The Story Exchange, Abingdon Welch CoYour Name: Abingdon Welch

Business Name: The Abingdon Co.

Type of Business: Watch Company

Business Location: United States

U.S. State: Nevada

Twitter   @AbingdonWatches

Reason for starting
The reason I started my company – plain and simple – there wasn’t a pilot/traveler’s watch made for women. Try googling “pilot’s watch for women” or “ladies aviator watch” or anything like that. You will see that The Abingdon Co. is really the only company that shows up. Nothing else existed for extreme female travelers in the watch world.

How do you define success?
Success is being the best you can be. Everyone defines success differently: money, happiness, Fortune 500 company, 10+ employees, 100+ employees. Therefore, defining success may be one thing for one person and the complete opposite for another person. Whatever your version of “making it” is, as long as you did everything within your power to attain it, put your sweat and tears into it; lost your breath striving for it, put your entire brain, body, heart, and soul in, then consider yourself successful. Even if you didn’t attain what you set out to attain, you learned something. Every lesson given to us in life is a gift. Treat each lesson as a small success and your big goals will come.

Biggest Success
My biggest success was getting my pilot’s license in 34 days. I had no previous training, but had the drive to achieve my pilot’s license as quickly as possible. It was hard work, and I treated it like a job – I worked from 8-12, took an hour lunch break, then worked from 1-5, everyday including weekends. It worked and I was a pilot 5 months less than the average.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
My top challenge is something that comes unnatural to me, and that is being a boss. Managing people has never come easily to me and has always been challenging, so I address it with practice. Practice, practice, practice. With each person I manage, I am constantly asking for feedback and am keeping an open ear. There have definitely been times I have messed up big with someone, so as long as I learn from each mistake, I can become a better manager of the people I have put my trust in. This is my biggest challenge daily and one I hope to conquer and get better at.

Who is your most important role model?
I have many role models and all of them add up to my idea of the perfect role model. There is no ONE person that I look up to since that would mean it is like me wanting to be them. I want to be me and I want to be the best me. People like Branson, Oprah, Bob Hoover, Tesla, Carroll Shelby, Beryl Markham, my sister, my father, Angelina Jolie (a pilot by the way!), Jobs, Tim Ferris, Marie Forleo, and most speakers in TED talks all have qualities and have accomplished so much. I learn from all of them and each one teaches me something different.