Sloane Wendell | Crain's San Antonio

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

Sloane Wendell

Background:  

Sloane Wendell owns and operates the San Antonio location of Right at Home, which offers in-home care and assistance to adults with disabilities who want to continue living independently. Based in Omaha, Nebraska, Right at Home has 500 franchise locations across the United States and in Canada and six other countries.

The Mistake:

My mistake was settling for less.

Before leaving corporate America, I accepted a position as a program manager for several projects at a company, and I was really excited about it. The day after I accepted that position — I had already put in my two weeks’ notice with my other employer — that company changed my role to a completely new one.

Instead of a program manager, they wanted me to take on a sales and marketing role. Although I’m good at sales and marketing, I’m not passionate about either of those things. But instead of standing my ground and pointing to my offer letter, I went with it. I think this was the demise of my time in corporate America.

I stayed [at that company] for another three years, but during that time, I really lost my passion for working and doing what I wanted to do.

Stand your ground, be firm and don’t settle.

The Lesson:

The lesson I learned was: Stand your ground, be firm and don’t settle.

I should not have accepted a role that was different from what was initially offered. After I stepped into that role, I couldn’t get out of it. As a result, I grew increasingly discontent and gave less than the 110 percent I was initially prepared to give. I developed a “whatever” stance on so many things.

From this experience, I also learned that, as a leader, you should do what you say you’re going to do. As an employee of that company, I didn’t feel like [management] listened. It felt like they didn’t value me enough to put me in the role they had hired me for.

With Right at Home, I’m very compassionate towards my employees. If I tell them I’m going to do something, I try to follow through — all the way down to a letter [stating] what we agreed. I know what it feels like to have someone say one thing and do something else.

Right at Home is on Twitter: @rightathomeUS.

​Photo courtesy of Right at Home