Leading the Way in Sustainability – Interview with Lisa Curll from Dominion Energy

Today we meet Lisa Curll – Business Performance Analyst managing sustainability projects at Dominion Energy. She has so much wisdom to share with you – I invite you to jump right in.

Watch or read to learn:

  • How Lisa went from Administrative Assistant to Business Analysis.
  • What it looks like to roll out a sustainability initiative in a large corporate environment.
  • How to expand your business analysis skills by volunteering at non-profits.
  • The 3 different BA-related roles in Dominion, how people move into these roles, and what it takes to be successful.

There are so many gems here. I will just share that one thing that inspires me about Lisa is seeing the ripple effect of business analysis, and the value of the contributions our community is making every day, to make the world’s organizations and the world better.

Connect with Lisa Curll on LinkedIn

 

For those who like to read instead of watch, here’s the full text of the video:

Laura Brandenburg: This is Laura Brandenburg from Bridging the Gap, and I’m here today with Lisa Curll from Dominion Energy. Hi Lisa. 

Lisa Curll: Hi. Hey.

Laura Brandenburg: So, Lisa and I have connected through some training that we did for her and some of the business analysts in her organization. She’s just doing some amazing rock star stuff with her career. So, she agreed to talk to us a little bit about what’s happening for her, about the different roles that they have in her company, and about some of the other pieces that I see her share on social media as well that I think make her contribution to the community unique and special, and something I think we can all learn a lot from.  So, thank you for being here, Lisa. 

Do you want to just jump in and tell us a little bit about the role you’re currently in and how that came to be? 

Lisa Curll: Sure. So right now, I am a Senior Business Performance Analyst and Dominion Energy. I work in our Workplace Plan and Facilities Management Group. I manage our office sustainability programs right now. I’m overseeing a lot of our waste reduction strategies, our recycling programs, composting programs, LEED building construction, those types of processes, loading efficiency; still looking at that. There were a couple of other things that Dominion Energy, in terms of employee development and employee engagement and retention strategies.  

Outside of Dominion, I do a lot of work in the nonprofit community. I’m on a couple of nonprofit Boards holding kind of different roles between fundraising, program development, different kind of funding strategies, corporate strategy, that kind of thing. 

Laura Brandenburg: So, lots of stuff.  

Lisa Curll: Quite a variety of things. Yeah.  

Laura Brandenburg: Tell us a little bit about with all these programs and projects you have, what’s your role on them? 

Lisa Curll: Most of the time, when we want to start something new and it doesn’t seem to fit into any existing group, that kind of when it comes to me. Anytime we want to start a new initiative or a new program, usually that comes to me and I will scope it out, develop a process, develop a team, get all the team kind of on the same page, make sure there are guidance documents so, eventually, I can roll off and they can follow a guidance document.

But, essentially, just kind of do the scoping, networking, the relationship building between the different groups, departments, and organizations; figure out what we need and how we’re going to make this new program work. And then start implementing it. Once it’s implemented, usually once it’s running smoothly, that’s when I roll it out to somebody else and start a new project. 

Laura Brandenburg: Awesome. That’s the fun part of the project for so many people. How did it come to be? How did you end up in this role? 

Lisa Curll: I started at Dominion Energy, I came in as an administrative assistant role, and over time, I convinced them to just keep giving me more and more things. The benefit of my position is most of the things I acquired are things that no one else wants or doesn’t fit into them. So, it’s really easy to say, “Hey, no one else wants that. Go ahead and give it to me. Let me try it.” Worst case scenario, if I fail, it wasn’t anyone else’s job anyway, so you’re kind of still in the same boat that you started in, just a couple of weeks behind. So there’s not really that much risk with giving me the chance to try it. 

Over the last six years, I managed, kind of, from that administrative position through our business analyst program into where I am now. I did a lot of data analysis when I started. I did a lot of kind of modeling and metrics. And then since then, I’ve pivoted more to more of like a project manager, program manager kind of role. It’s just been pretty organic. It’s been, every time there’s been an opportunity for a new project, I’m the first person to have my hand out. Like, “Hey, let me try that.” And just being not afraid to try new things has enabled me to create this position. 

Laura Brandenburg: Yeah, and that’s such a big core philosophy, I think, whether you’re trying to get into business analysis or get to the next level. It’s just like, “Hey, I’ll do it.” Right. And you can create a big, a kind of an interesting path for you.  

What are some of the challenges you faced doing that? I can imagine you might be really busy. 

Lisa Curll: It’s a lot. A lot of it is managing the schedule of a brand new program that’s never existed. When I start out, people ask me how long do you think this is going to take? And since it’s something we’ve never done before, a lot of that is blind estimation. Then that’s always, kind of a priority.

I have a couple of projects right now, just this week, I have projects that had intended to start in the third quarter which, for us, would be August/September, is when I was playing to start these things that are now being pushed to, literally, right this second.

There are some allocation issues that come up and, obviously, there’s always resource allocation issues with creating teams. So, most of the teams that I create are not reporting to me directly. So, they are individuals from different groups across the company that will volunteer to be part of these programs. There’s also being respectful of their time and the amount of energy that they’re able to devote to these kinds of processes. That’s been the biggest thing. 

I think the thing that has helped, though, a lot is creating detailed scope with target dates and responsibilities very explicitly so there are no doubts that people know exactly what I am expecting of them rather than having more vague concepts. And we have check-in times that I can say, “Okay, we’re supposed to have this done in a week. Where are we at? Do you need help? Do you want to shift this? What do we need to do so that we can manage this project’s schedule and get towards actual completion? I can also share that with my management, their management, and make sure we’re all on the same page if things are getting shifted around or anything like that.   

Laura Brandenburg: Yeah, so across all these projects you’ve done, which it sounds like some really interesting things, does anything stand out like a milestone, like any specific projects or initiative? 

Lisa Curll: I’m in the middle of a corporate composting program right now that I am incredibly excited about. Starting right now, knocking wood, we are one of the first energy companies in the world to start composting at our corporate offices as a waste production strategy.  

I started this last year in April and we piloted it here in Cleveland. I’m based in Cleveland, so we piloted here and it was successful, but it wasn’t very well designed. As we started expanding, maybe middle of this year, we’ll be at five different locations hitting about 3,000 employees.

By the end of 2020, we might be at as many as 10 locations with closer to 7,000 or 8,000 employees. It’s growing really fast. As we started learning from our implementation, I call these bullets, and I really don’t know how they’re going to go because that way, if they fail, it’s a pilot and we learn from it and we do it differently next time. But our implementation at one of four sites in Virginia, in our Innsbrook site, we built a really detailed schedule with those kind of step-by-step marks, and that was, of course, the first time that I’d really seen us do that kind of project schedule for a program like that, and it made the implementation so easy that I know that’s what I want to implement, and I can show that to gain confidence with people when I move to new sites.

So, a lot of times, I’m running these sites, meeting people at these sites for the very first time, and I’m making my first impression when I meet them. And they don’t know anything about me. They know that I’m from corporate and that I’m coming here with an initiative. And to build that kind of trust and confidence, that this isn’t just a top down corporate initiative, I want to build their engagement, I want them to be on board. I want them to see that we have an organized strategy for how we move through these things, and it involves their input, and it involves their expertise and their connections, and leverage and their network within the building, and their skill set has enabled us to implement programs like this.

Accomplishing this initiative, for as well as the one that I’m most deeply involved with right now, but it’s also my, probably, biggest passion project that I’ve gotten to work in in the last six years.  

The end of this year, we have a goal of ousting about 20,000 pounds of organic waste that normally would have gone to landfill that will go into renewable processes instead. Our goal is 20,000. I think we’ll actually exceed that. My hope is we get closer to like 40,000 or 50,000. So, we’ll see. 

Laura Brandenburg: Hey, a special ripple effect is that, right.  A huge impact. 

Lisa Curll: Food waste is one of the biggest impacts to our landfill, especially by weight. Food waste comprises kind of the largest percentage of our landfills across the United States. So, what we can do as a corporation to reduce that is incredibly impactful. Implementing that kind of process change also impacts our culture. Employees come in and they see that we’re an energy company and we have all these renewable energy initiatives. We do renewable energy. We have solar, we have wind, we’re starting renewable natural gas, we have hydro.  

But then within our offices, too, we’re implementing sustainable strategies that employees can engage with every single site. That kind of process, when you start it, trying to bring in new employees, hit them at a daily kind of personal level, which I really find meaningful in our organization. 

Laura Brandenburg: Right. So, in one way it’s about, yes, eliminating or redirecting that waste, but also I can see it having just this effect in terms of the culture and the kinds of initiatives that come up even from this, and even role modeling that for other organizations, and showing how possible it is with what you’ve done. I’ve seen some of the posts you’ve posted to LinkedIn, some of these successes, and it’s so cool to see organizations actually making those changes inside their company. So, thanks for that. 

Lisa Curll: We have a composting partner here in Cleveland. I’ve known the guys here doubted it for a couple of years, but we were their first application. A big front facing corporate model. Normally, they would work with restaurants and they would collect the materials that are generated in the kitchen that would normally go into landfill, but they hadn’t worked on the front end with employees actually putting waste into these streams. And so contamination is a huge issue. That’s a whole nother process that we needed to identify and educate and train around. There’s contamination.  

You can’t. If you put Styrofoam into a compost bin and it winds up in the compost pile, I mean, even in six weeks, it’s still going to be Styrofoam. You need to pick that out. How do you eliminate that? That’s the kind of business analysis type of problem-solving that we’re doing on this end, which is so much fun and also kind of scary, because we don’t really know what we’re doing, but we’re figuring it out.  

Laura Brandenburg: But you trust yourself to figure it out. Right? 

Lisa Curll: Yes. 

Laura Brandenburg: Yeah, so, now in addition to these positive projects in your company, you do a lot of nonprofit work outside in your own personal life as well. Right? 

Lisa Curll: Yes. 

Laura Brandenburg: Do you want to just share a little bit more about that? I’d be interested to hear, in particular, if there are any overlaps or ways that you see that enhancing your career and what you’re able to do inside Dominion as well. 

Lisa Curll: I do kind of a plethora of different nonprofit … 

Laura Brandenburg: I know. 

Lisa Curll: Some of them are more related to legitimate skill sets than others. I worked a lot with the American Hiking Society. We do volunteer vacations. It’s a week that you take and you go into space on public land, so National Forests, National Park kind of things. You’ll work on a trail for a week. That doesn’t really require the type of business analyst skill, but it’s a really good way for me to escape and recharge. So, I do a lot of those.  

But within this northeast Ohio area, I’m on a couple of nonprofit Boards. One of the Boards I’m on is called the Ohio Erie Canal Way Coalition. I’m on their Associate Board. We put together some amazing events, like this Bike Ride. It’s a 50-kilometer bike ride that goes kind of through the city of Akron and down through, and so it’s a little bit of a process in use case scenarios and when someone bikes from Point A to Point B, where do we need to have refueling stations? What does the sign-up process look like? How many people can we actually accommodate? What are all the logistics of that? How do we fundraise at different levels? How do we reward different levels?

That kind of thing. What are the brands in mind for ingenuity Cleveland? Here in Cleveland, we are focusing on starting a new membership program. So, it’s not just what would compel someone to be a member and what benefits can we offer. That’s the end of the software side. When we collect that information, how do we track what date they started? If it’s a one-year membership, how are we tracking when they renew, if we’re offering benefits that differ year over year? How are we making sure those benefits are equal? All of that. Where do you even store what kind of database are you building to store all this information that someone can go out and manage.  

Laura Brandenburg: Yeah. There’s so much business analysis that happens. This was not on the questions, so I hope you don’t mind me throwing you a little curveball here, but one of the questions that we receive so often, people will do our training and I’ll recommend volunteer work at a nonprofit is a great way to build experience, especially if you’re in between positions, or have a bit of a career gap. It seems like you’ve found all these ways of doing that. But what lea you, what did that path look like to getting into a role where you are actually using business analysis skills for a nonprofit? 

Lisa Curll: A lot of nonprofits, I mean a resource constraint, because by definition, nonprofits are almost always resource constraints. A lot of times, if you just go to them and ask, “Can I help you? What do you need? What can I consult?” And a lot of them are willing to give you a project.  

One of the organizations that I’m involved with in Cleveland is called the Cleveland Leadership Center. We have a Bridge Boaters program.  Every year we take in a cohort of about 60 mid-career level professionals and we pair them in teams in little cohorts of 6 – 8 people with nonprofits to work with these nonprofits on a project over a period of six months.

Over the earlier part of last year, I had a chance to work with the International Women’s Air and Space Museum. We worked on a couple of projects for them. How do we increase fundraising for their major course on the concourse wine event? (Big plug if you’re in the Cleveland area, you should go to that.) How do we create an internship program for them where the interns actually have skills that they can use where they’re learning and the organization is benefiting?

But it’s really just reaching out and asking. A lot of times, it’s reaching out to smaller local organizations. There are nonprofits everywhere. There are grades of websites where you can go and look up nonprofits. Charity Navigator is a great one where you can kind of see information about them. They’re rated. A lot of them are rated on how much of what you donate to them actually goes back to their programming and their mission.

But it’s really finding things that you’re passionate about and then asking how you can help because a lot of them, a lot of our nonprofits in the United States desperately need help, and it’s not just funding. 

Laura Brandenburg: It sounds like – to extrapolate a few takeaways there – to focus on something in your location. That’s going to be easier. Find a nonprofit in your location. And almost be willing to own a project of some sort. Trust you’re going to use business analysis skills in that project, but I think it’s you need to go to them and ask what project do you need help on, and the business analysis piece is going to come from that, more than likely. 

Lisa Curll: I would push the local organizations more than the well known national ones. The national ones are easy. American Hiking Society; I love them. They’re nationwide, but there are limited amounts that I can probably reach out and say, “Can I do this for you?” Because it would take them almost as much time to explain to me what they need me to do as it would for them to just do it in-house.  

The local organizations, you can really integrate with them.  And where you have the community networks, you are able to kind of be onsite for some time, really understand their business, sit with them, and identify areas where either they can improve or help with those projects they have; the more that you can be close to them, not just geographically, but also with mission alignment, the better fit that will be.

It’s a resume builder. That’s great, but that’s not really what it’s about. It’s about mission alignment, really.  

Laura Brandenburg: Finding something that you’re legitimately interested in and passionate about and that you can, you’re doing not just as part of, maybe, the course, but more of a long term commitment too.   

Lisa Curll: And, especially, because they’re not going to pay you. They’re probably not going to pay you. You need to actually care about what you’re doing because the last thing you want to do is commit to helping them, take on a project that’s important to them, and then get burnt out or quit. I mean you can’t, at that point, you can’t do that. The closer that this is to your heart and your soul, the more value you’ll get out of it, personally, for doing it, and the more value the nonprofit will get because you’re likely to really stay with it and give it all your energy.  

Laura Brandenburg: Great point. Awesome. Back to Dominion a little bit, too. I love all the different things that you do. It’s amazing. But I know, you have this very unique role in your organization, but you’ve discovered different pockets of business analysis. Can you talk about what the different roles look like? 

Lisa Curll: Yeah, so we now have 21,000 employees right now. About 300 or so of them are in some type of business analyst role, and they fall into three separate buckets.  

We have business performance analysts, business process analysts, I’m a performance analyst. They’re kind of the same in terms of context. And then we have business systems analysts that are more in the IT software side.

What you do as a business analyst really depends, at Dominion Energy, on the group that you operate in. Even in my group, there are three of us who are business performance analysts. I do projects; the other two focus a lot more on kind of budget and strategic planning.

In IT, we’re looking for a software solution and they’re building client solutions. They’re looking for those kinds of use case items. They’re building wireframes, they’re coming up with what their clients across the company actually need in order to do their jobs better. 

I have a couple of friends who are business process analysts that their jobs are to define processes for a utility company. So, how do we do leak surveys and is there an improvement to the process that we use for leak surveys?  

One of our participants, when we did the Bridging the Gap training, she did an analysis of her hiring process. We do testing when we hire in workers for our gas infrastructure side and what does the testing process look like? Does it make sense to do the verbal interview kind of test before you do the hands-on test, or vice versa?  Do they move on to the next round? If all of those questions how we represent from an operations perspective, make those decisions of the business. 

And, so all across the company, there are 300 of us doing a whole bunch of different applications of business analysis, which is cool because you can kind of pivot into different roles depending on what you like to do. I like to work with people and I like to figure it out ambiguous things. So, I get to play in that space, which I love. I have friends who are much more kind of introvert data-driven and there are roles for them as well. So, lots of opportunities. 

Laura Brandenburg: That’s really interesting about tying your personality to the type of role. It’s so important that you show up and get to do work that really energizes and fuels you every day. Which it sounds like you’ve found a role that really fits that for you. 

Lisa Curll: I’ve found the best job. I’m the best business analyst. You can publish that.  

Laura Brandenburg: Yeah.  So, do you see people moving in between these roles within your company, or do people kind of get into one of those three categories and stay? 

Lisa Curll: So people pivot a lot. A lot of our business analysts that we pull in, in the process analysts and the performance analysts roles will usually pull in from inside, and those might be career pivots. So, I mean I told you I came in as an administrative assistant role and moved into this type of position. And, so, we have some larger call centers.

We get a lot of pivots from the kind of call center environment into something more analytical. It’s a really great career path. Once you come into this position, you can hang out in this position for a while. If you leave, you might go into project management.   

IT is a little bit different because they are specialized, so a lot of them will be hired either from our intern base, or from the outside and to business systems analysts. That being said, I have a manager in IT who is trying to poach me right now. So, there is some ability to move in between these positions.  

Laura Brandenburg: Right. That’s interesting. The business process more from the business side, the different roles, which makes sense because a lot of those roles that you described are more people-oriented – communication-oriented. You’re showing strengths in communication and then can build the business process piece. 

Whereas the IT, we’ve talked; it’s a pretty specialized unique understanding. It’s more systems analysts even than business analysts. Kind of more technical knowledge that goes into that. So, you’re bringing people from outside that have that kind of technical knowledge? Is that kind of the factor? 

Lisa Curll: And, I mean, they’re business systems analysts. They are coordinators, so we still have IT architects, we still have developers. The business systems analysts are not the people physically building the programs, but they are the people coordinating as a translator, I guess, between the business side and the IT side. So they need to understand both spaces.

I’ve integrated with them long enough that I do, I think, understand the IT side well enough that I could go into that role. But I think from a business perspective, it would be harder to take the line, for example, out of the supply chain and move them into a role where they needed to be where they directly communicate between the business side and IT without having them experience intermediary process analysis kind of position. 

Laura Brandenburg: Understanding the business first and how to do some analysis, and then getting deeper into the technical analysis. That makes sense.  

Lisa Curll: A lot of people come to us and they’ve stayed in their career at Dominion Energy for like 30, 35 years. We don’t have a lot of turn-over, which we’re really, really lucky to have. People tend to come to us and stay, which is great. So, we have the time to kind of build their careers here, get really familiar with the business side, and then move into something different, but within the same business. 

Laura Brandenburg: Very cool.  So, now one of the programs that you initiated, this is how we got to know each other, was the actual training program that we did. Hearing you talk now, I’m thinking, well this is kind of one of Lisa’s special projects that she created from the ground up. Is that kind of right? I know other people want to bring, whether it’s our training or somebody else’s training, but how do I get past the hurdles of having the organization invest in training for our teams? Could you just share a little bit about how that worked, came to be, and what that looked like for you? 

Lisa Curll: So there were a couple of different drivers for us to move forward with business analysts training. One of the drivers was that we were looking at succession plans. We were looking at career paths for some of our employees. I mean, they knew that they wanted to come into the business analyst role, and it was; we don’t have a lot of internal training for business analysts. You kind of come in and you learn as you go. And so we wanted to be able to have some training to prepare them in advance to take on these positions so that there’s a succession plan for me. If I were to move and go somewhere else, there is someone who can step into my role and kind of take that over. 

Another thing that we found was that because we are all doing kind of radically different roles within the business, we wanted a shared language within our business analysts. So we wanted me to be able to talk to a business analyst complete, or in gas operations, be able to explain what we’re doing so we can bounce ideas off of each other, have a shared language so that we could rotate if we needed to, we could help each other, we could have those kinds of conversations.

Because there was really no formal training for business analysts here, and because we are all so radically different, we didn’t have that before, so this gives us the ability to always get a job shadow, as we were doing it, since we did it as a cohort. We could learn what each other was doing, talk to each other, be able to share problems, get insight and advice, and also train those individuals who wanted to move into this role being sure that they had the base level skills that were expected when they would go into a position like this. 

Laura Brandenburg: And you had great support from a management level, too, right? That bigger vision, which I’m hearing now, was around career path. And starting this format or that kind of standard language within your company, which really goes a long way over time when you’re talking the same language instead of all doing things kind of your own way, which is very common. Right? Like it works for me. I’m going to do it my way, and to start to share those practices and find best practices. 

Lisa Curll: And I have amazing management. I mean, honestly, like my boss, he’s been incredibly supportive of this and we’ve been really strong in employee development. And, so, I mean we want to shape…we have so many random projects. A lot of them come to me and I, literally, can’t do all of them. So, we have so many random projects, we want to be able to take this next random project and give this to someone to try.

If you can’t do it, that’s fine. We didn’t really have time to do it anyway. But let’s try and make it as successful as you possibly can be, and if you do come with something valuable from this, that’s awesome. It’s great development for you, it’s great development from the business. It enables us to do some of these projects that fall maybe a little bit lower in the priority list, but are still really valuable projects. So, there are a lot of things we can play with developmentally. We just needed to give people a roadmap to approach these kinds of problems.  

Laura Brandenburg: What’s the outcome been from that?  

Lisa Curll: It’s been really nice because we, and especially the individuals who went through this course, I know that I can take those kinds of projects and give them to those people to work on them. So, I know, right now we’re working on a new inspection form, for our janitorial service. We want to be able to assess, in our 350 office buildings across 19 states, how our janitorial services are performing at each of our sites.

We’re looking at building a form that they could use, and an iPad –our contract services coordinators can use an iPad and mark, kind of, how they’re doing.  And then store it in a database, be able to manipulate that information, draw conclusions from it.

There’s a lot of business analysis that goes into that. It’s not just what are the questions and how do you build something like that, but also what’s the process? What’s the use case? What happens if vacuuming is insufficient? Do we require a picture? What do we do? All of those questions.

We have a project like that and I know that I can give that project to one of the individuals who has gone through this training course because it’s pretty, I don’t want to say formulaic, but you have a strategy for how you approach that. You have a strategy for building a team – ask the questions, figure out the wireframe, do these things.

You can start and you can build that where we don’t have any other resources to build that. Otherwise, that wouldn’t get done.  Being able to start to put employees through this training and then know that on the back end you’re going to get legitimate ROI and business value out of that is phenomenal. 

Laura Brandenburg: It’s awesome. It’s like you’re getting to replicate yourself.  

Lisa Curll: Like cloning. Yes.  

Laura Brandenburg: Right.  Lisa Cloning. That could be the pet name. Awesome. Well, thank you for sharing that. And I think the takeaway around like the management support and how this fits into the career path is a really good piece because the training, I always feel like the training is just one piece of a bigger something. There’s a reason people need those skills. There’s a gap that you have. There’s an opportunity in your company. I just love that; hearing about the investment that Dominion is making in their employees. That’s awesome. 

So, one final question I’d like to share or close all of our interviews with this question, but what does success look like to you? 

Lisa Curll: I am, honestly, really in love with what I’m doing right now. I’m really thrilled with the projects that I’m working on and all the different places that I get to apply this.  

When we talk about cloning me and kind of replicating that, I think my long term vision, and knock on wood because I’m not completely married to this, my long term vision is I’d like to get into a consultant role where I can see that it’s not just at Dominion Energy. I love Dominion Energy. It’s phenomenal and it’s had so many opportunities. But to create a consulting role where we can do this kind of work at many different organizations.

I have a lot of friends in the restaurant industry or neighborhood development coalition that are looking at how do we incorporate sustainability into our business strategy in a way that makes financial sense, and a way that we can make it achievable, and a way that’s not incredibly labor intensive. And how do we measure our impact. And, so, I’ve experienced that her at Dominion Energy.

I have experience working with the current nonprofit and for-profit organizations that do that. And it has a lot of meaning. It has a lot of meaning to my heart and my soul. I’d like to find a way where I could broaden my impact in that specific space to help organizations around my community and the broader role. I’m kind of moving towards that based on having a very well-defined process and getting the practice it so much within my organization, so I have a good formula for how to implement that in other places. That’s my goal. 

Laura Brandenburg: Awesome. I love it. And there should have been a question before that last question, so is there, we talked about so many things – was there anything else that you wanted to share or make sure that people listening in had a chance to hear from you today? 

Lisa Curll: The biggest part is you’re never going to be completely ready to take on a new ambiguous project. And I think a lot of people, and especially women, I think they will hold back from diving into something until they’re completely certain that you’re going to be successful at. 

Honestly, my intended career for the last 6 years has been me winging it with a really big smile and a lot of confidence.  You know, there’s always going to be a solution if it doesn’t quite work out the way that you think they’re going to work out. But you can adapt to that.

Having that kind of confidence in yourself and your skill set, just be adaptive and to not be afraid of failure because, again, I chose projects where I totally could have failed, and the bar of risk, you want to kind of moderate that, so don’t pick something that if you fail it’s going to completely bankrupt the company, but take some well moderated risk and just try some new things because that’s how you build those skill sets and have the confidence to keep trying those things over and over again, and that’s, literally, how have built my career so far.  

Laura Brandenburg: That bar of confidence is a great, bar of risk. You don’t have to risk your whole career; you can take incremental risks forward to keep expanding your opportunities. I love that. Love that takeaway.  

Lisa Curll: Yes, and we all have imposter syndrome. I come home at the end of the day, sometimes, and it’s like I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing and I’m terrified. I go back to work the next day and have a smile. 

Laura Brandenburg: And look at the impact that you get to have because of that. And that’s really what…I have the same thing. Who am I to be …? And it’s like you just keep showing up and hope that you keep helping people. 

Thank you so much. This has been absolutely phenomenal. I’ve learned some things about you that I didn’t know and also just, I think it’s going to be really well received by our community. Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me today.  

Lisa Curll: Yes, absolutely. I’m happy to help anytime. I love Bridging the Gap, and I love what you’ve done for me and my employees. You’re awesome.  

Laura Brandenburg: Oh, thank you. All right. Bye. 

Lisa Curll: Bye.

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