I called my mother. married two years with a baby—Michael was born by then—and they invited us to their house for Thanksgiving. to pick up long tinfoil from my mother so I could get the turkey ready by noon for my mother-in-law. my aunt’s recipe. So there we were. She gave me the turkey to take home to prepare for noon the next day.My parents didn’t believe in celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving because they were Jewish. I reasoned that since we both knew we wanted children. There was this little underlying rivalry between us and I think she kind of wanted to show me up. it would be good to have his wife in the business especially. because he was very over-protective and needed to know where I was every minute. there were issues. and there I was.

I said. then we work on that order. how much this and how much that. how much fiberglass. you can make any changes you see fit. Many employers don’t even appreciate employees coming up with new ideas. It worked for him. I started keeping ledger cards to figure out how many frames we needed. put it on the frame. That’s exactly how I looked at everything. We ended up being able to buy a house. it was a time-management problem: here are the symptoms. He only felt threatened when there was something that didn’t work for him. Then we could afford to have two cars. It all just worked. they’re already waiting? We can move the screens out faster. “Why are you doing that? How are you keeping order that way? Why don’t you cut fifty pieces and put them to one side so that when you’re ready to do this order. Fortunately. But we were making progress and soon. how much fabric. It wasn’t all that difficult and I enjoyed it. Then I set up schedules: if it’s Monday. Then we were able to buy a bigger house. this is what we aren’t doing. we work on this order. here’s how we fix the problem. Kenneth had an engineering degree but he hadn’t applied any logical system to his production sequence. Once again. and move onto the next. my husband didn't feel threatened by any of this. Wednesday.” Speed was an important issue because the orders always got out late. Tuesday. For example. the company was actually growing and providing delivery when we said we would provide delivery. 32 Chapter 4: New Adventures . The factory wasn’t systematic at all. But when you own and run the company.you don’t get to do when you’re working for someone else who has the final word on which suggestions to implement and which to ignore. we were making money. They would cut one piece of material. they would get an order for fifty acoustical screens. For the first time.

we both knew we wanted kids. he said. I got pregnant on our honeymoon—but we didn’t go on that honeymoon until the following July. Money was tight and I had a baby on the way. Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 33 . Before we left. seeing private patients and teaching a biology class to continuing education students. Michael was conceived in a tent and born the next April. I was also pregnant. When Kenneth and I married November 1971. He was often too smart for himself.C h a p t e r 5 Another Stale Marriage When I was busy in my role as operations manager at the office-office furniture factory. Holland and Denmark. in 1973. We had delayed our trip so that we could afford to take off an entire month. We went to Europe and traveled by car through Amsterdam. we’d be away so long. And. I don’t know what he thought needed turning off. a fact my students thought was hysterical since I was teaching them sex education. yes. It was time to figure out how I would continue working with a child at home. Kenneth turned off the electricity in the apartment because.

It turned out that my seventh-grade teacher. They weren’t the same as critical-care patients. All of us got really uncomfortable.When we got back. though. I started thinking. and he needed someone for an adult biology class. I only taught one more semester after he was born. we were met by a horrible smell coming out of the apartment and the refrigerator was covered in green moss. I remember the students calling to say they missed me while I was in the hospital having Michael. twenty-five years old and pregnant. The second job was teaching continuing education. Teaching the same stuff over and over for two semesters was enough. He did something to the plug to make it look like it had shorted so the landlord would have to take care of the expense. I did continue with the physical therapy patients for a while but after a couple years that got old. 34 Chapter 5: Another Stale Marriage . Kenneth sabotaged it instead. I had no experience as a teacher but Lenny figured I was credible because of my physical therapy background. was an old and good friend of Kenneth’s. so many things that rerouted our relationship. It was a small matter but it felt like a very big deal to me. Lenny. who is this person I married? What kind of things does he do? ** By that September. too. In their place were so many untruths. So there I was. because by then it was getting old. But rather than just accept the responsibility that we needed to buy a new refrigerator. their problems were chronic. You can’t get that kind of a smell out of a fridge. who would have never done something like that—turning off the electricity or deceiving the landlord. The first one was seeing private physical therapy patients. referred by the hospital or one of the doctors with whom I used to work. It was easier for me to go to them than for them to get to the hospital. It was gradually dawning on me in those first few months that all the niceties from the pursuit were gone. I remember discussing the refrigerator incident with my parents. I was doing two other jobs besides working at the factory because we didn’t have enough money to make ends meet. teaching biology and sex education to people of all ages who had dropped out of high school and were now back to finish.

We opened a factory but had to live in the trailer for a couple of months until we could move into a house. We had moved to escape the political nightmare in Montreal but the business still wasn’t managed that well. I had the office in the house and a planned schedule for visiting the factory. So we decided to move to Toronto.To facilitate the changes that come with a baby. I ran the office from the trailer with two little kids at my side. Then a lot of French-English issues came up in the Alberta government in 1977 and one of our biggest clients blackballed us because we were from Quebec. I don’t think Kenneth ever really knew how to run a business properly and. for the “cause. As the years went by. I just figured. This was long before anyone thought of home offices. I hired a baby-sitter for when I was out or carried my little papoose with me. then I can stick him in the car and drive to the factory and deliver this or that. This was before computers and email—everything was still complicated and written up by hand. so did he on his own phone. I wasn’t involved in its financial aspects. not even when I had Jennifer. I remember thinking. We were in this together. so Kenneth and I could transmit instructions and such back and forth by fax. Kenneth took care of Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 35 . I just took care of getting the work done. at the time. Michael would sit in my office at a tiny little Fisher-Price desk with his Fisher-Price phone and. I continued this routine. I knew how to do operations but not how to handle marketing. I never really took maternity leave. He thought he was my most valuable employee. “If I can do all this work at home with the baby. It was all for the “cause” of having a family. We had to sell our house at a loss because of all the political unrest and drive there in the travel trailer we’d left in Vermont to use as a country house.” I thought I had it all. I didn’t know any more than he did. If I didn’t finish my work during the day. while I placed orders to Fiberglass Canada.” We had a fax machine in the house. If only we could get to Toronto. in 1976. I created an office in the house so I could keep up with my work for the factory. it continued after dinner and after bedtime. ** The company had a number of financial issues. As he got older.

Kenneth’s dad was no help. leaving the profession. I felt I’d let the school down. When I did.” I remember thinking. I didn’t go. There are only forty places in this class and they should be taken by people who want to make a career out of physical therapy. When I was sixteen and impressionable and just starting McGill. To top it all. you should leave. Of course. I needed something to do when the receiver came in and sold the company to its competition. I never expected to leave physical therapy. I wasn’t going to go back to being a physical therapist. had stopped soon after we married. not someone who’s just studying this to find a husband. I would have had to retrain. the business went into receivership. at the time it was what I’d been working for since I was eleven. Kenneth was in denial that the business was going to go down. whoa. “If any of you are here because you want to get married. I needed to go tell them the terrible thing I’d done.everything else. He was only concerned with the part of the business that put together flower arrangements and trees. When my ten-year reunion came around. Within eight or nine months of our relocating to Toronto. ** At some point. who had been selling for him. I had a sense Kenneth didn’t handle financials effectively. the internal décor of the office. We had a bookkeeper but she was interested in paying the bills. When my twenty-five came around. I had thought that I would do things differently than Kenneth and wanted that opportunity. Ontario had an entirely different certification program. this is a big commitment. not in the company’s larger picture. Besides. I had let my private-patient efforts peter out as I got more and more busy with the kids and trying to keep the factory working—and I had a lot of guilt about that. I didn’t consider seeing patients at home as following the profession. I didn’t go. So when my five-year reunion came around. the head of the school said. 36 Chapter 5: Another Stale Marriage . I told myself I needed closure. And his brother-in-law.

About fifteen of the forty original students were there, all sitting around a table. They each introduced themselves; they were all heads of departments at this or that hospital. When it was finally my turn, I just looked at them. I was still shy enough to be terrified of speaking in a room with that many people in the first place. I said, “I’ve let you all down. I remember the head of school telling us this is for life.” Then I told them what had happened with the Hodgkin’s and with Beth, and how I just hadn’t been able to do it anymore. And I cried. Someone stood up, and said, “Hey, everyone. Can you think of a better reason to become a physical therapist than to self-diagnose Hodgkin’s and save your own life?” They all clapped. ** Just before Kenneth’s business folded, we had started to design a line of decorative wall clocks for office furniture boutiques. When the company went into receivership, Lenny and I decided to buy that piece from the receiver and start a clock business. My first company! I still knew nothing about money or marketing. I only knew how to produce the clocks. Lenny put up the money and we leased a small, 2,000-square-foot industrial space. That’s when I hired my first nanny, an au pair from Germany named Rosie. Michael called her “my Rosie.” She didn’t live with us but reported faithfully to work every weekday morning so I could go to my clock factory. That’s also when I first started suffering through all the traditional guilt that working mothers do. When I was at the office, I wanted to be home with Michael and Jennifer; when I was at home, I thought about all I had to do at the office. I also wanted to be like the other mothers and do my part at pre-school. I remember one day standing at a sink washing paint sponges with an apron over my business suit. I wondered what I was thinking—there was so much to do at the office and here I was washing drippy sponges! My son knew I couldn’t be a regular at the pre-school, but I felt that every effort I made went into the ledger in his brain, letting him know his mother cared, and tried.

Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur


What I really didn’t understand was the mid-life crisis Kenneth was going through at the same time he was losing his business. Of course, it had been hard to live with him for some time. He was very controlling and had very high standards for everyone else, so it was a difficult marriage. I don’t know if he saw it that way, but I did. When Michael was small, he could never do anything well enough for his father. Kenneth treated Jennifer the same way. He wasn’t a very forgiving person and certainly not an entrepreneurial dad. He expected too much from the kids and if they didn’t do it right, he sent them to their rooms. From the time they were born, Michael and Jennifer had been in competition with each other. Who could run upstairs faster and so on. I didn’t like it but Kenneth fostered that competition. It’s really quite shocking to look back and see how ineffective I was as a person. But at the time, I felt it wasn’t worth the battle. Everything in our marriage always seemed to turn into a battle. Having been married once before and now having two children, I certainly didn’t want my marriage to fail, but all kinds of little things kept picking at me. For instance, he was always trying to take my car away from me. Once I had the children and was home, he figured I didn’t need a car. I figured I needed a car more than ever! In retrospect, I felt as if I had a pillow over my face the whole time I was married to Kenneth. Everything I wanted to complain about or stop would evoke a fight so huge that it was easier—and safer—to just keep my mouth shut and do my own thing when he wasn’t around. Being married to Kenneth was a lesson in how women were really treated, in sharp contrast to my parents’ you-can-do-anything credo. And, again, when I was at work, I was a different person. At the factory, I was in charge and things were working and running. At home, I played the dutiful Jewish wife. I had not yet learned how to balance my life and work. I only knew I wasn’t happy. The first year of my clock factory was the year Kenneth spent without a job until the competitor who had bought the bulk of the business hired him. During that year, Lenny and I moved our clock business, leasing factory space from a landlord who custom designed it for us. Ted, the


Chapter 5: Another Stale Marriage

architect doing the design (who later became my third husband), discovered early on that since Kenneth knew everything about everything, Ted didn’t have to inform him of anything. In a classic illustration of Kenneth’s need-to-control that I didn’t find out about until later, he told Ted that we needed so-many feet of turning radius for a forklift so the beams in the factory had to be exactly so-many feet apart. This was my factory that Ted was designing but Kenneth got involved with everything because he knew how it had to be done. A couple of years later, Ted and I were in another industrial building, a moving company. They didn’t have any beams at all. “How come there aren’t any beams in here?” I asked. “They don’t need to have beams.” “Why did we need to have them?” “We didn’t.” “Then why do we have them?” “Because Kenneth was so emphatic about where the beams needed to be put that I didn’t feel the need to tell him that you didn’t need them at all!”

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40 Chapter 5: Another Stale Marriage .

The clocks were solid wood. it was totally ridiculous. leather. one of the reps got an appointment Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 41 . There was no real thought behind our enterprise. but we forged ahead. Eventually. It was all wishing and hoping. It was very foolish. an affiliate of Sears Roebuck in the states. how many clocks does any office buy? It was ludicrous that we actually expected to make money doing things this way. We called our company Deko Clocks. We sold them through the network of office reps we already had. I got the money from Lenny and bought the division from the receivers. And I built a factory for it! ** Sears was Simpson’s Sears in Canada. I had no knowledge at all of how to start or run a business.C h a p t e r 6 I Got the Clocks We had no way to validate whether the clocks were going to be a good business. But truthfully. Looking back. something I would never advise a new entrepreneur to do. or acrylic with different graphics—your basic kitchen or office clocks.

And I’m going to share it with you because I’ve been trying to convince different people to create a certain kind of clock for me and no one wants to do it. I was starting to see the light and realize there was no way on earth I was going to make money with the business the way we were running it. By that point. so I recognized them: simple framed pictures of a sunset or a scene with a battery-operated clock up in the right-hand corner. I’d just been to the gift show in California. The clock face was printed onto the picture.” he said. They think it’s junk. Do you think you could?” I said.” Reality wasn’t really my strong suit.” he said. But there is an answer. I offered to go to the Sears meeting instead of the rep. What are you thinking?” “Well. “These are going to be really big. I went to visit Kurt. “I think you’re just being nice to me but you could be even nicer by answering a question: how does anyone make money in the clock business?” He roared. He liked the clocks and was very sweet to me throughout our meeting.” 42 Chapter 6: I Got the Clocks . So I told him it was very kind of him but I’d take my samples with me. that’s easy. though. “You know. I’m not going to make any money until then. it is my business and I need to know the truth. “You know. At the end he said. “Sure.” He reached into his briefcase and pulled out a few brochures. who had been a Sears buyer for a long time. “I’m gonna keep your clocks and put them in my sample room. I don’t think anyone’s ever asked me that question.” My mind started racing. This is January. This is a losing proposition.with them to sell the clocks. If he doesn’t make a decision until March. “as long as I’ve been a buyer. We’ll make a decision in March. “but no one wants to make them. And you’ve never sold a darn thing. He looked at me and said. they’re probably one of the most difficult companies to deal with.

I’d just been running an office furniture factory; of course I could get them made for him. “I’ll tell you what,” he said. “I’ll give you two weeks to come back here with samples and a plan on how you’re going to do this. If you can prove to me you can do it, I’ll give you my business. And I’m taking a huge chance, so the plan is important.” We shook hands and off I went. This was before the Internet, so I was doing my research the old-fashioned way. But I’d always had the ability to ask people for help if it wasn’t for me, especially if I was asking for resources. “Where do I find this? How do I find that?” So I went back to my office, picked up the phone, and called dozens of people who gave me leads to dozens of others who gave me leads to still others. When I found I could get lithographs from New York, I ordered a whole bunch. I knew there were rehabilitation centers where people go for occupational therapy that did things like woodworking. My physicaltherapy background played into that. I looked up rehab centers in the Yellow Pages and called around. I was looking to hire supervised people who needed the work and worked cheap. I had the rehab center workers glue the pictures onto Masonite and put a wood frame around them. Then I called Kurt. “You gave me two weeks, right? Well, it’s been one week and they’re ready now.” He was very impressed. I took him on a tour of the rehab center that would make the clocks the first season. If they were successful, we planned to buy the woodworking equipment and make them ourselves the second season. And that’s what we did. That first season Sears sold a ton of clocks. The next season we had some of the machinery at the back of our small warehouse and I looked for larger space. I ended up leasing 15,000 square feet from a landlord who was putting up a beautiful, new 30,000-square-foot building (the one in which Kenneth knew where to put the beams) and was very fond of me. He didn’t know any other women entrepreneurs, so I was his key tenant. The building had two

Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur


round sections in the front and the offices were very pretty. Because I had Sears’ business, it was much easier to get business from the larger catalog houses. And that’s how I got the business going. By that point I knew about operations and marketing but I was always looking for new people and ideas. I met my receptionist, for example, while I was standing in her checkout line at the grocery market one day. She had such a good customer-oriented approach that I asked, “Do you want to continue working in a supermarket or would you be interested in working in an office?” “I have no office experience,” she said. “That’s all right,” I said. “I’ll train you. You have the right attitude.” Another time I was having dinner at the Pickle Barrel and saw this amazing guy bussing tables. He was so fast—he had incredible manual dexterity. I called him over and asked the same thing: “Do you want to continue working as a busboy or would you be interested in working in a factory?” Within two months of his starting work at our company, he was the factory manager. I read in a trade journal that the largest clock company in the United States was in Chicago. They manufactured all the ridiculously molded clocks—owls with swinging eyes, cats with swinging tails and so on—that were so popular at the time. I knew I’d have to pay a huge duty to import them into Canada but if I brought them in pieces, the duties would be much smaller. I called the guy whose name was on the ad and told him I had a clock company in Canada and would be in Chicago the next week. I said, “I have two dates I’m contemplating. If you’re available on one, I’ll meet you for lunch.” He was, we did, and by the end of lunch, we had decided on a reciprocal-license agreement. He would get my clocks and put them together in the states—the original design clocks I’d gone to Sears with in the first place—and I would buy his components and put them together in Canada, which allowed me to buy the battery-operated


Chapter 6: I Got the Clocks

clocks in higher volumes. This was a lot of fun for our Canadian department stores because they hadn’t been able to buy the imported clocks due to the high duties. I sold mirrors and a whole lot of other stuff along with the clocks and the company took off. We had a lot of problems—I learned everything by making mistakes, some two or three times!—but I got down the marketing and sales parts. Unfortunately, I still didn’t really know the financial side. I was using borrowed money with a line of credit because the company was growing so fast that it was very hard to keep up with the capital required. Interest rates started to climb and climb and climb. When I first went to Sears, they were at twelve percent; by 1980, Canadian interest rates were at twenty-one percent. I had a potential investor beyond Lenny who was very excited about the company and I’d recruited a wonderful sales manager who came from one of the department stores. The company looked like it had a very bright future. We were told we’d have half a million dollars in investment capital. Then, suddenly, that went away. The guy couldn’t perform. He had his own issues. I went to the bank to tell them what was happening and they said they were going to have to call in their loan. ** This was one of those instances where I didn’t know that women were different from men. Back in the seventies, when I first started the company, I had walked into the bank and asked for a line of credit. After we concluded everything we were going to do, the bank manager said, “Oh, by the way, send your husband in to sign the papers.” “Why do I need my husband’s signature?” He looked surprised. “Because we don’t give women a line of credit on their own. Their husbands have to co-sign them.” “Well, then, I’m in the wrong place,” I said, standing up. “Because my husband isn’t part of my business, so he can’t sign. I don’t want him to be part of my business.”

Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur


The company had started in June 1978 and we had separated at the end of November 1980.The bank manager waved me back into my seat. The bad news was that neither my partner nor I really got anything except out of the business. He wasn’t in on many of the decisions. Kenneth and I were separated. Sit down. The good news was that we took care of the customer.” And that’s what we did. We contacted the three companies. “We have a problem. they’d jump at it. instead of the company. the interest has gotten too high. ** By the time Deko Clocks folded. And so I lost my friend. and even if I make the clocks for you now. But I have the solution. He had to pay back what he’d pledged because he had signed a personal rather than a corporate line of credit. Lenny became personally responsible for the entire loan. If you asked them if they’d like to buy my company. “It’s okay. and I was out of the clock business. it doesn’t make much sense anymore since your price is based on twelve-percent interest rates and now it’s twenty-one percent. He was still teaching but had received an inheritance and felt this was something he wanted to do. Because I didn’t have my husband sign. Lenny was a silent partner. they bought our inventory. Then you’d be back on track for the Christmas sales. Fast forward to 1980 and those high interest rates. I walked into the Sears buyer’s office and said. The bank is thinking of calling our loan. What I didn’t realize at the time was that he called Lenny and asked him for a signature. He lost a lot of money. I found that out very late in the game. he didn’t lose his credibility or his reputation.” He gave me the loan anyway. It wasn’t his company but he was my husband. he mostly supplied the money and stood back. Here are the names of three of my competitors who would love to have your business. He only signed the papers because he believed in the clocks. I didn’t have the money to pay him. That’s when I found out Lenny had signed with the bank. and he was the industrial engineer who had planned the space and 46 Chapter 6: I Got the Clocks .

listening. He thought I only wanted to change her school because it would be easier for me. As soon as I hung up. For example. She wouldn’t even let me dress her. I had someone on my case about everything I was doing—and whether I was doing it well enough for his standards. It was all just too much. he wanted to know why not. making decisions. Since she’d already made one big change when we moved from Montreal to Toronto. she was a little hellion. That’s what brought the marriage down. He had a set idea in mind about how he wanted everything laid down and I never followed any of his sequences on anything. I didn’t need Kenneth’s constant critique. From morning until night.” Needless to say. “That was a ridiculous story. I started them early at a Hebrew day school. even though it was actually harder because I had to take Michael to one place and then take her somewhere else.” I admitted. Kenneth’s constant critique was very undermining. But Kenneth never believed she was really struggling. It was easy to see she wasn’t happy. she acted out constantly. so you don’t know what you’re talking about. “but we had a good time with it. Kenneth would be there. taking her out of school didn’t seem like such a life-threatening act. Michael did okay but Jennifer couldn’t cope. After Kenneth and I separated. I’d been a much more passive child than Jennifer. I had enough pressure between having a partner. I wanted to pull her out of school. Yet I was the one who had the relationship with Kurt! I remember telling him a funny story once because I wanted him to laugh so he would remember what I was saying. From morning until night. I took Jennifer in for psychological counseling to see how Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 47 . It had lasted about three. running a business.” “Yeah.how the equipment would work as if the company would last fifty years. for example. When I got off the phone Kenneth said. You weren’t talking to him. You were wasting his time and yours. and raising children. When I would be on the phone in my office with the Sears buyer. he’d criticize every last thing I had said. he’d had ideas about what I should be doing and if I didn’t do them. when the kids got to school age. The reason I could give him was that I didn’t agree with all his ideas.

I finally had enough and left him. I believed I could do it on my own. The investor was interested and I had another season lined up with Sears. which was important because leaving this marriage wasn’t going to be as easy as leaving the last one. He always saw everything I did from the worst possible perspective. 48 Chapter 6: I Got the Clocks . as if it was all for my own benefit. At that point. either. But then. Everything was going right. never for anyone else’s. my parents had never really liked Kenneth.much she was struggling but Kenneth still refused to believe she was having trouble.

And I didn’t like that fact. you try to work Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 49 . He was very attractive. We were both at a place in our lives where we needed someone who understood us. I didn’t really have the courage to leave on my own. I didn’t expect anything from him except emotional support. My ex-husband tried to take my children away because he considered me an unfit mother—I was out of town at trade shows thirteen days a year! I followed my attorney’s advice and fought about the money. even with close friends. you don’t always talk about your problems. In with the New The real fun was just about to begin. Okay. and by the time the divorce was final three years later. Whatever goes on in your house is private. But Ted and I had become friends when I was going through the hardest time with Kenneth about how to build the factory and what machinery we needed. We talked to each other a lot and listened a lot. I went through a bitter divorce. the kids stayed with me. not the kids. very good looking—and very married. He was a very safe person with whom to have an affair since he was as unhappy in his marriage as I was in mine. When you’re married.C h a p t e r 7 Out with the Old.

but I didn’t. going through what I later realized was an insane period. but partially.” I guess “happily ever after” didn’t prepare me for real life. I was an abused wife. I didn’t even realize I had been abused or what the term "abused" meant. I was living in spurts. It felt like the two of us against the world. In with the New . I didn’t have anyone. First I’d married a coward—no one in my family had ever been cowardly—then I’d married an abusive man. I hadn’t been physically mistreated.it out. I’d been psychologically battered. We touched something in each other. I went over my 50 Chapter 7: Out with the Old. This time. like a fireman. No one had ever told me there were snakes in the grass. So I stopped seeing Ted altogether and asked Kenneth for a separation. though. Ted and I understood each other’s marital distress and business woes. Most of the time I felt oppressed and abused. No sooner had Kenneth moved out than Ted knocked on my door.” he said. partially because of Ted. Eventually. he also got the restraining order lifted and Ted moved back in again. “It’s now or never. he kidnapped the children. I realized the idea of sharing him with his wife—who I couldn’t stand—became appalling. controlling one crisis after another with no time to think about the future and no idea of how to avoid situations that would lead to another crisis. Kenneth went to court and told the judge I was an unfit mother. which flies in the face of conventional wisdom about abused women. In time. Then he got a restraining order to keep Ted from living in the house. because I was always traveling for business and wasn’t around for the kids. Ted immediately moved out of my place and into a spare bedroom one of my employees had. he claimed. I was incredibly naive.” He moved in. took them to his parents’ house and refused to bring them back. Some people have a best friend or a mentor or a coach to talk to. no one had to contrive grounds for divorce. Both had been so controlling! Yet I’d grown up in a household where everyone had their “happily ever after. as if I had to fight to keep my head above water. “I’ve just left Cindy. which allowed my lawyer to get Michael and Jennifer back for me by the end of the weekend. And I had certainly never experienced anything like this at home. When Kenneth heard Ted had moved in.

“Good. In the beginning. my parents liked Ted! We moved out of my house within about eight months and found a remote farmhouse on a beautiful piece of land in the northeast corner of the city. He was a childless twenty-nine-year-old Catholic. I was just plain afraid of my husband. But for a while. I don’t think I would have done these things with anyone else. Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 51 . “then we’ll fight about money. I was an older Jewish woman with two kids. no judge is going to take them away. Ted. quite off the beaten track. I needed a knight on a white horse. Getting the kids to school was quite a drive. But I was so fearful. After three years of living with only you. They usually leave them with the mother anyway. But they all came around. From the distance of time. And since Canadian divorce takes up to three years. Jennifer and Michael weren’t babies anymore. Ted had no children of his own but he really loved mine and was a good dad right from the start. my father wanted to sit Shiva (as if I had died) because I was with someone who wasn’t Jewish. At five and seven. which had no effect on me at all because what I wanted out of the marriage—besides “out” of the marriage—was the kids.calendar. “Children. He wouldn’t talk to me for five or six months. Ted was my rescuer. “Children or money?” she asked. My parents weren’t happy. I was gone thirteen days a year! So we all went for testing: Kenneth. Neither were his. we both felt as if it was us against the world. while Kenneth was a better parent for a baby who needed extreme nurturing and care. So let’s fight about money and he’ll forget about the kids. not just that Kenneth would take my children away from me but. my lawyer had a different strategy this time around. In fact. like any abused wife. and me. I can see how none of this was quite fair to Kenneth. We were like a classic joke. At thirty-two. It turned out that Ted and I were better parents for children growing up because we were better at fostering independence.” I answered adamantly.” she nodded. Ted’s parents wouldn’t talk to him either.” So we fought tooth and nail about money for three years.

** I had made a deal with the company that bought Deko Clocks that I would work for them for the first year. People owed him a ton of money. he’d take care of the architecture and design and finding the customers. They’re about ten cents off…” Well. they didn’t always want to go. “Maybe it’s time for me to learn about finance and bookkeeping. 52 Chapter 7: Out with the Old. We both enjoyed working really hard. he started telling me about his company. We had a small office outside of Toronto. At one point. I couldn’t find a good fit. we started to shrink the number of employees because we could be more cost-efficient with fewer people. Being kids. such as selling physical therapy equipment. Ted had just started his architectural firm and it was beginning to grow. If the company wasn't a success. the person who had previously been in charge of marketing wanted the job. I said. In the meantime. They liked the relationships I had with all the customers. I’d take care of the office. Being Kenneth. It was always difficult.” He was really worried at first about my getting involved with his company because we’d both be drawing from the same well. when they bought me. They wanted it to appear as if Deko was still in existence. When I brought it up to Ted. I tried a couple of different things. Meanwhile. The company grew and grew. they bought the relationships. One day when I was waiting for him I heard his secretary say. We even acquired another company. So I learned to be a bookkeeper and managed the office for the next twelve years. so we figured we might as well be a team. In with the New . it would be bad. But after a year. we had as many as sixty architects. he always blamed that on me. I remember thinking. “I think the books balance. I agreed that the relationship was over and started looking for other things to do. As computers became popular. But it had always been part of my philosophy to try to incorporate my work into my life and my life into my work. the kids went to Kenneth a couple days a week and every other weekend. that could mean they’re ninety-nine dollars up or ninety-nine dollars down—somebody should check the books.

When he took over with the big kids. so I felt we needed to negotiate how we would continue to expand the family and still allow me to “do it all. I felt so much anger and pain that I couldn’t bear to talk to him. Actually. He was very kind and loving. Neither one of us ever really believed in it. Ted was far more of an entrepreneurial father than Kenneth had been and liked the way I parented. But I got the kids. but he never did much with it. Coming from Milwaukee. so we parented very well together. Ted and I negotiated everything: how we wanted things to be. Ted was the one who talked to Kenneth. so he was a willing accomplice and easy to negotiate with. Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 53 . we usually reasoned with them. where it was pretty much all on my shoulders. The judge eventually said that even though I didn’t have the factory or the job anymore—I was working part time with Ted—I could have earned a good deal of money.claiming we were saying bad things about him to the kids. again. so he split the money down the middle. he had strong family values. with no resources. A light tap on the hand was usually enough. I couldn’t have managed this plan alone. I walked away from the marriage.” I loved working in the firm and felt I had to contribute to the financial security of our family. he tried to use what his father had called the “board of education. what was important. Unlike with Kenneth. where we could compromise and where one of us had to give in. of course. I just couldn’t. It took both of us to implement a plan of this nature. This is when the balance in my life finally kicked in and I started living holistically. ** At the end of those three years. During the entire divorce-pending interlude. it was nice having someone to take the kids off our hands every other weekend.” which was a paddle. Better than having to find a babysitter. Michael and Jennifer were ten and seven by then. We came up with a plan for integrating our work and family so we could grow our business and enjoy our children together. we decided to have some together. Instead of punishing them. Since he didn’t have any kids of his own. We weren’t. Ted joined my family.

Every morning the construction people would thump up a plank to the trailer and pound on the door. Our second deal made sure we were always home for dinner at five-thirty so the children didn’t get hungry and cranky.500-square-foot mansion. This trailer was something else. Also in residence was Dusty. I gave birth in May and demolition began in June. I often took work home. 1984-vintage “portable” Compaq computer.Our first “deal” called for me to continue working and for us to hire a live-in nanny. 54 Chapter 7: Out with the Old. As computers became more popular. much more complicated. The work was similar to what I did at the factory. I was the general contractor for the house while still handling the bookkeeping and other matters for the architectural business. and somewhere in these confined quarters was my huge. We started right after Michele was born. Our two semi-grown children each had a bedroom with the crib in the middle—Michael had to climb around it to get to his room—and we had the third bedroom. We advertised for someone willing to work in an active. so I made sure I could go to a school play in the morning or watch a ball game after school. we actually rebuilt our house with a computer room so the kids could all participate. The ad didn’t draw a lot of attention but our one call came from a very willing person. I’d appear with baby on one hip and drawings in the other hand. noisy household with lots of visiting children and lots of laundry and cleaning. but much. our Wire Hair Terrier. The place felt like a zoo. In with the New . I wanted the kids to be able to lead active lives with after-school sports and things like that. I didn’t want them feeling like their mother always worked. I only needed to use this ad a few times because my housekeepers always stayed a long time. Our little place in the country grew from quaint-sized to a 7. Ted brought me whatever I needed from the office. To compensate for the lost time. We continued living on the property in a 500-square-foot three-bedroom trailer for six months so I could supervise everything. We’d put the kids to bed and go back to work.

Afterwards. we worked at home for the most part. To them. As winter approached. What an adventure in itchy living. On the weekends. Apart from work. I fell one time too many and announced it was time to move into the house. I juggled getting my older children to their school on the other side of the city and taking Michele to pre-school. baby and all. picture this house: there were no stairs to the second floor so I had to climb up and down a ladder. their friends would come over and play in the backfield. work went on. life went on. I ran home at lunch every day to feed Cody. ** A few years went by.I was being Superwoman! I even wanted to get my MBA at that point but Ted insisted it would be too much. My youngest son had just arrived a week before the merger but I decided to be in the office that day anyway. I was a little concerned about job security as the new partners were not that keen on having a wife in the mix—especially not as the financial person. the perfect resident grandparents. Now. which is why the kids didn’t really know how hard we were working. it fell all over our sleeping bags. hoping staying with the housekeeper wouldn’t permanently damage him. In fact. Still. The night after the construction workers put the insulation in the ceiling. What a Godsend Nanny was! She and her husband Poppy lived in our basement. crossing the front yard to the house became a treacherous battleground. Ted and I slept on our queen-sized bed in the bathroom. it was all so easy. Our housekeeper was a tremendous asset but I still wanted to show my face and participate in the madness—and our fourth child was on the way! I nearly lost my cool when we decided to merge with another firm and the closing date landed just after my due date. Ted and I both went to the office every day and usually got home in time for dinner. and the house was eventually finished. we went to the computer room. Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 55 .

they also claimed other mothers played football and because I was pregnant. All six of us had a computer in our upstairs computer room. I must admit. keeping to the schedule was a bear. According to my kids. hectic zoo but it was working. I couldn’t comply. Life had to run like clockwork. Somewhere in all this work and organized living. We always came back refreshed. then catching the bus to school with a skateboard for additional transportation. Spontaneity went out the window. we came to realize. 56 Chapter 7: Out with the Old. It was a series of trade-offs. Ted worked on his architectural masterpieces using AutoCAD. the older kids turned out state-of-the-art school assignments and the younger kids played games.An average day began with Michael leaving bright and early with Poppy. I used my accounting software. That was probably pushing their luck. many of which the children felt the most. even two-year-old Cody. It was a crazy. Of course. recharged. computers had improved a lot. None of this was perfect. for instance. and full of new ideas for more productivity and changes at the office. Or so I thought. We chose an office with a Bally gym so we could work out without losing travel time. They once complained. I’m convinced Cody’s math skills are a result of those nights in the computer room. I gritted my teeth and booked a vacation somewhere because. that other mothers left cut strawberries in the fridge for their kids. He came back to the office each day and we left for home. By 1986. we still had a marriage to address. I never was quite like other mothers. it was essential to our functioning well both as a couple and as business partners. I’ve never figured out if that was true or not but I sure did feel guilty that I didn’t have those strawberries waiting for them. In with the New . Every now and then.

and a fledgling new business.” “Yes. About a year and half later. we moved to California. as we had sold our architectural practice. I said. he told me our relationship wasn’t doing all that well. Everything just got harder At the end of twelve years together. Moving Up. so he’d had an affair while he was in Milwaukee. Ted went back to Milwaukee to visit his parents. a mortgage. “Now you’re going to tell me the woman you had the affair with is pregnant. leaving me with four children. I found myself living in a bad country-and-western song. “That was three months ago. Both Ted and I started over. His taillights receded down the road.” I took a deep breath. Three months later.” “Oh no.C h a p t e r 8 Moving Out. “but I’m telling you because I’m worried about you. Moving On In 1991.” he said. no family for support.” Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 57 . I haven’t heard how she is.

right?” “No!” He refused to believe she would do anything like that. We went to Europe every year. I’d never thought much of her.” Wisconsin had serious laws about deadbeat dads. he’d probably use the term “alienation of affection. 58 Chapter 8: Moving Out. “I want $5. every day. She said.” The children kept me so busy that he felt neglected.” In today’s terms. “I’m not sure. Along comes her old boyfriend. as if he wasn’t important to me anymore. It just makes sense. He said.000 a month in child support or I’ll make sure the police arrest Ted at the airport the next time he comes to Milwaukee to visit his parents. Ted’s old girlfriend was thirty-nine and still nice looking with no kids. Of course. she called. so I always finished the month-end statement by the seventh of the next month. Until he got someone pregnant. “How did you know?” I said. also still looking very good and now very successful as well. But I spent my time at work staying on top of the books so we always knew where we stood.000. I knew the company financials were vital. Moving On . I still saw him all day. I refused to believe he hadn’t stayed in contact with her. He passed her on to me.” I had no idea what had happened that the relationship suddenly wasn’t “doing all that well. a wonderful life. Moving Up.I knew right then it was his girlfriend from high school with whom he had unfinished business. “She’s going to call in the next week or two and tell us she’s pregnant and demand something from us. I still ran his office. We had a beautiful home. I felt as if I was living in the Big Chill. and I didn’t want to believe he could be so stupid as to not realize she’d set him up. Sure enough. I remembered his telling me years earlier that she had sold her picture to Playboy for $10. Everything worked well.

I told her we couldn’t afford to pay her $5. Ted wanted to stay in the marriage no matter how many thousands of Hail Marys he had to say. This was 1988. she could have just had one. that their step-dad had fooled around and created a child out of wedlock? I didn’t even tell my parents until much. How was I supposed to tell my teenagers. so felt it was as good a time as any to wind everything down. We loaded up a forty-five foot trailer. which was more than I’d ever gotten. as she had with Playboy. come around. stayed behind in anticipation of leaving for the University of Western Ontario. indeed. Meanwhile. In 1991. Clearly. So we left our house on the market and off we went. Ted maintained a relationship with the child. who adored him. Plus. Cody and I ended up driving our conversion van all the way across the country by ourselves. Ted stayed behind as well. Jennifer spent the summer in Toronto with her dad and Michael. just being a working team wasn’t enough. So Michele. We gave our clients to another architect’s company and helped our people move on. she just wanted a child and saw an opportunity to make some money from the situation. including our boat. so ample birth control was certainly available. then eighteen. Of course. and sent it on ahead. I knew we had started by having an affair. he wanted to tell everyone about the baby and include it in his—our—life. my dreams felt shattered. Ted and I needed to work on our relationship. we decided to leave Canada and move to the United States. much later. to handle business-transfer matters. Being Catholic. If she’d wanted a baby so badly. so I figured what goes around does.000 a month and that she had made a choice. ** Clearly. We were trying to choose between Seattle and Newport Beach when Ted’s best friend David asked him to move to Newport Beach and get into investments with him. which meant that part of him felt I should be a good little stay-at-home wife while he played around. We also clearly saw the goods-and-services tax taking effect and another recession coming. she didn’t have to call Ted and demand money. In fact. Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 59 . We ended up buying her an annuity that provided $500 a month in child support until the baby was eighteen. But he was also part Italian.

Being the entrepreneur I am certainly guilty of being. California was like being dropped into paradise. I had a hard time asking other mothers for help. damp. I knew. We started out renting a beautiful house in Big Canyon. I came up with a strategy. and the PTA. I went to the orientation. northern Toronto. I learned that all the mothers helped prepare for the Spirit Run. Moving On . I had my son follow up by calling each classmate to remind them to bring the packet to school the next day—a little pressure from a key accomplice. where I learned of the nine-day ordeal coming up when they expected me to report to school every day to count the forms returned by the parents. tennis. Otherwise. Their lives revolved around carpooling. I called every parent and asked for their assistance by sending back their packet on the very first day. But my son was proud of me. of course. of course—the instigator of this incredibly efficient campaign—was never invited back. most of the other mothers didn’t work. with its golf course community. those forms would just sit around the kitchen. Talk about culture shock. My participation demonstrated how much of an anomaly I was. won their pizza party. The first class to have all their forms in would win a pizza party. Cody’s class. Besides. “This will help our kids win their pizza party. came back the very first day. Mothers have a lot more to do around here. And I. and strategizing being one of my core strengths. of course. a five mile race or walk around Fashion Island. I launched a telemarketing campaign. Our first year here. When the packets were ready. Moving Up. ** 60 Chapter 8: Moving Out.” I reminded each mother. what with year-round sports like water polo first thing in the morning and soccer and baseball in their seasons. I was always coming and going and dizzily trying to keep up.** After cold. Being new and shy and fiercely independent. All twenty-nine packets.

“As far as I can tell. Margaret said we needed to discover if Ted was a philanderer or just having affairs because a philanderer needs a different kind of help. Ted apparently did not want me involved in anything now that he had David. he’d led David to believe the previous business had been his alone. Ted no longer wanted to be an architect. the chase. Philandering is like a disease. “If he’s just having flings. and the experience to get the kick. she said. that I was just a bit player on the team. Margaret sat us down one day and said. I had no idea what I would be catching. I couldn’t live with the real possibility of another fifteen women over the next five years. If this girl turned out to be a fling. I knew by then that he’d had many affairs before me and probably while he was with me.” I couldn’t keep living on the edge without knowing what was going on. I figured I would just get a divorce and live without him. He wanted to be an investment banker instead. And that’s when I heard the country-western theme playing in the back of my head. Ted and David and another partner began looking at different start-ups.Meanwhile. as I stood there in the driveway watching the taillights of his van drive down the street. It was just his way. He had a lot of good qualities plus one very disreputable one. especially since AIDS was rampant at the time. Ted kept flying back and forth to Toronto to close the deal on the business—and probably have another affair.” I said in one counseling session. Here we had moved all the way to California to start a whole new life together but we weren’t going to work together anymore. though. They did it from our house instead of going to an office but I wasn’t included. In fact. so the next time it happened I went to a marriage counselor. I had three kids in school. too. like being addicted to sex. David believed him. he’d be the one with the choice. he’s just having flings. a business I was just starting and an enormous mortgage to pay on the Big Canyon Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 61 . By then I had come to recognize when Ted was having an affair. Once he sold the business back in Toronto. The man needs the variety. Finally. so if Ted was a philanderer.” Ted said he’d go to Toronto and think about it. “he should go back to Toronto and figure out if he wants to be with her or with me and his family.

But we still hadn’t sold the house in Toronto yet. and my best friend. He had been my rescuer all those years ago.” I just looked at her. “I think I’ve made a mistake. I was terrified once again.” “What do you mean?” “Well.house Ted had bought for me out of guilt. I didn’t realize it then. But coaches were not available at that point in time. I was beyond heartbroken. I’d loved him deeply. That last straw ended our relationship. But this time. you aren’t what I need.” “You call that a mistake?! I sent my husband off on a journey because I believed what you told us. my lover. for the very help I now give my own clients. He had been my business partner. “We’d better set up a series of appointments. which meant he conceivably might not come back. one for me. but I was looking for a coach.” I said.” So I looked for a different therapist.” she said. “I’ve listened to the tape again. He left on a Friday. I needed someone once a month or so. despite his infidelity. I decided that if Ted came back and had another affair here. “No. not us. that would be my cue to end the marriage.” “I know it’s going to be really difficult for you. so I went to her office bright and early Monday morning. who could give me the tools I needed to know what to do next.” she said. He had fathered two of my children. 62 Chapter 8: Moving Out. She said. my husband. no. and now I feel maybe he is a philanderer. I think I’d be better off on my own. It was. Moving On . He came back and invited his lover to the house when he thought I was out of town. Margaret had said to come back and see her afterwards. Now that he’s gone. no. I made the decision to move all the way across the country based on what he said and I made the decision to send him off to Toronto to sort things out based on what you said. Moving Up. not unlike Richard all those years ago. so I found a therapist who talked me through my options. “Oh.

As I rolled over to shut it off. swimming pool and enormous mortgage of the Big Canyon house. Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 63 . Well. California has a no-contest divorce. I put it on the market and Ted and I agreed to split the mortgage until it sold. Unlike Canada. Not so easy emotionally. By then I was forty-six. another away at university. filed for dissolution of marriage in 1993. my alarm also went off at six in the morning. I didn’t want to wake up in fear anymore. and were legally divorced in March 1994. Good thing I had already jumped back on the entrepreneurial wagon again. playing the same song with the same chatter and leading into the same day as the last.One of the things that helped me through the devastation was Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day. We’d gotten here in July 1991. The day after I saw Groundhog Day. In the movie. I made another choice: we no longer needed the five bedrooms. and a brand new business. I didn’t want to be miserable. the radio alarm would go off every morning at six. I hadn’t expected to be a single mom with three kids at home. I started to laugh. or maybe I can learn the lessons from the movie and start living for today. Very easy mechanically. So I made a choice. I could do what he did in the movie and learn the lessons over time. I thought I had finally married my one true love. It was like a new dawn.

64 Chapter 8: Moving Out. Moving Up. Moving On .

I started a company to market Rio. which seemed to enhance people’s independence as well as their self-esteem. I’d picked one hell of a business—the product crossed races! There I was a white woman with incredibly straight hair. Newport Beach is paradise. Back in the early 1990s. so I sent a sample to a friend who was black and he tried it on his daughter. on the other. selling a non-caustic. I let the housekeeper go and forged ahead on my own.C h a p t e r 9 Building—and Breaking—From Scratch It’s hard to say life is tough when you live in Southern California. She got excited because she was suddenly able to take care of her own hair. my father had introduced me to a Brazilian company that wanted to market an exciting hair-care product in the States. Well. Rio softened the hair bonds the way an old telephone cord stretches Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 65 . In 1993. it’s expensive and difficult for a single mom. I dismissed the idea but Ted encouraged me to look at it. At first. supposedly all-natural relaxer to blacks and Hispanics. On the one hand. in the midst of the family settling into Newport Beach. so I got excited about the product.

too. He sucked me right in. I ended up signing all the licensing rights over to him and together we produced an infomercial with me acting as the liaison between the company and the infomercial people. He called himself The Hair King. Some people said it was the product responsible for Brazilians having all that beautiful hair.out over time. I didn’t investigate him enough. Not only was I white. Female customers across the country were sending in amazing stories about how the product had changed their lives. since I still had my half of that huge mortgage to cover and three kids to support. 66 Chapter 9: Building—and Breaking—From Scratch . a Puerto Rican. though. David feared delegation because he never before had anyone to whom he could delegate anything. in turn. and spoke to the management. that my walking into black hair-care shops wouldn’t work. Whatever the case. I met a stockbroker who. a couple of magazines which were owned by and targeted to Blacks. I trusted Peter too much. I showed Peter what Rio did and how it boosted people’s self-esteem. and had been disappointed. He got very excited about it. I worked for my friend David for the nine months it took to get the infomercial up and running. The company limped along for a couple of years before I realized our approach wasn’t really getting us anywhere. introduced me to Peter. he said. I sat in his office while he told me a story about how he hated not being able to trust people. He’d had to keep control over everything. I called Essence and Ebony. Meanwhile. He had trusted one of his employees too much. our customers totally fell in love with it. People had been using it in Brazil for fifty years to make kinky hair soft and manageable. She tried the product and fell in love with it. they led me to Mary. she’d sell the product. Eventually. I wasn’t a hairdresser. I had to find people to pitch the product for me. We agreed to split the work: I’d raise the money. Looking back. Then I showed up. Finally. an infomercial producer. I realized quite early. I felt the same way. I just could not be credible in those stores.

because movie companies give their staff a lot of perks. doing everything for him from opening his mail to following him to meetings.” And it was. “This is so natural. I can even eat it. The infomercial featured Mary and Andre. ** The licensing agreement between Peter and me paid me an escalating royalty. He stuck his finger in the product. During the filming. but you have other things you need to take care of.” You certainly couldn’t do that with a caustic relaxer! We shot up from selling almost nothing to selling twelve million dollars worth of product. put it in his mouth and said. I shadow-coached David. I got one of the first pagers so the kids could 9-1-1 me if something came up. “Do you know how important this is? Do you know what the due dates are? What if it isn’t complete? What if you can’t get it done on time?” I said. The product holder traditionally gets a flat five percent but I negotiated the deal so that the more we sold. It hadn’t been that hard. up to twelve percent. After all. complete with a kitchen for the staff. First thing. I said. I got it done in six weeks. I’d worked in an architectural firm and had been general contractor on my own house. Andre did something unscripted that just drove the audience wild.David was renovating an old airport hanger and turning it into a studio. “I know you’re wrapped up in the renovations. the higher my percentage. But I always managed to get home by the time the kids arrived from school to be sure they did their homework. I was his one-woman entourage. Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 67 . From then on. a hair stylist. I’ll devote my time to it and it will be ready in six weeks. A good part of the building had to be presentable in six weeks for the American Film Festival. We always stayed on top of technology. “Just leave it to me. Why don’t I take over the renovation project?” His eyes flew open wide.

it could turn hair green. he decided he wanted to do away with my royalties. they wanted to see test results. Peter was paying me a huge royalty. Our infomercial aired over the summer and through the fall.” and suddenly people’s hair started to burn. That’s when I got hit with the class-action lawsuit. so the news reports would flash back and forth between Rio and the OJ car chase. Grecian 5 had performed that way originally. All this happened around the same time as the OJ Simpson white Bronco chase. about six months all together. They didn’t want anything to happen to their Rio. and became a phenomenon.The key to successful infomercials is having people buy the product once a month. that could not have happened if they were using the real product. but only if used over a prolonged period of time on blonde or gray hair. Somewhere along the way. Peter finally took the product to Nevada and totally shipped it out. Peter then asked Mary to go on TV and say the problems were all the result of a single bad batch—but she wouldn’t. So Peter staged an “issue. People were passionate about the product. like the Tylenol scare where the company had to apologize to its customers. I started to realize he was actually selling more product than he was importing. They had originally told us we didn’t have to do any testing but the moment something went wrong. though. but we hadn’t been selling Rio long enough for that kind of effect to occur. He could only “do away” with my royalties if an issue arose. As a result. Now. the infomercial blew up in November 1994. ** 68 Chapter 9: Building—and Breaking—From Scratch . which meant they were passionate about these alleged “issues” as well. Granted. too. The FDA was a curious entity. He owed me half a million dollars in royalties when everything ground to a stop. Peter asked Mary to go on TV and claim that the FDA had removed the product from the market. Soon after that. turn green or fall out. Mary knew that whatever was harming people wasn’t her Rio and she was incredibly passionate about people not thinking it was.

If he didn’t make it. I felt almost as much a victim as our customers. But as I learned. so we got it tested at an independent lab. The results proved that Rio was less harmful to the eyes than Johnson’s Baby Shampoo. so I cut a deal on the criminal piece attached to the suit and worked with them to bring him down. for example. I suppose we probably could have won the lawsuit but it would have taken more money than I had. The other day. my attorney taught me a wonderful lesson: everything is an opportunity. When you get nothing. When I got out of the shower and looked at my watch. I realized I’d miscalculated by forty-five minutes. She Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 69 . I got attached to the case because of our affiliation and because I had been the person bringing the product in from Brazil.The class-action lawsuit sued Peter as the infomercial producer. where had it come from? Meanwhile. I knew more about what Peter had done wrong than the prosecutors could possibly have discovered. My first reaction was. People often celebrate when that happens but I wanted to make an opportunity out of this. though. All you have to do is recognize it as such. I had miscalculated. it’s better to get a nasty letter than no letter. because every day is different. I was getting ready to go see a client and realized that. I suggested that instead of meeting at eleven as scheduled. I couldn’t think of any other reason the product would suddenly behave so differently. I knew the original product had never harmed anyone’s hair. “What are they talking about? I didn’t do any of those things!” I launched into a defensive response. The time I’d set for my leave time was also the time I’d set somewhere in my brain for my shower time. I only had evidence that he shipped more than the company purchased. we’d meet at eleven-thirty at a restaurant and I’d take her to lunch. called the client and told her I’d screwed up. Even the nastiest stuff is an opportunity. I had no evidence to prove anything. there’s nothing to respond to and you can’t strategize. Receiving a letter from an attorney telling me how horrible I was and what terrible things I’d done when I hadn’t was a unique experience. As a result. Fortunately. I suspected Peter had produced some kind of knock-off. So I got in the car. We decided instead to let our liability insurance pay off the plaintiffs.

Instead of thinking. because 1994 was also the year my oldest daughter went into deep crisis. But first. “How do I turn this into an opportunity?” Turning something one could construe as negative into an opportunity has become a daily habit for me now. the infomercial started and ended. Losing a pair of glasses becomes an opportunity to get another pair! With that attitude in mind.” I now think. she was going through a rough time and wanted to live at the beach for a summer. I started to look at every horrible letter I received differently. Her best friend moved up from Florida and they lived at the beach. The experience took me to a different level of looking at and dealing with adversity. and I got hit with the class-action suit. I had to figure out how to get Rio back to this enormous customer base. 70 Chapter 9: Building—and Breaking—From Scratch . so she staged a fight so big and raucous that the little kids ran around with their hands over their ears because of her language. 1994 was a tough year: my divorce from Ted came through. I had to let all the bad press and bad feelings dissipate. as they say in the world of infomercials. It’s a wonderful way to look at life. Customers would call the factory in Brazil to see how they could get their Rio back and subsequently found their way to me. ** All in all. By the time she turned eighteen and was graduating high school. That’s what I learned from the lawsuit period. “Woe is me. I really believed in this product. Meanwhile I was still getting calls from all over the country. I finally asked myself why I was holding her back—it was so toxic. wait—that’s not all. Jennifer had a hard time adjusting to the tenth grade when we first got to California. when it was time to be in fear and when it wasn’t. I didn’t think that was appropriate. But.readily agreed—she really needed to get out of the office. The entrepreneurial husband of one our original customers promised me he would become an investor if I would try again. Then I could start over. So I let her go. I learned what to worry about and what not to worry about.

I had to straighten out my business problems on my own as well. I had no influence with her anymore. Jennifer was totally on drugs.” The kids had been going back and forth to Canada to see their father since we first moved to California and Kenneth had always said the door was open for his children. In Newport Beach. but I think she straightened out mostly on her own. He came back and said.That fall. She’s into some horrible stuff. they had lost their electricity because they hadn’t paid the bill and there were fruit flies in the air. Her dad gave her a good start. She’s a magnificent young lady now. It got her out of Newport Beach and back into a structured environment. I realized she wouldn’t listen to me. Jennifer started Orange Coast Community College. people simply gave them to her. so I shipped Jennifer off to Canada to live with him. “If we don’t get her out of there soon. Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 71 . a pretty young girl didn’t need to buy drugs. Worse. By October/November. She had to do another year of high school because her grades weren’t good enough to get into college up there. Michael went to see her. but she eventually went to Montreal and got her degree. we’re going to lose her.

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I was shocked! I think the first two reasons clouded his judgment about the third. The class-action suit went on for a couple of years. In any event. they wanted their hair back the way it had been. I knew I had to start a new business. I got my MBA—and created a strategy for the investor to feel comfortable. an investor I respected refused to do business with me for three reasons: 1) I was a woman. after the suit had resolved and the bad press had dissipated.C h a p t e r 10 New Company Perhaps part of my success was that I never believed it was a different world for women. 2) I didn’t have my MBA and 3) he didn’t like the liability issues. Some of them were from the deepest part of the South and I could hardly understand what they were saying. Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 73 . I kept getting phone calls from women all across the country saying they wanted their Rio back. I spent 1995 getting down a new set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) and doing all the testing and things I should have done for Rio. I started Copa and spent that year looking for funds. In 1996. When I was raising money for my infomercial product.

And she did. not for money. I knew I had to prepare myself for the FDA because it would have been criminal to market any product at that point without doing all the things I should have done for Rio. She’s an expert in FDA compliance. Colorado while visiting Michael. One day as I waited at a bus stop in Vail. With that profile in hand. It was like asking. She insisted that if I ever started up the company again. She believed so strongly in what we were doing that she up and moved out here to become my head of customer service. It was brief because I figured either people would know someone who’d done that or they wouldn’t. I looked for a person. Barbara. I started telling him about my class-action lawsuit. I approached a man and struck up a conversation. was working as a customerservice rep for a telephone company in Atlanta after leaving an abusive marriage and losing fifty pounds. “I know the perfect person. We couldn’t import the same product—that would have taken too long for FDA approval—so we had to manufacture a new product in the states. 74 Chapter 10: New Company . I certainly couldn’t pretend I didn’t know what they were at that point. she’d come to California to help me—sight unseen. He turned out to be a lawyer from Los Angeles. and mentioned that I was looking for someone who could help me with FDA compliance procedures. because people introduce you to people.One of the southern callers. just what we needed. Copa turned out to be only about eighty percent as effective as Rio but with Debbie Allen as our spokesperson. so the three of us became partners and Copa got funded. Meanwhile. we started production on another infomercial in 1997 which ran during 1998-99. cashed out. I had written a profile of my ideal partner: someone between thirty-five and forty who had taken a direct-marketing company public. Her name is Lillie. “Do you know anyone who drives a Porsche and lives in Newport Beach?” You either know someone or you don’t. and wanted to work part-time. Would you like me to connect you?” Lillie was wonderful. He said. my hard-to-get investor realized he knew the perfect person. We worked with the Brazilian factory to create and license another formula that worked without copper because the FDA would base its objections on the copper.

worked in Hollywood. and I still lived in the expensive Big Canyon house. Her last day on the job she said. I spent another nine months commuting to Los Angeles. A major part of the job was keeping track of George’s stock-market transactions and Clarice used to make a big production of disappearing into her office for weeks at a time to sort out all the stock transactions at tax time. this time to help out my new silent partner. In fact. It was a perfect case of integration. The kids would walk to the bus stop on their own. Jennifer was in Canada with Kenneth. “Don’t you dare change a thing.” Michele. I temporarily replaced his Executive Assistant. Clarice was furious. “George” had an enclave of executives from his different companies sharing a suite and was more than happy to have me in the suite—as long as I had my Copa phone next to my desk so I could stay on top of the new company I was putting together and he hoped to finance. after the stock market closed. I’d leave Los Angeles so I could be home in time to pick them up at three.” which was to work with her son for three months. who had already gotten his degree in philosophy. something she felt she had to do to help him get his business started. Clarice returned after six months but by then I had computerized the office and moved it into the modern age. Michael. “any moron could do the job now. I had set up a system using computer spreadsheets and handled everything daily. “The way it’s set up. “Even a day working with George yelling at me is better than where I’m going. I’d leave the house every morning at six and get to the office about seven.” I ignored her warning. I took a job while the infomercial was in production. “George. In fact. “Clarice. I had systems that allowed me to keep on top of everything. At one-thirty. “I want to come back to find things exactly the way they were.” Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 75 .” she fumed.” who had been with him for ten years.” she warned me.** As before. Cody.

Even though it wasn’t my own business. Copa was a virtual company. Forestville and Tucker. I coordinated the operations but the system didn’t work well. We created the fulfillment center. We had a fulfillment house. We realized what the problem was a few months into the infomercial airing and decided to take over the customer service and fulfillment functions ourselves. it just didn’t work. ** Copa had a rocky beginning. so it almost paid them not to ship the package on time so they would get the phone call. we were trying to regain momentum we’d already lost. That. a call center that doubled as our customer-care center. There was something inherently wrong with our shipping center answering where’s-my-package questions. had been one of the reasons for Rio’s failure: I had disconnected too much from the process. Then 76 Chapter 10: New Company . When someone else ships your product. The fulfillment center got paid every time it answered that question. and had only been involved with collecting royalties and monitoring communication. If we had started the business that way. Nothing ever stays the same when I show up. They hired the best people and our people worked for them.She refused to come back. “Catalyst for Change” is part of my logo. We moved our offices into the back of the call-center so we could coordinate everything on site. I had licensed the product to the producer. and an FDA-compliant manufacturing plant. which kept growing. Peter. Ultimately. to handle our customer service functions. it probably would have been successful for many years. at least initially. but used an established call center. so I stayed for another three months and then replaced myself with two people. the people who hadn’t been sure about Rio didn’t. I still looked for symptoms and developed solutions. I realized. The new product carried both the memory and taint of the old product. In fact. I stayed more involved. handle your customer service. you have to depend on them to actually ship it. The people who had loved Rio bought it. which means they also. Instead. For the Rio infomercial. For this second infomercial.

Fullerton (CSUF) opening a new campus in the technology area of Irvine. business everywhere simply ground to a halt for a while. He would make me a partner. who was in his sixties at the time. I married and divorced a great guy with whom I actually had nothing whatsoever in common. Copa never recovered. especially in New York. ** I wanted to get my MBA throughout the entire Rio/Copa period. Would I come to a meeting? The classes would be held on Tuesday and Thursday nights.George. I finished my MBA. Within two weeks. Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 77 . Debbie Allen went on her way and Barbara moved onto something else. One thing led to another. I didn’t even have to buy in. Ironically. Meanwhile. he said. right down the road from my office. After the September 11 catastrophe. had a skiing accident and hurt his neck. We were supposed to create another infomercial for the product but the new owners never went through with it. I worked on my masters all the way through Copa. Forestville and Tucker’s CEO invited me to be his Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and help him grow his business. but could never figure out how to fit it into my schedule. I joined Forestville and Tucker to help them look for money and install different accounting and operations processes. I left them in August 2001. They specialized in handling the Red Cross’ 1-800-HELP-NOW disaster campaigns. I just became a partner. He enjoyed working with me. the Big Canyon house sold and we moved into a house on Spyglass Hill. I finished my MBA in October 2000 and graduated in January 2001. I got a fax about California State University. One day I told my friends I needed to find a program on Tuesday and Thursday nights so my classes wouldn’t infringe on the weekends I had the kids. and he decided the time had come to get rid of all his aggravations—and we were one of those aggravations. Somewhere in there. When the business was sold in 2000. Just as the company wound down. He—we—ultimately sold the business in 2000 to a company in New York.

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I’ve noticed a definite pattern in my life where business and marriage are concerned. I did it concurrently with marrying and divorcing my fourth husband. Eventually we started leaving books for each other. our relationship started to fall apart as well. Every time I left a marriage. In between. I never received alimony or child support from any of them. When Kenneth’s business stumbled. We were just good friends. When Ted and I sold the architectural firm. Gregory.C h a p t e r 11 New Man I was married to Richard for two years. we just went our separate ways and I shouldered all the responsibility. Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 79 . I met him at the gym. When I built and lost Copa. I was married to Kenneth for nine. so did our marriage. I took care of business. He was married—or so I thought—and I was Internet dating. We were both always reading and we used to trade books. Ted for twelve and Gregory for two. I had started seeing Gregory in 1996 while I was working on developing Copa.

he asked what was up with me. “Why are you going? It isn’t your weekend.” I’d have to explain I went to my kids’ events because I wanted to go. I’ve since learned that’s what people do: they reveal whatever they’ve been hiding at the very last minute.” I finished telling Gregory. what harm was there in having a conversation? I started telling him what my kids were involved in. Gregory asked me out for sushi. since we each had built-in babysitting. “I want someone who will actively enjoy my children. It was a wonderful way to be divorced. he should either come with me or plan to see me afterwards. “but I’ve actually been divorced for a year and a half..” “So . and how.I had met someone from Chicago who decided to come out to see me without really telling me he was coming. whenever they had a game on the weekend and I wanted to go. I have this person visiting me from Chicago and I’m just so fed up with the whole idea of dating that I’m not going to do it anymore. He wasn’t well and he had a lot of skin issues.” 80 Chapter 11: New Man . I’d go and it was very hard for me to connect with a man who thought I didn’t need to do that.” A couple weeks later.. The kids always spent most of the week with me but Ted and I had alternate weekends and he took them Tuesday and Thursday nights. “You know. “I realized later that you must think I’m still married. Ted will go. “In other words. One day at the gym as I pedaled away on a bicycle next to Gregory. “just what are you looking for in a man?” I knew he was married. I said.” Gregory said. But if it was my weekend off and Cody had a baseball game or Michele had a soccer match. really. whoever I was dating tended to say. someone who realized that if I wanted to go to a game. I felt it had been a bit unfair to tell me all his medical problems at the last minute. not because it was a responsibility. He hadn’t been quite truthful about himself at all.. I wanted someone who understood the importance of my family. I just realized that what you were describing that day at the gym is exactly what I’ve been missing.” he said that night. I’m here as a kind of escape.

He called it a “nice break in the end of the day. All Gregory’s acts of service really had no effect on me whatsoever. When he said he didn’t have a mortgage on his house. even Richard. He thought he was showing his love for me every time he drove the kids hither and yon or did the shopping and other little things around the house. available at www. My love language was quality time and conversation. All my attention and energy went into getting my MBA. Gregory was a very fun guy. And he liked to smoke pot. It didn’t make sense.clarityandresults. and being there for my kids. I took it to mean he had paid it off. but he never did. He also had two kids—he’d been married four times—but wasn’t very close with either of them. he liked to take Cody golfing in the afternoon. I didn’t realize it until I read The Five Languages of Love1.So we started dating. I no longer even thought about ever working with a husband again—Gregory or anyone else.” By that point in my life. Gregory’s love language was acts of service. but we didn’t even feel love the same way. where were his? Gregory’s life story had a lot of missing pieces. Later. Having Gregory around was very helpful because he loved driving the kids everywhere while I studied. But we were never really comfortable with each other. He liked to play. See the Appendix for a list of Book Notes. including this one. for example. just like my Internet dates. Over time. 1. And got married about six months later. if he wanted to be actively involved with children. something I’d had in common with all of my previous husbands. I found out he’d gone bankrupt a few years earlier and had no mortgage because his mother held it. I’ve always succumbed to the big rush. He got very involved with my kids very fast. those discrepancies eventually contributed to our marriage not working out. He could have been a successful attorney if he’d put his heart into it.com Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 81 . I soon realized he hadn’t been telling me everything. handling the business.

I wanted a pre-nup to protect what I had. Very often he would say. Gregory did a hodgepodge of family law and business transactions to earn his living. “I’m not comfortable doing that.” when some potential client or business came up. at the time was cash in the bank. so there was no way he was going to develop any ambition at that point. I think he hadn’t bought a new car because he didn’t have the money. his car was the one getting old. I liked my Explorer. which. His retirement was well taken care of.” What is it with men and cars? They always have to change the cars right away. lying on the couch. “Then why don’t you associate with someone who does that kind of law. he just bumbled along. “I don’t do that kind of law. for instance. He’d call around 9:30 in the morning to say he’d already accomplished so much that he didn’t need to work for the rest of the day. He had no plan.000 Suburban. He had assets to protect as well.” I would ask.We got married because we both liked being married but we had different ideas about what marriage was supposed to look like. no marketing or business strategy. reading a book. I guess he just wanted to be a stay-at-home dad. After Richard and Kenneth and Ted—all hardworking go-getters—Gregory frustrated me. By one o’clock. He was a good lawyer but not an entrepreneur—he probably should have been a corporate attorney.” I said. Yet one of the first things he wanted to do was sell our two cars and use my cash to buy a $40. What he had was a very wealthy mother. which was just one more reason why our marriage didn’t 82 Chapter 11: New Man . He was already in his mid-fifties. By the time we met he’d been in business for years and wasn’t about to change. “Why should I buy the car if you’re going to drive it? I’ll pay half. Looking back. “so you can refer people back and forth?” His answer was always that he just didn’t want to. A Jewish Newport Beach lawyer and he had no money. I shook my head. but I’m not paying it all. I don’t think he ever thought out the basic concept of his business. He didn’t agree with my belief in property separation. he’d be home.

he insisted. I’d had business successes and failures and marriage successes and failures. I suspected he liked being stuck. “but we keep having the same conversation. Again. He’d always say no. I had no time or inclination to help him develop his business. everything was separate. I’d suggest using this or that computer system. Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 83 . I was the catalyst for change but he resisted that change every step of the way. ** Gregory and I did share the cost of certain things. this was my fourth time around. Sooner or later. Maybe I did. If nothing’s going to change. though. I’d ask how much he owed on his current card and whether he had paid it off that month.” Conversations like those. trying to help him figure out how he could become more productive so he could be happier. “so when you catch up with your card and decide you want to do it my way. a person recognizes what it takes to stay afloat. but he always said no. Sometimes. Until then. but—just like “Clarice”—he still lived in the dark ages of doing everything by hand. we’ll talk. “Well. He had no ambition and I had nothing but. After all. of course. regarded how we handled money.” I’d say. you know I pay mine off monthly. Then he’d accuse me of not being interested in his business “Of course I’m interested in your business. Why don’t you follow through on anything we discuss. He wanted a joint credit card.” I’d say. I did make suggestions. I was running Copa and going for my MBA. But apart from that. made him feel I treated our marriage like a business transaction.work out. so we’d have new issues to discuss? We’re just having the same discussion over and over. Including yet another house. I’d rather not. Another one of our issues. We’d each put money into an account every month to cover rent and utilities and then I’d pay the bills.” He finally got a computer and moved forward. Every time he brought it up. there’s nothing to talk about.

When he moved into my place. Jennifer moved in for a few months. and he. Gregory and I had fun buying the house together. We bought it the day after we saw it and the four of us—Gregory. I had art on my walls. right as the marriage was ending. Finding a guide and getting prepared became the focus of his existence. of course. his friend wound up with a whole wall of heads. my art stayed and all his trophies moved into his ranch and a friend’s house.” 84 Chapter 11: New Man . So I went and had a talk with his mother. bears. I never left Newport Beach. “but we need to be on equal footing. Later the next year. I didn’t want to put all the money I’d just gotten into a new house. After we were married. It’s an expensive sport but he was very excited about it. He said. Cody and I—moved in. and Ted and I finally sold our place in Big Canyon. too. Later in an interview. Michele. and we could pay you interest. ”Hunting that sheep was the best moment of my life. we wanted to buy. It was in Harbor Ridge.000 into the house. absolutely. “I think it would be a good idea for Gregory and me to buy a house. we might as well have moved to Connecticut. deer. My kids made it clear that if we ever moved to Irvine. The house was very pretty. all kinds of stuff. I think we should each put $25.” I told her. he said. ** Gregory was a hunter with lots of trophy heads: moose. Eventually.” She agreed and I have to admit. That might have contributed a bit to the marriage ending. but then. “Yes.Shortly after we got married. hadn’t gotten anything from the sale of his place because it had been in his mother’s name. a gated community at the top of Spyglass Hill—in Newport Beach. Gregory sold his house to a friend. of course. Gregory and I rented for a few months. I was hoping you would lend it to him. Once I got to California. of course. Gregory won a lottery to hunt for a big-horned sheep.” “Is that true?” I asked him. He hunted and got the sheep.

“We’re gonna throw up every time we walk by it in the house. Jennifer had already moved to San Jose to work as an inside-sales coordinator. he got no support from my kids. By the time we separated in October 1999. By then Jennifer had returned from Canada and moved in.I thought. The room wasn’t legal and I was given two years to comply with taking it down—which I did. He was in the wrong place. Copa was winding down—once again. I sold the house and slid down from Spyglass Hill to a two-bedroom townhouse. as far as he was concerned. too. we really needed three. She loved that room. Or from me. they started giving Gregory a hard time. Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 85 . either. Boy. Gregory took the sheep’s head to the taxidermist. when Michele went off to college. planning to hang in our house. so went the marriage. He wasn’t happy. Poor Gregory. as the business went. although with Michele and Cody still home. right at the end of those two years. I’m really in the wrong place.” they promised him. and Michele had just gotten her drivers license. I didn’t know what I was doing there. Michele and I shared a room while I built a room in the garage. which meant she could drive herself to water polo. When she and Michele saw the sheep head on a workbench in the garage.

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We’d go around the room and talk about what we wanted to do in our lives. I just wanted to help people in transition. They usually wanted “yes. I was always the one who had to say yes or no.” I usually had to say “no. But that’s not why my phone rang. but I always felt like the mother hen. organized a group called The Gaian Sisterhood. I took a certification course to become a business coach and found my true calling: helping leaders develop their life plans and businesses.C h a p t e r 12 New Me After graduating with my MBA in 2001. that may have had something to do with the fact that. Working for Forestville and Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 87 . as the finance person. Of course. Joanne Rodasta Wilshin. an author friend who wrote Take a Moment to Create Your Life. I made good money and had a car allowance.” Around March 2001. the other thirty-five. When it was my turn. I said I was bored to tears with my partners. My two partners at Forestville and Tucker were very young: one was twenty-five. It rang because people wanted to know how I had done what I had done. When I first started. Coaching has been an evolution for me.

spending $500 for dinner. How many calls would the company have to make to earn five hundred bucks? The other two partners took their $1. “My life sucks. I felt burned out. “I’m coaching for a living. I offered an example.” The next morning. You’re just getting up in the morning.” I opened my eyes. I happened to bump into my friend Mariy. As the three talked in the car on the way back.000 each and went off to gamble. feeling the carpet under your feet.” she said. The CEO suggested we cut a check for $1. I had trouble with that—it was more than my monthly grocery bill. “ What are you doing these days?” I asked. they both admitted they only had two or three dollars left. plus a leopard and a sweater.000 each as a perk. “How do I know that? What does it mean?” “You don’t have to have all the answers. The experience was shocking. I bought a stuffed leopard (that I still have) and an outfit.Tucker didn’t feel right anymore.” “What’s that?” 88 Chapter 12: New Me . “Just see where it leads you.” she said. “where are you and what will you be doing today?” I’d never experienced or even heard of anything like that before. Now tell me.” I summed up for the Gaian Sisterhood. We had decided to attend a trade show in Las Vegas. exhausted. With mine. The business had come as far as it could go and I had philosophical differences with the two men with whom I worked. I had eight hundred dollars left. I said. “Imagine it’s three years in the future. Joanne told me to close my eyes. “I’m going to go talk to people and be deep in conversation. We talked for a few minutes. The three of us went to the show and ate at the Paris Hotel.

I also learned that most people do the exact same thing. It really makes you reflect on who you are. responsibilities and purpose.” They never think beyond their initial five-year plan—if they even make one in the first place. They go to school. Why would I want to just switch to working for another “someone else?” So I called Katie’s friend Tony. Joanne had said to see where my vision would lead me. who directed me to the Hudson Institute in Santa Barbara. I enrolled in April 2001. As I had gone through life. I figured that what happened. It had never been about conscious choice. I had never looked at. Tony. I discovered that I had never actually looked at my life in its entirety or at the choices I’d made. “Okay. why am I here. get their degrees and say. a wonderful coaching school with a very good methodology. The work itself revolves around your life roles. Mariy suggested a fellow she knew as well. what does it all mean?” I had ignored the big questions of life—I had never even considered that I had other options.” That stopped me.“I meet with people and talk to them. “You go look for the clients and I’ll split the fee with you. If I were going to go out and find people. Their program essentially sounded like another master’s program. “Who am I. I talked to him first. happened. who suggested a coach she knew. Then she went on to describe exactly what I had been thinking of the night before. ** The Hudson Institute’s adult-development theory leads to a lot of introspection. this is what I have to do now that I’ve set it up. How could I ignore this interchange? So I called my friend Katie. why wouldn’t I do it for myself? I was an entrepreneur! I already knew I didn’t like working for someone else. Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 89 . sixty-forty.” she said. He said he’d teach me everything.

” I learned to say. I wound up graduating in January 2002 after having incorporated my coaching company in October 2001. So my learning during that year was to lead from behind and dial it down. Cody and I still lived in the little townhouse. exciting kind of leading. We were supposed to finish the course in eight months but one of our four-day intensive-training sessions fell on the weekend of September 11. Michele. for half a day at a time because not many people had three solid days to spend away from their home and business. why don’t we each take a couple and make book notes?” I came to love this different. Rather than say. “Stephanie will read these books. although my very first client did. It was wonderful.” My first year out of school. stayed in a suite and worked with me in that suite for three days.I had a very interesting time at Hudson. “How about this time. “How about this time. It was great. someone recognized my tendency to assume the leadership role. “If we have so many books to read. He came in from San Jose. but now. 2001. Carol will read those. I organized retreats. one-on-one. you don’t do that?” one of the instructors suggested. my home office wasn’t in addition to another office. I also learned that I needed to “dial myself down. we ended up not really having a designated leader—and I learned to lead from behind by making suggestions instead of giving instructions. the more I wanted to help people find their “next thing. 90 Chapter 12: New Me . My energy and ideas were always on “high. mini-models of what we did at Hudson. I’ll read the rest and we’ll compare notes afterwards. Early on. ** The more I got into coaching. to explore clients’ “what’s next?” I would take people away. you just take a back seat and let someone else lead?” As a result.” I had to lower my personal volume to medium or low. They divided us into small groups so we would interact with other people during growth sessions.” as they called it. It gave him direction. for the first time. for example.

how did I do that. I kept getting all these. At least. They don’t think to take the best part of it. When people decide to do something new. I worked with entrepreneurs looking for help with preparing their ideas. if someone asked. I had decided that telling them how to fix their problems wasn’t my real work. I had the real-life experience. that’s why my phone kept ringing. that’s what I thought. But it wasn’t coaching. and pitches for venture capitalists. Venture Point used what they called a coaching model rather than a consultative model to help people develop their business-plan thinking. I not only had the attitudes and political and psychological tools I’d learned and created. “I don’t know how you think you’re going to make money doing that. so I felt fine giving the information away. business plans. I was making the mistake most people make. the part they liked or the strengths they had developed. Instead. I was just answering questions. I hadn’t collected a paycheck since I’d stopped working for Forestville and Tucker the previous August and my savings were strained to the limit. how did I do this. they usually want to leave behind everything they did before. so I said yes. People knew that about me. Then someone invited me to freelance as an adjunct coach for Venture Point. high-tech companies. I started meeting people for lunch just to answer their questions. their advice was sometimes less than constructive. “That’s a terrible idea. I wasn’t coaching. and it wasn’t working.” I heard people say flat out when I first got there. “How did you…” calls: how did I raise money for this company. “How did you raise money for Rio?” I could answer it. They just want to chuck it all. Unfortunately.But I didn’t have that many takers for this new plan. I was trying to do something new. For instance. a small business-development center affiliated with the Orange County Business Council and catering to high-growth. how did I organize those finances. something that didn’t have anything to do with business or entrepreneurs.” Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 91 . That’s exactly what I was doing. I discovered it was easier to answer a specific “how did you” question than a general one.

And they valued my opinions and advice. she’s been there. It started me thinking about who else would value me. should you come to a place where you discover it’s not a good idea. from people who knew I wrote Book Notes that indicated my areas of expertise. Then. I didn’t have to become something new. but I understand your issues. I realized I’d been a CEO. Don’t think that if this venture doesn’t work you won’t find anything better. these people really don’t understand entrepreneurs. I started out thinking I was helping new entrepreneurs with their ideas and pitches only so I could earn so-many dollars an hour while I built the rest of my practice. you might also discover you’ve come up with something else along the way that will lead down a different path. They didn’t want to know why it couldn’t work. 92 Chapter 12: New Me . “You should give Frumi a call. “I’ve been a CEO. I thought. What they needed to say was. I could relate to these people because I understood how they thought. Do surveys. I knew what it was like to worry about money and operations and schedules—and I knew those concerns were the same whether the company had five employees or five hundred.” That was the real starting point of my new career. but in the process I discovered I knew more than I realized I knew. I remember walking into the CEO’s office of a $50 million company and saying. I already was something new: an Executive Coach.Wow. And that’s when I realized why my phone kept ringing.” We had an immediate rapport. She’s done this. Let’s prove it’s a good idea. “How can we validate this idea?” So instead of stomping on people’s dreams. study it. People who wanted to start a business or fund a business wanted my help. my advice—my coaching. They would get my name by referral. and from general word-of-mouth. “I’m sure you don’t want to go down the road five years to find you’re the only one who thinks this is a good idea. I’d say. from people telling other people. Not at your scale. I’d been a CFO. a catalyst for change for business leaders and their teams. they wanted to know how it would work.” My very first clients came through Venture Point but when I stopped working for them people came to me from my circle of influence.

I didn’t understand what “finding my own power” meant. I also knew I needed to define a marketing niche. a very powerful woman and well-respected coach. I continue to do most of my marketing through my Book Notes. For example. I became President of PCMA’s National Board. What a concept! I soon realized that my clients needed the exact same thing. and through my connections to different organizations. I didn’t need an entire townhouse for just me. I wanted to cash out and live differently. I targeted them. I learned it refers to the ability to know when to say yes and when to say no—in other words. For example.Once I knew who and what I was. an area of focus unique to me. everyone needs to learn how to find his or her own power. so I put it up for sale. rather than always being there for everyone else— quite a novel idea for a mom of thirty-one years. MaryWayne encouraged me to think about being selfish.com. Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 93 . When the person in line to be president decided he didn’t have the passion for it anymore. MaryWayne helped me learn how to design and build my life the way I wanted it. I think one reason I’ve been so successful as a coach is because I’ve walked so many miles in my clients’ shoes! ** I’ve found that having a coach makes all the difference in my life.clarityandresults. I wanted my own time and space. I wanted a change. Whether male or female. making it easy for the potential clients to find me. just as it does for my clients. to recognize your personal boundaries. ** To help me find my own power. I hired MaryWayne Bush. after Michele finished high school and moved to San Francisco and Cody left for University of Southern California. I served as Vice President of Finance on Professional Coaches and Mentors Association’s National Board for eighteen months. I had always felt selfish putting myself first. located online at www. At first. Everyone needs to recognize whether they are living their lives on their terms or on someone— or everyone—else’s terms. it sounded almost evil. Since I loved working with financial people inside companies.

The house sold but the buyers wanted a quick. “Why do you have to sell the house?” she asked. But MaryWayne was right. But maybe the house will still sell. “Why can’t you move anyway?” That had never occurred to me. “Oh. I knew giving up the apartment and not moving until the house sold would be the responsible thing to do. that’s disappointing. I rented out the house and moved into my dream apartment. But sometimes. someone outside our own head. but would never think of until we hear someone else ask the question. Then the house fell out of escrow. That’s who I am. I’d been taking real-estate courses and looking for investment properties.” It took someone looking at it from a different perspective to say. I might have suggested the same thing to a client but this wasn’t a client. this was me. I found the one I wanted and put my deposit down. Coaching helps us recognize what we already know. My memories. My mom would never have asked the question. a catalyst for change. That’s the value of coaching. she would have “known” the responsible thing to do. My emotions. ask the question. My belief system and inculcated behavioral patterns would never have led me down the path to that conclusion. But I didn’t want to lose that apartment! I discussed it with my coach. My friend would have just said. four-week escrow so I immediately had to start looking for an apartment. we need to hear someone else. 94 Chapter 12: New Me . “Have you examined this option? What other options do you have?” Isn’t that what we all need? An executive coach. so not realizing the townhouse’s potential seemed even more foolish.

I even affect my friends! They’ll call me and say they need a “Frumi Fix. These days.Part II Your Frumi Fix "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. I’d like to provide one for you. .Anne Frank "We are each the sum of all our choices.Frumi Rachel Barr I’ve always been something of a helper which is why I initially became a physical therapist. In the next few chapters. I’ve always had the kind of curiosity that prompts me to ask the kinds of questions that change people’s lives." . So. I see it all the time in my coaching clients. my coaching is all about providing executives with a Frumi Fix. about needing to know how to get something done." . but now I know it’s about people needing inspiration.” I never understood what they were talking about before. when it comes right down to it.


especially when we’re totally wrapped up in creating. I’m a Certified Coach–but even more. I’m a very “fast” person–my energy is always on high. make sure you have a common pace between the two of you. and maintaining a business. I’m a business advisor. These ideas don’t just pop out of us on our own. developing. Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 97 . Why? Because no one had ever asked me the question. For instance. I provide the catalyst for the change in people’s lives. even when I dial it down–so if someone is very slow. I’d never consciously thought of living that way. Most people are used to thinking just one way: work is work and life is life. My clients tell me that when I start uncovering things. it’s a positive “Frunami” of change. That’s the advantage of coaching. I find it painful. Before I got into coaching. Coaching is how I go about doing my advising.C h a p t e r 13 How Coaching Works Yes. ** Before you begin working with a coach. Coaching clients begin to think creatively so they can learn to holistically blend their work into their lives and their lives into their work.

I’m talking about the ability to pick up things quickly. it’s too late to do anything about it. That makes a good fit with me. I never worry about the issues. for example. When someone gets into a crisis. I like to provide a “safe place to land” for my clients. it’s important and we’ll see it the whole way through. I’d rather they call than wait two weeks until their next session. By then. whether it’s a turn of the conversation or an emergency decision. Leaders are typically smart. dynamic. Does your potential coach have a similar practice? Is it adaptable to your needs? Between sessions. This is an invaluable part of coaching.I don’t mean I expect people to be able to make decisions on the spot. most coaches are like me: I will go to the client or meet them halfway. both physically and emotionally. physically. is it comfortable for you? I usually work with my clients for an hour every two weeks. Will your coach be available to you during emergencies? 98 Chapter 13: How Coaching Works . what’s gotten in the way. You may want to meet more or less often. It's a two-way street. Some people choose to have breakfast while others prefer lunch. Ask your potential coach about his or her session-limit policies. If my clients say something relating to a prime concern on the fifty-ninth minute of the hour. When you look for a coach. When I coach. You have to figure out what makes a good fit with you. After all. too. Whatever they are. we’ll keep going. my clients can email or phone me for what I call “just in time” coaching. I meet them wherever they want. and what could be better next year. fast-paced individuals. check to see if that guarantee is part of his or her standard contract. At the end of every year. Ask your potential coach where she or he expects to meet. I think most coaches would agree with that approach. I maintain strict confidentiality. they’re solvable. a client wants more input right before or after a difficult conversation. Sometimes. my clients and I hold strategic sessions to talk about what’s worked. I’m more concerned about the personality and integrity of the person. We all have to sleep on things and think them over first. I figure if it takes that long to get it out. a coffee shop or meeting on a park bench. coaches need to feel safe with their clients. Meeting them where they are emotionally demands skill.

we can manifest our desires by focusing strongly on what we want. I tend to attract the type of clients who don’t find that kind of concept ridiculous. Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 99 . First. If anything is different from what a person usually does or presents. I need to hear things in someone’s voice or see it in their body language. At this point. I’m referring to the kind of thought process that acknowledges we are all spiritual beings in human form. I missed something very important when someone laughed. simply demanding an answer is intrusive. Those are the people I feel best equipped to help the most. you help them find their vision”–but the act of accomplishing that transformation requires intuition and art. which means we have to be self aware enough to use our emotions as a guide to attracting whatever we want. they’re listening to it along with me. And I do mean spiritual. Your coach needs to trust his or her intuition about you—and you need to trust yours about him or her. Where a coach can safely ask questions out of curiosity.One great coaching benefit is the opportunity to think out loud. I ask a question. When you work with a coach. Part of the coaching art comes from curiosity. we have to reach the right vibrational level to allow what we’re seeking into our psyche. nothing escapes my curiosity. Sometimes it might even sound more reasonable. not religious. When I was first studying coaching. I now know that laughing is as important a reaction as crying. I’ve taught coaching at Chapman University–“Here are the steps: you help leaders find their voice. because sometimes the spoken idea just doesn’t sound as good as it did in a person’s head. That can lead to astounding things. They are business people who are aware of their own spiritual natures and are grateful to find another spiritually oriented person in the business world. you not only expose your dreams and plans but your fears and foolishness as well. of course. As soon as something comes out of a person’s mouth. Does your potential coach have the right kind and level of empathy for you? Trust your instincts. ** I truly believe that we get whatever we focus on.

” It turned out we had totally different values: he wanted the experience and I wanted to keep him financially secure. The first time because you didn’t listen about the shareholder’s agreement and the second time because you didn’t listen about getting equity in this business. I pointed out that if he didn’t get equity in his contract. After two years. You and your coach have to be on the same page. although he would not agree on that term. religious. they didn’t renew his contract. “You may not realize this. organic or moral nature would make the best fit for you and your coach? ** I always use one client as an example of a coaching failure. but I regard my relationship with you as a failure twice now.” he said. What’s going to be different the third time?” “I don’t consider either of those situations as failures. He was in partnership with two other people and I kept harping on the fact that they were not addressing a shareholder’s agreement. after which. “It’s not like you hadn’t mentioned those things. He had wasted two years because he would not listen. even if you do not know exactly what you're trying to achieve when you first begin working together. the shareholder’s agreement still had not been signed and the client was left with no choice but to abandon the business. Another time he accepted a CEO position in a company that didn’t offer him equity. as predicted. Now I know to determine up front exactly what the client wants to achieve so I can determine whether or not I can really help him. When he came back to me again with yet another idea he wanted help with I said. Your coach cannot help you if she or he is trying to steer you toward something you don't care about.What kind of vibrational level are you comfortable with? What type of spiritual. the company might not renew it when it expired. ethical. or away from something you do. I knew what you thought when I ignored your advice. He kept telling me he had everything under control. 100 Chapter 13: How Coaching Works . He nevertheless spent eighteen months building the company’s profits from zero to seventeen million.

Few large successful businesses grow from single entrepreneurs working sole proprietorships. People don’t always want to face reality. things that are getting in their way. “I’m doing this and you’re not doing that so we need to change our partnership agreement. when to move to new premises. everyone gets to the point where they don’t want to look at themselves in the mirror anymore. instead of saying up front that they don’t feel the split should be fifty-fifty. This usually happens when they start to see things about themselves that they don’t want to see. Lord & Taylor.” two years down the road. ** Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 101 . each partner comes from a different place in the decision-making. what people to hire. But it’s even harder to say. I even warn my clients about this right in the beginning. I tell them. they’ll go along until the pressure of the status quo becomes unbearable. so much needs to be established up front. struggle to resolve these same issues. That’s usually the exact time when something significant is about to happen. Consequently. That’s the time they need me the most. Partners always fear losing the other partner. how to use the resources of the company. whether their business is large or small. They fear they can’t do it on their own. From time to time. for example. how to spend money. People need to start off agreeing on the rules of the road. how to make decisions together. What happens if their partner runs out on them then? They’ll really be stuck. In fact. and so on. You have to trust your coach to have your best interests at heart. It’s hard to find the right partner. I think partner problems have become more acute due to today’s ever-increasing technological pace. Each partner has a different filter. there will come a point when they just don’t want to see me.** Most people I work with have issues about choosing the right people with whom to partner because most large businesses are partnerships: Hewlett-Packard. All partners. They all also struggle with denial.

We aren’t stuck. Stuff happens.Another focus in both my clients’ and my own life involves noticing everything. acknowledge his decision and feelings. His hands go up and the coffee spills. she gets dressed. he takes a deep breath and says. and they both have a wonderful day. Everything is about choice. then leaves her alone while he goes up to change. those are my choices and I’m stuck with what I chose. How are the relationships working? Are decisions being made as conscious choices or automatic reactions? Since becoming a coach. Result: his whole day is messed up—and so is hers. she jumps on him. All because of a choice he made from the onset about how he was going to treat his daughter. He ends up leaving his briefcase behind as he runs out of the house to drive her to school. he gets upset and yells at the little girl. revised or even discarded when it becomes unnecessary. We can make choices about what we want next. just realizing that you can make a conscious choice–and that it can be flexible. obstructive or destructive–is one of the most empowering learnings a person can experience. For example. right?” No. and then talk about what different decision he could make 102 Chapter 13: How Coaching Works . In fact. that’s not what I want anymore.” He changes. when the father in the first scenario gets to the office all upset and calls me. This is one of the greatest benefits of coaching! ** Picture this scene: a little girl comes down for breakfast. We can even choose our attitudes and reactions. I’m going to go upstairs and change. We always think. they get her to the school bus on time. Excited. In the first scenario. I listen. he remembers his briefcase. He growls that they have to be at the school-bus stop in five minutes so she’d better get ready. I’ve started to recognize how all the choices I had made up to that point had affected me. honey.” Whether concerning relationships or work. She’s so upset she doesn’t get into her clothes properly. “That’s okay. We need to be out at the bus in ten minutes. Dad now has two choices. In the second scenario. Her father is sitting at the table about to drink his coffee. “Well. we can change the choices we’ve made so far: “Wait a minute.

One of my questions would be. and how you want to make them in the future. We would explore his emotions and create a set of options to handle them effectively and satisfactorily. for example. We all know that saying. That’s the first thing we work on. We wouldn’t ignore the problem or leave it alone. the other person is immediately curious.” could be paralyzing to the other person. what you want. who they should be with.next time. Results mostly involve preparing people for conversations they don’t want to have. I help people learn how to approach their conversations more effectively. ** My coaching comes down to three things: Clarity. “What conversation should you have with your daughter when you get home?” By the end of the conversation. things aren’t the way they should be. and what you don’t want. he would recognize the reaction options he had for these kinds of situations instead of simply falling back on his automatic emotional ones. how do they know whether they—or you—are doing a good job? Communication is all about asking key questions and getting feedback. “What are you talking about? How are we going to get better?” If you then tell them the positive outcome you want. “I value our relationship and I’d like it to get even better. It means understanding how you made decisions before. we would look for symptoms and strategize solutions. usually because they don’t know how to have them safely. Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 103 . where you’re going. “We have to talk. you’re more likely to have a richer conversation and obtain those results. Communications and Results.” When you start a conversation that way. Communication means not only communicating those thoughts but also being more courageous about what conversations you need to have. In other words. Clarity refers to being very clear about who you are. and when they should occur. If you don’t communicate in a work situation with the people over you or under you. I often find that people’s relationships aren’t as rich and authentic as they could be because they aren’t having the conversations they should have.

’’ We create an underlying plan in our regular sessions but I’m always there to help with the implemental conversations and situations as they occur. We may refer to those aspects occasionally but coaching is about forward through the windshield. As things spill out.These simple components—Clarity. Communication and Results—can make a big difference in a person’s life. Once you’re aware. if not addressed immediately. That’s the value of “real-time coaching. 104 Chapter 13: How Coaching Works . “How did I get here. Along comes a coach like me. new situations. ** Coaching is not therapy. Once things have been set in motion. for example. how do I get there?” That’s the first layer of coaching. The next layer involves. throwing in one item after another. you can start making changes. The third level happens while the client is on the way to acquiring those assets.” we work on. One session of “therapeutic questioning” helps me understand my client’s attitudes and strengths and the value/belief system with which we’re starting. I like to think of the process in terms of a closet. if they’ve been making certain life decisions because their father committed suicide when they were nineteen. why did you do it. I hold a light on them so we can look at who you are now and how you can get to where you want to go. here’s where I’d like to be. who opens the closet door. Rather than sort through. All your life you’ve been putting things in the closet. “Here’s where I am now. To me. “What resources do I need? Do I need certain skills? Do I need to meet certain people?” I help clients figure out how to determine and find those resources. might prevent him from getting where he’s going. They can change how you relate to just about everyone. therapy means looking in the rear-view mirror: what have you done. conversations and relationship issues will come to light that. I need to know. It’s all a matter of becoming self-aware. what was your belief system at that point. how did your parents and their belief system affect your decisions? I do that only once with a person so I can understand the context of their current situation. a catalyst for change.

In a way. it’s a beautiful thing to watch. I sometimes coach people to help them change certain behaviors. God.” They have no idea how they got to their position but they want to know how to stay there and become the leader they’re supposed to be. “I know everyone thinks I’m big and successful. Almost every business leader I work with starts out by saying. “But what about the mortgage?” Or it’s the CFO laying off fifteen people and thinking. They want someone in their corner. only to have the spouse say. I’m about to blow my stack. fears. such as a management style that’s tough on everyone else. People come to me because of my knowledge and experience but they choose what advice to accept or ignore. they can learn to think. It’s the person locked in the tower—“It’s lonely at the top”—who has no one to talk to because everyone around has his or her own agenda. everything that happens in their lives is theirs.” That’s a significant and very positive change. Consequently. When someone becomes aware that just before they blow up the pit of their stomach starts to writhe. “Oh. ** Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 105 . I only have one agenda with my clients: a retainer check. when they want to know how they can move forward faster. “Oh. They have to make choices with which they can live. or when they need help coping with an avalanche of change. ** People come to me when they’re healthy and want to move on. because when I can help those people. I get to know someone’s inner heart. and doubts. That’s where the fun begins. I’m a paid friend. I can be much purer in my advice and in helping someone achieve his or own clarity. what if I’m next?” Where can they turn for an impartial opinion? The advice and input they get from the other people in their lives comes complete with that person’s own fear.For example. I’d better stop. and arrive at those decisions that are in line with who they are. Otherwise. and they bear their own consequences. there it is. but I’m really a fake and a phony. Or it’s the person who wants to quit his or her job and do something different.

Interestingly. as soon I realized that. The more questions she asked. nothing ever stays the same when I come on the scene. Thinking through the answers will bring you closer to self-awareness. In the next few chapters. much later. had been my brother’s economics professor. my coaching is all about providing executives with a Frumi Fix. the more I realized that nothing ever stayed the same when I showed up. “What did I do?!” How could I have changed anyone’s life that long ago?” But I’ve come to realize. A couple of weeks later. My friends call to ask me for a “Frumi Fix. During our subsequent Internet exchange. You’ll get more out of the exercises if you reflect on the concepts instead of dashing off glib responses. Ready? Let’s get started! 106 Chapter 13: How Coaching Works .If you’ve read this far.com and wrote something similar: he’d never forgotten me and how I had changed his life. another former classmate found me through Classmates. I started getting affirmations in emails from people going back thirty years! One was an old boyfriend with whom I’d gone to senior prom and who. MaryWayne and I were working on figuring out who I am at my core. Remember. there are no “right” or “wrong” answers—just honest and unaware ones. I am a catalyst for change in people around me.” So. you probably understand why people call me a catalyst for change but it took my own coach to help me see it for myself. Morrie ran into him in Montréal and gave him my email address. it had changed his life. which will bring you closer to change. I kept thinking. Don’t just answer the questions at the end of each section with the first idea that comes to mind. he commented that knowing me had been very significant for him—in fact. I’d like to provide one for you. when it comes right down to it.

• • • • • • Do you feel ready to burn out? Do your kids know who you are? Do you wonder how you'll ever have time for kids? Do you want to have dinner with your family? Do you want to watch your kids’ baseball games? Do you want to prepare for your presentations and receive promotions? ** Let’s start where the rubber meets the road: values.C h a p t e r 14 What Really Matters You can do it all if you understand that there is no such thing as work-life balance. Rather. we’ll take a quick look at some self-awareness ideas you might not have considered before. We certainly know Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 107 . integrating your work into your life is a balancing act. We all think we know what is important to us. We all talk about values but most people don’t actually walk their talk. First.

if you analyze two important facets—how you spend your time and how you spend your money—many people come up short. every course of action we take is based on our consciously or unconsciously held beliefs. They were not well-to-do during my childhood. I visited them once a year or so and spoke to them every other week. If my parents were one of my core values. To improve that relationship. for example. Yet. etc. I’ll never regret what I didn’t do. I know unequivocally. Those phone calls always felt strained because they never remembered what organizations I belonged to or who was who among my friends and acquaintances. Many people say their children are terribly important to them but how do they demonstrate that to their kids? One of my accountant clients frequently lamented that his work was so frenzied his son would grow up before he could find any time to spend with him. our relationship needed some work. Are those facets in alignment with what you say is important in your life? Everything we do. ICF. I said my parents were a priority but I could see no evidence of that in my behavior. Ideally. They were quite prepared to sacrifice many things in order to provide both my brother and I with a private education until high school and a university education after that. on those principles and priorities that are important to us. yet they chose where we lived based on how close it was to their handpicked school. I started emailing my parents every day. every decision we make. attitudes. Now they have a list of the alphabet-soup of organizations I belong to (PCMA.” I work on being a good daughter every single day. To rectify that. we started with something small to integrate his son into his workday.what should be important to us. 108 Chapter 14: What Really Matters . we make our choices based on the values we hold. We face new choices at every turn.) and a directory of what I call my “cast of characters. that education is one of my parents’ core values or critical priorities. and values. I had to examine my own core values as part of the introspective process of studying to be a coach.

and a mother or father. Without this simple tool. You may have vendors. Your social roles may include actively contributing to or participating in an organization. relatives. my client’s watch alarm rang to remind him to call home. Are there any unhealthy ones you should clear out? Are there conversations you should have with friends. What actions can you take to spend energy only on those that are meaningful. and couple roles. it’s not the same as being there in person but even small wins count. clients and numerous people in your business network. over time he would forget to make the call. You may also have a network of friends. significant and fulfilling? Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 109 . your peers. others’ are simpler. Now that you have reviewed your values. family. you need to look at which roles are meaningful to you now. such as commitments both up and down the hierarchy of those you report to. You also have roles in your external environment. Imagine how valued a child would feel when his or her mom or dad called every day to check in. Take some time to reflect on your friendships. Make a list of all the people who fall into your different role categories. No. Phew—that’s a great number of people and obligations taking your time and energy. These constitute your personal. Make a list of your core values. Which ones do you actively support? Which ones need your attention? ** We all spend our time fulfilling commitments in a variety of roles. a son or daughter. we also collect roles as time goes on. You can do the same thing with your roles and relationships. Just as we collect items in filing cabinets and closets. or colleagues that are weighing you down? One of the principles of time management is to take the clutter out of your head and list all your pending projects. Your roles might include being a spouse. Some people’s roles are very complex. and those who report to you.Every day when the son arrived home from school. a sister or brother.

Then you can fill in the middle with a plan. But if I wanted to make a conscious choice. But only seven percent of what goes on in our brain is conscious. you have to know where you are and what you think. we make choices based on the way we interpret the world around us. cake is good. my unconscious brain would open all my internal files and examine the history of chocolate. Our behaviors in turn determine our results and our results determine the shape of our lives. It’s important to know how you got to this point so you can decide where you want to be in the future. All choices are either heart-based or head-based: how we make decisions. I would ask myself. All the choices we make along the way impact us. especially if it comes with ice cream. how we negotiate to get what we need at work or home. how we deal with conflict and unpleasant circumstances. most of which is positive: brownies are good. This is a reflective journey. you have to examine how you have made your choices in the past.** From the time we are very young. “Do I really want to eat this dessert? Do I want to work out for sixteen hours just to work it off? Is it worth it to me?” I don’t know about you. My brain’s default position therefore would direct me to go ahead and eat the mud pie. dark chocolate is good. These interpretations create our belief systems. I love anything chocolate. the other ninety-three percent is unconscious. Next. That’s pretty frightening isn’t it? To be on top of how you make choices. but for me it’s a stretch to make that conscious decision. First. and so on. If someone were to put a piece of mud pie in front of me. Here’s a favorite example. you need to exercise that seven percent and make conscious choices. 110 Chapter 14: What Really Matters . and our behavior—how we act in the world—is based on those internalized beliefs. Either we make these choices consciously or our brain uses its default mechanism to choose for us. Being aware of what you are thinking and how you will make choices in the future is an important aspect of integrating your work and life.

One of my favorite creations was a new home. was a townhouse development I hadn’t known existed. When you know how you behave every day. My offer was accepted within hours. Bolstered with a new resolve. so we drove in anyway. Even if your faith falters every now and then. It was an expensive neighborhood and I was a little discouraged about how hard it would be to find something in the right price range in that school district. There were signs leading into a gated community I knew was very pricey but Michele gave me “the look” when I hesitated. When I worked with Joanne.Start a journal. what you don’t want. about the internal dialogue going on in your head as you navigate through your busy day. I’ve always been fascinated by the ideas in Take a Moment to Create Your Life. This was the period after Ted and I had sold the house in Big Canyon and Gregory and I were renting in Corona del Mar. Be conscious of what you are thinking about so you can create expectations that stretch you. There. business and social lives? Did you get to here because you followed a plan or did things “just happen?” Where do you want to go? Are you happy with the way you make choices? What kind of decision changes would you like to make? ** Let’s look at your self-talk. so be careful to make what you think work for you. you can create your life if you believe you can. we went to visit open houses the next week. Pretend you are in the balcony of your life’s theatre watching yourself on your life’s stage. Are you happy where you are in your personal. Make notes about your impressions of yourself and your decision-making process. at the crest of the hill with a view to the ocean and the city lights. you can start making small changes to Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 111 . The mind creates whatever we think about. Michele was surprised at my concern because she’d heard me so often talk about the things I was creating. According to Joanne Rodasta Wilshin. I created many new things just by making the declaration that I would. you can create what you want in your life and. equally.

suggesting I was wasting my money on snake oil and telling me I wasn’t good enough or smart enough to be an investor. Fear is the mind-killer. ask yourself.integrate your work into your personal life and include those people and things that are important to you. The answer to fear is faith—faith in yourself to find the answers and faith in your higher spirit. Your core beliefs will pop up often in the form of these voices. I will face my fear. fire the committee members who aren’t helpful. We all have a committee in our head passing judgment on everything we do. a not-so-helpful old friend. And when it is gone past me I will turn to see fear's path. You cannot change how you are doing things until you know what you are already doing. I wore an elastic band for a week so I could snap it every time a negative thought came up. or ask them to replace negative thoughts and suggestions with supportive ones. As you start to pay attention to what you think. Only I will remain. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. My committee was very active. Recently. Fear prevents us from making the changes we need to make to have a better life. Dune Fear is that dis-ease prevalent in the people and organizations all around us. In just a few days. I had to change my self-talk and insist on the support of every committee member. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. the negative voices receded to a whisper instead of their initial roar. Add another aspect to your journaling: what are you afraid of? What are your fears holding you back from accomplishing? What kind of changes could you make in your committee’s voices to feel more secure and help you move forward toward your goals? What would you do if you were not afraid? ** 112 Chapter 14: What Really Matters . “Whose voice am I hearing?” Is it a critical parent. Frank Herbert. or an ex-spouse? You can negotiate with the voices you value. I was thinking about investing in a real-estate training course. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.

They hadn’t and immediately dismissed the possibility. But. path to “doing it all. The most difficult trade-off for a mother is making the decision to work outside the home and relinquish the care of her precious little people to others.” They don’t have to answer to others for their choices but they sure live an uncertain life—ninety-five percent of all new businesses fail in the first five years. making minced garlic and being heavily involved in her three sons’ sports teams and her daughter’s figure-skating world. they suddenly lack purpose. To me. She was just as industrious in her world as I was in mine. I also greatly respect the women in the corporate world for hanging in there as they raise children. That’s quite a trade-off. long before his children woke up. when at home they think of all the things left undone at the office. the obvious. When at work they want to be at home.None of this is easy. Perhaps that’s why more and more women are leaving the corporate world to become entrepreneurs. I’ve also seen the trade off for stay-at-home moms: when their children are launched. making jam. that is the most difficult trade-off of all: the children go to day care while their mothers work hard and struggle with guilt. such as my friend Sharon. albeit not easy. I asked the couple if they ever thought about having a home office. I met a woman who decided not to work as an attorney anymore because it was too stressful and she wanted more time with her children. Her husband. I greatly admire the women I’ve met who made the choice to be a homemaker. What are the trade-offs you’re making in your life right now? What are you willing to trade to get to where you want to go? ** Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 113 . an attorney. Making changes in the way you run your life is a big deal and takes a serious commitment. baking pies. I couldn’t help wondering what would be different if the wife could continue working to some extent and the husband could leave the house later and come home earlier. left the house at the crack of dawn. I can’t even begin to imagine the wrench of leaving a sick child at home.

When you are starting to think about your life holistically. My Love Language is Quality Time and its subset. What is your Love Language? How do you demonstrate your love? What do other people do that makes you feel loved? 114 Chapter 14: What Really Matters . That’s where the five different Love Languages—Words of Affirmation. Quality Conversation. I’m showing them love and I’m feeling loved. When I’m in conversation with my clients. which is totally congruent with who I am. Quality Time. Gifts Received. I want them to know that I care and are listening so they will get the results they want to get. Acts of Service and Physical Touch—come into play. what happens at home matters as much as what happens at the office.

You are your "story.c h a p t e r 15 Where Are You Now One of my favorite coaching tools is the “life line. what we should be doing and what will happen to us. who we should be with. Your "story" contains plots.” It reflects your story and the choices you have made until now." Each of us lives within a dramatic pattern that reveals who we are. characters and themes. What is your adult lifeline—the basic contours of your life story since you came of age? What went well and reached a "peak?" What did not go well and hit a "valley?” How does your story go? ** Use the age line below (“Create Your Life Line the Story of Your Life”) Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 115 . This Lifeline exercise is an opportunity for you to become more conscious of your "story" so you can become more clearly the author of your own future.

This is a wonderful starting point for working with a coach. insert vertical lines to indicate the chapters of your life. You can use this tool to examine which of your strengths helped you through your peaks and valleys of your life and thus create an inventory of your strengths. moving from left to right. Be sure to put a date on each peak and valley so you can recount your story. and ending with today. or you can also ask yourself how you made decisions at each stage of your life. When you are done.to guide your story from past to present. • • • Did you ask for help? Were you spontaneous? Did you sit anywhere too long and let life pass by you? What do you wish you had done differently? Did you integrate your work into your life at any point? Did you have personal life/work balance? • • • 116 Chapter 15: Where Are You Now .

Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 117 Create Your Life Line .the Story of Your Life Peaks Peaks Peaks Peaks >____________________>_______________________>______________________>_____TODAY Valley Valley Valley Valley .

118 Chapter 15: Where Are You Now .

their offspring. effective. Many people feel that working eighteen-hour days is a badge of courage that demonstrates dedication to their job. ** Our society regards working hard as very respectable. But there is a line between working hard and having a work addiction which can have devastating effects not only on those individuals but also on those who live and work with them: their partners and spouses. Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 119 . We become better role models to our kids. We spend the majority of our waking hours thinking about it. and many companies reinforce this concept. for most of us. being at it and driving home and recovering from it. Life becomes more joyful. their business associates. and successful so that everything else in our life gets better as well. getting ready for it. is the largest relationship we have.C h a p t e r 16 Work and Family Work. driving to it. It is therefore most important that we make it meaningful.

” Like food. Workaholics’ relationships fall apart in the name of work. internal needs. relieve emotional pain. One of the ways to determine if you are a workaholic is to ask those who are close to you whether they find themselves lonely and isolated. Often at the same time that friends and employers applaud workaholics for their accomplishments. when their minds wander and obsess about work.” Many people use work as their “drug of choice. True workaholics are driven by deeper. Healthy workers think about and enjoy whatever they are engaged in at the present moment. Nothing is ever perfect enough for a workaholic. and entertain themselves. this does not mean that working long hours to meet financial commitments makes one a workaholic. • • Workaholics are always in a rush and super-busy.” Of course.Work addiction as defined by Bryan E. Workaholics produce work in binges. They perceive delegating tasks or asking for help as signs of weakness or incompetence. They create personal deadlines that mandate binging on every project. their Partners. They over-plan and over-organize. and Children is “an obsessive-compulsive disorder that manifests itself through self-imposed demands. Work can provide “an emotional sanctuary while distancing them from loved ones and friends. while healthy workers enjoy their work. Robinson in Chained to the Desk: A Guidebook for Workaholics. family members question their own sanity. Workaholics play the control game. alcohol or drugs. Workaholics think about working a disproportionate amount of time. it helps them forget their worries. Workaholics often create or look for work to do. boost their self-esteem. so they often get angry with others who fail to meet their high standards. often work long hours and focus on getting the job done efficiently. an inability to regulate work habits. and overindulgence in work to the exclusion of most other life activities. • • • 120 Chapter 16: Work and Family . even during social activities or leisure times. Spontaneity and flexibility are limited.

** Being the sole breadwinner of the family. In the long run.• Workaholics are restless and no fun. in lines). They pay little attention to their physical needs. Can’t quit now! Many men go through a “mid-life crisis” somewhere between forty-five and fifty-five because of this perpetual hamster wheel. They work hard for power. rest and exercise. imposes a tremendous burden. Whoops—the kids are grown up and ready to leave for college. Workaholics have no time for self-care. more and more plentiful toys—depends on your peddling faster and faster. so at the point when they need the most support. and for whatever is unique to their circumstances.g. There is no way to get off the hamster wheel when so much—ever bigger houses. men have to find a profession or trade and apply themselves strictly to bringing home the bacon. They hate to wait (e. like nutrition. How can you tell your wife you want to get off the hamster wheel when she lives in the home and environment you have created as the status quo? I prefer to call this a time of mid-life “questioning. they have no one to whom they can turn. Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 121 . discuss your behavior with those near-and-dear to you. Workaholics are impatient and irritable. • • • • If you are uncertain if you fit these criteria. Workaholics think they are only as good as their last achievement and seek self-worth through performance and achievement. Workaholics experience work trances—they literally tune out the present. as men traditionally have been for centuries. for financial gain. But that eighty-plus-hours-per-week pace is a trap. To be successful in the old linear way of thinking. Workaholics feel guilty and useless when they do something that does not produce results. By that time.” when men start thinking about what life means—how can they now find significance? It’s a shame this is the norm rather than the exception. their wives no longer know them. their impatience can result in impulsivity.

such as downhill skiing. and slept all the way to and from the ski hill in the back of the bus. So I signed up for the seven Wednesdays involved. I realized that life was slipping by and I hadn’t tried many of the things I had hoped I’d get to do eventually. working hours. but life is not only about time management—a good deal depends on energy management. When I got home. He met my challenge. Ted was appalled that I was leaving the office mid-week when he couldn’t. It’s interesting what solutions you can find when you’re motivated enough and someone challenges you to do things differently. too. I had a fabulous day. What fun activity do you feel unable to do because you’re “trapped” on your hamster wheel? How can you challenge yourself to do something differently so you can enjoy that activity? ** 122 Chapter 16: Work and Family .What can you do when you are stuck on the hamster wheel? Start by being very aware of what your world is and how you operate in it. off on a big bus with the other mothers and a few fathers. could rearrange his heavy schedule and come enjoy some fresh air and fun. You may think you’re productive all those long. Ted stayed up much of the night before so he could go. I felt I was missing out on what stay-at-home mothers could do. For the next six Wednesdays. When I received an invitation to join a Wednesday getaway from Michael’s ski school. Ted was still disgruntled. Think about doing things differently. I was full of energy and stories. one of the women I sat next to on the bus became a wonderful friend as the result of bonding on the ski hill that first day. In fact. I challenged him to figure out how he. As I turned forty. But there I went.

Are you working more or harder and not receiving adequate or equal compensation? Are you waiting for something you could be asking for? Do you self-sabotage by trying to reach consensus instead of making a decision? Are you taking on extra work without receiving the recognition you deserve? ** Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 123 .I had no idea what types of struggles working women coped with until I started coaching. it’s time to become self-aware. women have to learn to play by the rules created in their absence. also. Women will sabotage themselves by polling before making a decision. and on which I occasionally give teleclasses. If you are stuck in an unhappy balancing act and not getting all that you deserve. Fortunately. I’ve done this myself. recognize what you need. I thought all children were encouraged not only to have ambitions but. they are “cheating” somehow Women tend to wait to be given what they want. I once assumed the role of conference co-chair without asking for the title. I never realized how different my working mother was from the other. • Women often work much harder than men yet receive the same compensation. Jennifer used to do that. as late comers to the world of business that men have controlled for centuries. I realized it in time to correct it—which served to elevate my brand! • • • As Lois Frankel writes in Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office. to go out and fulfill them. she was leaving behind the message that she couldn’t make a decision on her own. non-working mothers of my childhood. and ask for it. Women often assume responsibility without authority. They often feel that unless they work very hard and give their all to the job. these concepts are important. The following are several of the issues I have observed through working with women as clients. I once had a client who never thought to ask for a car allowance until she realized that everyone else at her management level was getting one. She didn’t realize that every time she asked five or six people what she should do. I’ve since learned that.

Once you have a mutual awareness. Just because you’ve spent ten. You might think of creating a quiet time or a ritual that allows you to decompress so that you can be fully engaged in your home environment afterward. it’s time to re-evaluate what is keeping you on your particular hamster wheel and what options are open to you. you have to make a choice. If you are consistently miserable at work. but it’s so much easier to integrate life and work when your work is worth doing and your life is worth living. If you started your career doing something to satisfy a spouse or a parent. You can’t avoid it—you take who you are at home to work and vice versa. If nothing else. Or you could reenergize yourself by remembering what or who you are working for. you might have to make some sacrifices. twenty or even thirty years doing one thing doesn’t mean you can’t take your strengths and move on to something else. Clearly. A person unhappy at work carries that negative energy home with them. Sometimes this is a temporary situation. Are you happy doing what you do for a living? What would you do if you could start your working life over now? What kind of sacrifices are you willing to make to change your work into something you enjoy again? ** Work greatly affects who you are when you come home. creating the dialogue with your spouse or significant other can surface how this “disconnect” is affecting your relationship. But sometimes what you used to love doing gets old and stops being fun. maybe it’s time to do something for you. When it’s not.We’ve all heard that when you work with purpose and passion. what do you need from your partner to allow you to transition into your home when you get there? 124 Chapter 16: Work and Family . you are in it together. At that point. You could repurpose your work and make it worthwhile again. You could “repurpose” yourself and find a “calling” or something else that resonates with your heart. it doesn’t really feel like work.

who supposedly had “no interest in business. your children may think that all work is negative. you are a role model for your children. When she became an assistant manager in that same company her third year in university. Discuss your choices with them so they understand the trade-offs you are making. so she got the impression that working in an office or a business meant sitting in a chair looking at a computer from nine o’clock to five o’clock. I didn’t do such a good job explaining what my work was all about to Michele as she was growing up. Your attitude about work influences their development. Remember. demonstrating. Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 125 . and what your plans are for the long term.** Work can also be a unifying element for a family. Always think about what conversation you could have with your spouse and children that would create a more supportive environment for everybody concerned. what your thoughts are for the short term. Michele said that what she enjoyed about her job was the variety of recruiting. Whether you want to be or not. My daughter.000 of product. A year later. Later. While she was in school.” sold $35. training. her boss told me that of the 800 students hired. a very large percentage sold only $200 worth of product. you are the role model for your children. She wanted them to have another perspective. she switched her major from Humanities to Marketing. she had an opportunity to work for a company that sold knives through students. I didn’t take the time to describe and involve her in what I did.000. then for a frozen-yogurt franchise. As a result. and managing. At one point. she invited me to speak to a group of her employees because she felt many of their parents were not supportive of their jobs. she worked in a cookie store for a while. she decided to become a teacher and to give the world of business a wide berth. If you hate your work. A small percent sold $2.

Certainly having the support of family can help tremendously when you come home from work. you not only teach your children. Where does your unhappiness originate. positive impression? ** Just as being unhappy at work affects your home life. Creating a family team may or may not be a new idea for you. You may be surprised how sharing your thoughts will change your family’s interpretations of what’s going on.How are you modeling work attitudes to your children? Are they absorbing the feeling of having pride in their work or are they getting the impression that work is horrible. From time to time. When you involve your family in decisions that impact them and in your purpose for doing what you do. family is usually high on most people’s list of priorities. a senior executive apologizes to me when our conversation veers off to personal challenges—but no apology is necessary. Trouble at home can manifest as trouble focusing on and achieving your goals at the office. boring. The opportunity to discuss options brings the decision-making chaos out into the open so possible solutions can be examined. and to be avoided at all costs? What kinds of changes can you make to model a more supportive. at home or at work? Are problems at the office negatively impacting your family? Or are problems with your personal life carrying over to create difficulties at work? ** Whether or not you have children. This is often a breakthrough to understanding what is really going on and what is getting in the way of progress. being unhappy at home affects your work. but also gain their support at the same time. 126 Chapter 16: Work and Family . stressful. and no boss or manager will allow you to go on too long without living up to their expectations. It can also explain to them why you are tense or irritable at the end of the day.

Later. Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 127 . When there is a lack of alignment between an executive’s behaviors and those of colleagues.” Family dinner times are a great opportunity to review family values and expectations and to be supportive of the challenges we each face. I was surprised when I mentioned to Michael once that one of his sisters was moving back to Southern California around the same time he was. you will not be in alignment with the company. Let’s say. Being in alignment also means maintaining your personal integrity. Family Council nights turned into regular family-night dinners. unless you choose to do only the business-development activities. There is no substitute for showing that you care. You have to decide what you can let go. Then you can look at the common denominators in order to network and interact with people who are all in alignment with each other. even if not every attempt is successful. no one will be happy. How does your family operate as a team? What can you do to help encourage more family support for yourself and other family members and enjoy a happier home? ** Sometimes you just have to say no. We aired our grievances and looked for solutions. The trick is to eliminate those things that are not in alignment. you want to have a “portfolio” career—the type of career where you do a variety of things for different people—and that several people ask you to do business development for them while another potential client asks you to devote sixty percent of your time to their marketing plan. If the values of your company are uncomfortable for you. This was an opportunity for anyone to voice their thoughts on how to make home a happier place. “Great! We can have family dinners again. for example.As my children were growing up. This would probably create quite a bit of anxiety as you try to choose between two conflicting sets of activities. It’s not always possible to do everything you want to do for yourself in addition to those things you have committed to do for others. we had a “Family Council” meeting every couple of weeks on Sunday night. He immediately said. much less fulfilled.

We actually stop ourselves from asking someone else to give us a hand.Do you feel in alignment with your company. It was only when my partner got too frustrated that I decided it was okay to ask for help. Only one person in a room of 550 went to the trainer and asked if he had any clues he could give to solve the puzzle. We had to figure out how to undo the ropes. As a coach. Sometimes we are not even aware that we don’t ask for help. We will go to any length to remain independent. I realized well into the game that there was no rule preventing us from asking for help. My big take-away for the evening was the surprise that it had taken me so long to ask. Don’t think I learned my lesson just from that event. Do you recognize when you need help? Can you ask for it. or do you resist admitting that you cannot do it all? What kind of changes would you have to make to allow yourself to ask for help before a situation reaches the crisis stage? 128 Chapter 16: Work and Family . Years later. I often hang around with the rest of my tribe. I was in a seminar where the trainer announced a contest. your superiors and/or your partners? What would it take to realign your work life for greater satisfaction? ** For many of us. A good friend had already figured things out but it was still a major decision for me to ask her partner how they did it. reluctance to ask for help is just about one of the hardest behaviors to change. A couple of years ago we did an exercise in which two people were “handcuffed” together using ropes. Only one person. meet someone who wants some advice or pick someone’s child up with yours? What stops you from asking for the same thing? There’s a big difference between being a “taker” and recognizing that a little help now and then can make a big difference. What makes us all so hesitant to ask? How do you feel when someone asks you for help? Isn’t it a pleasure to help a friend.

where are members of my family now? The children are all doing well.E p i l o g u e Epilogue Life is a journey and we all go through it continuously. He's still in Canada while I’ve been in Southern California for sixteen years. She opened an office for her knife company last summer and was tenth out of 200 in the nation. Jennifer is thriving as the western business-development manager for a company that offers paperless solution technology. So. As for my ex-husbands. we’ve never had the opportunity to work out the pain between us. I seem to attract the clients who have something to teach as well as who need to learn something from me. often Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 129 . possibly because our paths simply ceased crossing. taking a double major in finance and accounting. Michele is graduating this year with a BA in marketing. We have Sunday dinners together. Cody is at the top of his class at USC. on the other hand. My relationship with Ted. Michael is an attorney. More often than not. Sadly. has evolved into being best friends and extended family. It's a shame but that's the way it is. I have no relationship with Kenneth at this point. happy in his new field and far from home. no matter how expert we are in different areas of personal growth and development.

” Why? I believe it’s in the female genome. which is how far back our genes go? 130 Epilogue . Men's DNA gives them the sense that they’re supposed to take care of people. They’re often afraid to get into relationships because they cannot support the woman. He’s my "In Case of Emergency" number and I’m his. it’s all about communicating. And even then I consistently get questions like “How much money are they spending on me?” and “I don’t think I’m worth all of this. they get angry. I've discovered that life is a journey of becoming self aware. they still have that lingering sense that someone should be taking care of them and they almost have an anger about it. when they can’t do it. I am developing leaders within organizations less by coaching and more by helping them have conversations that count. which is also what coaching is all about. I’m loving life as an empty nester and continuing to grow my business. The most important learning about one’s self is recognizing that we are all human and we all will make many mistakes. So the only way I get to coach women is when their organization thinks they’re worth coaching. in our DNA. Sometimes the divorce works better than the marriage. the majority of clients who pay me directly are male. How could only fifty years change six generations of DNA. Those are the kind of thoughts that show the maturity in the journey. Nevertheless. Men seem more ready to understand the difference between making an investment in themselves and spending money. Although more of my clients are females. authentic and real. Forgiving ourselves for our mistakes is the first step to forgiving and being empathetic and compassionate toward other people.with one of his girlfriends present. Part of my maturity is recognizing the real. By that I mean having conversations with my client that make them recognize how they may be letting their team down by not doing what they said they would or by creating silos within the organization. biological differences between men and women. At this point. It’s only in the last fifty years that women have become really self sufficient and professional. Women have a basic need to be taken care of. At the core of life.

Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 131 . And even at this age I’m loving being old enough to recognize what it is that I’m experiencing.As for me. happen. I’m quite happy to be real in myself and let what wants to happen.

132 Epilogue .

and Life by Robert C. Solomon & Fernando Flores Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 133 .Appendix A Book Summaries I’m an avid reader of books aimed at personal and professional development. and I chronicle my efforts in book summaries that I share with friends. I provide a list of these book summaries and recommendations at http://www. so send me a note at bookreports@frumi. Please feel free to click on Books and Reports and peruse as many titles as you like.com.frumi. Below are just a few examples of what you'll find at http://www.php/weblog/boo ks_and_reports/ Book Summaries The Attractor Factor by Joe Vitale Building Trust In Business. I update the list every month. Politics. clients and colleagues.com if you’d like to be added to my email list.frumi. Relationships.com/index.

Maxwell. PhD and Howard E.D. Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success by John C. The by Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz Winning by Jack Welch 134 Appendix A: Book Summaries . The by Steven J. Thomas Nelson Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work & in Life. Adams Ph. One Conversation at a Time by Susan Scott Four Agreements. M.D. Stein.Change Your Questions Change Your Life By Marilee G. Book. The by Tracy Goss Power of Full Engagement. The by Don Miguel Ruiz Good To Great by Jim Collins Last Word on Power. Confidence: How Winning Streaks and Losing Streaks Begin and End by Rosabeth Moss Kanter Confronting Reality: Doing What Matters to Get Things Right by Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman EQ Edge.

employees and business operations and has a proven track record for helping Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 135 . a veteran entrepreneur. renew their colleagues. Her success has been so encompassing that clients. and fellow coaches have dubbed her a “Catalyst for Change. Her hands-on experience ranges from manufacturing to service industries to direct-marketing enterprises. associates. holding both Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) positions. Barr specializes in inspiring leaders to rediscover the strengths and values that energize them so they can. in turn. her consulting and coaching experience has taken her into virtually every type of corporation and small business. PhD. has founded or been a partner in numerous companies.” Dr.A u t h o r About the Author Frumi Rachel Barr.

She is a board member of The Entrepreneurship Institute in Orange County and immediate Past President of the National Board of the Professional Coaching and Mentors Association (PCMA). 136 Author . California (CSUF). Barr holds a Bachelor of Physical Therapy (BPT) from McGill University in Montreal. California and a doctorate in Business Administration from Pacific Western University. She has also been a member of the advisory board for Chapman University’s new Business Coaching Certification Program. Santa Barbara. a Coaching Certification from Hudson Institute. a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from California State University. and the Mentorship Program of NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners). Canada. Fullerton. International Coaching Federation (ICF).entrepreneurs and leaders balance the needs of growing their businesses with the needs of their personal and family lives. Dr.

putting the word "author" in front of your name is similar to using the letters PHD or MBA. however. the circular file • The best tschocke you can give at a conference Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur 137 . You are no long Michael Green. particularly indirect revenue • A typical consultant will make 3x in indirect revenue for every dollar they make on book sales Books are better than a business card. They help you to: • Demonstrate your thought leadership • Generate leads Books deliver increased revenue.Your Book Create Thought Leadership for your Company Books deliver instant credibility to the author. you are "Author Michael Green. Having an MBA or PhD is great. They are: • More powerful than white papers • An item that makes it to the book shelf vs." Books give you a platform to stand on.

138 Your Book .Why wait to write your book? Check out other companies that have built credibility by writing and publishing a book through Happy About Contact Happy About at 408-257-3000 or go to http://happyabout.info.

and protocols of creating and cultivating an online network for global reach. and professional success.info or at other online and physical bookstores. Paperback: $19. Motivation and Permission! The reader. After losing her family legacy. particularly women. Paperback:$19.B o o k s Purchase at http://happyabout. are empowered to handle their own finances. methods. business and personal support.95 314pgs Confessions of a Resiliant Entrepreneur 139 .95 132pgs eBook:$ 11. Learn the tricks and techniques you need to be effective! This book outlines the tools.95 312pgs eBook: $11.95 132pgs This book delivers Enjoyment. Evelyn Preston is cajoled into earning a securities license to make up her personal investment losses.

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