IAW, Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight-Joan Gagnon


NAPW:When do you feel it’s a good time to quit a failing endeavor to start anew?

Gagnon: This is a difficult question for me because I do not give up easily.  But, for me, I know when an endeavor is over when I am thinking of it day and night, when I can’t sleep and I start to feel the impact of the failing endeavor on a physical level.  At that point, I have tried everything to make it a success and the signals are there that it just isn’t going to work.  Not an easy thing to let go when it may have been a lifelong dream.

NAPW: How do you maintain a positive attitude in the face of adversity?

Gagnon:I look at a sheet of paper each week that has The Four Agreements listed (book by Don Miguel Ruiz).  I find if I stick by these rules, I can get through almost anything.

Be Impeccable With Your Word

Don’t Take Anything Personally

Don’t Make Assumptions

Always Do Your Best

NAPW:Over the course of your career, do you feel anyone has purposely held you back?  What did you do to maintain your career path?

Gagnon:I do not feel anyone in particular held me back, but in my late 30’s, it was clear that the “glass ceiling” at my corporate job was hanging very low.  When I left that job to run a B&B for two years, I knew that I would never go back to corporate America.  The only way I would be fulfilled is if I had my own business.  In 1997, I hung out my shingle as a CPA specializing in taxes and grew from there

NAPW:  Tell us about a woman in your business life who has influenced your most.

Gagnon: Inge Sullivan, the owner of the Eden Pines Bed & Breakfast, was such an inspiration to me.  While I was managing her B&B for those two years, we had many deep conversations.  She introduced me to spirituality.  That is when I began to meditate, journal, and realize the power of our own mind and heart.  It has been a wonderful journey since then.

NAPW: Did you have a mentor who guided you on your career path?  Would you have had the success you have now without them?

Gagnon:Unfortunately, as I thought about this, I could not come up with a career mentor.  But, I did have a business coach, Wendy Hanson, http://wendyhansonconnects.com, that guided me through many decisions.  I do think it is critical to have a mentor or a business coach.  I am sure I wasted a lot of time trying to figure things out on my own.  Don’t be afraid to spend money on coaching if you do not have a mentor.

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Megan Bozzuto