It is in my most bias far from humble I pronounce it as fact although I suppose it is really an opinion- that everyone should have an Aunt Gwen. Especially women. We need someone in our lives who lives, breathes, and bleeds the courage to live what they believe and what they know they were created to do. We need someone who is so in love with who they know themselves to be that the love wins out over fear and allows them to take leaps of faith. My aunt, Gwen Wright, did that about twenty years ago. When private banking lost its luster, she struck out on her own as a business consultant in San Francisco. She helped the owners of one of my favorite restaurants in the Bay Area, 1300 on Filmore, get its start. She also has a few clients in the Midwest and in NYC. She hasn’t looked back and since I was twenty I looked on in absolute awe. When I thought about who to have on the blog that is head over heels about their work Gwen was the first person to come to mind. She has absolutely fallen in love with her work.
TSLL: How did you know you’d fallen in love with your work? That it wasn’t an idea or something that could just be financially profitable?
GW: Oh it was something that brought me joy. It was something I could do all the time. I looked forward to it when I started and I still look forward to it. There’s nothing about it I want to avoid. It’s my life. I don’t compartmentalize. It’s integrated, fluid, and holistic. This is who I am.
TSLL: What do you love the most about your work?
GW: I love the flexibility and there is always something new. The industries are the same. I primarily do a lot of fashion and restaurants. But the clients are new with new ideas whether they are just starting or expanding . Something is always manifesting and it’s great to be a part of and to watch.
TSLL: What do you love least about your work?
GW: When clients have unrealistic expectations. Some clients are stuck in the past or the present but refuse to commit to the present. I help them focus. There is also the reality of being an entrepreneur that some people have unrealistic expectations about. I have a background in finances so I can help them with that but it is still a pain sometimes you know.
TSLL: How did you choose the work?
GW: I don’t know if I chose it. Maybe I did. I just knew I couldn’t work in corporate world. I was in private banking which was fun and it’s also very entrepreneurial. However, when the big banks started taking over, it was less fun. So I left and started contract work and then that turned into what I do now.
TSLL: What do you love about the people you work with?
GW: Oh I love love love my clients and the other entrepreneurs I am connected to. I love their support, friendship, comradery, and their help when needed. It’s a community.
TSLL: What has been a highlight for you in this work love affair?
GW: Every day there is some type of highlight or low light. Sometimes the low light is clients who don’t get it and struggle to focus. Multi passionate people are great but they don’t always realize you have to pick one place to start. So that can be annoying.The highlight is when it manifest. When we do the work and it’s done.
TSLL: Tell me about a challenge you encountered in your work and how did you work through it?
GW: I’m a patient woman which comes in handy with clients who struggle to focus. Now, if a client is too needy, I have no problem letting them know that I can no longer work with them. Usually when I have a client who is all over the place I give them assignments. Sometimes I won’t talk to them until the assignment is done. Action is the part of strategy that makes things happen. I model the consistency I want them to have.
TSLL: How do you make time to do the other things in your life that you love outside of work?
GW: I always take time for self. I just schedule time for me on my calendar. I pencil it in and I will say “I am so sorry I am unavailable that day,” if a client request to meet during a time that I have set aside to take care of myself and do the things I enjoy.
TSLL: How does your work compliment the characteristics you love about your personality?
GW: I’m adventurous and a good critical thinker. In my work there is always something new and my inkling for problem solving gets tapped into regularly.
TSLL: What are some hints that you think might help someone identify that they are falling for a particular career path or business venture?
GW: I would say sit down and ask yourself –
- What do you do all the time?
- What are your hobbies?
- What are you passionate about?
- What do you enjoy?
Also, think of your interests. Sometimes you can learn a skill set you don’t have but are interested in if you go learn about it. I tell potential clients, if you are really interested in a particular field, go work or volunteer in it, and then tell me if you still want to start a business in it. If they lost interest, it was a fantasy. I say try it on and see what you like. Is it feeding the soul? If it is- explore it. Some people think they can’t do any number of things and I always say “How do you know?”
TSLL: What advice would you give for the person who doesn’t love what they do?
GW: If you’re not happy doing what you’re doing then you better do something else. You can have more than a job. Where is the job taking you? Some people I tell them get a job so you can keep your business. There is a difference between a job and the work you love and until you get to do the work you love full time; sometimes you have to get a job. But it’s a different way of thinking and the job is a means to an end, not the end. Doing what you love every day, that is the end. A very happy ending at that.
To learn more about Gwen or yo work with her visit http://www.thewrightconsultants.com/