Long-term success requires more than fate, luck, or chance.
I have developed an appreciation for entrepreneurship while working for my grandmother’s commercial cleaning business, my uncle’s vegetable stand, a family-owned hardware store, an office supply startup, and my own freelance gigs.
Each experience reinforced the rewards of hard work while laying bare the challenges that small businesses face.
The family hardware store did not weather the transition from one generation to another. The office supply startup failed because the founder could not stop chasing shiny objects. Even after earning a business degree, I had to shelve my web development startup because I lacked the vision and most of all the confidence to grow the business into a stable, profitable career.
Early on, I learned that businesses need more than passion and optimism to make their intentions a reality.
Searching for purpose, I found myself attracted to the “not for profit but for service” motto of the credit union industry. While earning my bachelor’s degree in business, I spent my summers and weekends working at a credit union. A low-level employee, I was nevertheless well known at all levels of the organization for always ensuring my customers’ needs were addressed.
Eventually, I left the credit union to pursue an internship with a Fortune 1,000 insurance and financial services company that served thousands of credit unions and millions of their members. The internship turned into my career. For over 20 years, I worked collaboratively with hundreds of internal customers, peers, and leaders to address many of the company’s broad operational, reputational, and financial challenges.
I greatly enjoyed the variety of challenges and learning opportunities my career offered me as I progressed up the ladder. Earning an MBA in executive leadership further opened my eyes to the healthy habits businesses need for long-term success.
Ultimately, though, I found myself in a leadership position too far removed from serving customers and an entrepreneurial purpose. I remembered what writer Kurt Vonnegut said: “A step backward, after making a wrong turn, is a step in the right direction.”
It was time to get back to my entrepreneurial roots.
With the support of my husband, I relaunched my career with a clear purpose: the success of introverted service providers.
Success Beyond Luck was born!
Experience, degrees, and certifications alone are not enough to stay relevant in our global, fast-paced world. This is why I invest a significant amount of my time advancing my knowledge in:
A Midwest transplant, I ended up making my home in Lynnwood, WA, where I now live with my husband, Gilbert Villalpando, PhD, who specializes in diversity, equity, and inclusion organization transformation.
Growing up in a small rural Wisconsin town, I became aware of the challenges my fellow LGBTQ+ professionals face. I have successfully advocated for and led workplace inclusion efforts that have cleared the way for individuals to bring their full selves to the workplace.
I know firsthand how much energy and talent can be wasted covering one’s sexual orientation. Working with me, you can expect a collaborative space that is free of judgment and inclusive of your authentic self.