The Gift of Being an Entrepreneur (In a Safe Place)

With the holiday season here, I tend to reflect on things. Sometimes my mind wanders to the past, people not here, or things I would do differently. I also like to think about the gifts in my life, especially my family and friends, opportunities and successes over the past year, and the promise of the future.

When I reflect on my work life, I can’t help but think how blessed I have been. I feel like I have been given a gift; the gift of being an entrepreneur, but in a safe and supportive place with the smartest group of people ever (but I may be biased).

It Takes All Kinds…Including All Kinds of Entrepreneurs

Besides my short attention span (squirrel!), I have a love for new adventures, starting things from scratch, and learning about new markets, technologies, and the like. People around me understand I get bored doing the same things every day, so they let me be a different sort of entrepreneur. I get to be an entrepreneur who is part of startup companies fueled by the safety net of really bright people. We use phone-a-friends and a no-nonsense approach to getting things done. In other words, not a lot of bureaucracy.

Sure, I have worked at the “same place” for more than 20 years, but it is never the “same place” from year to year. When I started, AE2S was a startup in old building in downtown Grand Forks, North Dakota. I was employee number 13. Ironically, thirteen is my lucky number. So that was my first sign it was meant to be.

From our young and scrappy days of growing the business into new geographies and services, to our hedgehog moves into construction, midstreams, operations, finance, communications, and now into software applications and technology. I have gotten to be on the ground floor/development team for it all. All seventeen offices, six (individually branded) companies, several divisions, asset ownership and sales, and software application launch.

Yes, I am blessed to be able to be entrepreneurial in my career in all sorts of ways I didn’t expect.

Chip Off the Old Block

Maybe I got it from my Dad. He started a few small companies in his lifetime, like Erdle Oil Company and Richardton Manufacturing Company. Those companies are gone now and so is my Dad, but his work is still a wonderful reflection of entrepreneurial spirit being passed down. In fact, he is the one who encouraged me to pour my heart into this place because it was a startup and he thought it had potential. I guess he was right about that too. He was always right.

In the spirit of reflection, and being thankful for the gifts in my life, I have to say I am one lucky gal to be a part of company that is still thinking big and going beyond after 25 years. Thank you for letting me be adventurous with you AE2S!

Happy Holidays and may the New Year bring many gifts to your life!