NAWBO Houston members, Badra Andrews, and Dorinda Obsta have completed the Goldman Sach’s 10K Small Business Program—they are graduates of Cohort 23! This is quite an accomplishment and we’re very proud of these ladies. The time and effort to complete such a program speaks to their level of dedication to themselves, their business and their team! Goldman Sach’s 10K Business Program is a national and local supporter of NAWBO and this partnership continues to benefit our members.
Here’s what the ladies had to say about their experience.
Q: What was the greatest lesson learned?
Andrews: Goldman Sachs was like a bridge for me that helped me cross over from working in the business to working on the business. It’s a very hard lesson for many small business owners to learn and appreciate, it’s a very scary time to let go of the daily activities and start looking at the business from a different perspective.
Obsta: The entire course helped me learn how to step outside and work on my business instead of working in my business. It gave me the knowledge and tools to learn the difference and helped me identify the steps to get from working in the business to working on the business.
Q: What did you learn about yourself?
Andrews: I learned that I was doing things right and that I had all the pieces of the puzzle. But putting the pieces in the right place was very important and I did not realize its importance. For example, I knew the culture, mission, and vision of the business. I practiced it with my staff daily but did not have it in writing so my customers did not know it. I thought my actions spoke for themselves but actually, it should be shouted out at every level—on the website, on marketing material, etc. So Goldman Sachs helped me explain my vision and mission and to share in writing.
I have always been self-employed, I have never worked for a corporation. So my values have always been to be true to myself and to my employees and customers. It surprised me how many small business owners have left the corporate world to live this kind of life in their business.
Obsta: I learned that I am a strong driver personality and that depending on how I word things will greatly change the outcome of those around me. I learned that I am resilient and have what it takes as long as I stick to my plan and ask questions from peers and mentors along the way.
Q: How will the completion of this program change your business?
Andrews: Since I have always been self-employed, I always doubted my abilities. I asked, “what am I missing?” Completing this course helped build my confidence and let me know that I was on the right track and just to keep moving forward. I did not have to be afraid of taking higher risks if I had the right tools. I can climb any mountain and if I don’t have the tools to do so, then find the right company or person with these tools and work with them. Networking with other CEOs is a big deal. Surround yourself with smarter people than yourself. If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.
I encourage every small business to take this course. You will meet amazing people, amazing leaders, and it will open lots of doors for you. You will be able to help fellow business owners. Life is give and take; you get out of it what you give in it. I truly loved and enjoyed meeting each and everyone in my class. I will keep in touch with them. They are there for me and I am there for them. It has been a beautiful blessing and it came at the perfect time in my life.
Obsta: This course has introduced me to lifelong friends and mentors. It helped me put together a five-year business plan to take our business to the next level. It helped both myself and my husband get on the same page about doing certain practices and policies. We are so excited for the future. This is an amazing, life-changing program and I highly recommend it for anyone who has the opportunity to be part of a future cohort. Apply even if you think you are just short of the criteria. You can apply many times or as many times as you need to until you get accepted. It is completely worth it and life changing!