When did you first join PWN?
I’ve been a member of PWN for at least 6 years.
What is your current occupation?
I’m the Caregivers Coach working with families who are caring for an aging or ailing family member. I help families develop a plan for caregiving, solve specific problems for example how to talk about giving up driving or complete a move to senior housing, find resources to assist their family member and work with them to resolve communication issues.
What inspired you to start your own business?
My business was inspired by caring for my mother who had Alzheimer’s disease for 14 years. My family made a lot of mistakes while caring for my mom and learned by trial and error. I knew I wanted to make the process easier for other families.
What to you enjoy about this work?
I enjoy hearing people’s stories and helping them find solutions to their unique situation. I believe it’s an honor to care for a family member and I’m honored to help the families I work with.
What role has networking played in your career?
Networking has been so helpful to my business and my growth as a business owner. Of course it is a source of clients and more importantly referrals and equally as important a source of inspiration and education from other business owners. It’s challenging to be a solo entrepreneur and it is great to be connected to a “village” of other small business owners.
What’s your favorite tip for success with networking?
Follow up on the contacts you meet, have coffee or lunch to get to know people and make deeper connections. Just by following up and offering to help other business owners, you are distinguishing yourself as a professional.
How do you think being a woman in your profession has been more or less challenging than your male counterparts?
Being a woman in the elder care field is pretty much the norm, men are the ones who stand out. I love working and networking with other women so I’m in my element.
Can you describe the strangest/funniest/most awkward situation you faced in your work, and how your resolved it?
This goes back to when I first started my business. When I would introduce myself and my work, some people would ask if I was trained as a nurse or social worker. As a new business owner I felt awkward about not having a clinical background. I found myself saying no and not knowing where to take the conversation next. It took a while for me to realize that I need to define myself in the positive and stop letting others define me by what I wasn’t. It was a huge step forward for me personally and in my business. I learned as a business owner that I needed to define and share with others what made my services unique and valuable. Interestingly, clients rarely ask these questions.
What is something PWN members don’t know about you?
Gee, after the “Treasure Hunt” at the last PWN meeting I think all my secrets are out on the table. Something new for me is my collection of sea glass. Ask me about my secret place for finding sea glass at Ocean Beach.
What is your favorite lunch entree?
I love the Caribbean Chicken Salad. I found the contrast between the blackened chicken and the fruit salsa dressing to be yummy. I’m so glad we are meeting at Delancey Street Restaurant for the PWN monthly lunch. The location is great and the service is wonderful.