Welcome to the Pretty Powerful Podcast with Angela Gennari
March 6, 2022

Episode 1: Introduction to the Pretty Powerful Podcast with Angela Gennari and Val Ronning

Episode 1: Introduction to the Pretty Powerful Podcast with Angela Gennari and Val Ronning

What was the inspiration for the Pretty Powerful Podcast? Why now? Val Ronning talks with Angela Gennari to answer these questions and more, as these two women dive deep into why women have been apprehensive about stepping into their power, and the incre...

What was the inspiration for the Pretty Powerful Podcast? Why now? Val Ronning talks with Angela Gennari to answer these questions and more, as these two women dive deep into why women have been apprehensive about stepping into their power, and the incredible value that women bring to any organization. 


Episode 1: Introduction to the Pretty Powerful Podcast with Angela Gennari and Val Ronning

Welcome to the pretty powerful podcast where powerful women are interviewed every week to share real inspiring stories and incredible insight to help women or anyone break the barriers, be a part of innovation, shatter the glass ceiling and dominate to the top of their sports industry or life's mission. Join us as we celebrate exceptional women and step into our power. And now here's your host. Angela Gennari.

Angela Gennari: Thank you for joining us today. This is the Pretty Powerful Podcast. So, I'm really excited today because I am sitting here with Val Ronning, who is one of my closest friends, and she is assisting me today in helping me to get this podcast launched. I have been talking about doing this podcast for a very long time, and she has been a great motivator in putting the pieces together and motivating me to get my story out there. So, I'm super excited to introduce her today and have her join me. Thank you

Val Ronning: Thank you. Well, I'm really happy to be here and I'm very, very excited for this opportunity and to help you get this podcast started you've been in business now after all of these years, have you decided to branch out into doing something new and starting this podcast?

Angela Gennari: Because as women, I think it's time that we stop apologizing for our success and we start stepping into our power. And I think that as women, we tend to be overlooked, but we are relevant. We are substantial, we are successful and we need to start owning that. And so many times in my life, I know I have really given my power away in many, many instances, and I feel like it's time that we start owning our success. We start owning our power that we get out of our own way when it comes to discomfort with our own success. And so, I'm here to give a voice to the women who are doing amazing things and to give people a role model, and to give people somebody to look up to say, hey, look, these women are doing really powerful things, and it's time we start including them in the conversation when it comes to leadership and innovation and technology and healthcare, and how do we make workplaces better? And how do we, you know, increase revenues? Because when you have a woman-led company on wall street, it tends to perform better. And so why aren't we including women in these conversations? Why aren't we doing more to elevate them and to lift them up in their journey and in their role? And as a society, we haven't necessarily made it easy for women to step into our power. Women tend to downplay success. They tend to underestimate themselves. They tend to criticize other women. We don't tend to support each other as we should. So, I think it's time that we start giving each other a voice to say, this is why women matter in the workforce. This is why women matter in organizations. This is why we matter in leadership. And this is how we can start supporting one another in our journey to success.

Val Ronning: So, you own Titan Global Enterprises?

Angela Gennari: Correct.

Val Ronning: Titan is a security company.

Angela Gennari: Yes mam.

Val Ronning: Tell me a little bit about that. Titan is a company that you would say is very much in a male-dominated industry.

Angela Gennari: Absolutely.

Val Ronning: So, what have been the challenges for you in growing that company in that industry?

Angela Gennari: When I developed Titan, it was really to be an event staffing company wanted to be a comprehensive event services company. And in doing so, our goal was to staff any position in any event or venue. Initially, that included guest services, it included crowd management, it included facilities and it included food service. So, with all of those security became the next logical step, but in order to become a security company, I wanted to bring in the right minds that could really drive our training to the top level of security in the industry. We did so we've become a very respectable security company, but it has been very challenging, especially in the market that we work in, which is the large venue and event market that is very male-dominated. It's been a challenge because for a company to take us seriously, you know, when they see a woman at the helm of a security company, they immediately start thinking, well, it's not that serious. And nothing could be further from the truth. We are probably one of the stricter when it comes to training when it comes to standards when it comes to ensuring that our people are accountable for every single part of their job. So, I'm proud of what we've built. I think it has had many challenges in terms of how to grow it and how to earn the respect. But I feel like we earn the respect through performance, you know, and consistency, and we have done that. And I think that the performance and the consistency and the training and our reputation have allowed us to really become the security company that I envisioned in terms of dominating space and raising the standards.

Val Ronning: So, you have had many business challenges as well as personal challenges in growing your business over the years?

Angela Gennari: Well, yes.

Val Ronning: Single mom.

Angela Gennari: Correct. I am a single mom and that has been an incredible challenge because many of our events happen on evenings and weekends. And so, it has been I constantly fight this battle of what am I sacrificing? Am I sacrificing enough for my child? Am I sacrificing too much when it comes to business? Am I sacrificing too much as a mom? Am I sacrificing too much when it comes to my personal relationships and my neighbors and, you know, as a woman, I think that we have so many challenges, we're expected to be this great neighbor, great mom, great volunteer at the school and then you try to throw on running a growing business and it has become daunting. And so thankfully I have a great network of people that I rely on, including you and many of my friends and neighbors who have helped me tremendously, you know, to lift me up when I have felt overwhelmed in trying to do it all, and I think as women, that it's a common factor. We do it all and we don't give ourselves grace without also feeling guilt. And so, the guilt factor comes into play when it's you know, as a mom and as a business owner, am I doing enough for everyone around me?

Val Ronning: So, do you feel like there has ever been a time in your business in growing your business over the years that you felt like you gave away your power?

Angela Gennari: Absolutely. you know, so many times as I've been growing my business, I have felt like I needed to give credit to everyone else and I've not taken enough credit for the things that I have done and the things that I have built. And while there's no possible way, I could have built this company without the management staff and employees that we have and the clients that we have there are also different challenges that I have faced personally, where I have had a problem accepting that I have contributed to the accomplishments. One particular instance was I had gone through a really tough time in my business and wrote a letter to an editor of a major business publication, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for this publication, and it's been something that I have followed for my entire career.

And he actually called me and said, hey, I love your story, I'd love to make it a podcast, would you be interested? And I was floored. And so, I immediately started putting all the pieces together and how do I say this story? How do I put this together? And he brought me onto the podcast, and I remember during the podcast, which ended up actually being a follow-up print article as well during the podcast, what I did is to ease my own discomfort I gave all the accolades to one of my competitors, to a male colleague who gave me advice in the situation. And I'm not taking anything away from him because I think that the editor of the podcast in the magazine did not lead me this way. My competitor didn't even know he was in the article. I just was so uncomfortable with taking the full weight of the success that I gave that to someone else. I gave it to a male colleague who, you know, he had a role to play in that he did advise me, but I did 95% of the work in fixing the problem I had to do the legwork. I had to put the time in. I did the sleepless nights. I did the stress, you know, all of that was on me, but I made him the hero of the story. And because I felt more comfortable with that, I felt more comfortable with him being the hero of the story and not me, because if it were me, it would feel like I had to own that success, and I had to step into my power and I didn't feel comfortable with it.

And so that, that moment, and looking at that article now, I am more disappointed in myself that I didn't own it and that because I had the opportunity to be a role model, to show how women really can overcome incredible challenges and solve incredible problems. And instead, I made somebody else the hero of my story, and that's not okay with me. So, that's part of my motivation for this podcast is to give women the permission to be brave enough, to step into their power, to show their relevance, to show their significance in the workforce, and also to make sure that they are there. not apologizing for their success anymore, because I think that's been, it's been an acceptable way for us to be for so long. And when women are confident and independent, we're often looked at as stubborn, and it's almost perceived as being negative a negative way to be for a woman If we're not nurturing, if we're not codling, if we are fierce, that tends to be negative, and I trying to come up with the name of this podcast, I looked at fierce females because I'm like, I love the name fierce because that's what we really are. And it had such a negative connotation when you looked it up, and I just thought, that's not fair. It's not fair to feel like we're not allowed to be fierce women. It's not fair that we have to be minimized or that we minimize ourselves, you know because we're afraid of what people might think If we step into our power and own our success.

Val Ronning: So, you can't be pretty and powerful.

Angela Gennari: You can be pretty and powerful. So, I think as a society, we are expected to be pretty. That's where our effort should be. Our efforts should be on hair and makeup and clothing, and, you know, our body image and where it really should be is how powerful is she? How does she step into her power? How does she own her success? And it doesn't matter what the role is. It doesn't matter if you are a stay-at-home, mom, it doesn't matter if you're a career woman. It doesn't matter if you're an athlete. We should all have the ability to be confident in our own skin and to be able to step into our success, whatever success looks like for us and for each of us, it's going to be different. And we should have that permission from ourselves mostly, but from the society also to be able to be confident, independent, whatever that looks like for us, whatever success is in our lives, we should feel like that is acceptable.

Val Ronning: And to be taken seriously.

Angela Gennari: And to be taken seriously.

Val Ronning: Even in an industry like you're working in the security industry. Do you feel like, as you are growing your business that you had to struggle or you had to work hard to be taken seriously maybe more so than your male competitors?

Angela Gennari: Oh, absolutely. You know, the hardest part of starting my company was I was a single mom and, you know, here I am trying to get funding for my business and trying to get it off the ground, and I didn't take a salary for three years because I would go to banks and just beg them, please just give me a little bit of a line of credit. Just give me something so that I can have a little bit of a cushion. I ended up living on my credit cards and completely destroying my credit because thankfully I had good credit and I had enough room on my credit cards when I decided to start the company that I could live off of my credit cards for a while. But I mean, I was paying 18 to 24% interest on money. You know, because I had to buy groceries and gas and website design and everything on my credit cards.

I remember when I first started the company, I had actually set aside, I had savings and I was like, I'm going to get, I have $5,000 to put into starting Titan. And then literally within a few weeks of wanting to start at my air conditioner, went out in my house. The entire unit needed to be fixed. It was $4,500. And so, I had $500 left to start my company. And so, I started it with $500. I taught myself how to do web design. I taught myself how to do graphics and I built my own website. I think I went to a contract, maybe a Fiverr or something, and I had somebody design a logo for me. And so, my $500 is what I had to start the company with you know, here we are six years later and, you know, thankfully we've been able to break that million-dollar ceiling that so many people have a hard time breaking, and it's not, you know, we're not a billion-dollar company, but getting to that point less than 1.7% of all companies that break a million dollars are owned by women. So.

Val Ronning: That's amazing.

Angela Gennari: Yeah.

Val Ronning: Was it hard for you to step into your success though?

Angela Gennari: It was extremely hard. Going back to what I was saying so one of the challenges that I had initially, you know when I started the company with only $500, I would go to banks and I would say, hey, I'm starting this business, and they would give me a credit card. So, I went to my bank and they offered me a credit card, and I was able to use that credit card to put some of my expenses on, but then it took my male accountant calling up a bank and saying, hey, I think this woman is like she's legitimate maybe you should offer her a line of credit. That was my first line of credit. But it had to be given to me by my male accountant and not me, because I had gone to the bank after bank, after bank and they just told me, no, and it took a phone call from him to say, she's legit, she's serious, please give her a line of credit for a bank to finally say, okay, sure we'll give you a little something to work with. And so, I moved to that bank, but then every time I would go back to them and say, look at our revenues, we're on the right path. What can we do? Can we increase the line of credit? And they would always say no. And it became incredibly challenging so for the first three years of my business, I really didn't take a salary. I paid myself just enough to pay my mortgage so that my son and I wouldn't be on the street. But other than that, I mean, he'd heard, I can't afford it more times than I can count in his, you know, young life.

And so, you know, having him watch me build this business has been incredibly meaningful. It matters because for him watching his mother build a business over the past six years has given him a new perspective about what women can really accomplish. So, one of my proudest moments was when he had a business class assignment, he has an entrepreneur class in high school and he had to write a paper on the most influential entrepreneur that he admires and he chose me. And what was so cool about that is his dad, and I both own a company and he knows lots of entrepreneurs, but for him to choose me was probably one of the most meaningful things in my life. So.

Val Ronning: That's amazing.

Angela Gennari: Yeah. But now I mean, looking back on the challenges that I've had with finances, with getting bank loans, investors, wouldn't talk to me, banks wouldn't talk to me. Nobody would give me any credit for anything so I've had to just really reinvest. And so, we become creative financiers as women, we have to figure it out. And I think that's what we do better than anybody is we figure it out. Whether it's as a single mom, whether it's as a business owner, whether it's, you know, at school, whether it's, you know, whatever the challenges are, we find a way. And I think that is one thing that we, as women don't give ourselves enough credit for.

Val Ronning: Do you think it is harder for women to gain exposure as business owners?

Angela Gennari: Well, I think part of it is that we tend to minimize ourselves. I think that's a big part of it that we just don't own our power. We don't own our accomplishments. And so, for many of us, we tend to share the accolades. We say, oh, it's because of this person that we were successful or it's because of the team. And while that may be very much true, we are neglecting to give ourselves equal credit. And so, I think that that's a challenge. Another challenge is I think that the conversations are different for women. I think we are having different conversations amongst each other. I know when I go to a social event, I will tend to gravitate towards the men mostly because they're talking about world issues. They're talking about money; they're talking about careers.

They're talking about things that to me are moving the needle in the world. And if I go over to the female groups, they tend to talk about different things, whether it's kids or school or sports, you know, that their kids are playing and those are all fine conversations, but it's not pushing me in my career. It's not giving me insight into what I may want to do to be more successful. And while I think that it's great as a woman, if we can balance those conversations, I think that we need to have the right environment to foster those conversations so that they're not just male-driven. I think men have contributed tremendously to my success as a female, but I can't think of very many women who have, and the reason is that I haven't had very many women to look to say, hey, you're doing what I want to do show me. Show me how to do that, teach me what you're doing, help me be more confident, help me to, you know, understand how this financing process works. And so, I've been very fortunate to have had great mentors in my life, and I think that that has been one of the reasons that I've been successful, but you know, being raised by a woman who was a single mom, very, very independent, fiercely independent but also a very hard worker. Her work ethic has been a tremendous inspiration to me, but having that in my life has made all the difference, but having women in your life that you can come to and say, here's what I want to do. What do you think? And then a woman who says you've got this and I think you'll do great at it. Like, you've done for me, you know, is that's an asset, okay, to be really involved with your kids' school. That's amazing. That's wonderful. If that is what success to you looks like, then a hundred percent, I'm all about it. But if success looks to you, like I want to own a business. I want to dominate this sport. I want to own this space. That should be okay, too. And as women, we should support each other, no matter what that looks like, and meet each other where we are.

Val Ronning: So, you can be proud of your success and you can do both and be proud of your success.

Angela Gennari: And if you can't do it all, we need to be okay with that too. You know, sometimes as women, we think we can do it all. We think let's just do everything. And if we fall short on one thing, we feel like I'm a bad person. I can't do it. I'm not succeeding. And we criticize ourselves. If we are not able to do everything, I don't know very many men who can do it all either.

Val Ronning: It's a balance, especially as a single mom between how do I grow a successful business and how do I raise a young man?

Angela Gennari: Correct. And how do I raise a young man who is respectful of women and who sees them as equal and sees them as a partner, and that's what I really want is for women to have a voice and a seat at the table when it comes to decision-making and when it comes to contributions to whatever success looks like, you know, whether it's within a family, whether it's within an organization, a corporation, a sports team, women need to have a seat at the table and a voice in sharing with innovation and what success looks like all around.

Val Ronning: So, what advice would you give then to a woman business owner who's either just starting out or trying to grow her business to the next level?

Angela Gennari: The advice that I would probably give to another woman business owner, or who's somebody who's anxious to start a business or is interested in starting a business, is to do what you can with what you have until you can do more. I think we feel like it's an all or nothing situation, you know, where we don't, we feel like, well, if I can't get all the funding I need, and if I can't do, you know, if I don't have the time, we'll put it off and put it off and put it off because as women, I think that we shift our priorities constantly. And I think it's okay to be selfish with our time. And I think it's okay to be selfish with our priorities, and say to our families occasionally like, look, I need tonight because I need to work on a deadline and then have that space to do it and not feel guilty, you know, when we have to make a sacrifice and we feel like we're not being the best wife, the best mom, the best business owner, the best employee, the best, you know, whatever it is we want to make sure that we're, we're maximizing our, you know, potential in every aspect of life. And we have to give ourselves a little grace and if it takes two or three times to get started, that's okay. If you fail a couple of times, that's okay too. You know, it's okay to fall down and get back up. It's just not okay to fall down and give up.

Val Ronning: Right. That's a really good point what you said about doing what you can with what you have, because I think a lot of people will put off even starting or doing anything because I feel like if I can't start today and be this successful or get from A to B, then I'm not even going to even try and get started.

Angela Gennari: Yeah. And it's easy for us to come up with excuses as to why we can't do it. I can't do it because of time. I can't do it because of money. I can't do it because you know, my kids are in the middle of a big project at school, I can't do it because of location. I can't do it because I have to get something else done at work. You know, we give ourselves permission to serve everybody else, but we are always last, and so I think it's time to start stepping into what your power is, what you envision to be a success. Don't get so stuck on your goal, that anything outside of that goal is a failure. So, I'll give you an example. When I was younger, I've always been very driven and my family and people would always comment she's going to be a millionaire by the time she's 30. I mean, when I was 10 years old, people were saying that she's going to be a millionaire by the time she's 30, she's going to be a millionaire by the time she's 30. Well, here I am at 30 years old, on my 30th birthday I'm happily married. I had, a beautiful baby on the way I had a beautiful home and a company that I was running that I was very happy with and it was successful. I had everything I could possibly want. My life didn't even compare to... I couldn't even envision the life that I had when I was 10 years old, but I had everything that I ever wanted and needed. And I felt like a failure. I felt like a complete failure because I didn't see a million dollars in my bank account. And I set myself up for disappointment for no other reason than I got so stuck on the goal that anything besides that goal was a failure. And so, we've got to get out of our own way when it comes to, you know, allowing ourselves enough space and grace to do what we can with what we have.

Val Ronning: That's a really good story.

Angela Gennari: Thank you.

Val Ronning: So, and don't feel guilty about the choices you have to make when you have to make certain choices or certain sacrifices in order to get to the next level of success.

Angela Gennari: Correct. And I think part of what we do as women are we're nurturers. We want to see everybody succeed around us. We want to make sure everybody is taken care of. And that's a very natural response for a woman. And I'm not saying don't do that. I think you can nurture people. You can take care of people while still prioritizing yourself and your goals and your path. You need to prioritize your journey because if we're not putting ourselves first and we're not putting our journey first, then what legacy are we leaving? And that's important because even if it's just to do something that, you know, we feel like nothing's no, one's watching, you know, there are so many times where I hear women say, does it even really matter? Does anyone even care? And what we're missing in that conversation is there is a child, a woman, a man, somebody out there who's waiting for that one thing, that one bit of inspiration, that one, yes, you can do it. Yes, I overcame this too. Yes, I had an abusive relationship. Yes. I had this in my life and I got through it and here's where I am now. And so, somebody's waiting to hear that. And so, taking that step, even if you think no one cares, somebody needs to hear your story. Somebody needs to understand that if you got through it, they can too. And so, you never know who's watching, you never know who's listening. And so why not put yourself out there and attempt it, even if you fail, you don't know who you've inspired along the way.

Val Ronning: So, it's okay to be proud of your success and not feel guilty for your success.

Angela Gennari: Absolutely.

Val Ronning: Do you feel like there was ever a time when you actually felt guilty for being successful?

Angela Gennari: Absolutely. Yeah. So, there are times where you know, as I've grown in my company, I have felt guilty that I feel like I can't help everybody because I think that if I can go home and take my son out to dinner or, you know, go do something fun, I start feeling guilt like, should I be doing this? Should I, you know, is this okay to do, should I be celebrating my success? I remember when I hit the five-year mark with my company, I decided at that point I was going to reward myself with a car because I hadn't taken a salary in three years. I had been driving this mom's car for many years. And so, I said, you know what? It was, I haven't had a driver's side advisor for three years of my car sun was always beating into my eyes that they needed a whole new transmission, and I just thought, I just, I really want to reward myself with a new car I haven't had a new car ever, and I think it's time. And so, five-year anniversary comes, and we hit the financial goal that we were supposed to hit that year. And I went to buy my dream car and I'm sitting there in the finance office and I'm just very apprehensive about signing the finance agreement and the woman who was the finance manager was looking at me and she said, are you okay? And I said I don't know it doesn't feel right. And she said, what doesn't feel right. I said, I just don't know if I can do this, because I feel like this is a big commitment, and I don't know if I should be doing it.

And she said, well, can you afford it? And I said, well, yes, I can afford it. And she said, well, then what's the problem. I said, well, I don't know that I deserve it. And she said in 18 years of doing finances finance agreements, not one man has ever sat across from me and said, I don't know if I deserve this. And she said, so sign the paperwork and drive away in your car, and don't think about it again. And so, and it was a lot, I think I sat in the car for like five minutes debating. Should I just go turn this thing back in. What do I do? And then I was just embarrassed about it. I was embarrassed to be seen in it. I was, I felt like, what am I doing? Am I, you know, is this too much? Am I going, you know, over a cliff with this, are people going to think I'm crazy? Are people going to think I'm irresponsible? And you know, the judgment is what really made me question all of it is, you know, what will people think of me?

Val Ronning: So, do you consider yourself to be powerful?

Angela Gennari: I have a really hard time with that. I really struggle with it because I feel like I am in my own way. But I think that when I look at other women, I think of them as powerful, but I have a hard time thinking of myself as powerful.

Val Ronning: So, why do we belittle our own achievements?

Angela Gennari: I think it's ingrained in us, to be honest. I think it's always been a society that has kind of made it hard for women to step into their power. They have ....as women, we tend to criticize and judge each other, we tend to say she works too much. She works too little. She's too much involved with our kids' lives. She's too little involved with her kids' lives. She's a great wife. She's a terrible wife. She cooks dinner. She doesn't cook dinner. A lot of people will look at us as less competent. And it's not about competence. It's confidence. When I walk into a room, my confidence conveys my competence.

Val Ronning: That's a very good point.

Angela Gennari: Well, and I think that that's where we fall short is in our confidence because we will walk into a room and take a seat on the side and we will kind of, you know, interject when we feel like what we have to say is important. But most of the time we won't speak up at all.

Val Ronning: We won't own the room.

Angela Gennari: We won't own the room, but we can own the room. We can be equally powerful. So, owning that confidence, owning that success, owning those achievements is what makes all the difference in walking into a room and commanding that respect and that attention.

Val Ronning: So, you feel like, because I feel like that woman sometimes are even more critical of other women.

Angela Gennari: Oh, absolutely.

Val Ronning: Women don't support each other.

Angela Gennari: Yeah. I will tell you that in many circles, I am more confident talking about my successes and accomplishments to other men than I am to other women. Because I feel like if I start saying it to other women, I'm immediately being judged as a mother and as a woman. And I don't feel that same judgment when I'm talking to men.

Val Ronning: But hopefully with this podcast, you can change some of that.

Angela Gennari: That's what the hope is. The hope is that we change the dynamic of, you know, giving women the permission to say, I am powerful. I am competent. I am confident. And there's nothing wrong with stepping into my power.

Val Ronning: So, what do you want to achieve going forward?

Angela Gennari: What I want to achieve going forward is that I want to empower, educate, inform, and inspire other women, but also men. I want people to understand that women are very dynamic. We are very powerful. We are incredibly diverse. We are problem solvers. We bring a lot to the table and I don't want us to minimize our value anymore. And I think that what has become common with women is that we will minimize our value and overestimate the value of the others at the table. We will attribute our success to everyone else at the table and not necessarily to us and our own ideas. And so, I want us to stop minimizing that. I want us to own our power. I want us to own our success. I want us to step into that leadership role and feel confident about it, but also you know, be competent when it comes to our own skills and abilities.

There are many men in my company in the security realm who are not used to having a woman in leadership, but I can tell you that those are the most amazing people in my life who support me as a woman business owner, because they see the value of what we are doing as a security company and how we're different, and they understand what it's like to have a woman in a leadership role, where you are nurtured, you are cared for. I genuinely do care about how your family is doing. I genuinely do care about what you want out of life. And it's not a numbers game to me. It's not a numbers game while I want to be successful, and I want to drive this company as high as it'll possibly go, I also know that the company consists of people and it is people who have lives and have feelings and have values of their own, and it's important to take all of that into consideration as a leader. And I think as a woman, that's what we bring to the table as women leaders, that we can really kind of look at it in its full capacity and understand how we can get the most out of our employees and how we can get the most out of our businesses.

Val Ronning: So, tell me how growing up with a single mom helped to motivate you to become a successful business owner?

Angela Gennari: That's a great question. So, I have always felt that my mother has been the driving factor in my success because I watched her work three or four jobs, my entire life growing up. She was a single mom. My dad walked out from our family. He walked out on our family when I was two years old and never looked back. So, we did not have him as a financial resource. We did not have him to talk to. We had no interaction with him whatsoever actually until I was 40 years old, but he had nothing to do with our family, so my mom just, she worked all the time. There she worked as a waitress at different restaurants. She worked in a factory in different warehouses and that is how she put food on the table and she refused to take money from anyone or be dependent on anyone so she just worked three or four jobs, all of my life growing up so she had an incredible work ethic. There were times where… I, we grew up in Pennsylvania and I remember she had a terrible, terrible car that rarely ever ran well, and so she was very independent and because we really didn't have any money, she did most things herself. So, I remember her doing oil changes in the back alley behind our house so that her car would continue to run. I remember pushing her car more times than I can count to get it started. And on those awful mornings, when her car wouldn't start at all at five o'clock in the morning, she was using my bike to go ride her way to her factory to go to work at five o'clock in the morning.

Val Ronning: That's amazing.

Angela Gennari: Yeah. So, she's hardcore. But thankfully I think that having that in my life, having that kind of person who just was unstoppable when it came to making sure her kids had everything that they need and that we had food on the table and that she wasn't dependent on anyone, and at no point could anyone take it from us? You know, they couldn't just walk out again. And I think that was a big motivator for her. She never wanted anyone to walk out on us again so she never got remarried. She never allowed that to be a factor in our lives. And so, she taught us to be very independent and that has been a big part of why I have insisted on succeeding despite whatever obstacles because I've seen my mom overcome more obstacles than I can count.

Ultimately, at the end of the day, I have seen her accomplish such great things that I know there's nothing I can't overcome. I mean, nothing. So, you know, no matter what the challenge is, that's thrown at me I know we can get through it. And so, you know, with the right support system, the right internal courage, and tenacity, you can do things that you feel incapable of doing. And getting up and just not feeling like it isn't an option. You get up and do it. So.

Val Ronning: She had no choice.

Angela Gennari: I had no choice.

Val Ronning: Yes, absolutely.

Angela Gennari: And for me, when my mom was always working, it was challenging because there were many days that I resented her for not being able to come to my cheerleading events or, things that I felt were important to me through school or sports or whatever it was, and she just worked all the time and I started becoming really resentful of it all. And it started to bother me. So, as a mom now, I really do try to become more balanced in how I spend my time. You know, I am a single mom, but I do try to be there for my son's sports activities and school activities. And I do also want to give him the example that my mom gave to me when it comes to things like you know, my work ethic and my drive and vision of what I want to accomplish.

Val Ronning: What do you wish more people knew?

Angela Gennari: I wish more people knew that they are capable of more than what they give themselves credit for. If you can just believe it, if you can envision it, if you can dream it, you can actually do it. And you have a great quote that you say to your son all the time, and I so admire it.

Val Ronning: If you can see it, you can be, it.

Angela Gennari: That's exactly right. And I love that. And I think that that's so true, and I think I wish more people knew what they were capable of and that they could get the support. There are resources, there is support out there and it might be challenging sometimes, but if you really want it, if you really, really want it, it's absolutely possible.

Val Ronning: So even with all the challenges that you've overcome and all the success you've had, do you still have doubts about yourself and your ability?

Angela Gennari: Absolutely. Every single day. I feel like every day I battle imposter syndrome because I still feel every day, like, what am I doing here? Do I belong? Am I capable? Am I what they're looking for? You know, can somebody else come behind me and do better? And so, I think imposter syndrome is the thing that I deal with the most, but I don't think it's unusual. I think a lot of women deal with that. I think men are better at disguising it. Even if men feel it, they're better at disguising it and they feel like they deserve a place on a table woman. Sometimes don't women sometimes feel like, how did I get here? You know, do I deserve this? Am I worthy? Am I capable? Men rarely have that same mentality in many cases, or they don't show it or verbalize it and I think women tend to verbalize it. So, I think that's the biggest factor.

Val Ronning: How do you overcome those doubts?

Angela Gennari: I don't know. I wish I had the answer. You know? I think I overcome them by giving myself reminders of what I've gone through and what I've been able to overcome. And so sometimes it's not about where I am now, but where I was, I know that my own experiences in my journey have gotten me to the place where I know I have a story to tell, and I think that it will hopefully inspire other people and hopefully encourage them to live to their fullest potential. And that it's an ongoing journey and that there is no, there's no end game here. The end game is there's no end game, you know, just keep fighting and pushing and getting to where you want to be. And that can change constantly. Don't give yourself a goal that everything else becomes a failure. Well, thank you so much for sitting here with me today, Val, I really appreciate you talking with me.

Val Ronning: Thank you for having me.

Angela Gennari: I really appreciate all that you do and your friendship so, thank you for everything.

Thank you for joining our guests on the pretty powerful podcast. And we hope you've gained new insight and learned from exceptional women. Remember to subscribe or check out this and all episodes on pretty powerful podcast.podbean.com. Visit us next time and until then step into your own power.