I remember vividly as a child listening to my grandfather say, “Anne, strive to be unemployable!” My grandfather’s definition of a successful entrepreneur was someone who owns and operates a personal business. He wanted me to be my own Boss Lady.
Last week when I was speaking to a group of young women involved in the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Nebraska, I was asked to define a successful entrepreneur. While my grandfather’s words circled around in my head, they were not the ones that came out of my mouth when I answered the question.
While I have most definitely followed my grandfather’s advice by running my own business, that is not what drives me as a woman. Consequently, I found myself giving the group of young women entrepreneurs different words of wisdom. I told them:
Figure out what your talents and strengths are, then, go out and find the best way to share them in order to be a positive contributor to your community and your country.
I continued with:
When my life is over and I leave this world, I do not want to have any part of myself left. I want to have used all of my gifts and talents in order to have made a positive difference.
This is my goal in life and my definition of success. It explains why I spend so much of my time working on volunteer projects while also owning and managing a small business. As one of only a small number of women who owns and manages a cattle feed yard, it is likely that others would define me as a unique entrepreneur, but that’s not all that makes me tick…
I am indeed proud that I am the boss lady at the feed yard; however, I am most proud of the work that I do to both advance cattle welfare and make improvements in the beef community at large. I do this while simultaneously being an active member in my community and raising my children with the core values that they will need in order to be positive contributors.
That’s what really makes me tick…
In my heart, I am a determined woman who believes in making my life journey be one of hard work and outreach. That’s what makes me get out of bed in the morning.