323. Adapt, Risk & Learn— Never a Regret or “What-if?”
It was the early ‘90s. Corporate layoffs and turmoil were all around her. She saw the writing on the wall at her own employer. Rather than wring her hands, she decided to act as if her own layoff was a fait accompli. Looking back, she concludes, “Sometimes when one door closes, three doors open, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing.”
Elizabeth Dodson is a co-founder of HomeZada, a consumer internet portal to manage all the details about a home, enabling home owners the ability to manage their largest asset. Elizabeth’s career reflects the adaption to change from a corporate job to joining an early stage startup that grew to a successful acquisition, to recently starting her own company.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
“I was raised by a single mom who always reminded my sisters and me that if you work really hard, you can do anything. She always reminded us, her girls, ‘Do not let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.’ I was the first in the family to go to college on all the different sides of families. When you have divorced parents, remarried parents, they have multiple family members. So, among all sides, I was the first to go to college, and to graduate. This helped the rest of my cousins to think about college as an opportunity. I love the fact that my success was a way of paying it forward.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
In the early 1990s, when there was a lot of turmoil and layoffs in some industries, I predicted that some of these layoffs would come to the company where I worked, and that I was probably going to be one of those people laid off. I could have easily stopped, sulked and gone into the depths of despair. Instead, I chose to prepare as if I was going to get laid off. I decided to get my master’s in business administration, with a focus on marketing. At the same time, I was earning my master’s, I found a new job. The job helped me understand my master’s program, and the work toward getting my master’s degree helped me with my job. There was a direct correlation between having a job and getting my master’s at the same time, which was amazing.
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“Often, when you take on new opportunities, if you have the basic talents, you can teach yourself everything else, or surround yourself with really great people who already have these experiences and skills. One of the things that we pride ourselves on at HomeZada is that we surround ourselves with really good, smart people. Often, they are even smarter than we are in specific subjects. If you’re confident in your abilities, then you embrace and bring in those individuals to help you succeed. I think a lot of people forget they don’t have to know it all.”
Steps to Success from Elizabeth Dodson
1. Trust your instincts and believe in your abilities.
2. If you shy away from new opportunities out of fear, you will always wonder “what if I had taken a chance?”
3. You don’t have to know everything. Surround yourself with competent, skilled people who can complement your own skills and talents.
On Her Bookshelf
Rework, by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson (
A New Brand World: Eight Principles for Achieving Brand Leadership in the Twenty-First Century, by Scott Bedbury and Stephen Fenichell
Nuts!: Southwest Airlines’ Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success, by Jackie Freiberg and Kevin Freiberg
Connecting With Elizabeth Dodson
Twitter: @frankiezada and @HomeZada
We offer a free version of our solution HomeZada which is our Essentials package and allows homeowners to track home inventory, contacts and property information to all clients.
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