S&L Ladies in the Limelight is a six-part series featuring candid Q&A’s with the ladies of Stock and Leader on what it means to strive for success in entrepreneurship.
One word – priorities.
No one seems to know more about priorities than School Law Attorney Dr. Leigh Dalton. As a doctor, lawyer, mom and volunteer, she’s spent most of her adult life juggling a jam-packed calendar of both professional and personal obligations.
But don’t worry, she’s never let that stop her from carving out time to give back to the community — especially the aspiring entrepreneurs she mentors as part of the York County Alliance for Learning’s Law Career Exploration Program. As head of the program, Leigh works with students across York County to help them develop and refine their plans for the future by guiding them step by step through the process of exploring a legal career.
Let’s just say, when it comes to priorities, Leigh is putting today’s students and tomorrow’s entrepreneurs at the top of her list.
Check out what Leigh had to say:
What does being a successful female entrepreneur mean to you?
Success is not one-dimensional, in my mind. Being a successful entrepreneur means experiencing success in all areas of my life, not just in my professional career. The successes I may experience at work mean nothing if I’m not seeing my children and if I’m not pulling my weight with the management of my household. Success is also a meaningful contribution back to the community.
What would you say was your biggest challenge in building your own entrepreneurial success?
Guilt. When you are a woman who sets out to accomplish everything because you are determined to use your gifts to the fullest, it is inevitable that each task you undertake will pull you from another obligation or endeavor. Success requires not only commitment and the contribution of time, but the patience to allow your efforts to germinate. Being pulled from one area of my life to deposit the necessary time and effort to other areas of my life – where I did not see the immediate result of my investments – was extraordinarily difficult.
What advice would you offer to aspiring female entrepreneurs?
Be extraordinarily intentional with undertaking the tasks and activities required to build a successful “you.” Know that a successful “you” is one that is balanced among your priorities, because there is rarely just one priority. Make the time for those priorities and seek ways in which enjoying and/or focusing on those priorities can be tackled simultaneously. For me, I seek as many opportunities as I can to give back to the community with my children. Thus, I not only spend time with them and help others, but I am teaching them the civic value of volunteering.
In your opinion, what does the future of entrepreneurship look like?
Entrepreneurship is becoming increasingly accommodating and difficult at the same time. Creativity, drive, and networking with the right people can lead to a successful endeavor; maintaining the hectic lifestyle without compromising the other important areas in your life to avoid getting burnt out – that is the challenge. Entrepreneurship is the cornerstone of American economics. How entrepreneurs deliver their product and expertise is changing – from physical shops to a cyber presence – but the opportunities are there for those who choose to seek them.
Missed the last series installment? Read it here.