Dr. Madeline Ann Lewis is President/CEO Executive Women’s Success Institute is this week’s Featured interview
This i s her interview.
Tell us about your business (what product or service you provide and who your target audience is)
The Executive Women’s Success Institute (EXWSI} was founded in 2013 as an organization that provides personal and professional development hands-on results-oriented training offering topics such as career development, executive coaching, and business development. The programs are geared primarily toward women (25-60) lacking the needed competencies to further enhance their personal and professional development. Over the years, EXWSI has trained both government and private sector individuals to reach their full potential. It is a formal environment where women can share their thoughts, their joys, their weaknesses, and in some cases, their successes.
Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?
Being a business owner is one of the greatest feelings one can have. It gives me a sense of joy knowing I can help another woman see her own greatness and move in it. I have always had a passion for helping others in any way I could, especially women. The defining moment behind me starting my business was seeing how hard it was for women to advance in their careers. I began to realize that women were coming to me for advice on many things, such as reviewing their resumes, advice on what they should do next to move their careers along, helping them get through an interview – and for mentoring. I also noticed that there were not many women helping each other to move up the career ladder. This inspired me to start my own business to provide guidance, coaching, personal and professional development to those women who needed and wanted to advance in their careers or start their own business. Starting my own business gave me the opportunity to help more women and to be able to reach out on a larger scale. My motto is…Helping Women Accelerate The Path To Success.”
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
My greatest influence in everything I have accomplished is my Mother because she instilled in me the attitude to “never give up and never quit.” My greatest influence(s) in business I must say that I have two. One is J. K. Rolling, Founder of the Harry Potter Empire. She went from being a destitute single mother on welfare to a best-selling billionaire author. The other would be Oprah Winfrey, who rose from a Milwaukee ghetto and repeated sexual abuse to the Founder & CEO of OWN, Founder of Harpo Productions, and Founder of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls all of which resulted in her becoming a female billionaire. Both these women have shown what it means to “never give up and never quit.”
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
For me the greatest professional accomplishment was being featured in the Vetrepreneur Magazine (June 2016) and also receiving the 2016 Women Vetrepreneur of the Year Award. This award was in recognition of my being a veteran and a businesswoman. That was a great moment of joy for me and I felt a huge sense of accomplishment to receive such an award.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
Realize being in business won’t be easy. Be sure you are ready for all the hurdles, twists, and turns. It will help if you have what it takes to weather the “business storms” that may arise. Anyone who says running their own business is a piece of cake must have started it at a time when all the planets were in alignment; they are definitely in the small percentile of entrepreneurs. Being a business owner is not always an easy proposition. But it is…well worth it.
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
Things I use to market and promote my business vary. I am consistent with putting out what I call a “Success Nugget” on a daily basis. This is usually a brief business/career quote or fact that I feel will be useful. I also like to make videos to express a point or topic which are no more than 5 minutes long and that will add value to women in career or business. I always make it a point to send out a Press Release when I am having an event, or a launch. I am also the host of the “Success 4 Women” Radio/TV Show. I bring on guests that will show women that there are other women out there doing what they may be dreaming of doing. And that a dream is fine, but when you take action and follow-through, “nothing is impossible.”
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
I learned to listen to good advice. You have to be willing to accept advice from those who have already succeeded at what you are trying to do. This is especially beneficial if you can learn from their mistakes. Knowing what not to do is as important as knowing what to do. Having learned that lesson served me well over the years and it also brought great friends and colleagues into my life and my business.
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business? If yes, please describe (and include links if available).
One tool I use to stay in touch with my clients is Send Out Cards (www.sendoutcards.com). I use this as a means to recognize their birthdays, and maybe an important event that I am aware is taking place (i.e graduation, wedding). It also come with the option to include a gift with the card and they take care of sending it to the recipient.
Do you have any new projects coming up (or have you just completed a big project ~ reached a milestone, etc.)? If so, please tell us about it.
On August 13, 2020, I launched the Success 4 Women TV Show, a component and addition to the Success 4 Women Radio Show. I bring on guests who will share their stories about how they achieved their level of success or how what they do can impact women in business, women in the workplace, and women in relationships. On November 2-4, 2020, I am holding a 3-session forum on “Discover the Hidden Revenue in YOUR Business.” On March 20-21, 2021, I will be hosting a Women’s Virtual Retreat.
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
I always make time to have fun and relax by taking trips to places that will feed my spirit. And of course, I love going to luxury spas for massages, facials and spending time with girlfriends as we “sip and talk” to catch up with each other. Of course, that has been put on hold during this time of mask wearing, and stay at home restrictions during this COVID-19 crisis.
What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
My goal is to implement ways to reach more women especially now that they are at home and may need creative ways to keep moving forward and not become stagnant or stuck in a rut.
You want to write a book on: I want to add to my already published book entitled Finding Your Best Inside with a segment on Women: Finding Your Power. In the words of Galileo “All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.” (fill in the blank and feel free to explain).
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Always remember, everything begins in your head. It’s cliché but true, and you are what you believe yourself to be. If you feel you are not good enough, you are done and out of the game before getting started. Next, be a good thinker. Good thinkers are always in demand. The person who knows “how,” may always have a job, but the person who knows “why” will always be the boss. And finally, be a problem solver. As a problem solver, you become a key contributor and someone that will be viewed by others as the successful part of the overall “machinery.” As a problem solver, YOU will get noticed! And as a businesswoman that’s what you want.
What’s the best way for the readers of WE Magazine for Women to connect with you?
LinkedIn Link: linkedin.com/in/dr-madeline-ann-lewis-88b6297
Twitter Link: www.twitter.com/deline2992
Instagram Link: www.instagram.com/madelineannlewis/