What is your story?
My interest in entrepreneurship started when I was just four years old. My first venture was a lemonade stand. As a young woman I began to work in the family’s poultry business, followed by tenant coordination and project management with several large shopping center owners. I then moved on to developing more than 50 pad sites with Brinker International, Inc., a multinational hospitality industry company owning Chili’s and Maggiano’s Little Italy restaurant chains.
Being an entrepreneur and becoming tired of making other people money, I decided to start my own company, Goodwin Commercial, in 2006.
What distinguishes me from others in my field of expertise is that I have a long track record of successfully guiding local and national clients such Walgreens, McDonald’s, and Chase Bank to name a few, with their commercial real estate acquisitions, lease obligations and consulting services.
What message do you like to promote to others?
I am always encouraging people to take a chance and to better themselves. We have been taught to play it safe from an early age.
Go out and break rules, as long a legal and not hurting anyone. Take small steps to build confidence. Everyone was once a beginner. The more you do something the better you become. Be the best and to be the head of the class.
Stop playing small and take BIG risks.
In what capacity do you LEAD UP in your community?
It is so rewarding to give back to my community and help out when I have the time. This past week I was sworn in and appointed by my local City Council to the Zoning Board of Adjustments for the next two years.
In addition, a local non-profit organization near and dear to my heart is providing a portion of the money received from my books to be donated to “Cleaning for a Reason” which helps women living with cancer with services such as a free house-cleaning.
Find the time to give back.
In business and/or in life, share a struggle you overcame that other women can relate to?
Self-promotion. We were taught as women not to talk about our successes because we may seem like we are self-serving or bragging about ourselves. Since I began highlighting key accomplishments, promotions and awards earned by posting them on social media platforms, it has been amazing what other business leads and opportunities I have received, and all because I exposed myself to the world.
We have a voice and we must be visible. No more hard work going unnoticed. Be seen!
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?
Several key people have had a strong influence in my life:
Becky Archuleta: My former boss who hired me and relocated me from my home state of Nebraska to Baltimore, MD and took a chance with no shopping center experience.
Steve Dahm: My former boss who hired me after a major earthquake in California to oversee one of the largest projects to date in my career. He gave me a lot of support as a female in a male dominated industry, and promoted and paid me at an above average salary.
Jim Christon: He took me under his wing to share his 50 years of real estate experience and helped me start my own commercial real estate business. We teamed up as business partners to develop multi-million dollar properties together.
Sharon Zych: My mom is my biggest mentor and cheerleader in the whole wide world by always listening to my ideas and supporting me.
Now I thoroughly enjoy mentoring and coaching people.
What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do?
Helping business owners find the most profitable lease space to occupy for their business and helping a client find the perfect building to purchase or land to develop and to invest in real estate. As a developer and broker it is so rewarding to bring a new restaurant or retail concept to a community.
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?
From the beginning you must set up systems and processes for every aspect of your business. Without processes in place, you will constantly be winging it and you will not be able to scale your business to the next level or have the opportunity to sell your business. Do not try and do it all yourself in your own business; you will get burned out quickly.