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On this episode we interview Annette Giacomazzi we discuss the role our personal relationships play in our business. It is very important to understand the significance our marriages and relationships have in our professional lives. Ron, Mike, and Annette will discuss their own relationships and communications styles that can cause friction points which ultimately effect their ability to be profitable and successful in their business. Welcome to episode 88 of the Grow My Accounting Practice.
As a serial entrepreneur, Annette de Lancey Giacomazzi knows how to start a business by design. But, her fourth business, CastCoverz!®, was an accidental creation. Ms. Giacomazzi’s then 10 year-old daughter, Elli, had just broken her sixth bone. Yes, her sixth. Knowing she had to do something to move her daughter beyond feeling betrayed once again by her body, she pulled out her sewing machine and created a cover for her cast and a sling, and another set…and another. Ms. Giacomazzi said, “Family and friends are supposed to ‘ooh and aah’, but it’s when strangers stopped us on the street that I realized we were on to something, and CastCoverz!® was born.”
As a made-in-the-USA manufacturer and e-commerce business, Ms. Giacomazzi grew CastCoverz! to over 7-figures in 7 years. She managed raw materials and their logistics, handled the distribution direct to consumers and to resellers, secured international and national contracts, pivoted the business three times, hired and managed employees, generated local and national media coverage, and created a stellar company and customer culture (of the 60,000+ reviews,97% are an enviable 4 and 5 stars).
But, along the way, she also realized early that her husband was publicly supportive but privately discouraging and even critical about her business. She recognized that those energies took away precious time building the business she loved. Giacomazzi said, “I looked high and low for a solution and couldn’t find any.” So, through massive trial and error, Giacomazzi developed strategies and solutions, in her business and her communication style, to navigate those choppy waters and her business flourished as a result.
Something interesting happened as she was on her journey. She encountered a significant number of women who shared the same problem. But, what really alarmed her was the number of women who just gave up or gave in to keep the peace. Ms. Giacomazzi added, “That’s when I realized the statistics of women-owned businesses failing at a faster rate and being slower to scale than their male counterparts may have deeper-rooted issues than not being able to access capital or resources.”
In the last 5 years, women have been starting businesses at a faster rate, employing more economically disadvantaged women and contributing at a higher level to their local economy than their male counterparts. If a woman business owner is struggling with an unsupportive husband, not only is her family suffering but her business may stall or fail. The effects can be significant. Her struggles can reflect negatively on economic development for the people she employs or for the local economy through the jobs she creates, the taxes she pays, the customers she serves and for the contributions she makes through direct donations or donations-in-kind.
There have been countless studies conducted on business, on business’s effects on marriage, on the emotional toll that start-ups have on relationships, etc., but there has never been a study on women business owners with unsupportive husbands and the negative effects this dynamic has on the marriage, the family, the business, and the economy—locally, nationally and globally—until now.
Giacomazzi, through her latest endeavor, A Higher Level of Success, is conducting a landmark survey on the attitudes, beliefs of women business owners and the effects and consequences of an unsupportive husband. She is also the author of the soon-to-be-published book “Till Business Do Us Part: How to Thrive in Your Business and Survive Your Unsupportive Husband.” Ms. Giacomazzi’s book will help women business owner’s determine if their husband is in fact unsupportive as she defines the three types of marriages with unsupportive husbands, illustrates the seven parallels between a business and a marriage, and provides a road-map for how to navigate those choppy waters.
Giacomazzi concluded, “This is not a memoir. Nor is it another book bashing men or elevating women to an unattainable pedestal. In fact it is quite the opposite. It is a call to communication and learning how little shifts make big changes. It is recognizing how distractions, big and small, can significantly affect your business. ‘Till Business Do Us Part: How To Thrive In Your Business and Survive Your Unsupportive Husband’ helps women succeed in their business regardless of the current state of their marriage.”
Ms. Giacomazzi is still at the helm of CastCoverz!, has been married over twenty-years to Rick, who is supportive of the book, and is honored to be called, “Mom” by her two college-aged children son, Max, and daughter, Elli. Her book, “Till Business Do Us Part: How to Thrive in Your Business and Survive Your Unsupportive Husband” is scheduled to be released to coincide with National Small Business Week, May 1 – 5, 2017.
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