How to Best Handle Hardships While Still Growing Your Business
Like most of us, Cheryl Ecton started with an office job that wasn’t very fulfilling. She noticed that the office’s cleaning company wasn’t delivering on their promised excellent service so with the permission from her boss she rolled up her sleeves and got to work. Now, Cheryl is the CEO of Elite Building Services a cleaning company that prides itself on diligence and outstanding customer service. Cheryl has also implemented her determination and drive into her personal life as she has faced numerous hardships throughout the years. Still, these setbacks never stop Cheryl from reaching the goals she sets for herself and her ever-expanding company that she built from the ground up. We can all learn a thing or two from this inspiring woman and her company that prioritizes quality care in a world where so many companies are sacrificing basic kindness and fair treatment for a quick buck.
Q. When you find yourself facing hardships whether it be personal or in your career, what’s something you always tend to come back to?
A. I think about how I was raised and the values my parents taught me. I also think back on the hardships in the past that I have handled and realized that there will always be hardships and challenges along the way. It is part of the process of growth both personally and professionally. I handled them before I can handle them again.
Q. What advice do you have for young women who may be in a similar position that you were in the 1980s?
A. In 2022, I would hope that there are no women that are in a “similar position” as I was in the 1980s but if they are, I would recommend that they stay determined to go after their goals and dreams. To achieve your goals, you must make the choice to take the risk and not allow anyone to stop you or detour you from achieving your goals.
Q. Talk about your family and how they have influenced your success.
A. It started with my mother and father, who taught me the value of hard work. My parents have always been there with their support and encouragement. My children fueled my desire to be successful, not only to support them but to provide them with a better future. I sought to set an example of what a good work ethic looks like while at the same time demonstrating the necessity of being a kind and caring person.
Q. What was an interaction you had with an employee or client that really resonated with you?
A. There have been so many interactions with employees that it has allowed me to place myself in “their shoes”. Having worked alongside them, and realizing how hard these jobs can be; has given me so much respect for them and caused me to want to provide a better life for my employees and their families. Valuable insights into how to meet their needs have been the result of these interactions.
Q. How important is it to treat your employees with the same kind of care as you give your clients? Especially in the wake of so many multi-million-dollar companies being accused of mistreating their employees…
A. No company is perfect and it is a continual work in progress. It is critical to remember that your employees are your company and without them, there would be no clients. It is easy to lose focus of that as the company grows, so having a team that supports our employee’s needs and concerns is a must to continue the growth of the company.
Q. How do you take time to nurture your mental health, especially as someone who is expected to conform to hustle culture as a female entrepreneur?
A. At the beginning between work and children, I did not take the time to nurture my mental health. Once I realized the importance of “caring for myself” I saw the positive impact it had on my family and employees. This included making time for exercising, family vacations, spending time with good friends, and reading good books! At the end of the day nurturing your mental health not only benefits you but everyone in your life both personally and professionally.
Q. Some people crumble when faced with major personal and career setbacks. When you have faced major hardships, why were you able to keep going?
A. It goes back to the way I was raised. I knew there would be days that life would present difficulties and there were days that I crumbled but had no other choice but to get back up and keep going. I was a single mom with two children and had employees with families who were depending upon me to keep going.
Q. As you say, “we continue to balance everything – never sitting down, pushing forward to give our families everything we can. We can do anything we want, but we can’t be great at everything – so give ourselves a break and let ourselves off the hook.” Why is this so important to you?
A. Today more than ever people are in situations that are extremely difficult and demanding. Many are working two jobs in order to provide for their family. We can’t be too hard on ourselves and expect that everything is going to be perfect. Accept the bumps in the road.
Q. I learned from your book that you were a cheerleader. Talk about how that helped you in your career and being your own personal cheerleader.
A. Cheerleaders are all about encouraging others, staying positive, and believing in your team, sometimes we have to be that person for ourselves.
Q. What are you looking forward to in the future… both personally and professionally?
A. Personally, I am looking forward to spending more time with my husband, family, and friends. Professionally, I am looking forward to sharing my story to empower and inspire women, encouraging them not to give up on their hopes and dreams, it’s all about leaving a legacy.
Q. In today’s world, there are many opportunities as well as many challenges.
A. It’s all about choices, it’s about making the right choices that are best for you, in your own time, this is your journey, no one else’s.
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