We are lucky to have so many tremendous women in our community! You’ve met quite a few of them in our Woman of the Week feature. Now, we’re going to ask them some probing questions and see what kind of insights we can glean from these talented, successful women. Some are Executive Elements clients and some are not. Some are seasoned professionals and some are just starting out in their career. And all are super smart!
Today we caught up with Tricia Wheeler, editor-in-chief of Edible Columbus and founder/owner of The Seasoned Farmhouse cooking school.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing women in the workplace?
I have never worked in a traditional workplace. I started my own first business when I was 23 and I have been self-employed for my whole career. I have had employees and have created workplaces. A challenge I have witnessed is women who have to juggle so much. I have employed single Mom’s with little support – I see them trying to work hard, and balance family responsibilities. I think even for those of us fortunate to be with a spouse that contributes equally to family and work – it is hard. I think finding a balance between work and home will continue to be a challenge as more and more women build careers while raising a family.
What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you’d first started out?
As a young entrepreneur – I was very conservative. I was limited by capital, but not by potential. I wish someone would have sat down with me early in my career, looked at my business financials, helped me really understand the numbers & then would have advised me on bringing on some capital to build a sales team, expand my technology sooner & to invest in good talented people. I think I could have grown my business even better had I had this early intervention.
How do you think women can best get ahead in business today?
I have a couple of ideas – first, people do business with people they like. I think you need to be yourself, to be authentic and to follow through on every promise you make. I also believe in karma – I try to put out as much goodwill as I can on a daily basis knowing it will come back. I believe that opportunities are born of hard work – I try to say, yes as much as I can and I try to seize opportunities when they come my way.
Are women creating more balanced lives? Why or why not? Are you?
I think women recognize the need for balance. We lead such busy lives & the economic pressure the last few years has made it even harder for some women to slow down and to take better care of themselves. I think I tend to be someone that bites off a lot, but somehow manages to pull it off. I think the key for me is segmenting my time – I call it big projects, I figure out what all my big projects are & I designate chunks of times each week to devote to big projects. I feel like this moves me forward and forces me to schedule my time more efficiently. This year I did not schedule anything on Monday’s – it became my catch up and get organized for the week day (this helped me be more productive).
What are you most excited about right now?
I am most excited about opening our new cooking school – The Seasoned Farmhouse, in Clintonville in April. It is a place that brings our work at edible Columbus into practice – the tagline of the school is cultivating cooks and gardeners.
What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done in your career?
After I sold my first business, I took a 9 month sabbatical and moved to New York to attend the French Culinary Institute. I had always wanted to go to culinary school and was finally able to realize this dream. I loved every second of my experience and felt like I learned more in that time period than ever before. I loved being in a new city and discovering new things around every corner.