I was born and raised in Havre, a very small town in Eastern Montana, with three sisters and one brother and am extremely proud of my country girl Montana roots and heritage. As a teenager, I excelled in track and championed by my Norwegian grandparents, Hans and Selma Tveten, I was selected as one of the youngest members (at just thirteen years of age) for the 1980 U.S. Summer Olympics Team before the Games were boycotted.
When I got older, I moved to Spokane, Washington to study medicine and received my Master’s Degree in nursing with an intensive care emphasis. I take honor in since having been voted “Nurse of the Year”. I continue to regularly travel on medical missions worldwide with pediatric surgical trauma teams serving as a team leader, recruiter and educator in Rwanda, Africa.
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” —Anne Frank
But, it wasn’t during my nursing days that I realized my true passion for becoming an entrepreneur. It actually stems from the young age of five, from selling Kool-Aid on my street… seriously! Today, I continue to reside in Spokane, fulfilling my entrepreneurial spirit, and have since started several businesses, including: CHAPS (purchased 2004 / opened 2006-coffee), Cake (2010-bakery), Paper and Cup (2017-an outpost of CHAPS) and Lucky Vintage (2014-vintage home decor store). I am also happy to be a part of the Healing Hearts Northwest team (1997-Rwanda Africa), having participated in nearly 100 international medical missions. In addition, I have served as the Editor in Chief of Where Women COOK 2018 holiday cooking specialty interest publication. I continue to find regular ideas and inspiration in business by surrounding myself with others, traveling the world and reading.
- If you want to start a business and become successful with it, you need to solve meaningful problems.
In selecting your entrepreneurial journey, plan on doing something you truly love and are good at—you are devoting your life and your future so it’s important to surround yourself with something that you are driven by and that which makes you happy.
Never stop building meaningful relationships.
Adaptation is crucial in the entrepreneurial world; just because something worked last year or the year before, doesn’t mean that new technology—or a new technique—won’t tilt the playing field tomorrow.
Start today. The only true way to learn is by doing, and you can’t afford to sit around waiting for funding (hoping someone else will come along to help you execute your idea) or complain that you “don’t have the time.”
Always remember, becoming successful in business is more about your mentality, psychology and determination to thrive than anything else.
The best leaders see the leadership qualities in others. I, therefore, believe in leading by example. Leadership does not disrespect—it is not demeaning nor is it diminutive. Leadership gives, loves and empowers others.
Often, entrepreneurship is hailed as an essential ingredient for pursuing “The American Dream”. They say it takes a village to raise a child; well, I’d argue that it takes a village to start and run a business. Even successful “solo-preneur” ventures aren’t ever really a one-man show. I firmly believe that being an entrepreneur is the best way to make sure you live a life of passion and adventure—a life that leaves you a legacy. It also offers the benefit of allowing you to be strongly connected to your community, not just for economic reasons such as jobs, etc. but also for supporting charities and empowering you with a voice.
As an entrepreneur, I’ve painstakingly learned the importance of heeding the best business advice I’ve received from other entrepreneurs. The bottom line is that it takes a lot to start a business and grow it to reach profitability. Funny enough, the most impactful lessons have come from my biggest failures!