Halloween is over. I realize, with a shock, that it is November. And I, Katherine Tracey, am nominated for a Stevie Award for Startup of the Year.
The winners will be announced in 11/16/18, just eleven months after I found the courage to start my own company and launch KATT Communications.
I can’t believe it. Some mornings, I pinch myself (and not in that cute way that models do to bring color to their cheeks: I’m an active mom and a competitive rider, so rosy cheeks come with the territory). I do it to make sure my life is real. To be a successful woman in telecom—let alone a single mom, leading a company comprised of women—is an honor in itself. But I’m not going to lie: this award adds validation! In just two weeks, I find out if I get the gold, silver, or bronze, but truly, any bling will do. The Stevie Awards for Women in Business have been hailed as the world’s premier business awards and is dedicated to honoring women executives and entrepreneurs, as well as the companies they run.
And since I am being honest, I have to confess that I was nervous about starting my own company. I was an industry veteran and licensed technician, but I had worked for others all my life. I was doing well and making good money, so it seemed like a risk, even though I knew that I could leverage my expertise to save my customers time and money with customized business telephone solutions. I was scared to start KATT Communications, but I never doubted that it was what I was meant to do. I never doubted that a company that treated its customers like family and valued their resources would find business. As I was doing the research and thinking carefully if I would truly be able to start my very own company, I stumbled across this quote and realized that I couldn’t NOT take the risk:
So I did it, and I have loved every second of the journey, even the challenges, because they make me even stronger and more prepared for the next set of adventures that come my way. Most recently, I’ve joined the board of Inspired Start Group, Inc., a group devoted to supporting the goals and visions of young entrepreneurs. This newest position will allow me to pay it forward and help others find the courage to live their dreams.
Given my background—removed from unsafe living conditions and placed into foster care at just 18 months, finding a loving “forever home” several years later, and, more recently, juggling the demands of motherhood, work, and volunteerism while completing my Associate’s Degree and then launching my company—there was no guarantee that there would be an awards in my future. Let’s face it: Society doesn’t always reward the unconventional single moms making their way in the telecommunications industry. But it looks like this Mama is going to have a night at a gala with her two boys, finding out which precious metal she will be taking home to proudly place on the shelf next to her kids’ Little League Trophies.