What is your story?
I am the founder of a Quest Workspaces, a co-working company dedicated to our Quester’s stories, dreams and quest. Through Quest Workspaces, I’m living my dream.
My story is one of ups and downs, false starts, explosive growth, blissful gratitude and moments when I wanted to run away and give up!
I’ve always been an entrepreneur; from my coffee stand at the age of 11, to a catering company in college, NYC restaurant in my 20’s, real estate newspaper and then co-working companies. But I also held numerous corporate jobs in the hospitality industry which provided my training ground.
I didn’t grow up with much, but I was fortunate to have a Mom that made me believe that I could do anything and to not be afraid of taking risks. At a young age, I developed an interest and skill of constantly working on myself. From how to conquer fear, influence others, live a fulfilled life, fuel my passions, and how to balance spirituality with ambition, you name it! I wanted to be the best me, and I haven’t really changed. This foundation has provided the strength to go full on, pursue my dreams, deal with setbacks, and do it in a way that has made me proud.
I was always ambitious and hardworking. I’m hyper focused and believe in designing the life you want to live, setting goals, and making it happen. I’ve been very fortunate and have enjoyed many successes. But I also know that for me, what lights me up is having a role in others’ happiness and growth, whether it be an encouraging word, a helping hand, job opportunity, or creating an inspiring workspace and connected entrepreneurial ecosystem.
What message does Quest Workspaces like to promote?
At Quest, we believe it is our mission to inspire others and help companies grow through our enriching workplace culture that is spirited, welcoming and effective. We believe in creating a community where kickass professionals can work side by side to achieve their goals, and make a difference in the world, by providing them with not just amazing office space but a team whose focus each day is to support and encourage.
Everyone says it’s not just about workspace, and it really isn’t! It’s about providing additional, vital, resources to support growing companies and entrepreneurs. And it’s also about having fun! You have to look forward to coming into the office each day, and we really mean it when we answer, ‘it’s a great day at Quest Workspaces!”
How do you LEAD UP in your community?
We created Quest Cares to support local start-up nonprofits, by providing them with the same level of support our Questers receive. We believed that if we could help nonprofits become more productive through Quest’s services and spaces, then it would have an exponential effect on those they are trying to help. Since starting the program in 2012 we have provided office space services to over 25 organizations. Our Questers in turn have become involved in these organizations through their presence in our centers – from monetary donations, to sitting on their boards, and hosting fundraisers.
But I didn’t want to stop there, I wanted every co-working operator to support nonprofits the way we were. My vision was to turn the Quest initiative into an industrywide program, with thousands of nonprofits being able to support a million more people in need.
Through “All Good Work”, that initiative is now in the beginning stages.
I believe that all companies should create a giving culture; it is good for your soul and your bottom line, as clients and employees want to work with socially conscious companies.
We achieve this by providing our team members additional paid time off each year to volunteer with the charity of their choice, participating financially in any team member fundraising, and organizing local food, clothing, and toy drives at our centers.
I will never turn down an idea or opportunity to give back!
In business and/or in life, share a struggle you overcame that other women can relate to?
I started my first co-working company when my son was an infant, had recently gone through a divorce, and was starting over financially. My living room was my bedroom and office all at the same time. My son’s highchair doubled as a desk and nightstand! It sounds horrible, it wasn’t easy, but I look back with a big smile and wouldn’t have changed a thing!
I think my largest struggle was trying to manage it all. There were times I felt like I was running only on adrenaline and would sometimes think, how is this humanly possible? But somehow it all worked out. What I learned from the tough times, is that it will never be the “right time” to start a new business, accept that promotion, or take any risks for that matter. But you must push forward! Too many people postpone their dreams, and never get to live the life they imagined.
You may never have complete balance in your life, and feel that you are giving everything and everyone all of the time they need. But if you give 100% of your attention and heart to what you are doing at the moment, and make who you are with feel special, whether it be time with your kids or running your business, it will be enough. You can be an amazing leader, mother, spouse, and friend.
Did you have a Mentor, Coach or Sponsor along the way that was essential to your growth and success? If so, who was it and why?
I’ve had so many mentors, coaches, and people pulling for me throughout my career that it would be impossible to name them all or single out the most influential. I’m very fortunate and have been blessed with so many brilliant, supportive friends. I also make sure that I seek out help and expertise in areas that I need to develop. I have about a dozen “experts/mentors” in my life that cover every aspect of business, and life, including health/wellness, relationships, strategy, vision, inspiration, and tactical expertise.
I make a point to surround myself with loving, giving positive people that don’t suck my energy or deflate my spirit. This is so important, especially if you are leading a start-up.
I also take every opportunity to help others, whether it be personally or in business. It comes easy to me because I enjoy it. But I also believe in Karma and attribute my large network of supporters to the law of giving.
What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do at Quest Workspaces?
THE PEOPLE… for me the most rewarding part is all about the people! The team I get to mentor, develop and watch grow. The Questers that we have the honor to serve, are literally creating magic in our spaces! I am constantly blown away by their drive, knowledge and expertise. We have the best and brightest entrepreneurs, and leaders of large companies literally changing the world, under our roof!
The best way to describe it is that I get to be the orchestra leader. My team and Questers all individually play their instruments beautifully, but when we put it all together, and step on stage, the symphony starts. The phones start ringing, the meetings commence, guests are smiling, deals are getting done, and I feel like Beethoven!
If you could give one piece of advice for the women who are entering the workforce or launching their own business, what would that be?
Just do it and don’t give up! Make sure you are passionate about what you are doing. As women there are things we can fake, but you can’t fake that!
Don’t be afraid of failing. My greatest “failures” have led to my greatest successes.
It’s simply part of the process.
Find your Quest and love the journey. Really love all aspects of it! Although there are always going to be difficult times, try to keep your sense of humor and perspective. If you find it is a constant struggle, then something is probably not right.
Remember why you are doing what you are doing. Find the meaning in what truly fulfills you. When you do, it will be sustainable and life changing!