Our local communities are full of businesses with female founders, owners and leaders. TS Bank wants to celebrate some of those women, along with their businesses, by featuring them in our Female Founders blog series. Second up in the series is Revela, located in Omaha, which is owned by Andrea Fredrickson. Read our interview with her below and stay tuned for additional inspiration from successful women in our community.
Tell me about your business.
Many organizations want a solid culture where all people are engaged, aligned, and improving, all the while growing and making money. We at Revela help private and family-owned businesses make that happen.
How and when did you get started?
More than 30 years ago, Wayne (my father) and I sat at my parent’s kitchen table and decided we wanted to start a business for ‘our grandchildren’s grandchildren.” By this we meant that we wanted to start something that was enduring and could last for many generations. We searched for more than a year and finally decided that helping people and their organizations was something we were being asked to do even before we started the company, so it seemed natural to spend all of our time doing that.
How has have your life experiences brought you to where you are today?
I grew up in Shelby, Iowa, where my dad was very involved a many businesses. Some he started while in others he just helped other owners. Getting to hang out with him a lot when I was young allowed me to learn about business first hand. I happen to be a fairly optimistic person and raised to believe there isn’t much I can’t do if I work hard and surround myself with amazing people. Being naturally curious has helped me ask lots of questions and to become a life-long learner.
What do you enjoy about owning your own business?
I love being able to create and to build a team of people. Crafting roles for people to use their strengths while supporting the needs of our clients. I also love watching ideas become results.
What do you find is your biggest challenge?
My pace or sense of urgency is a blessing and a curse.
What sets you apart from your competitors?
One thing that sets us apart is the longevity of our team. If we are people who help build leaders and grow business, we have to be able to walk the talk. I believe we do that as a team. Other independent consultants may not have lead in a while. Also, our facilitators have owned their own business or run a business for absent owners. They have had bottom line responsibility for an entire company not just a division or department. We have clients that we’ve worked with strategically for between 5 and 23 years. It’s not because they don’t get it. It’s because they do and we help them challenge the status quo continually.
What is your motivation? What drives you?
I love to help people “get it.” Whatever that is. Watching someone become more confident or discover a way to be more effective as a leader. Helping people find their way.
What’s your secret to success?
Hiring and believing in the amazing talent of the people on the team. They are honest, driven, smart, and caring.
How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?
This is something I have to work at. Not sure I would call it balance, but more integration or harmony. I set goals to take a specific number of trips per year. I schedule time and events to be with my family, making sure I create memories every week. On this subject, I am not a mother but I think working moms are Super Heroes! The fact that most run the house, ensure the children have what they need when they need it, and are able to lead successful careers- regardless of the role, all the while not skipping a beat. I’m in awe.
What was your biggest life lesson?
The moment I realized that leading is not about me. It is allowing others to learn and prove themselves. I wish I had understood this at a much younger age than when I learned it.
What advice would you give other women who are interested in starting their own business?
First, find others who have started a business, who are successful, and willing to talk the truth. Ask them questions, find their best practices, learn from their mistakes, seek honest feedback, and don’t lose sight of the long-term goals while you’re fighting the current battle. People love to help. Just ask. The second thing is believe in you. There will be plenty of people who will intentionally or not, mess with your confidence. Some will ask good questions, some will put doubt in your mind. Third, don’t use all of your money, borrow against it. You always need a safety net.
If you could share one piece of advice for women on the path to success, what would it be? (see previous question)
How can someone get in contact with you? Shoot me an email at andrea@RevelaGroup.com or call me at 712-322-1112.