Susan E. Beth
Operating Partner, NRD Capital
Views On: Personal Guiding Principles for Climbing the Ladder to Success
What do you want? Whom do you
want to be? Susan E. Beth, operating partner of the equity investment fund, NRD Capital, says these are two questions you
must ask yourself when plotting your career path; the answers will form the basis of the "personal guiding principles"
you'll need to live by in order to achieve your desired objectives.
When I asked Susan what advice she would give to women climbing the ladder to success,
she reflected on her own experience. "Make a list of your personal guiding principles - basically a list of things that
are most important to you feeling fulfilled and successful in all aspects of your life. For example, if it's really important
to you to be home for your kids' sporting games, then write that down. If you feel inspired when you mentor people, write
that down. Each time an opportunity to move up the ladder presents itself, check the obligations of the ‘ladder' against
your personal guiding principles and make certain you will be able to remain true to yourself if you step up. Then, proceed
confidently in the direction of your choice."
Susan's story is an inspiration to anyone interested in learning what it takes to persevere
and be truly successful. At just 19 years old, Susan purchased her first car wash with her sister. She was $300,000 in debt
and, attending college full-time with a three-hour commute to the car wash. Years passed, life happened, and Susan ultimately
reaffirmed her professional pursuits by defining her set of personal guiding principles.
In listening to Susan's story, I was also intrigued
to learn her advice on skills she considers relevant in today's workplace, the habits of successful women, and what to look
for in a mentor. According to Susan, the business world can be a very harsh but rewarding place if you earn every
accolade and promotion on the ladder to success on your terms, not anyone else's.
Get to Know Susan
E. Beth, CFE is an operating partner at NRD capital. Susan's role is to identify brands to invest in and contribute operations
expertise to brands in the NRD portfolio. The mission at NRD is to partner with brands that offer superior products and compelling
unit economics and help them grow to their fullest potential using the power of franchising. In addition, Susan has almost
30 years of business experience. For the last five years, Susan served as the Chief Operating Officer for Super Wash, Inc.
Over the years, Susan has received several prestigious awards such as the Bonny Levine Award for her work in mentoring women
entrepreneurs. Susan is also a recipient of the WFC Crystal Compass, which the International Franchise Association's Women's
Franchise Committee bestows upon someone within the franchise community who epitomizes the ideals of leadership.
Acquire These Top Three (3) Skills in 2015
1. Networking Skills - Networking has been invaluable
to growing Susan's career as it led to her meeting one of her mentors, Fred Deluca, the founder of Subway. Fred encouraged
Susan to fulfill one of her dreams of becoming a professional speaker. One way to begin is to join groups, organizations,
associations and committees that interest you.
Public Speaking Skills - Public speaking was one of Susan's many passions. A 2013 survey by the National Association of College and Employers found that the aptitude to communicate successfully is the skill employers
most want to see in job applicants.
Building Skills - A common term in business today is relationship marketing, which refers to creating lasting, reciprocally
satisfying buyer-seller relationships that lead to win-win situations for both parties. Susan emphasizes the importance of
building authentic relationships not just in the consumer sector, but also in any business connection.
These Four (4) Things in Your Next Mentor
Will they challenge and push you to be a better person? A good mentor will inspire you to think
outside your comfort zone. They will push you to challenge your status quo.
Will they support you? Because climbing the ladder to success is filled with many obstacles, it
is critical to have someone who will support and encourage you when you hit these roadblocks.
3. Are they willing to be a teacher? A good mentor
is not just someone you trust and can model your behavior after; they should be someone who will push you to do more. An effective
mentor should be engaged in your learning process to help build your skills and confidence. This could be accomplished in
the form of weekly assignments or goal-oriented activities that they can review and indicate where you did well and where
you can improve.
4. Do you
have chemistry? Some people are natural mentors, others have to work at it, and others yet are just not meant to
be in the role. If you're not clicking with your mentor, seek out another one.
Follow These Six (6) Habits of Successful Women
1. Have a desire to keep learning and growing.
There is a great expression that when you stop learning, you stop growing. You can read more books, take online courses, subscribe
to newsletters, or start a blog.
and support your health. Susan suggests your health is your wealth. "You are what you eat," goes the saying.
The same principle applies to how you work. Countless studies and reports link healthy eating and living to better workplace productivity. A well-tuned mind, spirit and form can be more important than a powerful laptop or software
program to achieve your best outcomes in the office.
Consistently build relationships. In addition to building your relationship skills, consistently
work on building your business relationships. Today's social networking tools like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook provide
us the opportunity to build relationships without time or space constraints.
Increase your motivational drive. One of Susan's daily affirmations was, "Success is my only
option, and failure is not." Espousing a mantra such as this one is a can keep your motivational juices flowing to keep
you on track toward realizing your goals.
your vision. Having a vision and acting on it is a quality of a great leader. Embrace
failure and learn from it. It's been said that Thomas Edison had approximately 10,000 attempts before he created
the light bulb. Edison suggested, "I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward."
Click the play button below to listen to our interview with Susan.