Louise Pritchard---A Steel Magnolia
Updated: Jun 26, 2019
Have you met Louise? Not sure? Then I can answer for you. You have not! When you encounter Louise Pritchard she makes a powerful impression that lasts! So, it is no wonder that she helps others in determining how they want others to remember their brands. When I think of her, I think of strength seasoned with sophistication and sweetness.
Part I: About You
AAT: Who are you(outside of work)? What is your life like?
LP: This is a very interesting and challenging question for me right now. Having lost my husband in the last year, I am learning to redefine my life without the love of my life. I am a purpose driven soul and tend to look for opportunities to help lift others up.
AAT: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
LP: My children and friends would probably tell you that gardening and buying plants are my kryptonite. I find peace working my garden, and love to see what it produces. I also love being active whether that is Pilates, biking, hiking etc. Another hobby of mine is photography and experiential travel. I am hoping to do a great deal more of those two in the coming year. Anyone want a travel buddy?
AAT: What is one thing that people don’t realize about you?
LP: Wow, I’m a pretty open book. Maybe its that I am expecting my first grandchild on June 9th. It is especially exciting because it’s a little boy. After having all daughters and losing my husband, that little boy will be a special gift of joy for all of us.
Part II: About Your Business
AAT: What business do you own? What type of business is it?
LP: Pritchard Volk Consulting, LLC is a consulting practice based on sound business coaching and brand strategy principles.
AAT: When did you begin your business?
LP: At the time of Sept 11, 2001, I was running a division for FORTUNE Magazine, After the attack happened, the publishing business went spiraling down hill. They offered me an early retirement package and sent me packing. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I wanted it to be in the marketing arena. Sometimes opportunities are given to us that we don’t understand at the time but are a true blessing.
AAT: Where did you begin your business? Is it still located in the same place?
LP: I started my business out of my home in Williamsburg, VA, and I still run it out of a home office 19 years later. FORTUNE Magazine allowed me to be one of the first or early adapters to tele- commute back in 1996. I was already set up and new how to manage a business out of my home. Working from home is not for the “faint of heart,” as they say. I used to joke with my children that they were not to disturb me while I was talking on the phone unless they were bleeding from the head.
AAT: Why did you begin your business?
LP: Out of necessity really. As I mentioned earlier, I was forced to take an early retirement package and I needed to figure out something. I had one in college and two children still in high school. I had worked for a corporation ever since I graduated from college and knew my prospects in Williamsburg, VA were slim. I come from a family of entrepreneurs, and so with a supportive husband, I began formulating what my own company would look like.
AAT: How did you begin your business?
LP: I knew I wanted a consulting type business that would give me some flexibility. I also knew that I had had enough successes and failures in the business world to give me credibility. I began by formulating a philosophy and tested it out on former clients of mine. I networked and took people to lunch to see if they thought it would be viable and useful.
AAT: What has been your biggest trial?
LP: Like most businesses, mine evolved over the years. Nineteen years later it is still evolving but I think I am more comfortable with it than ever. The biggest trial or challenge still remains today, "How do I let potential clients know what I do and how I can help them." Usually, I can clearly articulate it to someone if I can have a one-on-one conversation. It is difficult to convey over social media.
AAT: What has been your biggest triumph?
LP: Being in business 19 years. Truly, it is helping other women entrepreneurs follow their dreams and set a path to success.
AAT: Where do you see your business in 5-10 years?
LP: Most people would probably say retired and sitting on a beach somewhere, but that's not for me. I hope I am still engaged in lifting others up and helping others follow their dreams. And yes, spending time with my future grandchildren and traveling.
Part III: About Your Relationships with Other Businesses
AAT: How did you know you wanted to collaborate with other businesses?
LP: There is a real richness that comes from collaborating. You never stop learning if you want to stay in business. All ideas don’t have to be our own and through collaborations, when done right and with guidelines, all ships rise.
AAT: What have been the benefits?
LP: Wow, I would say learning new things and different perspectives. Collaborations are not always 50/50, but the take always are always a win.
AAT: What is something you would do differently?
LP: In the new world of social media, you have to know your limitations. I know what I’m good at and although I have to understand social media strategies, I Do Not enjoy implementing social media tactics. I would hire someone and still might. It’s never too late.
AAT: Name one thing you have learned from working with another business?
LP: Outlining clear expectations whether in a collaboration, partnership or even with employees. If these are set out from the start, your outcomes are more likely to be positive.
AAT: Best advice for others wanting to collaborate/work with another business?
LP: As I mentioned, three things:
1. Defining what the each of you brings to the table
2. Define what your expectations from the collaboration are
3. What does success look like?
If you discuss and outline these from the beginning, your collaboration is more likely to be a success. AAT: So the name of this blog is "Gracious Counsel." What are gracious words of wisdom that you would like to share with our readers? You are such a wellspring of knowledge and Spirit-filled wisdom!
LP: Last words... Whether you work for yourself or for someone else, success is never a straight line. Venture to try new things. Some will fail. You will learn more from those failures and they will give you insight into your next success. Look where you are in your life and make decisions accordingly. I was offered a position of CEO, but it would have taken me away from my family. For me, I valued the time with my family more than the position or title. Its okay, success has detours, obstacles, and setbacks. All this adds up to what and who you are as a person. You are not defined by your job title or how much money your make, but the thumb print you leave on other hearts.
AAT: Favorite quote and favorite verse?
LP: I have a few quotes and a Bible verse.
First , over the past couple years I have lived by this one, repeating it to myself when times got tough, "When God puts Goliath in your path, he must think there is some David in you." Author unknown. Second, my favorite Ronald Regan’s quotes,"There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit." And this one, "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning to dance in the rain."
Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Louise has left her mark and continues. If you do not know her or follow her work, please do so. You will be blessed!