Words of Wisdom for Women in Business

The success of these women marks success for all of us. Their businesses add value to our community and to our lives, and we benefit from watching how they work.

After all, being a woman in leadership has its challenges, no matter the size or shape of the organization.

Here, some of Garner’s most successful businesswomen share their advice on making life work — at work and at home. In their words, you’re sure to find inspiration for your own journey.

President, Anfesa’s Jewelers, home of The Grand Marquise Ballroom
In business since: 1987

On success:  “The road to success is very long and something that I do not take lightly. I realize that it could all change in one day; therefore, I am just grateful daily that when I get up, I still have a business to go to.”  

Best advice received: “Be passionate about what you want to do. It’s much easier to work hard when you’re energized and excited about what you are doing. Also, always treat people the way you would want to be treated. This advice comes from the hardest working lady I know … my mother, who worked in retail for 45 years.”  

Advice to give: “Surround yourself with motivated and successful people, and be a risk taker. Sometimes we are pushed outside of our comfort zone to move forward. This means you are taking a risk and if things do go wrong, know you will find a way to survive and turn it around. So be brave and don’t look back!” 

Founder and managing director, Alossi Renewal Spa
In business since: 2009

 On success: “I knew we would succeed when one day I looked at our schedule and it was busy.  Our clients were grateful for our services; they kept returning. And the staff was truly excited about coming to work.” 

 Best advice received, from dad Mike Alossi: “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable, and look at every challenge you encounter as a learning opportunity. Remember, it takes more than a title to be a great leader. View every decision through the lens of what is right for your clients, colleagues and organization.

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice. Surround yourself with people who will tell you the truth. Be open to criticism, learn from it and grow as an individual.”

 Advice to give: “Watch other successful women. Learn from them. Ask yourself, ‘What do they do different? How do they manage to successfully balance work and home life?’ Never forget that others have been through the same struggles. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from women you respect.

“Also, love what you do. Your passion will take more time than you could ever imagine. Be willing to wait for the payoff — there are no ‘overnight’ successes.”

Vice president, ALCO Custom Cabinets Inc.
In business since: 1976

The day you knew your business would succeed: “It was the day I moved a significant amount of money from checking into a diversified investment portfolio. Our portfolio is our ‘insurance policy’ against a weak economy. It also allows us to maintain full employment. The 2010 housing-industry collapse is a prime example of businesses closing their doors and laying off employees.”

Best advice received: “You have to give to get. This advice was given to me by an IBM marketing executive, who was my second-line manager at the time. This advice applies to your relationships with customers, employees and the community. I think of it like gardening: sow the seeds, feed and water them often, and eventually the flowers will bloom.”

Advice to give: “Treat your employees like family, and strive to delight every customer. A dissatisfied employee or customer can do irreparable harm to your company’s reputation. You cannot put a price tag on employee satisfaction and loyalty. You need their skills and talents to accomplish your mission. Satisfied customers are the best form of advertising you can get. It literally makes my day when we get a customer referral or repeat business.”   

Want more motivation?
We’ve gathered more good advice from the words of other successful women who have been featured within our pages.  

“Women are so strong. We adapt; we can take situations, analyze them and come up with solutions. … Every one of us has so much talent that needs to be shared. We all have so much to give.”
– Linda Johnson, East Wake Education Foundation

“I captured every opportunity I could!”
– Judy Stephenson, community volunteer, retired from North State Bank  

“The biggest compliment ever is when people say they feel they know me. I hope that people get to know me as a person, all the facets of me, and trust me. I value that trust, and want to keep that credibility no matter the issue I’m reporting on.”
– Debra Morgan, WRAL-TV

“Being a mother and being connected to (local) organizations is an advantage. I’ve built friendships and as my personal life has changed, brought those relationships into my business life.”
– Amy White, Community of Hope Ministries

“I think women can bring a lot to the table. And as a woman, we’re able to serve as mentors for other women. It’s always positive to show young girls, you can do it. My philosophy is giving back, and being part of something bigger than myself. And I think that everything I do will ultimately benefit me and my family as well. I really like win-win situations.”
– April Culver, Johnston Health

“You choose your attitude each day … if you have confidence in yourself, that’s the best thing to bring to the table. The strength to feel comfortable in your own skin, and be able to juggle a lot of different priorities, is an asset in the business world.”
– Lorrie Hargreaves, First Citizens Bank

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