I started Taylor Hodson over 30 years ago from my NYC apartment at Waterside Plaza. My decision to start my own business after 5 years in the staffing industry, was based on being a single mother with 3 small children at home. In 1987, it was not cool to work from home, but I took my shot despite the disapproval and never looked back.
My workstation was my kitchen table. A typewriter (yes, you heard that right; no computers back then folks!) and telephone were tucked away in my apartment’s entry foyer closet. After my kids left for school, the ’magic closet’ would open, and my workday would begin. 33 years later, I am fortunate to be in the multitudinous company of folks who are still working and have been forced to make home, headquarters. What an irony to be back at my kitchen table!
So much has changed since my days of typewriters and toddlers – decades of experience accumulated and collaboration with excellent people here at Taylor Hodson, whose hard work has allowed for growth, sustainability and success in my business for which I am eternally grateful. What remains the same, is the uncertainty of what the future will look like. We have gone through many extraordinary times as a company – September 11th, the 2008 economic crash, Hurricane Sandy, and now a global upheaval due to the novel coronavirus and to the not so novel virus of systemic racism.
As we journey along these unmarked roads, we at Taylor Hodson are now setting out to use this virtual space to provide resources — both practical and personal in nature — that speak to the challenges and opportunities that present themselves. We all have essential roles to play in the recovery and reimagining of our world and our work as we know it. Our hope is that the content we share stirs up a hope-infused pragmatism that helps you feel equipped and accompanied in these remarkable times.
For this inaugural post, I would like to share six principles (amongst countless others!) that have continued to shape and guide me as a business owner, a mother, and a human being.
1. Surround yourself with people you respect and trust.
No woman is an island. Even if it’s just one person, you can move mountains in community. Be uncompromising when it comes to the quality of person you choose to build with, and as a general rule: if you don’t want to become like them, don’t work with them.
2. Ask for help.
If you don’t ask, you don’t get, simple as that. Whether it is a tangible need or just to bounce ideas around, people do love to help. And once you get the help, if possible, be prepared to take it – asking is not executing. It’s ultimately up to you to walk through the door you’ve just knocked on.
3. Necessity is the Mother of Invention.
Obstacles, both internal and external, though seldom wished for, can be a superpower when harnessed. If I weren’t pushed against the wall, I wouldn’t have taken many of the risks that have produced the greatest gifts. Use these hard times to hone your skills, get clear about your WHY and ensure you’re becoming the person you want to be.
4. Flexibility is the thing.
Bend so you don’t break. Resilience is a skill you must practice, and the ability to adapt and remain open is the biggest determinate of success no matter what task you’re undertaking.
5. Relationships matter.
Be intentional about nurturing and tending to your relationships, both professional and personal. Choose empathy instead of criticism. Relationships are the grounds for all the good stuff in life, they can anchor and sustain you even as circumstances shift. Empathy and humor are faithful friends, in famine and feast.
6. Find something meaningful to do and do it.
Loss of meaning is the enemy. Whether it’s your work, your family, your art, or your community, identify a space where you can pursue meaning and invest there. Meaning can get you through the hardest of times.