Name: Gail Goodman
Business: ConsulTel, Inc., a consulting practice for telephone skills training.
Industry: Coaching & Consulting
Location: Bedford Hills, New York, U.S.
Reason for starting: I had worked for a remodeling firm as the VP of Training and when I left that company, I realized that I knew how to start a business because my job had been to get our franchises up and running. I had expertise in marketing, phoning and sales and when I thought about a consulting practice, I thought that phone trainers were rare. After 26 years in business, they still are. I have only met [or heard of] a dozen people who focus their consulting practice on phone skills training. Sales and marketing consultants are a dime a dozen.
How do you define success? Success is a pretty broad term, but I think that people can have success at a number of different times in their life. In business, I think success is first and foremost defined by your business’ ability to sustain your lifestyle. You are “successful” if your work is fulfilling and that isn’t always the highest paying job, but it’s still success. In your personal life, it can take on too many meanings to write about in a short paragraph, but I have been successful in my personal life as a single person, as a wife and, for 20 years, as a divorced person. I’m very happily remarried and I consider that a bonus on the success continuum since I was also happy when I was single.
Biggest Success: My biggest business success has been my ability to build ConsulTel, Inc. into a viable training company for over 25 years. I am well known in the financial services industry, where I have been, and continue to be, the primary name that comes to mind when people think of “appointment setting” and “phone training.” I started my company just as I got separated from my first husband and grew this business by myself for many years. My second husband is my biggest champion and my business has doubled since meeting him, so I suppose finding such a great supportive person as my life partner was a huge success!
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? The biggest challenge for me has been continuing to go forward when I’m in a slump. Yes, all businesses have ups and downs, but as a sole owner of my business, I have to find ways to be creative, motivated and energized by myself. Though I like working alone, the down side is a pretty strong and I’ve overcome the loneliness of sitting in my office and not knowing what to do. I have several people that I rely on to give me a pep talk, kick in the butt or a good idea as needed.
Who is your most important role model? My role model was my dad. He went into business in his twenties (right after being discharged from the army) and owned a beauty parlor for over 35 years. But at some point, he realized he wanted to be a nurse so at 50 years old, he went to nursing school. He ultimately sold his beauty shop and became a nurse full time. Watching my dad study organic chemistry and pass all his tests was an inspiration to me and taught me that you are never too old to do something you want to do. It made me realize that if I didn’t buy the horse I always wanted, I’d be too old to enjoy it. So at 49, I went out and got a beautiful Morgan. I have no doubt in my mind that I am able to be an entrepreneur because of my father.
Edited by The Story Exchange