“Shake it off!”, shouts my coach and teammates from the sidelines after I missed a point.
Whether on the court, field or professionally, this phrase has motivated Betsy Cerulo to shake off the losses and get back up to give it her best. Being a successful business owner for 30 years has brought a myriad of victories and setbacks especially navigating the business playing field as an LGBT woman. Betsy takes on her labels of diversity with great pride and has been relentless in guiding employees and colleagues to never, ever give up, even when the odds are not in your favor. Betsy transformed her failing company out of the 2008 recession to a thriving 8(a) federal government contractor with a culture driven by collaborative compassion.
Betsy chronicles her journey to overcome discriminating barriers from childhood through business. Her courage to be vulnerable in revealing the tears and fears that she overcame, teaches the reader that with fire in your belly, you will tap into your own greatness to live your dreams. If you want to start a business, leave a job, clear out toxic relationships or allow yourself to surrender to love, Betsy shows us that our greatest riches are within our souls when we take the time to ask tough questions and be willing to listen for the answers. More than likely, we already know the answers yet it’s how we take action that leads us to the quality of life we are seeking.
Through her own mistakes, Betsy has overcome adversity to come from behind to live a joyful life filled with pride, as an LGBT woman, wife, parent and grandparent.
Betsy Cerulo is the CEO of AdNet/AccountNet, Inc., based in Baltimore, Maryland and Co-Founder of the Maryland LGBT Chamber of Commerce.
Betsy’s memories and thoughts are very engaging. The minute I started reading, I could relate to her feeling like a trailblazer and the need to take “chances jumping to life with both feet.” The book offers exactly those directions seeking frank conversation about experiences that we don’t talk about (childhood experiences of loss, family rejection, coming out in corporate America) and is welltimed.
It read like a combination of self-reflection and management coaching with comments like “surrounding myself with talented honest people who help me make solid decisions,” reminding us that business is indeed personal. It’s well worth the read.
Betsy writes a compelling story about how compromising your values is like compromising your soul and your whole being. She gives us a sneak preview into her life growing up with brothers and living in a household with a single parent, due to untimely death of her father. She forces you to look at yourself. She forces you to take a look in the mirror and come to terms with how you want to live
your life and lead your company. Leaders lead leaders! You live how you lead and lead how you live. Lead on, Betsy!
It is an honor to support Betsy Cerulo in her publication of her new book. She and I grew up in a time of incredible change in the acceptance of LGBTQ people. At the beginning of our lives’ journey, we were forced to hide our sexual orientation for the sake of “fitting in.” This added an extra level of stress to the already difficult time of starting a career. While advancing through the ranks of management, I think this hidden secret aided us in seeing things from a different perspective and gaining different insights into how corporate culture can affect the individual employee. Sharing these lessons is an important contribution to the management lexicon. Congratulations, Betsy, on your significant contribution.