The Small Business Supercharge is coming in hot and you are just days away from learning some incredible ways to completely revolutionize your small business and navigate these uncharted territories. Leading up to this virtual conference, I (Stephanie) wanted to give you a little taste (a little appetizer, if you will) of who we are talking to and why. I had a chance to sit down with Linda Ratner, a highly successful entrepreneur who received numerous accolades for her business adaptions and skills before negotiating a multi-million dollar business sale and becoming a certified EOS implementer. When it comes to business, this gal is fire.
I am excited because Linda and I have been running in concentric circles here in the San Antonio business world (which is where we are both from) and we started chatting a couple of months ago after several people said, “You have to meet Linda!”
Long story short, we finally met, and she is fantastic. I am beyond excited to have her present as her story and wisdom are incredible.
Here is our discussion:
You have an incredible background in business. You have built businesses, you have sold businesses, you have run multiple businesses. So, what is your business story?
My grandparents immigrated from Europe in 1929 to Mexico City, where I was born. They were always entrepreneurial, so that was rooted early on. In 1974, my whole family moved to the United States because my Dad, who was a mechanical engineer, decided to open a business (a store) in Laredo, Texas. So I went from a city with a population of 25 Million to a city of, at that time, around 25,000.
When we arrived, none of us speak the language, right? We are all completely fluent in Spanish, and English is such a hard language to learn! My parents, who were in their 30s, picked it up first, and eventually, we did as well.
On the weekends, we were always supposed to go to work the store with them. So I grew up working in the store. Before I could even see over the counter I learned to sell. By the time I was in fifth grade if someone paid in pesos, I was able to give them change in dollars (or visa versa), I was good at the conversions and running the cash register.
I truly learned all kinds of things, but by the time I was 18, I learned I did not want to inherit this business! There was no way I was staying in Laredo one more minute. The plan was, as soon as I graduate, go to the big old town of New York City, get a degree, and become this big lawyer! Well, I got as far as San Antonio! In 1982, the peso devaluated, and my Dad lost everything in the business. Everything! He did not have a good plan or any kind of safety net. So he said, “If you want to go to school, you will have to do it on your own.”
So I used my $200 savings, moved to San Antonio, and enrolled at The University of Texas San Antonio. I put myself through school and ended up with a nursing degree. The interesting thing is, I am terrified of blood! When I was getting ready to graduate from nursing school, I would have to leave the operating room because it is too damn bloody and I would almost pass out! I worked really hard to convince myself that it is just KoolAid. So, I graduated and went straight into the emergency room.
Where you can totally avoid blood... I mean, you never have to have blood in the emergency room! Never.
Never! But, it's all too late that point and I conquered that fear. I thought “I need to be in the ER because I am very autono