Hi, my name is
I am entrepreneur, author, speaker, advisor, and mentor
And This Is
Carol started her first business, Incentive Depot, (now Marquee Incentives), in her living room while on maternity leave in 1996.
Her first client was Microsoft, which was incredible considering she’d discovered the incentive industry by accident, she self-taught herself about the industry, she didn’t have a mentor and she’d built her website with Front Page for Dummies in one hand and an Internet Marketing manual in the other. (There are much easier ways to launch a business!)
Carol was a miserable employee when she went on maternity leave – she was a square peg in a round hole, in an unionized clerical position, at the electric company. It was not a job she envisioned she’d have for 7 years but it was a job she needed to support herself as a single Mom for the previous 4 years. The workplace was toxic, she had no support and she often cried on the way to work.
During her pregnancy, Carol hatched a plan to follow a lifelong goal to become a full-time entrepreneur. Initially, Carol thought that she’d follow her love of travel and become a travel agent but she quickly realized that she’d make no money, as the internet was rapidly changing the industry.
Serendipitously, during a call to a supplier to get a quote for a group trip, she heard the word “incentive trip” and the rest is history.
She quickly discovered that this industry was her dream come true. It was about rewarding people for achieving goals and it was a win-win-win situation. The company would win because they’d reach their targets; the employees, channel partners and/or customers would win by being rewarded for their commitment; and she would win because she’d be able to set this type of business up using the internet, from her home, on her terms AND be able to travel. Carol’s first tagline (before she even knew what a tagline was!) was “Reward Commitment – Realize Goals”
Looking back to those early days, Carol came to understand how Enlightened Capitalist was meant to be, even though the road to get where she is now was full of pot holes and a few switchbacks.
Carol grew her business while she and her husband, Steve, raised their girls. When she couldn’t get home based business insurance any longer because she had too much revenue and too many employees working from their renovated garage, she moved the office across the road.
At the time, Carol didn’t find this unusual at all. Balancing her role as an entrepreneur, Mom, wife, and woman was actually fairly easy because of the support of Steve, the girls, and her employees.
In 2004 Carol was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year for 2003. In 2004, she also spent a month in Europe with her family and Steve’s Mom while her team took care of business. Life was grand!
3 tries, with 3 development teams and $500,000 later, the perfect storm hit. It was 2009 and her two biggest, best, most profitable, longest tenured and most fun to work with clients declared bankruptcy within months of each other.
Carol’s employees quit one by one and eventually she closed the doors to the office and retreated to her couch, feeling very sorry for herself. Her pity party lasted a long time and all these years later it finally makes sense – Carol needed to go on a journey to find herself, her purpose, her vision for her life and to grow both emotionally and spiritually.
Her single-track “I am solely responsible for my success and failure” perspective needed to evolve too. She needed to learn to also have faith and ask the Universe for help (which admittedly was very “woo-woo” for her).
Then, in 2016, Carol, with the support and guidance from Dr. Stephen Hobbs, decided to put out the ask to the Universe. She asked “Help me pull all of this together. The brands, my skills, my experiences and my purpose.” The answer came almost instantly when the words “Enlightened Capitalist” popped into her head.
She mulled over the words.
She researched to see if anyone was talking about Enlightened Capitalist – and she was thrilled to see that Arianna Huffington and Richard Branson were. She checked trademarks and URLs and to see what else was going on in terms of those particular words.
She asked herself “What could this Enlightened Capitalist be?”
Then she checked into herself and asked “Does it feel right?”
It became apparent very quickly that Enlightened Capitalist was going to be far more than another of her brands. It was going to become a movement, a change of perspective and the vehicle for her to fulfill her personal purpose of “Reinventing Lives Globally”.
But she kept asking herself “What IS IT? What is Enlightened Capitalist?”
When you buy a red car – every car you notice is red for the next little while. And it was the same with Enlightened Capitalist.
Suddenly EVERYTHING could be something that an Enlightened Capitalist is or could do – as long as it was making a positive impact.
Enlightened Capitalist launched as a consultancy in December 2016 with consultants who would assist business leaders to transform their companies to “Be Good, Do Good and Do Well”.
And then Carol and her Advisors explored the other options and asked “What is really needed right now?”
Carol is now the Mom to intelligent, independent and resourceful young women in their 20s. As a Mom, she noticed the gaps in both the education they received and for opportunities for them to use their education, experience and gifts.
Carol was on maternity leave when she started her business and her youngest was about to graduate with a bachelor’s degree at the age of 21.
While exploring options to bring a world-wide community together, events started to take shape. Carol and her Advisors recognized that different audiences have different needs at different times in their personal and professional lives, which needs to be addressed.
At the same time, learning from others, in different roles, inside and outside one’s industry helps provide different perspective and unique points of view and approaches which are transferable regardless of where a specific job or industry goes.
Combine these with the challenges of silos within organizations and the failure rates of change initiatives and so many other broken ways of doing business and the Enlightened Capitalist educational approach and a range of Enlightened Capitalist events became clearer.
And finally, for this chapter of the Enlightened Capitalist history, bringing people together, with a common voice and a descriptive – rather than prescriptive – approach to Reinventing Business and Transforming Lives, is coming to life through an Enlightened Capitalist membership which Supports, Educates and Advocates for those who are leading the way.
This long and seemingly convoluted history is not unlike the history of many other Enlightened Capitalists who set out doing one thing, suffer some setbacks and disappointments, recover, discover themselves, their purpose, the work that is meaningful to them, the philanthropy and environmental initiatives they choose to support and the ways they can improve performance to make the biggest positive impacts ripples possible.
Join US on Enlightened Capitalist journey!