16 years ago, I owned a fish market restaurant and was forced to sell the business, which left me not knowing what to do for a career. Opening my business instead of going to college left me with only life experiences and no college degree. I thought that my only option moving forward was to go into retail or some sort of labor, so I decided to start a cleaning business, as I was no stranger to getting my hands dirty. I also got a part time job cold calling and selling packaging products. I felt lost, scared, broke and like I had no direction.
My brother, Bill Gadless, and his business partner, Brett Cohen, had just embarked upon a startup web design company called emagine. Being it was 1995, the dot.com era was just beginning and it was great timing to get people to buy a domain name and sell them a website. Bill and Brett were kind enough employ me and I cleaned the emagine office once a week.
While I was running the vacuum one day, I remember realizing how nice the emagine office was. There was a woman that would cold call and I would always listen to her and thought to myself “I could totally do that!” I approached my brother, Bill, and he was a little hesitant to hire me,as he had a partner, and said “what if it doesn’t work out? I can’t fire my sister… that would be awful.”
Well, Bill and Brett both took a chance on me and gave me a shot! I was so excited to buy some nice work clothes and have my own desk. I was totally green, not technical and I knew nothing about the internet. I could barely turn on the computer! Needless to say, I was very nervous, but I hit the ground running and just picked up the phone. I had some great results immediately and learned to be more comfortable as the days went on. I also made sure I listened closely to my bosses and coworkers, sat in on some meetings and read a lot.
16 years later, I am the Director of Business Development at emagine, a digital marketing firm focused on B2B and Healthcare. The company has grown with numerous locations and over 50 employees. I am a homeower, travel often, and have a successful career. I am forever thankful to the Bill and Brett, who believed in me and took that chance. They gave me an opportunity to grow, succeed, lose some, win even more and always believed in me and my process and they let me run with it.
The moral of my story: All- Ways and Always, have faith and believe that you can be more and do more than you think you can!