The Cruel Comment That Shaped My Company

I’m married to a serial entrepreneur. He’s the one who started Unlimited Security way back in the day, but it soon got to a place where he had one too many irons in the fire. I was intending only to be a good wife when I encouraged him to make a decision about what he wanted to do with this little security company he had so little time to run. The next thing I know, I’ve got the keys to office. I’m still not exactly sure how that happened.

But the short of it is that there was an opportunity. And I come from a long line of entrepreneurs—mom, dad, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles—everybody’s in business. So when this opportunity arose, it felt natural for me to take Unlimited Security over.

Things didn’t get off to a great start, however. What was funny—or, to be exact, the very opposite of funny—is that the day I took Unlimited Security over, the only employee who held a QA license (not unlike the broker license in real estate that requires extra education and certification) came in and turned in his notice because, as he said, “I will never work for a woman.”

Successful people learn to channel their frustrations into forward motion. I will bring this same determination to my customers.

Successful people learn to channel their frustrations into forward motion. I will bring this same determination to my customers.

I was so angry. But I was able to channel that anger, using it to propel me to get my own QA license—to take those courses, to pass them, to get the certification. Now, I am my own QA. Most QAs end up in an office somewhere and tell everybody else what to do. But I didn’t want to leave it at that. Since I have the knowledge, I wanted to be the one to take it out to homes and businesses. I wanted to be the one to walk the premises and map out a comprehensive security plan. To this day, I am the one who goes out and meets with my clients to look at their home or business.

The truth is: If that man hadn’t made that incredibly misogynistic remark to me, humiliated me, gutted me—albeit momentarily—I don’t know that Unlimited Security would be what it is today. If that man hadn’t made that remark I wouldn’t have forced myself to become as deeply involved in the industry as I am. Since I took over the company about 10 years ago, we’ve grown an average of 45 percent per year. But, much more importantly, the backbone of our business model has become about the people we serve. We are personal and hands-on by nature. We’ve grown into a company that I’m very proud to call my own.

I ran into that same man a couple of years ago and was able to, at last, thank him for having said what he said. What just absolutely blows me over is that he told me that he didn’t remember the incident at all. But I certainly do. And I’m thankful to him for the fight it inspired in me.