Episode 20: Gazala Uradnik of GFS Events

Gazala Uradnik of GFS Events is this episode’s guest. In addition to running her event planning business for nonprofits, she’s also the winner of the 2020 Women Business Owner of Seattle Small Business of the Year award.

We talk about entrepreneurship and how to find your niche, as well as adapting to changing circumstances to ensure your business thrives.

Gazala also shares her career path and lessons learned, including asking for help when needed, spending money as needed, and changing the focus of your business as needed. The show concludes with the weekly “Reignition Recommendation” career tip.

Show Notes:

[00:25] Welcome to Reigniting You™ where we talk all things career transition for those age 40+. Happy to be with you today and our producer, Eric.

[03:02] Welcome back to Reigniting You™ the show that focuses on all aspects of making mid-late career transitions. Thank you to our sponsor FranNet, your franchise experts.

[03:12] Excited to introduce today’s guest, Gazala Uradnik of GFS Events. Welcome to the show!

[04:10] Lisa asks Gazala to share her career path – master’s in healthcare administration; worked many years in hospital administration; enjoyed nonprofit work as a volunteer – that became the business.

[07:04] What’s a lesson or two that you’ve learned along the way? Gazala – don’t be afraid to ask for help; get a team behind you; have to spend money to make money.

[08:58] What was particularly helpful that got you through times of change and transition? Gazala – “cheerleading section” of family; started company in different direction at first to help nonprofits with consulting, then changed to focus on events.

[10:43] What do you find in terms of working with nonprofits that you most enjoy? Gazala – goal and objective achiever; helping them to raise money for their mission and set a goal; likes the feeling of working with people who are passionate about their mission.

[15:17] What do you recommend as a first step when someone is considering starting their own business and how can they go about taking this step? Gazala – hire a business coach.

[16:47] What are some key characteristics or strengths you think are beneficial for people to have as an entrepreneur? Gazala – building genuine relationships; you get what you give – be interested in people.

[18:27] What else have you done to do that relationship building? Gazala – BNI; industry-specific groups to network and meet vendors and colleagues.

[19:45] You have a very specific niche in working with non-profits. How did you land on this niche and how can people find one that’s a good match for them and the type of work they want to do? Gazala – worked as a volunteer planning an auction – friend wondered if people get paid to do it – started researching it; important to enjoy what you do.

[22:21] You adapted your business to plan and execute virtual events here in the time of the pandemic. What helped you be successful in making this pivot and what advice do you have for how we can stay flexible and adapt to changing circumstances in our lives? Gazala – don’t panic; focused on client needs.

[24:47] How did you find it in terms of your clients doing OK with switching to virtual events? Gazala – some did; some came kicking and screaming; changed a lot with what they do for clients.

[26:06] How can people find you? Gazala – gfsevents.org; LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram.

[26:40] Reignition Recommendation – identify your “gives” and “gets” to help you focus.

[27:38] Join us next Wednesday at 3:00 when it’s time once again for our monthly Best Job/Worst Job/First Job episode when I’ll share listener stories and career news. As a reminder, you can share your story by email at reignitingyou@gmail.com or leave a voicemail at 360-436-6496 to share it over audio.

[28:05] Special offer until April 1 for a $200 discount on a two-hour career strategy session with Lisa. Learn more at yournewaspect.com.

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