Taking the road less traveled.
I have a confession to make. I’m a terrible driver. But I love to be in the driver’s seat. And many times, I intentionally ignore the path the navigation is giving me, and instead choose a different path…as many different paths as I can…to experience other routes to get to the destination. Not only do I still get to where I want to go, I also gain a new perspective and understanding for the geography I’ve covered through my exhaustive list of travel routes. And, all while enjoying either the solitude of a solo journey or a rambunctious ride with the company of my companions.
This natural sense of adventure, coupled with a desire to blaze my own trail, has woven its way through my career. I began my career in public accounting with a large regional firm while I was still a Junior in college, around the same time I married my husband, Doug. I was balancing a full class load and a new marriage, all while navigating my first experience in the professional world. And I knew I didn’t want to stay in any one position too long, so I worked diligently to get to a place where I could be giving, rather than receiving, directions.
And not to settle there (because where is the fun in that?!), I wanted a family too. And, by the way, I also wanted to be a Partner at a firm, be home for dinner every night, be involved in my kids’ activities and be active in my community too. I can have it all and do it all, right? Right?! It was a different time in the industry early on in my career and it was sometimes a bit of a bumpy unpaved route. Flexible schedules were a new idea, part-time Partners didn’t exist and working somewhere other than the office was considered just plain weird. And what do you do with the kids during conference calls? And hauling the paper files back and forth between home and office was all the exercise I needed.
Fast forward to now. My career at Larson Gross has allowed me to work a flexible schedule, while still pursuing my own personal development goals. While my desired work-life vision seemed like a long road and an exotic destination early on, I’ve been supported all along the way. I’m able to coach my daughter’s basketball team, volunteer at school in my boys’ classrooms in the middle of the day and be home when my kids get home from school to chauffeur them to music lessons or sports activities.
At the same time, I’m a Partner and the CEO of a firm that continues to encourage input on what route we should take next, which path we should explore and how we continue to create opportunities for others to navigate their own successful journey.
Today, I have a whole bunch of awesome passengers riding along with me, including my farmer husband, my four amazingly fun (and amazingly loud) kids, as well as my fellow Larson Gross Partners and the entire Larson Gross team. Even though they all lovingly shout directions to me as a bunch of back-seat drivers, I love the noise and chaos. Sometimes I listen and take the shortest path, sometimes I don’t, and we get stuck in traffic. And other times we take the scenic route, ending up in a completely new place we never would have expected. But we’re in it together and it is an awesome ride. And, through it all, I’m right where I want to be: in the driver’s seat.