“Surround Yourself With People Who Are Smarter Than You” The 5 Lessons I Learned Being a 20-Something Founder

Jean Ginzburg
Jul 19, 2018 · 4 min read
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I had the pleasure of interviewing Brittany Hebert, Founder and CEO of Sky High for Kids — www.skyhighshoot.org

Jean: How did you become a founder?

During my senior year of college, I was approached by Mrs. Billie Menard, my previous pageant director, to help fundraise for her organization, Beanies for St. Jude.

She was gathering all of her past pageant queens to help raise a total of $10,000 to donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House of Memphis.

I accepted the challenge, and used my clay-shooting hobby to formulate a charity tournament. I remember sitting on the steps of the Dupre Library at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette writing down the goal of raising $10,000 and then creating the budget…and the rest is history.

After two weeks or so of planning and receiving help from several amazing friends, I sat on my couch and came up with a formal name for my own nonprofit, Sky High.

Jean: What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

We stand out because we always put the mission first. Whether you visit our website or attend an event, you will always know exactly where your donations are going and the best part is that you will touch the families that your donations are helping; literally. Our passion, culture, family atmosphere and do whatever it takes attitude is what also sets us apart. In addition, Sky High launched our Adventures program where cancer patients are granted an Adventure weekend in the outdoors to help with the healing process of treatment. A recent suicidal teen cancer patient of St. Jude, was granted a Sky High Adventure and it literally turned his life around. It helped turn his defeated spirit into a fighting spirit and he is going strong today!

Jean: Are you working on any exciting projects now?

Yes! We are working on numerous exciting projects including the completion of building the Tumor Biology Center at Texas Children’s Cancer Center in Houston!

Jean: Do you have a favorite book that made a deep impact on your life? Explain.

I must admit that I don’t read as much as I should but a book that made an impact on my career and helped boost my “I can do it all” attitude at a young age was LEAN IN by Sherly Sandberg. I have juggled two careers for over ten years and debated whether or not I would ever be able to have children in the future or if I should quit one thing to do be able to do another, etc…This book gave me the confidence to be able to do it all but focus on what matters most. It also taught me how to gain additional confidence in general. If you are a career woman, read it!

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Jean: What are your 5 lessons I learned as a Twenty Something founder and why? Please example for each.

· Building relationships are key but follow up is the most important thing.

· Do your research! Owning your own business sounds like fun, however there is a lot you need to know about the product/service you will be selling, your competitors, your demographics and the basic fundamentals of running a company.

· Say “thank you”. Thank you goes a long way. Say it to those that support you, those who work with you/for you and to those who buy from you. It might sound simple but those are two words absent from the English language far too often.

· Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. You will be surprised how motivating that can be, and what you can accomplish having them in your circles.

· Learn to delegate. In the beginning you will want to have your hands in everything, and you might have to until you begin to generate income. But don’t be afraid to pass things off to employees once you get to that stage. There are things a business owner SHOULD take care of, and things you shouldn’t.

Jean: Who would be “the” person you would like to sit down with for lunch and why?

Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines…because of the culture and brand he has built. I dream of one day partnering with an organization such as Southwest!

— Published on June 27, 2018

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