SDIAA Spotlight – Julie Brown – SDI Staffing

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What is the best and worst decision you’ve ever made?

Best – starting my own business.
Worst – Not starting it sooner! I also wish I had hired someone to write our own staffing software when internet was just starting out.

What women inspires you & why?

Susan B Anthony and the suffragists – Their courage to stand up for their rights over 100 years ago allowed future women the right to vote and be heard. Of the time, it was extremely courageous. Her arrest and trial earned Susan widespread respect and inspired younger women to stand up for their rights too. Her acts eventually triumphed some 14 years after her own death. The right to vote was just one of many goals of women’s rights activists, whose broad agenda included equal access to education and employment, equality within marriage and a married woman’s right to her own property and wages, custody over her children and control over her own body. Although we’re still fighting those battles today, they paved the way for future generations of women.

What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?

As a female business executive, I have been asked the question time and time again, “Can women really have it all?” There are several flaws inherent to this question, not least of which is the fact that my husband and male coworkers never get asked this.

The truth is that both men and women business leaders are challenged with balancing their career and personal lives. Running your own business takes a significant amount of time and effort. However, it can also allow more flexibility and control over your own schedule. Personally, it provided me with a great work-life balance when my kids were younger and it influenced my children to think they could have it all too. It’s as if they assumed that was the norm in every household – a mother who ran her own business, attended school events, baked cookies for the bake sale, was home in the evenings, and had dinner on the table. Of course since then, I’ve had to explain the good, the bad and the ugly of how it all came together, but I’m thankful that my kids were able to see this example.

What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?

Past behavior predicts future behavior. It’s our favorite saying in our office and it has served us well when deciding if we should work with a client or candidate. We also believe in our company, our character, our services, and our worth, and have had to say no to business from time to time. We’ve learned that’s the risk you have to take if a client or candidate’s past behavior hasn’t been favorable.

Do you have any new projects coming up (or have you just completed a big project) Reached a milestone? If so, please tell us about it?

We’re celebrating our 25th anniversary this year! I can’t believe it’s been that long, but I am so thankful for my staff and family that have helped me achieve that milestone!

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