These deals are so good, they won’t stay around long! Add new favorites to your library before the bargains disappear. (more…)
These deals are so good, they won’t stay around long! Add new favorites to your library before the bargains disappear. [Read more…]
This is a guest post by Peter Krol.
I loved seminary while it lasted. The academic environment, the spiritual fervor, the disciplined accountability. Lectures, discussion groups, and access to both an exceptional library and a brilliant faculty. What a treat.
So you can imagine my chagrin when it came to a premature end. I had to move across the state. Life’s expanding responsibilities held me by the collar. The seminary had to drop my tuition discount. And there was not yet such a thing as distance education. Mine was a cold, hard providence.
Today’s guest post is by author and pastor, Dr. Larry Osborne. Osborne has served as senior pastor and teaching pastor at North Coast Church for more than 35 years. He helped oversee the growth of the church from a group of 128 meeting in a rented school, to a multi-site ministry that reaches over 10,000 in weekend attendance. You can find Larry Osborne’s leadership books in Logos and Vyrso.
Everybody wants to leave a legacy. But the reality is we can’t control the impact or the length of our legacy. We’re prophets to our own generation (Acts 13:36) who serve God, play our role and are gone.
That said, how we live and lead does have an impact on our endurance. Our perspective, the way we love our people, our dependability and our sense of security all directly affect our ability to lead and serve effectively for the long haul.
Last week, Faithlife began a new speaker series, women in business. In this series, local business leaders will provide new perspectives and insights into the business world and offer advice based on the lessons they’ve learned.
Anne-Marie Faiola, CEO and founder of Bramble Berry in Bellingham, Washington, kicked off the series with an enthusiastic look at her roller-coaster journey as an entrepreneur. Her story is one of persistence: after beginning her career as a corrections officer, she quit her job to turn her hobby—soapmaking—into a means of supporting herself. She did just that, and 17 years later, she has several successful companies to her name. She has also been recognized as Washington State’s Businesswoman of the Year in 2009 and Washington State’s Businessperson of the Year in 2010.
Her business, Bramble Berry, has become a thriving, multi-million-dollar enterprise, supporting nearly 100 employees and growing. Her passion is infectious, and it’s clear that she loves what she does.
Success didn’t happen overnight, and Anne-Marie’s hardships and achievements taught her valuable lessons along the way.
Here are Anne-Marie’s top five keys to success:
1. Success is not a straight line.
Anne-Marie’s story has its fair share of ups and downs, from going into major debt to grossing millions of dollars each year, but one of the most important things she learned was to be adaptable and flexible as her business progressed. When something wasn’t working, sometimes all it took to solve the problem was admitting failure and moving past it or pivoting her direction.
2. It’s OK to dream big.
When Bramble Berry was in its early stages—and even today as it grows—Anne-Marie said it was crucial to be “delusionally optimistic.” Remaining happy and positive is key to overcoming challenges that arise, and being optimistic is an intentional choice. She noted that this is especially helpful when building a team—it’s important to lay a solid foundation and encourage new members in order for everyone to work toward the same goal.
3. Surround yourself well.
As Anne-Marie said, you’re the sum total of the five people you spend the most time with. Anne-Marie recommended choosing people who uplift you and help you out during rough patches rather than those who are unsupportive or negative. She also suggested building a network and finding a single mentor you can call on when you need them most.
4. Learn to say no.
When sharing a story about creating a large volume of product for a local grocery-store chain, Anne-Marie said with a hint of sarcasm, “I told them yes, because you always say yes to opportunity!” However, she went on to explain that saying yes to an opportunity means saying no to something else, and vice versa. It’s critical to set boundaries for yourself so you can focus on the tasks that keep you on track toward your ultimate goals.
5. Have a plan.
Anne-Marie has always found that creating and sticking to a plan is foundational for success, even cautioning, “Not planning is planning to fail.” Her decisions are backed by data, which helps her see when the plan needs to be altered. Setting realistic, attainable goals helps her see where she’s going and how she’s going to get there, and living out those goals in her daily actions helps her progress one step at a time.
In the coming weeks, we look forward to sharing more lessons from local leaders—stay tuned!
Does Faithlife sound like your kind of workplace? Come join us! Check out our current career openings and apply today.
Starting today, Faithlife employees will have the opportunity to learn from inspiring and successful businesswomen throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Each month, we’ll hear from a different female speaker. Today’s speaker is Anne-Marie Faiola–here’s a little more about her:
Anne-Marie is a serial entrepreneur. She started Bramble Berry in Bellingham at 20 years old when a career in law enforcement didn’t pan out. What began in a 400-square-foot closet, grew into a million dollar operation in just four years. Now with several successful companies to her name, Anne-Marie has been honored as both Washington State’s Businesswoman of the Year in 2009 and Washington State’s Businessperson of the Year in 2010. Bob Pritchett (Faithlife’s CEO) counts Anne-Marie as one of his most-respected leaders in our community.
So where did this speaking series come from? It started with Breanna Bart, one of Faithlife’s recruiters. She had an idea, so she brought it to Bob. Recently, I asked Breanna a little more about this speaking series and how she made it happen.
1. Where did this idea come from? What’s the motivation behind it?
I would love to see more women leaders at Faithlife!
Leadership, and in particular, cultivating women leaders, is a passion and interest of mine. I was interested in learning from some of the incredible women in our community, and figured if I was, others would be as well. In the spirit of Faithlife’s culture of growth and initiative, I put together a program that I thought would benefit everyone here.
Traditionally, girls haven’t always been taught to ask, negotiate, and sit at the table. When thrown into the workforce, that sometimes plays out in very direct ways. I want women everywhere to know that it’s not scary, and that it starts with believing in yourself.
I strongly believe we, regardless of gender, can all accomplish remarkable things. The only thing holding us back is that pesky mental barrier telling us it’s not possible. These four women that will be visiting Faithlife over the next couple months didn’t let that voice in their head tell them to stop when the going got tough.
One of the things I love most about Faithlife is that we are encouraged and supported to go above and beyond to benefit the company and our colleagues. I’d been playing around with ideas for a women in leadership program, and have always been in awe of some of the strong women figures in our community. I started reaching out to them to see if they’d be willing to share their personal and professional journeys with us, and the takeaways that we can apply to our own lives. From there, the speaker series came together pretty naturally. The response has been fantastic both from the speakers and from our employees.
When I shared my idea with Bob, he was really encouraging and said it’d be “very Faithlife of me”. I love that our leadership is supportive of stuff like this.
2. How does the women in business speaker series play into Faithlife’s mission?
When I think of Faithlife’s mission, I think of community. Putting together the women in business speaker series is my way of serving and building up the incredible group of leaders we have at Faithlife.
3. Is this something Faithlife can expect more of in the future?
The sky is the limit with what we can expect! It’s up to us as a community to support and build each other up. I’m committed to doing everything I can to cultivate leadership, both in myself, and my colleagues.
4. How did you select the speakers?
I thought about who I knew or had heard of that had accomplished amazing things. I also did some research on women who’d won awards in our community, as well as women who were leaders on high-profile boards in town. Once I started sharing my idea for the speaker series with others, they all had great ideas for potential speakers as well. There are four women lined up to speak, and several more who committed if the response stays as positive as it has been so far.
5. Which speaker are you most excited to hear from, and why?
I’m excited to hear all of the women speak. They each bring different backgrounds to the table—different perspectives, different leadership styles, different stories. There’s something we can learn from each of them. I can’t wait to learn how Anne-Marie, who started in a 400-square-foot closet, has successfully launched several businesses. Anne Rasmussen’s ability to be wildly successful at any role she jumps into blows my mind. Mimi is one of the most passionate and positive people I know—and I’m excited to learn how she transfers that others. Mayor Linville goes to bat against the heaviest of hitters and I look forward to hearing her negotiation tactics, and how she keeps her cool among chaos and naysayers.
6. What makes this experience valuable to employees?
My hope is that the women in business speaker series will be educational, inspirational, and empowering. I hope it brings us together, and with a greater understanding of how we can support each other in being the best, most positive, and most effective leaders possible. Success is not singular.
Here are the three next speakers in the series:
Coming in January: Anne Rasmussen
Anne manages a multi-million dollar budget in her current role, while cultivating relationships with community members that lead to million-dollar plus donations. But this dynamic, driven woman didn’t start out in development and fundraising. She, like Anne-Marie, is an entrepreneur, having owned True Bliss Events locally for several years to put on weddings and high-profile functions for some of our area’s most-noted residents. She also drove a successful career in sales, traveling throughout the country to close high-stakes deals.
Coming in February: Mimi Osterdahl
With a long list of accomplishments and awards to her name, Mimi is one of our community’s more inspirational leaders. She is the founder of The Workspace, one of Bellingham’s few coworking spaces. As managing broker and realtor for the Muljat Group Realtors, she’s helped find and sell homes for countless people in the Pacific Northwest. Not only is she president of the Whatcom County Association of Realtors, but she’s also the state director of Washington Realtors.
Coming in March: Mayor Kelli Linville
Mayor Linville is Whatcom County’s first female mayor. She’s a fourth-generation Whatcom County resident, small business owner, educator, and former state legislator. Her success in the workplace began as a speech language pathologist for the Bellingham Public School, where she worked for 16 years. During this time, she was active in the Bellingham Education Association, serving as its president in 1989. This role transitioned to a seat on the Washington State House of Representatives, where she contributed 17 years of legislative service. Among her many accomplishments, she created the LIFT (Local Infrastructure Funding Tool) program to secure $25 million in state matching funds for waterfront redevelopment, and was recognized as the 2010 Legislator of the Year from the Northwest Regional Council.
Want to be around next time someone has an awesome idea at Faithlife? Check out our available careers and find one that fits you.
Today’s guest post is by Pastor Kip McCormick. Kip is the campus pastor for Cornwall Church Skagit Valley in Mt Vernon, Washington—a satellite campus of Cornwall Church in Bellingham, Washington. Kip earned his Master of Divinity degree while running a youth ministry in Seoul, South Korea. Upon retiring from 28 years of service as an active duty colonel in the Army in 2009, Kip continued pastoring youth and men in the United States. He has a passion for God’s Word and recently completed his PhD in biblical studies. Kip combines his experience as a senior officer in the military, former U.S. Military Academy (West Point) instructor, and intelligence professional with his desire to equip and encourage others in their walk with Christ.
Last week, Kip shared “The Driven Leader, Part 1.” Here, he continues his thoughts on “driven-ness,” passion, and leadership:
Jesus was a man of passion.
When you look at Jesus’ earthly ministry, you find that Jesus often withdrew to a quiet place, walking away from ministry opportunities, people to be healed and miracles to be accomplished (work) so that He could stay in relationship with the Father. Jesus had an uncanny rhythm with his Heavenly Father. He ebbed and flowed with the Almighty as God directed him (John 5:19).