How a Sinking Ship and an Airplane Inspired Pam Jordan to Leave the Corporate World and Start Her Own Business
Be brave and take the risk, especially during a time of crisis, says the entrepreneur.
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In this series called Member Showcase, we publish interviews with members of The Oracles. This interview is with Pam Jordan, president of Pivot Business Group bookkeeping and financial executive services. It was condensed by The Oracles.
What was a defining moment in your life?
Pam Jordan: I metaphorically played the violin on the deck of the Titanic as my employer sank into bankruptcy. I’d worked there for over 10 years and was sold on the vision and leader. Due to bad sales contracts, the company outran its cash and had to file for bankruptcy. I worked as hard as I could to save the company, but the damage was too severe.
Through that experience, I learned that loyalty and integrity matter above all else and that I only wanted to work with people who had those traits. It also planted a calling in my heart to help other entrepreneurs avoid what I went through. Now my driving force is to grow companies’ profits so they can have freedom and weather the storms.
What are you more skilled at than most people in the world?
Pam Jordan: Increasing business profits and streamlining accounting processes. I’m a business strategist who helps entrepreneurs take their company wherever they want to go, with higher profits. I’m an accountant and an entrepreneur, so I understand how both think. I’ve learned to give entrepreneurs the numbers they care about so they can make better decisions. I can build the team behind the leader to track those numbers in real time with efficient systems and processes.
How did your business get started?
Pam Jordan: I wanted my own airplane! After my company filed for bankruptcy, I was left without a job and was aggressively interviewing. One day, I met with an employer who showed me his five-year plan, which included growing his company enough to buy a plane.
I walked out of his office, determined to create my own company so I could build a legacy for my family. I was tired of others getting airplanes, vacation homes and boats from my hard work when all I got was a paycheck. There is no plane in my five-year plan, but there is freedom for my family and my team.
What book changed your mindset or life?
Pam Jordan: Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t, by Jim Collins. This is the first book that spoke to my task-loving heart while showing me how to reframe my thinking. Getting the right people on the bus and in the right seats is a concept that I’ve carried to all my clients. Prioritize people, then tasks, instead of tasks, then people.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Pam Jordan: Be brave and take the risk. Women in the corporate world aren’t encouraged to stand up and take risks. It’s easier if we just sit back, do our jobs and maintain the status quo.
Unfortunately, I believed that lie longer than I should have. I didn’t feel that I had what it would take to follow my dreams and start a company. I could be years further down the road if I had been brave sooner.
How do you define great leadership?
Pam Jordan: Managers get things done. Leaders make sure the right things get done. They set the vision and common purpose and empower their team to get the job done. Leadership is about helping others be their best, so the team performs.
How do you identify a good business partner?
Pam Jordan: Finding a business partner is like finding a spouse. It has to be someone you want to do life with. Find someone who has the same core values but views the world differently. This allows for healthy debate and brings more value to your customers and employees.
How do you prevent burnout?
Pam Jordan: By starting the day with gratitude. First thing in the morning, I sit down and journal about what I’m grateful for and list my dreams, which helps me focus on what matters. If I start the day with emails, I can lose focus on what’s important and struggle to prioritize my tasks.
But sometimes life happens, and I don’t have time to sit down. On those days, I repeat two truth statements to myself to stay focused, which I created to battle my limiting beliefs. The first is “I have a seat at the table,” and the second is “I have nice things because I work hard and help people.”
If you ever start a charity, what would it be called and what would it do?
Pam Jordan: I’m a follower of Jesus Christ, so my heart is to love God and love people. My charity would be a large, multi-purpose facility that serves the community and hosts church services on the weekends. It would have a preschool, private and shared office space, café and large event space.
What do you want to be known for, or what do you want your legacy to be?
Pam Jordan: I want to be known for bringing the freedom of both time and money to thousands of business owners. I want peoples’ lives to be better because I was in them.
The words and opinions expressed in this interview are those of the interviewee alone. What worked for them may not work for everyone. Any claims in this article have not been independently verified.