I always envy those who have the courage and determination to start their own businesses. It’s amazing how much hard work and planning goes into creating your own empire. Today’s Entrepreneur Spotlight is my Mom, Kathy Perdzock. I didn’t inherit the entrepreneur gene (sorry, Mom!) but I always admire her story and go to her for working-world advise. Enjoy!Kathy Perdzock: VP of Operations | Fiduciary Partners Trust Company
1. How did you know you wanted to start your own business? What was your ‘breaking point’, or your true motivation for starting your own ventures?
It wasn’t until I was approached to be a partner in a new venture that I thought of starting a business. The idea and challenges of building a trust company from the ground up was a bit overwhelming so I relied on my “gut feeling” to move forward with it. The people involved in starting the business had complete confidence in me which made the decision a bit easier. In hindsight, it turned out to be the best career move I ever made.
2. What are your largest accomplishments and what do you attribute those to?
Our company has experienced many accomplishments over the past 16 years. We’ve grown from 2 employees in 2001 to 28 employees in 2017. We reached a big milestone in 2014 by surpassing $1 billion in assets under administration. This is all attributed to our awesome staff. Our employees are not only well educated and talented in our industry, but they are genuinely good people. I share this accomplishment with all of them.
3. What are your top 3 lessons learned? How did you overcome these shortcomings?
Lesson #1: Take advantages of outside resources and networking – You will never know it all. Take advantage of the opportunities to learn from others and learn from your mistakes. Being in banking and trust for over 30+ years I’ve been fortunate enough to surround myself around many experienced people.
Lesson #2: Don’t get too hung up on immediate success – It takes time to build confidence and credibility but with hard work, a positive attitude and a little luck, success will follow. In the meantime, don’t forget to take time for yourself and family.
Lesson #3: Don’t resist change as change is inevitable – This is huge. When I look back when we started FPTC and compare it to now, just about everything has changed. Technology is more advanced, compliance is more complex, succession and management planning has shifted into full swing. We were a very fast growing company so it was necessary to constantly review our policies and procedures to keep up with managing risk.
4. What personality traits and skills do you think are important for future entrepreneurs to have?
Entrepreneurs need to wear several hats, especially in the beginning phase of a new business. However, as the business grows it’s important to be able to build trust in the staff and delegate duties. It’s also important in business to exercise patience, maintain a positive attitude, and have a strong work ethic. In our business, we need to be professional in our decisions, but personable in our approach to our clients and centers of influence.
5. What resources and support systems (professional, educational, personal) have you used to help you through your journey?
My best resource in learning this business was always right next to me. We’ve added very experienced and educated people that have worked in the trust business for many years. In fact, several of our employees were people I once worked with when I started out in the trust business in 1989. I also have developed relationships with our systems providers that offer conferences and continued education. I was able to learn specifics about trust operations and security processing by completing a very intensive three-year course provided by an accredited school that specializes in trust and banking careers.
“In our business, we need to be professional in our decisions, but personable in our approach to our clients and centers of influence.”