“Be sure you’re right.  And then go ahead.”—Davey Crockett

Sharon arrived in my office with shoulders hunched and downcast eyes. She explained that her marriage of 25 years was over, and that she was going to start looking for a job as a secretary. Sharon was 55 years old and had never worked as a secretary. She was depressed.

            Sharon is now the successful CEO of a multi million dollar company. How did this happen? Through sheer grit and determination.  And, some strategic negotiating.

            Before Sharon married her passion was fashion and travel. When she married Bill, she turned that passion into a successful clothing company, that focused on high-end European designs. Once Sharon began having children, she shifted her focus to the company’s domestic operations and Bill traveled and handled the overseas suppliers. After the arrival of their third child, Sharon stepped away from the business to raise the kids. The company thrived so long as the marriage was working. But when the marriage went sideways, so did the company. The company lost its biggest supplier and revenues plummeted. When Sharon arrived in my office, the company was on the verge of declaring bankruptcy and she thought her only recourse was to try to find a job. And of course, trying to find a job at the age of 55 is not easy.

            As I talked to Sharon, we envisioned a different outcome. This company was her baby. It was her idea. And it was her passion. What if we could find a way for her to keep the company and she could reinvent herself? At first, Sharon was reluctant. She had three kids—now teenagers—and she couldn’t wrap her head around the idea of being a single mom and running a struggling company. But together, we envisioned a new and better life. One where SHE was the boss and her company was thriving.

            Together we put together a settlement proposal whereby Sharon would take over the company and in exchange, Bill would receive the building the company occupied. It took several 4-way settlement conferences—meetings between Sharon, Bill, and the attorneys—but eventually we hammered out a deal.

            Today, Sharon is the CEO of a thriving fashion company, she travels the world in connection with her work, and she is raising three wonderful teenagers. Sure, times were challenging when she was juggling the kids and getting the company back on track, but she did it. The company is now thriving. And Sharon is literally transformed. She emanates positive energy and enthusiasm. She is her own woman.


Ann Grant