What does it take to make it in the working world — and in the world in general? Winnetka entrepreneur Kelly Golden shared five lessons to live by with students at Regina Dominican High School recently.
Regina Dominican’s Leadership Institute welcomed back Golden, class of ’89, to speak with students and the public. Golden is the owner of the fashion emporium Neapolitan in Winnetka and a graduate of Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She shared valuable career advice while telling stories about fashion and friendship. Here were the big lessons:
Your image plays a role in the message that you are trying to create.
Golden asked the audience to imagine walking into an interview. How are you dressed? How are you perceived based off of your outfit? Whether we think about it or not, the way we dress says something about who we are. When you have dressed appropriately in something you love, you feel better, walk a little taller, and have more confidence.
Maintaining relationships is important for a good life and a good business.
The friendships you make at Regina Dominican are for a lifetime. The acquaintances you meet today may be close friends in the future. You may lose touch with some people in your life, but your paths may cross again. Golden recommends that you should do your best to maintain your relationships with your friends and family. They will help you throughout your life and your career.
The fashion industry is not always glamorous.
Fashion is fun and rewarding. Golden has found her passion in her stores and really enjoys her career. However, it takes a lot of hard work to maintain your own business. Someone has to unload boxes, put tags on the clothes, or travel around the world (and not see the tourist attractions). When you are an owner, you are never off the clock. Golden works very long hours but she is following her passion, which makes it all worth it!
Take any opportunity that comes your way.
Golden’s first jobs were not potential career makers but taught her a lot. She advises students to take a job in the service industry where you will learn about how to work with (and for) people and how to work long hours. From there, if you do not know what you want to do, try new things. There is always something you will learn from your different experiences in different industries. Absorb all of that information until you find your passion. Once you do, go for it!
Never stop asking questions, especially if you want to become an entrepreneur.
Surround yourself with knowledgeable people and don’t be afraid to seek advice. Ask questions and find answers. If you want to be an entrepreneur, speak with other entrepreneurs. Find out what mistakes they made and what they found to be successful. After that, get to work. Write up a business plan. Golden says that if you think your project is going to take a year, it’s going to take two. If you think it’s going to cost $50,000, double it. Double everything. You will have to take risks and weigh different outcomes.
SHEDD AQUARIUM CEO TO MAKE A SPLASH AT REGINA DOMINICAN
The Regina Dominican Leadership Institute is proud to host the CEO of the Shedd Aquarium on Sept. 18, 2017 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Before joining Shedd, Dr. Bridget C. Coughlin served as vice president of strategic partnerships & programs and adjunct curator at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Nationally recognized for her efforts, Dr. Coughlin led the creation of the DMNS Health exhibit, a recipient of the Association of Science-Technology Center’s 2010 Leading Edge Award for Visitor Experience. She also established the acclaimed National Institute of Health-funded Genetics of Taste Lab, a community-based laboratory that gives guests the opportunity to participate in scientific research.
Dr. Coughlin holds a bachelor of arts from Knox College, a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Iowa, and an executive MBA certificate from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She enjoys outdoor activities, cooking and spending time with her husband and three sons.
She will talk about the leadership lessons she has learned from leading a world-class aquarium. She also will share stories of what daily life is like with aquatic creatures.
The presentation is free and will take place in Regina Dominican’s newly renovated O’Shaughnessy Theater, 701 Locust Road, Wilmette. There will be a reception after the presentation. Registration is available at rdhs.org/events/bcoughlin.