When Anne McIntyre and her husband, Doug, started separate businesses 10 years ago in the same week, no less they were raising three kids, had a hefty mortgage and no income.
Remember Apollo 13? Anne McIntyre quips. Failure is not an option.
She founded an executive search firm, which finds six-figure-salaried talent for clients such as Cardinal Health Inc. and Ernst & Young LLP. Her husband and two partners started Mars Communications, now known as Zero Base Advertising Inc.
It was a tremendous amount of fun, and Im so glad I didnt know then what I know now, she says, acknowledging the cliché that naiveté and ignorance brought her bliss. You go in wide-eyed and excited, thinking nothing can stop you, and nothing does.
Her first go as an entrepreneur has grown into a $2 million Dublin business with 17 employees and a second location in Tempe, Ariz. Shes decided to invest in a building of her own in the Powell area, with the move expected in November. Shes also set her sights on franchising the concept of Artemis, a division of the company she started after clients requested middle-level management recruitment.
Firsts are nothing unusual for McIntyre, who between high school and college landed her initial headhunting job at a start-up firm that grew to three offices and nearly 40 employees in the eight years she worked there. Shes also a charter member of both the local Women Presidents Organization and the Young Entrepreneurs Organization, where she serves as the communications officer.
Im into first-time stuff, says the Brooklyn native, who grew up in a tenement apartment. Im a builder, and I enjoy that.
McIntyres personal trainer, Todd The Body Man Williams, owner of Body by Todd and Private Training Only, says McIntyres New York youth gave her street smarts.
Nothing goes to her head, says Williams, a fellow YEO member who benefits from sharing entrepreneur experiences with McIntyre. You can tell she didnt grow up with a silver spoon.
He describes her as a competitive and all-or-nothing type of person, traits that undoubtedly help her in business dealings.
One of her first clients, Bill Closser, executive vice president at Sumitomo Sitix Silicon Inc. in Albuquerque, N.M., remembers he agreed to talk to her as a courtesy to his Cincinnati office, which already had used her search services.
I said, Tell me in 25 words or less just exactly what the hell you can do for me. After she looked at me and gulped a couple of times, she started to tell me what she could do, he says. It was pretty easy to see that she knew her business.
Most people know McIntyre by her childhood nickname, Cookie, which came from the Blondie comic strip daughter, who often got into trouble.
I was pretty much nailed from birth, and I hate to disappoint, McIntyre says with a characteristic broad, mischievous grin.
McIntyres formative years, from New York until her family moved to New Orleans, were influenced by family tragedy. Misfortune, she says, gave her strength of character.
When she was 16, her mother died suddenly of a heart attack at age 42. Then, 10 years later, her father died. That same week, she and her first husband separated, leaving her alone to care for her 12-year-old brother until he finished high school.
It didnt allow me the opportunity to grieve until years later because you have to rise to the occasion of the situation at hand, she says.
Still, she learned how to put things in perspective and react in highly stressful situations without getting overly emotional.
You face those things professionally, and you face those things personally, she says. I think it has, in retrospect, given me some character, some capabilities that I probably would not have learned to that degree by experiencing anything else.
McIntyre says her greatest accomplishment is that her children want to emulate her.
When her daughter Rachel was 8, McIntyre asked if one day shed like to work with her mother.
She said, No, I want to take over Mommys business, McIntyre remembers. That frightened me, but I was secretly pleased.
That was almost 10 years ago. Now she also sees her son, Joel, 19, and other daughter, Jordan, 12, showing interest in her achievements.
They are at an age where they can talk to me and communicate to me that they are proud of who Ive become, and they want to follow in similar footsteps not necessarily the same career, but as a person, McIntyre says. I think if your children realize that at any point in their life, no matter how old you are, that is a wonderful accomplishment.
Joan Slattery Wall (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a reporter for SBN.