This week we are pleased to bring you our last feature of the Summer:
The Super- Fab Adelaide Lancaster,
Co-Founder of In Good Company Workplaces, NYC!
Adelaide Lancaster, co-founder, is a successful entrepreneur who excels at making business ideas a reality and helping businesses grow to their potential. Adelaide is both a strategic thinker and a master implementer. She has spent her professional career dedicated to helping women find work that is meaningful and rewarding. Adelaide was recently featured in the book Upstarts!, as one of 60 Gen-Y entrepreneurs who are rocking the world of business.
Adelaide was co-founder and Principal Partner of Berkman Fives a consulting firm that helped women professionals with career development and advancement and women entrepreneurs with business growth and efficiency.
Adelaide earned a M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology and a M.A. in Organizational Psychology, both from Columbia University. She also earned her B.A. degree in Sociology and Anthropology, Educational Studies, from Colgate University. Adelaide also is a contributor to The Huffington Post.
• What were you doing in life prior to starting your business?
My graduate training is actually in counseling psychology. I thought I wanted to be a therapist but I was awful! It was a great lesson in the difference between being really interested in learning about a subject and actually doing the work. The truth was that I was a bit too introverted for all-day, everyday patient contact and I was also a bit too impatient! I like helping my current clients move forward by mapping out action steps and learning best practices.
• What do you love most / least about being a business owner?
Hands down – I LOVE the autonomy and creativity– getting to determine how to spend my time and resources and its incredibly motivating to chart your own path.
My least favorite thing is definitely all the unglamorous tasks that come along with it and the round the clock responsibility – even if you are an excellent delegator and have an excellent team (we do) you are still ultimately responsible and the one that has to handle things that need handling.
• What is your fave business book or author and why?
Easy! Small Giants by Bo Burlingham. Reading this book is what made me want to work with small businesses and ultimately what made me want to become an entrepreneur! He profiles all these “hidden gem” small businesses who all chose at some point to be “great instead of big”. I am inspired and motivated by the integrity of these businesses.
• What business lesson did you have to learn the hard way? To this point, is there a mistake you see new entreps consistently making that you would caution them to avoid?
I am usually quick to action and have a heightened sense of urgency. Sometimes this can cause me to rush to fix or solve a problem before I know enough about it – even whether it is truly a problem or just a complaint. You can invest a lot of time, energy, and money into things that really don’t need fixing. On the other hand, when something does need fixing it is critical to take responsibility, appropriate manage expectations, and work diligently to get it resolved!
• What has been your proudest moment to date with your business success?
I feel really proud anytime that we get great feedback about our community and space. Although sometimes that pride feels a little misplaced since so much of our business is actually about the women who are part of the community. Often we can’t take credit – many good ideas come from our members and our organization’s personality is very reflective of them.
I think the thing I was most proud of that felt more specific to me was getting a book deal with my partner Amy. We worked hard and have waited a long time to pitch the “right book” – a project we were really excited about and believed in.
• What are some of your biggest struggles/ challenges a business owner?
Im about to become a mom…like on July 20th, so Im imagining that it will take me sometime to sort out the challenges associated with having kids and running your own business. I feel fortunate to be surrounded by LOTS of talented women who have all come up with creative solutions that make it work for them. I have a lot to learn.
• What new projects are you currently working on that you are comfortable sharing?
We just opened a full-time space in our building, which complements our shared space offerings quite nicely! We now provide dedicated desks and full-time private offices in addition to our co-working solutions. We are thrilled about it. We have had to exercise a lot of patience in waiting for the right growth opportunity and then it took a tremendous amount of hustle to make it all come together in a very short time window!
We also just launched a brand-spanking new website, which we are quite pumped about. Our blog is more integrated and we feel as though we are able to share more about what is going on within our community through the layout!
• If you could be doing anything else with your time career-wise, what would you be doing?
I love interior home design and wanted when I was little to be an architect. I also love to write, which I’m actually getting to do more of these days!
• If you could hang out with any entrepreneur for the day, who would that be?
We are writing a book on women entrepreneurs and in the process have interviewed 100 women entrepreneurs. Many of them have been at the top of my list to meet for a while, so I feel like I have actually gotten to do this! It was particularly rewarding to meet with Melanie Notkin of Savvy Auntie, Sara Holoubek of Luminary Labs, Allison Hemming of The Hired Guns, Jen Mankins of Bird, Trisha Anderson of Frontier Soups, and Selima Salaun of Selima Optique.
• Do you have a new product or service you want to share or highlight?
We recently expanded to a new floor and launched services that include private offices and dedicated desks. It is a wonderful way to have a premium office experience in the company of fantastic women entrepreneurs! Picture can be found here: http://ingoodcompany.com/office-space/
• Fave biz tool?
It changes all the time, but right now I really love how Bit.ly helps you track your shared links!
• Favorite indulgence?
Fresh flowers, ice cream, my bulldog Josephine, pigs – there are tons of pig statues and pictures in my house, oh and tote bags…but I’ve been cut off by my husband.
• Fave thing to do when you are NOT working ?
I don’t watch traditional TV but I get really into different shows and devour them by the season. I also love my magazines (until many went out of business), love to read and organize – Im a big tidier.
For more info on Adelaide and her great work,
visit her online @: http://ingoodcompany.com/home/
Follow her on Twitter: @ingoodcmpny