“I used to think the people on the hill were different, but they aren't that different. We all have the same heart that pumps, the same emotions, feelings and desires. There is only one real difference...the motivation to overcome obstacles!”
- Carolyn J. Gable
A single mother of seven, ages 10 to 35, her rags to riches story seems impossible to believe. After graduating high school, she wandered as a beautician for a year until she settled as a waitress.
As a waitress for over a decade she honed her communication and inter-personal skills, yet she knew something greater was meant for her. Like many of us, she needed a little push. As a single mother of two small children, her push came in the form of the restaurant closing for renovations.
Forced to make ends meet, Carolyn walked into an employment office looking for a sales job. While she didn't immediately get what she wanted, she did get a job as a customer service representative at a freight company. After a year of dedicating herself to learning the industry, she was promoted to a sales position. A few years later, the freight industry became deregulated, and Carolyn was quick to realize an opportunity. Taking a risk, backed only by her positive attitude and commitment to her customers, she started her own company out of her townhouse in 1989.
Carolyn's creativity and enthusiasm have resulted in New Age Transportation, Distribution & Warehousing Inc. Generating revenue in excess of $30 million this year, and the recipient of numerous awards for both her business acumen and charitable work, most entrepreneurs would be satisfied by winning the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award (2002). Not Carolyn. Her true passion is unlocking the potential in individuals, inspiring her employees and everyone that crosses her path to achieve personal and professional success.
In 2011, Carolyn was asked to be on the Fetzer Advisory Council on Business Professions. The Fetzer Institute: In the spirit of bold exploration that has served it so well, the Fetzer Institute is renewing its commitment to its mission by creating a dynamic network of international advisory councils and fellowships designed to surface love and forgiveness at work in the world. The newly established international network of advisors and fellows will heighten awareness of work that exemplifies the Fetzer mission, expand understanding of the motivations and preconditions for the exercise of love and forgiveness in specific sectors, and guide the development of the Institute's future work.
The dynamic author of Everything I Know as a CEO I Learned as a Waitress, Carolyn outlines her principles for success - which can be applied within business and in one's own personal life. Sharing her life experiences and inspirational thoughts, the confidence her writing instills in the reader to take their own journey is undeniable!
As individuals, our past experiences influence who we are today. Carolyn's early experiences as a single mother, challenged to make ends meet, is a heartache that many single parents understand. The financial hurdles of a single parent that juggles working and raising a family can quickly become overbearing. Carolyn's foundation, Expect A Miracle, provides relief from some of the daily challenges, allowing mothers to shift more of their energy towards the miracles in their own lives.
Reading Carolyn's story here, in the media, or even in her book may provide the spark that you need to believe in yourself and to achieve your goals. She is living proof that individuals can overcome obstacles, beat the odds, and succeed. Hearing her tell her story, her words of inspiration, and her positive approach to the most difficult of situations is as insightful to the CEO as it is to the high school audience!