Long-term success requires more than fate, luck, or chance. – Coach Brad
In my teens, I 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 service providers 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 first consulting practice 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 achieve long-term success.
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, 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 global 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 service providers 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 long-term success of boutique providers of professional services.
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 heavily in continuously advancing my knowledge in the following fields:
A Midwest transplant, I ended up making my home in Burien, WA, where I now live with my husband, Gilbert Villalpando, PhD, who specializes in diversity, equity, and inclusion.
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.
Are you a small professional services provider who is passionate about making a difference?
Are you committed to investing the time, effort, and financial resources needed to realize your intentions of success?
If your answer is "Yes," you are my passion!