Leader2Legacy – Sara Potecha LLC.

Entrepreneurship makes the world go around. In this issue, GLM decided to highlight a couple of entrepreneurs that are making an impact with their small business. Check out their feature below:

Sara Potecha, author of West Point Woman: How Character is Created and Leadership is Learned and President of Leader2Legacy -Sara Potecha, LLC. From author to an accomplished speaker & executive coach. Sara serves as a senior advisor providing vision and strategic expertise in the areas of personal and organizational change, business transformation, executive leadership, and learning and development.

GLM: How and when did you get started in your business?

Sara: I began a consulting practice in 2003.

GLM: What inspires you as an entrepreneur? Why?

Sara: I have always had a bent toward working for myself. As a teenager, I had newspaper route to earn spending money. However, I got so busy with several extracurricular activities at school, I had to hire my brother and his friend to get the papers delivered.  In hiring help, I could still create income and compete in three sports. Even then, I enjoyed the flexibility that running my own business provided.

After graduating the United States Military Academy (USMA), I served in the US Army for about 6 years and I was married and had children. Beginning my company at this time worked with my goals of being available to my children, developing my consulting skills and contributing to our household income.

A few years later, I was suddenly widowed with three young children. I needed at that time a full time job with medical benefits, so I pursued a demanding corporate career. At times, I felt stymied in those roles. I missed the latitude I had enjoyed with running my own company. In time, I aligned myself with a small management consultancy and gained the knowledge to run a profitable consulting practice.

As every entrepreneur knows the freedom of owning your own company comes with inherent risk and periods of income downturn. To manage the downtimes for several years I held a corporate job and kept my consulting practice as a side income. Then as happened to many of us, I was downsized from my job and was glad I had kept the consulting practice. With discipline and a great deal of work I eventually grew that business into a lucrative practice that now includes being an author and speaker as well as a consultant.

GLM:  If you could sit with anyone to learn about business and life, who would it be?

Sara: As a woman, I admire women who have reached high levels of success in life. And by success, I do not necessarily mean making the most money but those who have also had successful marriages and families and have left the world a better place. One such woman is Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, who has five children. I would love to learn how she manages a huge company with the complexity of having five children.

GLM: What was your first entrepreneurial endeavor and how much has it changed from where you are today?

Sara: Initially, I just started helping business owners with ways to grow their businesses. Often their needs were people related – that is leadership and management challenges. I developed a love for leadership at West Point, so I gravitated to these work opportunities. Later when I joined a small consultancy, I began Executive Coaching and developing leadership programs. When I was stumped, I asked my colleagues to assist me and often that led me to read a book they recommended, etc. I learned to add staff when I needed the help and to pay them well.

I grew in my understanding of leadership as I worked with clients to solve their people challenges. I developed programs and training and gained greater confidence. I also pursued a Masters in Organizational Management and Development to enlarge my skill set. In addition, I found I could handle assignments that were more complicated.  I was not always successful with each client; however, I learned from each encounter and was better prepared for the next opportunity. In time, I had a whole toolbox of methods to assist a variety of clients – strategic planning, problem solving techniques, change management, cultural transformation, lean six sigma tools, etc.

I began with what I knew and had passion around – solving people issues through common sense leadership skills. Then I eventually grew my practice to address more complicated issues. Now I have added becoming an author to my repertoire with the objective of becoming a thought leader on important topics like adversity and managing chaos and change.  This current phase led to a rebranding of my company, Lean Insight to Sara Potecha, LLC.

GLM: What one thing that “you know now” as an entrepreneur that you wish you know before you started?

Sara: Develop a solid business plan focusing on one area before expanding into new avenues. This takes discipline. Also, make sure you find a good accountant as you grow your business especially as your income comes in from different states, etc.

GLM:  What plans do you have for your business’ expansion?

Sara: Currently I have just completed my first book, West Point Woman: How Character is Created and Leadership is Learned (Silver Tree Publishing) will be available on Amazon in mid-October 2018.

West Point Woman is my story of determination to be one of the first women graduates of the United States Military Academy. A feat that was met with alienation, bias, and overwhelming odds. Through vivid storytelling, I share the leadership lessons I learned while enduring the cauldron of that experience. I also teach my readers how to apply the West Point leadership principles to their own set of circumstances. This book is written for anyone who has ever felt marginalized, disrespected, disadvantaged and just plain frustrated and wants the tools to thrive despite their situation.

And as an advocate for Veterans for several years, a portion of my book sales will be donated to Veteran Service Organizations (VSO’s) that support wounded warriors and their families as well as Women Veterans.

As an author, I hope to expand my services to include keynote speaking and I have a couple of engagements this fall. Further, I hope to position myself as thought leader on the topics of resilience, grit and overcoming.  I also intend to begin a podcast series highlighting other resilient women and men in early 2019.

GLM: How can people stay up-to-date with your product/service offers?

Sara: Follow me on LinkedIn | Facebook and my website: www.sarapotecha.com

GLM:  What accomplishments are you the proudest of since you began your business?

Sara:  Developing an enduring business that challenges me to grow professionally while also raising three independent yet compassionate daughters.

Website: www.sarapotecha.com

Follow Sara on LinkedIn | Facebook

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