Recently I had the honor of being named a Finalist for the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Person of the Year for 2011. During the interview process, I was able to reflect on what it means to be involved in a small business in America that is meeting a growing need of seniors.
All of us have a story inside of us. I have always heard when passion and job intersect- therein lies your life story. It was a proud moment as I reflected to the panel how caring for my relatives and watching the care burden on my mom planted a seed in me that would harvest later in life. Mine has been a journey out of the corporate world of health care into that of a small business owner and direct line provider. In my previous work, I had been well educated in how to care for seniors, but often distant in my direct approach to families.
After being with a health care company that was sold and finally having access to seed money, I took the leap to nurture the seed inside of me. I founded CaraVita HomeCare where my vision was to create a company that allowed seniors to stay as independent as possible with enriched lives in their own communities. I wanted to create a company where I could share what I had learned in caring for seniors, and directly help families with support and services.
With the founding of CaraVita, I leapt from a large health care company into the world of small business owner and operator. Nothing prepares you for doing it all like doing it all. When you are in the corporate world, there are layers of people to intervene on business problems. But when you start a small business, you are it! The job postings, the insurance bids, the policies and procedures, the appeal for unemployment hearings, phone calls with employees who did not get checks or families not understanding their bills…well, those calls come to you. At times you wonder how far the day to day concerns of running a business are from your passion of serving seniors. But in a small business you have little time to wonder. You just have to set your sights ahead and begin trusting that all of your labor will deliver the outcomes you set out to achieve.
Not that I am complaining at all. I am thankful that I can live my dream. I am proud that I could start a successful, meaningfulsenior care business, and honored to have been nominated for the Small Business Person of the Year. Now, unlike the early years, I have a team who can help with the myriad details it takes to run a small business serving seniors and their families. It makes me reflect on how important what we do everyday is for those we serve; you are not data, or numbers, or sales figures – you are families, and families we can help.
I believe we in senior care hold some of the most important jobs in the coming decade; and I am proud to serve. Many thanks to the Greater North Fulton Chamber for recognizing what we do, letting us reflect how we got here and applauding what it takes to be a great small business. Special thanks to my coworkers and employees who work every day to continue the vision. And a very special thank you to Suzanne Brown, Nick LaDart and Brenda May for your part in this.
Looking forward to many more great years serving our community,— Beth