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Name: Mashell Carissimi

Business: JMC Electrical Contractor, LLC

Industry: Other — Construction

Location: Clinton Township, Michigan, U.S.

Reason for starting: It was late 2009 and my husband, who is a master electrician, was working for an electrical contractor who was having money problems. I made an offhand comment to my husband that I could run a business better than his boss and he said, “Go for it.” So, I did. This way I could employ my husband and our electrician friends who were unemployed at the time.

Related: Read about another female entrepreneur here. 

How do you define success? The definition of success for me is hard to nail down. I celebrate success each time I achieve either a personal goal or one that I have set for my company. Then I set new goals and strive to achieve them. When they are accomplished, I celebrate that success. So, I guess what I am saying is that success is an on-going series of accomplishments and celebrations for me.

Biggest Success: I don’t believe I have reached my biggest success but I have achieved my biggest success to date. My biggest success to date has been continuing to grow my company. This continued growth has allowed me the opportunity to employ more people and to give back to my community. I look forward to more successful growth and even more opportunities to help others enjoy my successes either through direct employment with my company or through my ability to increase my community outreach.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? The biggest challenge I have faced, and continue to struggle with, has been my near paralyzing shyness. I look at my life now and realize how far I have come from the extreme introvert I was from childhood until my 30’s. I didn’t start college until I was 30, not because I didn’t have the money, but because I was too afraid to figure out how to go about it. At 30, I was a recently divorced single mother working for a small company make very little income. I decided that I needed to get over my shyness and get educated. Pure determination kept me going and by the time I graduated with my second MBA, I wasn’t cured but I am so much more outgoing than I was in the past.

Related: Read about another introvert who has taken entrepreneurship head on here. 

Who is your most important role model? My mother is my most important role model. She never received a formal education; she didn’t even graduate high school. But, she is one of the most business savvy women I have ever met. She is strong, loyal, dedicated, ethical, and the best person to have on your side. She taught me the value of hard work and to accept all people for who they are.

Twitter   @Mashellc 

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Edited by The Story Exchange