Drive: Shonda Boudet
What inspires or drives you on a daily basis?
In our industry, we have people’s lives in our hands. We ultimately are responsible for making sure they’re safe and secure. Families rely on us. For some clients, we are their family. Some of our clients, we can’t get in touch with their children. We’re with them 24/7. We schedule their doctors’ appointments. We may not hear from their children for days. We’re totally responsible for them. It’s just a good feeling to take care of people. Having people call us and say we couldn’t do this without you. A lot of our clients are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It’s amazing how the diagnosis changes people’s lives. Helping people deal with watching their parents deteriorate is hard, but it’s also a blessing in a way. You’re part of a very special and personal process of a family’s life, to be able to hold this person’s hand and say, “We’re going to help you through this.”
What has proved to be the most challenging of owning a business?
Knowing I’m responsible for all these lives. That’s scary.
Responsible for employees or clients?
Both. I want so much to be at 100% capacity at all times. I never want to drop the ball. You’re juggling so much all the time.
What factors are critical to succeeding as an entrepreneur?
Being flexible and open-minded. You have to understand that it takes a village. Your success comes from teamwork. I would not be where I am without the team I have in place. They’re so loving and compassionate. To them it’s not just a job.
What are your personal factors that make you successful?
I’m pretty driven, on a day-in, day-out basis. When I look at every aspect of my business, I see things I know I can continue to improve.
Every business cycle has its slow times. How do you handle it?
That’s just part of it. I didn’t get into this business with the priority of making money. I wanted to be fulfilled in knowing I was an impact on people’s lives. Even when it’s slow, I’m still helping people. So my top priority is still being met.
What one piece of advice would you tell an aspiring entrepreneur?
If you love what you’re doing, you’re never working a day in your life.
Was there ever a time you questioned what you were doing?
Yes. Because if you’ve never been a business owner, you’re learning as you go. You have to allow yourself to say it’s okay to make mistakes. Learn from those mistakes and move on. A lot of times I think business owners in the very beginning are very hard on themselves. Because you think you’re supposed to know everything from the beginning, you’re supposed to have it all together. It’s okay not to have it all together all the time.
If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice about starting a business, with what you know now, what would you say?
Take deep breaths. Have more patience. Enjoy the journey.
What do you look forward to in the future?
Having my children say they’re proud of me.
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