Entrepreneur: Carrie Kuhl

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This week Tangent is featuring entrepreneurs that chose to jump in, to run a business on their own, both feet first.

Today Tangent brings you Carrie Kuhl, who owns Hitch Studio in Brookings, Sd. She has always had a creative touch to everything she does. Going to school for design, she knew her talent could be applied to seeing the world a little differently.

She found a partner in crime, Renee Halgerson, and they opened the studio in February of 2014.

In regards to opening the studio, Carrie said, “Owning this type of business has been a dream of mine for some time. Once I realized that I wanted more out of my profession I began working towards this goal.”

One thing Carrie quickly realized, in order to follow your dream, you have to be able to jump off of the mainstream and make your own path. It is scary, intimidating and tough.

“Finding a new stride [was the hardest lesson learned]. Working in a corporate setting for over 10 years meant that I had a routine and a relatively predictable day. When you own your own business, there is no routine and never will be one. You need to be flexible and ready to make tough decisions every day.”

Part of the unknown is what is so exciting to Carrie. Always being able to approach situations with an even temper has helped her get to where she is today. She has learned some of the biggest benefits in working your own business, is finding what makes you happy.

“The greatest benefit is that it challenges me everyday and every single day brings new adventures. It fills my cup,” said Carrie.

She also has a huge heart, which comes through in all the work she does for her clients. It isn’t about money or fame that keeps her driven, it’s about the product and the consumer.

Carrie said, “Happy customers [drive me]. When someone comes in for a website or design work, they have a dream or vision similar to one I had once. It is so rewarding to be a part of another person’s dream.”

In her spare time she lends her hand to other entrepreneurs, has a little boy to raise with husband Jason, (who started Kuhl Prints) and keeps creativity at the forefront. The one thing in running your own business is to make sure you don’t lose yourself.

“[The decision is] going to be one of the scariest decisions you have ever made. The most beneficial thing we did in the beginning was our homework. We were very prepared when we started our business and we each had run a successful freelance business along side our full-time jobs, so when we started we had a small client base.”

To learn more about Hitch Studio and Carrie, visit: http://hitchstudio.com/about/ or

http://hitchstudio.com/carrie-kuhl/.

 

*** Thank you Carrie for sharing your story! Your words can be there to help support someone who is ready to take the leap.***

 

Written by Kristin Marthaler. Copyright 2016.
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Entrepreneur: Stephanie Drietz

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Tangent is featuring entrepreneurs this week. Our second feature of the week goes to Stephanie (Skulstad) Drietz. She was born and raised in Granite Falls, MN. She then attended college at Minnesota State University – Moorhead. Currently she resides in Fargo, ND.

She has developed her business Drietz Designs as a freelance graphic designer.

Putting her amazing skills to work every day is a blessing for her. She is married to Tom and has two little boys. This allows her to be more involved in their lives. Not all things come as planned.

She said, “I was laid off of my full time marketing/design job and decided to start Drietz Designs to see if I could make a living working on my own. With many prayers said, and blessings granted, I have been able to successfully run my own design business since.”

Stephanie has been working hard since 2011 building her clientele and ensuring she continues to grow her business.

“I have worked with some clients since the beginning, I have gained some new ones, and lost some existing ones, but it is so fun to design for all different kinds of businesses.,” she said.

With her passion for designing and creating a new perspective on the same white page she has learned a lot in the last five years.

“Everything falls on you since you are the only one running the business. So always check, double check, and re-check all the work that you do!”

When it comes to taking a risk and jumping in with both feet, Stephanie says, “do it!”

“Take risks! Jumping off on my own was the biggest risk I have made in my life, and now I get to wake up each day to do what I love. Designing for variety of different businesses AND staying home with my kids. It is a lifestyle I really never envisioned growing up, but I feel so lucky that I get to live this life. Take the risk.”

 

 

*** Thank you Stephanie for sharing your story. Your words of encouragement will definitely help inspire others! ***

 

Written by Kristin Marthaler, Copyright 2016.

Entrepreneur: Julie Petersen

This week Tangent brings you personal stories of those who have started their own business. 

As an entrepreneur myself, I find inspiration in others who choose to start their own business. Those who chose to conquer the working world alone. Some have found a great business partner to work with, which has made their business even stronger. Some power through on their own. This week, our first highlight is Julie Petersen of Watertown, South Dakota.

389593_10151454533900366_2006030959_nJulie bought her salon, Prestige, in 2007 after graduating from cosmetology school. Five years later, she realized her passion was coaching and teaching and joined Inspiring Champions, as a coach. Since opening the salon, Julie has moved her salon into a larger building, hired additional staff and increased product knowledge with her employees every year.

Julie believes, “There’s no such thing as standing still. You’re either moving forward or moving backwards. Education and trainmen for myself and my team sets everyone up to move forward, or at least gives us some tools to push through obstacles.”

Developing her team and training them to be the best in the area, has come with a lot of personal growth.

Julie said she, “Had major growth in the beginning, and have had to deal with growing pains.  During this time I made decisions for the team, not the business. In the end, it’s the business that will remain, not always the employees. I am learning to overcome making decisions for people just to satisfy them, and making decisions for the business, which in turn benefits the people who are loyal to the business.”

The one thing about running a salon is you are dealing with a lot of different personalities. You need to not only know how to talk to your clients, but also know how to work with those on your team. Julie advises, “Learn how to communicate with all different types of personalities. Learn the personalities and how to appreciate what they bring to the table. Know you’re personality and embrace the good, the bad, and the ugly so you can always be in a place of internal growth.”

The reason I chose to highlight Julie first is because I have seen her growth first hand. I have seen her question her decisions, have more passion about the company than anyone ever will, and always look internally first when figuring out how to fix situations.

It is easy to tell everyone what to do, pretend you know everything and turn over employees left and right. Julie believes in growing her employees and helping them reach their full potential. She truly wants everyone to be a better version of themselves and enjoy their passion every day.

In regards to what keeps her going, “I honestly am motivated by acknowledgement first, and money second. So when I feel most successful, I’m surrounded by a team that is coachable and grows under coaching, which I feel is my God given gift to I utilize in my position, and they openly acknowledge and appreciate me. I could have a penny to my name and feel as though I am rich solely because I am appreciated.”

In her rare spare time, Julie sings in a band Our Therapy and attends her husbands softball games, attends church and volunteers in the community.

 

*** Thank you for sharing your story Julie! I hope others can learn from your words and be inspired by your passion. ***

 

Written by Kristin Marthaler, Copyright 2016.

Ya, I get it Mom! Gosh.

Never let something knock you down. Even for a minute. If it happens. It is ok. It’s how you get back up. It truly is. Blah blah blah.

But I guess it’s true.

I have always told myself I will give myself five minutes to cry it out, be angry, and hate the world. Then I must jump back into action. Life is too short to live in a pity party.

I don’t know if it is from watching my family and everything they have gone through, or just something internal. When life gives you lemons, open up that lemonade stand and get money for it!

I left my job on a Thursday at 11:48 a.m. I had no plan. I had no options. I did have a car! So I got into it, and had my moment. And I mean I lost it. Like when a little kid doesn’t get their favorite toy at the store for the fifth time in a row and the world is going to end kind of lost it. And I called my mom. They always make everything better. My mom’s favorite phrase to me is “Put on your big girl panties and deal with it.” She even made me a cake once. After a little pep talk, I took action.

I’m being 100% transparent, because I want others to be able to learn from my failures and from my successes. If one sentence I write changes someone’s life for the better, then my mission in this world is complete. I have nothing to hide. This is who I am, who I will always be. Yet tomorrow, I will be even greater. 

So to continue, I got home 30 minutes later; I emailed 300 of my contacts and shared I was ready for a new opportunity. I then messaged everyone I could think of on LinkedIn and asked if they had any connections or referrals. I also applied to 40 jobs. I wasn’t going to sit around and let life happen to me. I was going to make life happen.

By that afternoon, I had a few leads on jobs and went on interviews on Friday. I was offered a job the next week. I thought to myself, “well that’s not how this works.” So I put it off.

The next week I was contacted again. My thought, “No one wants me that bad.”

Then thoughts began to fill my mind; with possibilities that life can actually go as planned once you take action. It was new for me. Life has never worked that way. I have felt for much of my working career I was working upstream. I was fighting the current. Looking back, I was growing, maturing and learning. Some lessons the hard way. This happened too easily, I thought to myself.

I’m not writing this to share with you things were just handed to me. I am sharing with you how much work you need to put into something in order to get something out. What was ‘handed to me in my mind’ was because of those 300 contacts I had grown over the last 8 years. Those I messaged on LinkedIn I have worked closely with. I have had to built integrity, kept my word and put them first. Because of that, I had an alliance that was willing to be there to help pick me back up and put me on a new track in life.

Every moment, ever decision, every thought, leads to something in your lifetime. It may not happen overnight, but at one point, you will look back and think, “this is how it is paying off.” For those times you think nothing will pay off, it s the experience itself that will teach more than you will ever need to know.

So with that I say, get back up! Get back in the fight! Get Going! The only thing you have to lose is time.

 

-KJM

Leadership Week: Ellen Able

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This week at Tangent we are highlighting leaders that have a proven success record. Today’s leader is Ellen Able from Lakeville, Minnesota. She demonstrates and embodies what it takes to become a real leader in the community.

When she isn’t attending her children’s games, selling a home, or participating in one of her many organizations, Ellen is there supporting her friends and family.

Ellen became a licensed real estate professional in Feb of 2006 at Edina Reality. 

What defines a leader according to Ellen, “someone who is not only concerned about their job and business but always has the companies and other peoples best interested in mind as well.  Someone who is always trying to make other people better.”

This is something that is evident in Ellen’s actions each day. Most ask, how does she have time for this? She also has a great ability to make every feel they are the most important in that moment.

Words she lives by, “always treat all people equal and treat them the way you would want to be treated. Respect goes a long way.”

As some have learned, success doesn’t come easy. It isn’t handed to you. Ellen moved to Minnesota with her husband and three children 15 years ago. She knew no one in town, no friends, or family. “It was a tough transition but once we got settled, I started networking and beginning my business, and I am now one of the top 10 agents in my office.”

Determination, drive and tenacity is Ellen’s middle name.

What makes her so successful?

“My attention to detail,  the systems that I have put together to run my business ( all transactions are run the same), and the passion that I have for my clients in making sure they completely understand the whole real estate transaction that they are embarking on.”

That is why Ellen is a leader in her field.

 

*** Ellen, thank you for sharing your story. Your words will help someone else! Thank you! ***

Leadership Week: Heidi Schooley

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The true definition of leadership; the person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country. I prefer to see it as someone who leads by example. Someone who proves to be a leader with out seeking the position.

Our first leader of the week is Heidi Schooley from Castlewood, South Dakota. She spends her evenings being a mother to three amazing children and wife to Chad, who is a farmer. When she isn’t perfecting her bow hunting skills, watching a basketball game or driving dinner out to the field, she is a business woman. She is promoting National American University in Watertown, South Dakota.

Heidi has found a way to BE National American University in town. When you see her, you know what she stands for and what she represents.

Starting as campus director in 2006, she has learned a lot of lessons along the way. She says, “each day presents new challenges, but life is full of challenges and I am here to conquer them.”

To get her through each day, she says “always do your best, and make each day count.” In her downtime, Heidi has found a true passions in connecting with Melanie Brown and Believership in Sioux Falls.

In asking Heidi what her belief of the definition of leadership is she said, “I believe that society has created “chains of command” and “titles” that outline who is and isn’t a leader.  There are tons of articles and books out there that will even tell you if you’re a “born leader”. I believe that if you are someone who is willing to serve others and always go the extra mile then you should give leadership a try.  A title doesn’t need to define you, others don’t need to define you – YOU need to define YOU and what your purpose will be.  It’s about the journey along with way and folks you come in contact with to help mentor and bring with you.”

Everyone looks at the world a different way. Heidi has been able to find her direction and path and share her beliefs and enthusiasms with everyone.

Here are her closing thoughts, “I am thankful for the opportunities that I have been given and I will continue to serve others and do my best every day.I feel blessed to do what I do and work side by side the folks that truly have a desire to help make this crazy world better.  Each day they help make life even better. I also very blessed to have a husband, Chad who helps me be a better person every day.  He is my rock.  He loves more every day, encourages and challenges me.  Along with him and our 3 B’s – Beau, Booker and Bryn, they inspire me to be the best mom ever.  And in the end, faith, family and love is what it’s all about.”
Do you know an outstanding leader? Fill out the link to highlight them!

 

***Special thank you to Heidi Schooley for sharing her thoughts and insights in what it takes to be a leader. Your message will help others!***

Believe!

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How do you coach courage, tenacity and strength? How do you let people know they have everything it takes to be amazing and they just aren’t utilizing it? How do you make it clear to someone that they truly have what it takes, if they would just get out of their own way.

Having been the recipient of this conversation at one or more times in my life it is hard to explain. It’s not a repetitive action, caffeine option or eating the right breakfast. It’s a feeling. It’s a belief. It’s the essence of who you are.

So again I ask you, how do you coach that? How do you bring that out in others?

One of the things I struggle the most with as a manager is seeing the potential in others and waiting for it to come out.

I am an over-night person. If I see it, I want to share it. If I feel it, I want to record it. I have worked the last five years being able to hold information and give it at the proper time, or only give it to certain individuals. To be calculated. It’s something I struggle with every day, but have found I have grown so much in that effort, since four years ago.

Being a leader or a good manager is about being able to see the potential in others to get them to where they deserve to be. Having the patience to deal with a slow/bad week, and waiting for their rockstar moment and celebrating it.

To those I work with day in and day out, I see you for who you can be, not who you are. I like you for who you are and I cherish working with you for who you are. But I see so much more. When you say I can’t, I hear, “I want to find a way.” When you say, this is how we have always done it, I hear, “Guide me to find a new process.”

When I hear, I’ve given it my all, I hear, “I’m not done fighting.”

At the end of the day, I can not want this for you. I truly believe you want it.

So you will fight for it.

And you will get it.

I will always believe in you.

The Day is Yours!

Dear Graduates,

Today is the day! Before you knew it, you woke up today and it’s time to walk across the stage at graduation. graduate1Life didn’t happen for you that easily, we know that.

A lot in life happens in the blink of an eye. Your children grow up, you change jobs, get married or buy a house. This time, you got an education. Think back on your journey, I am sure it wasn’t an easy one. It wasn’t for myself, it took me several years to complete something that should have been done in two years. But life happened.

What gave you the determination, strength and courage to fight all the way thorough the classes and end up at graduation? What was inside of you that kept pushing you to succeed? How did you know this is what you were meant to do?

I want to applaud you for those skills. It isn’t something that can be learned, it is just something inside of you. You chose to overcome your objections, roadblocks and barriers to ensure you laid out a great future for yourself and in many cases, your family. You made the decision to be where you are today.

Be proud to be graduating from National American University. Be proud you have an education. Be proud that you can now start your future with newfound knowledge. Pass on that pride and that courage to others. There are others just like you who are stuck, who don’t know what to do, who can’t get off the couch. There are others like you who don’t have an internal drive to get started. You do, you can pass it on. Give them the courage, give them the drive. Show them that education can happen.

You made it happen.

Knowledge is one thing that can never be taken away from you. Inspire others every day as someone is in great need of it. There are times when you inspire others and don’t even know it. Keep reaching for your dreams and your goals! You are the perfect person to make it happen!

Best of luck with your future and in everything you do.

 

Kristin

Happiness Exsists

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Being happy in life is a positive, being happy at work is a bonus. I used to think this was true. It wasn’t until I started working at my recent job did I realize how much I can control my happiness level. I am not an expert by any means, however, I have had jobs where I hit snooze 10 times. Those jobs weren’t fun, Monday’s weren’t fun.

I want to talk to you a minute about how to turn your situation around if below describes you:

  • Hit snooze three times or more
  • Dread Monday’s
  • Annoyed by co-workers presence
  • Can’t wait for your morning break, lunch break and even better, going home
  • Spend more time searching Facebook then completing work

Trust me, we have all be there. We have all had those moments where Monday’s get the best of you. Where you drive home and think to yourself, “You win Monday. You win!” I want to let you know don’t have to be stuck. You don’t have to live that kind of life. You are allowed to have fun at work and smile on a Monday. I will say it again, you are allowed to love your job!

Since I have found myself in this very situation, more than once, here are some things I did to turn it around.

  1. Analyze what it is that upsets you. Is it the people? The work? The schedule? The location?
  2. Once you determined what is upsetting you about work, remove that trigger from your emotions.
    1. If distance to work drives you nuts, change it. Carpool, have a dance party in your car, find a good talk show, listen to a motivational book, call relatives and catch up. Find something to occupy the time so you feel the drive is worth it.
  3. Once you remove the trigger, remember what Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
    1. If Bob always says a horrible joke and it sets you off every single day, today, laugh at his joke and appreciate the fact that he wants to talk to you and share these moments with you. If you dig deep enough, Bob probably wants to connect with you and that is the only way he knows how.
  4. If this doesn’t work, if you make an effort to change, and things are still the same, change jobs. Sometimes it isn’t always the right fit.
  5. If your new job still upsets you and makes you mad, it’s you. You need an attitude adjustment. You are the only person that can fix it. It takes 11 positive people to tackle 1 toxic negative employee. Don’t be that 1 employee.

These tips have worked for me and continue to work for me. Best of luck in your journey moving forward. Remember, it’s IS okay to love life, love work and be happy at both.