A lifelong self-employed Woman in Control, this month we meet Deb, a high performance coach, factory owner, mother of four, and lover of life - no matter how difficult things may get. We truly connected with her advice about loving your own unique journey and valuing relationships as our most important assets.
Can you tell us about yourself?
First of all, I'd like to thank you for the opportunity to be included in your blog profiling Women In Control. I admire confident, kind, hardworking women. A southern California transplant, I now live in a rural farming community outside of Indianapolis, Indiana. I moved 35 years ago and love it here in the Midwest. Not too crowded, peaceful, Indy is a magnet for startup entrepreneurial companies. I’ve been self employed my entire career, I love being around other like minded people. I have owned transmission shops, general auto repair shop, a car wash, a landscape company, a leasing company and a consulting company. I am the CEO of a certified woman-owned precision machine shop and I am a Certified High Performance Coach.
What inspired you to choose your career? And what continues to drive you?
My career chose me. My parents divorced when I was young and my Mom suffered a nervous breakdown followed by schizophrenia. My grandparents moved my sister and I into their home and raised us. My Grandpa was a pioneer of Roundhouse Products, in the seventies it was one the largest Model Train Manufacturers in our country. I spent many hours working with him, saw first-hand how a manufacturing company operated. Early on, in my mind's eye, I harbored a dream to be a manufacturer myself.
I met my husband shortly after I moved to Indiana. He owned his own transmission shop, with one employee. When I took over the books, didn’t know the difference between a debit or a credit. Together we grew the business to 28 employees and over a million dollars in sales. We built several businesses and I had the pleasure of having four kids, two daughters and two sons. In 1999, we bought his Dad’s business and I became CEO of my own manufacturing facility.
Why is life coaching such an important part of your life and what do you hope to achieve with it?
Working with family is difficult. I had no training on how to effectively manage my relationships. I tried various methods, but my inability to communicate in a way people could hear me without getting triggered, cost me important relationships. We are not taught how to manage the two most important relationships we have in life, how to manage our interpersonal relationships and how to manage money. We get trapped, like I was, in habits, repeating the same behavior patterns. Even when these habits alienate and ruin relationships.
After my divorce, I asked myself, "I’m a smart woman, why did I repeat the same behavior over and over for years, never changing my internal self? Why was change so difficult." My High Performance Coaching is my way of giving back. My mission is to help others, offering solutions to help salvage relationships before they lose them. I believe our relationships in life are our most important asset. I learned this the hard way through loss.
You have led a male-dominated business for many years, how have you been able to do so?
I'd say my confidence, lack of fear, positive outlook, desire to grow, and work ethic to name a few. I never gave up when things got tough - and they did. One by one my competitors dropped by the wayside, going out of business. My team and I navigated in a dying industry. With the off shoring of many Manufacturing Plants, my job has been filled with ups and downs. A pioneer, a woman in male-dominated world, I was often the only woman on the trade show floor (that wasn't a promotional model). That’s not the case anymore, many women are joining the manufacturing workforce. I love our country and I love manufacturing. I am an advocate for keeping it Made in America.
What does being a woman in control mean to you?
Having the ability to manage emotions and stay present. I believe our world is so rushed and impatient we miss out on the things in life that matter the most - our relationships. Having happy, supportive relationships with others, and most importantly our internal relationship with self. I think it’s important to learn to listen to our internal voice of intuition and follow what we feel. I feel a woman in control is her own best friend. Her inner confidence, her clarity and lack of fear. Having knowledge of and focus on her own unique values, ideals and beliefs enable her to make choices that create a life filled with happiness and satisfaction.
"I feel a woman in control is her own best friend."
If you could say one thing to a young girl encouraging her to be a woman in control, what would you say?
Honor yourself and your journey. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Nobody is perfect and no relationship is without bumps. I don’t know anybody that has had a perfect relationship. Lower your expectations of others. When others disappoint, don’t take it personally and self-destruct. When we expect things from others and they don’t deliver, we often punish ourselves. Just because someone fails to meet our expectations, that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with you. It’s their problem. Don’t place your happiness in the hands of others, take control of your life. Your attitude will determine the quality of your life. Learn to control your emotions to overcome yourself and what comes out of your mouth. Learning this powerful mindset will enable you create the life of your dreams.
"Don't place your happiness in the hands of others, take control of your life."
What are some of your favorite aspects of the LIA LARREA brand?
I love the sleek lines and details of the LIA LARREA brand. Classically elegant, yet so comfortable, I feel beautiful in her brand. Her attention to detail, the quality of the fabrics and the versatility of each design are a few of the things I love. I like the colors and how easily I can mix and match pieces to create a stylish and elegant wardrobe. I really admire Lia, her devotion to her brand, its quality, innovative design and most importantly, what a great role model she is for all Women in Control. Thank you for the opportunity to wear these designs and be a part of your blog.
Photography - Quincy Stamper
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