I am a pioneer. I am a risk-taker. I am an ordinary woman who created extraordinary opportunities for myself. A crusader for the GutsyGal life!
So how did I do it? Let’s start at the beginning …
I started my career because I believed women could do anything men were doing. I choose the manliest place to prove it – Wall Street. Completely determined, no one, and no thing, was going to stop me – the fact that I didn’t have a finance degree, nor my young age, was going to stop me.
Growing up in Brooklyn, New York gave me street smarts. And, my drive to succeed was fueled by being subjected to several “Me-Too” situations (no victim here). I was also influenced by my mother, who seemed to be the only woman who worked a ‘real’ job in my community.
Let me tell you, nothing was going to stop me. Not even a glass ceiling.
Men picked up on my passion and gutsiness. With their mentorship, I turned down back-office jobs, patiently waiting for the right front-office one to appear. And it did. A newly created clerical position on a large trading floor for one of the top Wall Street firms at that time, EF Hutton.
I recall my first day on the job, a male colleague asked me if I wanted to do what he was doing some day. I said “YES!” He responded “Pick up the phone and start talking to the stockbrokers. Trust me, the ones who know what they are doing will only speak to people they know, and the rest will know less than me”.
He turned out to be right. Soon, I was screaming across the trading floor for bids, and everyone wanted to know who the girl was. I stood out, I spoke up and I got noticed. This is what being on a mission looks like. I became a Vice President in six years at 29 years old, breaking three different glass ceilings along the way and earning six figures.
After I marketed an investment product to $100 million in sales, they lowered my commission because I was making too much money (yep, they outright told me that). It felt like a stab to my heart and brought inequity to a new level for me. But, let me say, crashing the boys club was one heck of a ride… and oh, so worth it!
…But, it all came to a screeching halt.
From the stock market crash of 1987, leveraged buyouts, to building my family at 40, the shut down of my million-dollar company due to 9/11 in 2005, and, yet, another global financial crisis in 2008… Somewhere along the way, a part of me was left behind. I listened to the “dream stealers” whenever I tried entrepreneurship. I got lost in the shuffle, my confidence was gone, and so was the money. Gone was that GutsyGal that wanted to rock the world. And at 50, I found myself saying “Why even bother anymore?”
But I kept going.
From the first time I attended my first empowerment seminar back in the mid-80’s, I always had a dream to host an event that uplifted women. I even thought about going into coaching and motivational speaking when it was blossoming in the 90’s.
However, I decided to go the ‘safer route’ and build a successful direct sales distributorship instead, which involved coaching and motivating, with the added benefit of time freedom – or so I thought.Through perseverance, I grew my direct sales team to close to 3000 distributors spanning the globe. And yet, something was still missing. I found myself at a crossroads. Do I continue in this business that is not feeding my soul, or do I discover what my passion REALLY is, and have the guts to follow my outrageously unlimited thinking again?
In 2011, at the time of my lowest low, when I thought my successes happened because I was a smooth talker, I was lucky, great at “fake it until you make it”, and my successes were going to be a thing of the past.
I was asked to write about my 9/11 story in a book. It was during this time of reflection that I noticed something I did on that day that no one else was doing, (other than trained professionals – firefighters, police, etc.) – I stayed to try and save people, putting my own life at risk. Can you believe it took 10 years to notice that! We are so blindsided to our accomplishments to our own detriment.
My aha moment – my GutsyGal was always there. As a pioneer in women’s weightlifting in1981, I can tell you, your thinking is like a muscle. If you don’t pay attention to your inner power and exercise it, it will slowly disappear, sometimes without even noticing.
But guess what? With a little attention she comes back! And that is exactly what happened to me. Only better. I knew deep down I wanted more – I had more to offer. In the past, I may not have listened to that feeling. I mean, could I really pull off my wildest dreams? And what would happen if I failed?
What I discovered is that I was unaware of how powerful I truly was. And when I took that step to discover the real Roe, I found my calling. I stopped chasing money and freedom. Abundance flowed once again.
I shifted my mission, helping women take a stand so they can speak and lead with their feminine, powerful voice, get comfortable in their own skin, and step into their greatness. To become a GutsyGal.
Now, at 64, I jump out of bed every day with energy, and go to sleep fulfilled. Life is fun. It is the best feeling in the world. Our time is now.I am here to make that impact.