Name: Anne Branigin Vandeveer
Business: ABV Retirement Plan Advisors, Inc., a company to navigate compliance welfare and retirement plans
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
Reason for starting: I started my business 15 years ago, after being downsized at 8 months pregnant. I had intended to go back to work part-time, after having my first child at age 34, but I had no intention of looking for a brand-new job, nor was I prepared to do so. So, I decided to network and start my own consulting business.
How do you define success? In my business, I define success with happy clients. My business is based on strong expertise and client service. I am both thrilled and humbled when my clients thank me for helping them. Our business is such a niche business, but it is provides important services to corporate clients. I absolutely love knowing that I have educated and advised my clients so that they can make the best decisions for their own company. Personally, I define success by knowing that I am true to myself, honest and kind to others and, as a result, I have a happy family. I am a strong believer in putting the needs of others before my own. I believe that, at the end of the day, genuine kindness is always best.
Biggest Success: My biggest success has been building this company virtually from scratch while raising my two children from infancy to adolescence. I also have two wonderful adult stepdaughters, whom I helped raise through such very challenging teenage years in the same period of my professional life. I believe that I have accomplished something almost unobtainable: owning my own business and raising a family simultaneously. I am immensely proud and grateful every day.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? My top challenge personally, by far, is balance. When you own your own business, it is truly a 24/7 undertaking. It is always on your mind, especially when you are a fee-for-service business. It’s like having children, in many ways! My children, and my marriage, are truly my number one priorities. Nothing, absolutely nothing, comes before the needs of my family. But these decisions are not always so simple, or easy to make. My top challenge professionally is ensuring that my business remains different from the competition. I truly believe that our success to-date is based on the fact that our strong service model & general business approach are unique & highly valued.
Who is your most important role model? A conglomeration of people have influenced me personally and professionally. My father died when I was 23, so his influence was short, but incredibly strong. He was extraordinarily intelligent and kind, and he inspires me every day. My paternal grandfather was the governor of Indiana in the late 1960s, so his legacy is strong. Both of my grandmothers and my mother were and are strong women in their own unique ways & each contributed to the woman I am today. A host of professional role models may not even realize that they have affected me so greatly in their own special ways. I value intelligence and the ability to be a real person in business. I continue to hope to blaze a trail, as both a successful businesswoman & as a compassionate and caring human being. Somehow, in my opinion, that capacity seems to have gotten lost in the world today.
Edited by The Story Exchange