Name: Tracey A. L. Ingle
Business: Ingle Law, P.C.
Industry: Professional Services
Location: Southborough, Massachusetts, U.S.
Reason for starting: I was laid off with 12 days’ notice. The partners I had been working for decided in August to close the doors. They waited until October 18th to tell me they were closing as of the 31st. I was done being at the mercy of other people. I wanted to build the law business I always wished I’d been able to work for, and to be the leader I’d always wanted to work for.
I’ve been a lawyer forever, and focusing on estate planning and elder law allows me to indulge the puzzle solver/numbers girl. Working with clients nurtures my inner teacher. But being an entrepreneur really allows my creative side to soar. I love writing, and creating something that will have a life of its own beyond me. Creating systems and implementing them so that each and every one of our clients receives the same “Wow!” experience is the challenge that I take on, and I love every minute of it.
How do you define success? It’s a combination of my own peace, and my team’s. I consider us a success when we have a great balance of personal freedom, financial freedom, freedom to speak and contribute, and mutual respect. It’s not about just me. It has to be measured by looking at everyone participating. I believe in sharing the success our business experiences. Everyone is responsible, so everyone should be rewarded. I also consider it a huge success that one of my team’s goals for 2015, of their choosing, was to do more social and fun activities together. This amazing group of people enjoy being together, and want to be even more cohesive by bonding outside of office hours! They’re truly amazing.
Biggest success: As long as I’ve been an entrepreneur, I’ve always been paranoid about the “worst case scenario.” For me, that would be having to lay people off because the company failed financially. I’ve never become complacent about the need to have drive towards success. The fact that I’m able to employ two people, and give them the chance to learn, grow and basically be rock-stars in their family… that’s a huge success. To allow others to bloom and grow. Huge! Do I own my own lakefront house? Yes. Do I drive a luxury automobile? Yes. But these are material. Lifting up others along the way? That’s the biggest success.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? Currently, my top challenge is maintaining sufficient cash flow while we thoughtfully and strategically rebuild. I hate borrowing from our credit line, but I recognize it as a necessary component to playing a big game over the next few months. I know where the line is in the sand, and we’re nowhere near it. But preventing the overwhelm and staying focused on my best next move, that’s my biggest challenge.
My business was poised to breakthrough $500k in 2013 when my father was diagnosed with an aggressive form for leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia. I’m an only child, and he was divorced. I spent months working only 10-15 hours a week so that I could support him. And God bless my team. They held everything together during that time. They have a great work ethic. They saw that things needed to get done, and just got things done. Everyone continued to receive their paycheck. My mortgage got paid. No one got laid off. The doors are still open. However, my absence took it’s toll. My father passed on August 5, 2014, and in 2014 we ended up down 30-40% from where we were. However, I see all this as a unique opportunity for a Do-Over. We’ve been stripped to our bare bones, and now I get to rebuild in a way to better leverage my time and energy. The result will be an even stronger and more effective business. Who ever gets that opportunity?
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Who is your most important role model? Right now, my mentor, Lisa Sasevich, and her mastermind group in the Sales, Authenticity and Success Mastermind. I’ve never worked with such a group of authentic and genuine entrepreneurs. It’s helping me develop not only solid business practices, but it’s also helping me to develop and grow as a person.
Edited by The Story Exchange