The fourth annual BNP Paribas Women Entrepreneur Program at Stanford University wrapped up in July, and we were able to meet and interact with another inspiring group of business owners, including Tina Woodside.
Tina is the president of Earth Basics Contracting Corp., which is based in Anaheim, California. Her firm specializes in earthwork, excavation, heavy general engineering, 3D site modeling, land clearing, and more. The insights she shared about her career in the Q&A below fascinate me, and I hope she inspires many female engineers.Q: You are president and majority owner of an established company. How did your journey as an entrepreneur begin? A: I honestly feel that my journey as an entrepreneur began at the early age of 12, when I sat at the table with family members discussing the visions of becoming a petroleum engineer (this was prior to my 8th grade graduation). I went on to become nominated to the Naval and Merchant Marine Academies out of high school. Obliged yet inquisitive, I agreed to fulfill a full-ride scholarship and major in civil engineering. I was raised in a hard-working family environment and I wanted nothing but success in my future. Possibly entrepreneurship was instilled in me. Over the span of your entrepreneurial career, what one or two things were really helpful in shaping your success?
As much as I would love to say that I had one or two great things that helped shape my success, it was really such a larger picture than that. There were many risk-taker opportunities that helped to grow the business; for example, incorporating in Texas while the Great Recession was going strong in California and setting up purchasing power to buy over 45 pieces of equipment. You also have to have passion for your business, which leads to positive, strategic growth, and never be afraid to learn from your mistakes. It is here where you capitalize on the positive outcomes; acknowledge and successfully move the ball forward.What surprised you the most about the Women Entrepreneur Program (WEP) at Stanford?
I was completed surprised at how 40 women involuntarily became one team! We worked together, prudently helping one another grow into better personal and professional human beings.What about the WEP experience do you think will help you and your business the most in the years to come?
The Women Entrepreneur Program allowed me to perceive my business from the “20,000 foot” level. It’s where I can now plan strategically, think more clearly, drive outlined expectations, and instill kind-heartedness within our organization for the company’s prosperous longevity.What two or three tips would you give to young women who are on the path to entrepreneurship?
Oh wow! The first tip I would say to new women entrepreneurs is follow your passion. Listen – but not only listen — and learn from your peers. Surround yourself with good people. Love what you do (everyday) and stay passionately firm about your beliefs – the gut says a lot about who we are and eventually where we’ll go!See also:
- Increasing our support for women entrepreneurs
- Becoming the CEO: Q&A with Gisele Maxwell
- One entrepreneur’s journey of empowerment in Stanford program
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