Next Generation Entrepreneur.

Interviewer:  Kelly Sullivan, local reporter

Interviewee: Norma Smith, Visionary, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist

Interview Setting: Mountainside home in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  The interview was conducted at 3:30 PM on Wednesday afternoon.

Press release mountain home

Kelly: What a beautiful trip this is to your home and the view is spectacular!  I can see why you chose this place.  Maybe you would like to share how you came to be here?

Norma: Thank you, Kelly.  It is a beautiful site.  That’s the reason I have built this home, this sanctuary so to speak.  It is the view of nature and the closeness to God as to why I am here.  Nature is the closest from to the Divine Source on earth in my opinion.  It is the peacefulness and tranquility of this place that made me choose this over any other location.

Press release mountain views

Kelly:  You began in more humble beginnings.  You had a small salon in your home town.  You were the second generation in that business, weren’t you?

Norma: Yes, I followed in my mother’s footsteps.  My father died when I was young and it left my mother as a single parent with three children to support.  She took it upon herself to open her own business to support her family.  This was at a time that there was little available for single parents especially a woman.

She began the salon and worked alone for a while.  She then built that business and hired employees to work with her.  She not only offered salon services to her clients but at that time men provided for the household and many of her clients knew nothing about finance and decision making.  As some of these women faced divorce or became widow, my mother helped many of them by guiding them on how to do things on their own as this is something she had to learn.  She raised her family, ran her business, bought a home and did very well for herself.  She was a role model for me and for others.

Kelly: And then you continued the business?

Norma: Yes I did.  It was the sole provider for my mother in her retirement and the years she took care of my ailing stepfather.  He was sick for a number of years and with the business as the support we both cared for him until his passing.  It also cared for her through her years of illness.  It was part of her legacy.  But her most important legacy is her children.  I see her as a great success in life.  Money is not the way to determine personal success.  The footprint you leave behind is the true sense of legacy.  She was respected in her community, a business woman and most of all a wonderful mother, grandmother, wife, sister and daughter.  What best way to determine success.

Kelly: And now you have achieved your own success.  What made you decide to make the changes you made?

Norma: After many years of traditional small business I decided on a business model that could afford me the lifestyle that I now enjoy.  I have this wonderful mountainside home and what I like to call sanctuary.  I travel a lot with my new business and I have this place to come to for rejuvenation and to be reenergized.  And the best part is that I can take care of business no matter where I am.  My business operates 24-7 without me having to be involved all the time.  I have lots of time to do the things I have always wanted to do.  With traditional business it requires many hours to keep it profitable.

Kelly: Can you explain how you went about these changes?

Norma: I began in searching for the prefect business opportunity.  I looked into various companies and opted into Qivana.  It was a new company.  It was a health and wellness company but what drew me to this was their philosophy.  The owner worked for a large pharmaceutical.  He had approached them about adding natural health options to what they offered but they decided to stay with pharmaceuticals.  He decided to start a company with the focus on products developed by the doctors and their research.  He is creating a pharmaceutical grade nutraceutical product featuring the researchers that create the product.  Up until now these researchers did not have a distribution channel and now they do.  I saw that this company and their idea of a nutraceutical company using the structure as Big Pharma as the perfect business for me.  It is a global business and now I generate income from associates and clients from all over the world.

I began my business small in with a small monetary investment to begin and an investment in time I have created a very lucrative business in four years.  I have built this business by sharing my experiences with other likeminded people.  We work well together and we have a team of support that is unlike what I had in traditional business.  I have made friends in other countries and we are in contact all the time.  We visit one another as well.  The best part in all of this is finding the love of my life.  I would have never found him if I had not taken this path.

Kelly: That’s wonderful!  A love story within your business success!

Norma:  Yes, one of lifes surprises!

Kelly:  You mention having time to do the things you like to do.  Can you tell us what do you do with that free time?

Norma: There are many things I do now that I never had time to do.   I have written my first book.  It is about my mother and her life.  She was my role model on how to take what life hands you and how best to take these challenges and make them a positive life lesson.  It was published in 2017.  I find this book may be uplifting for women to know what potential lies within them in the face of adversity.

I am now working on a series of books that I have thought about for years.  I will take some time to live in England as the basis of this series involves life in that country.  I am developing my artistic abilities.  There are many beautiful scenes and objects that I take photographs of.  Some of them I convert to paintings on canvas.  These are the things I enjoy doing, along with hiking on the mountain trails, kayaking and enjoying nature wherever I am.

Kelly: Can you tell us what the storyline is for this book series?

Norma: I really don’t want to divulge that at this time.  It is a work in progress and I need some background on the British culture to complete it.  I have traveled to Britain in the past but I need to live there for a more up close view of the people and how they live.

Press release english village

Kelly: You talk about your travels.  Can you tell us more about that?

Norma: Over the years I have been involved with a sister cities program in my hometown.  Through that program I have met people from England, Germany, France and New Zealand.  Now I can visit with the friends I have made with this program more frequently.   It is a perfect way to get to know people, by living with them and the submersion into their culture.

Press release New Zealand

 

There are many other places I have traveled to.  I have been to Asia with the company as well as South America and Canada.  Next year I will be visiting Iceland.  This is a trip I have always wanted to do.

Press release Iceland

 

Kelly: You also have started a nonprofit in your home town.  Can you give us some details on that?

Norma: As I stated before.  I think the footprint we leave behind is our legacy.  In starting this nonprofit I want to be sure the legacy goes beyond me.  It is the Beyond Grace Foundation which is in memory of my mother.  Her name was Grace and she was a woman that lived up to the definition of the word Grace.

My family history is a long line of discoverers, explorers, adventurers and entrepreneurs.  It’s in my genes.  One of the purposes of this nonprofit is preserve the legacy of many of those that came before in the area of historic preservation.  This nonprofit also helps other community projects with funding and growth.  It is also helpful in the area of economic development and tourism.  For example, we purchased a historic property that has been transformed into a conference center and a site for weddings and special events.  It gave a worn property a new purpose. These are important things for sustainability in my home town community.  The nonprofit also provides for a haven for unwanted pets.  I have purchased a large property for this purpose alone.

Kelly: What is the typical day in our life like?

Norma: A typical day varies from day to day.  When I am in the sanctuary of New Hampshire I begin my day by checking in to see how the business is doing and if there are any areas that need my attentions.  After that is done my partner and I take the dogs and hike the trails in the White Mountain forest or glide through the still waters of one of the nearby lakes in our kayak.

Press release NH lake

Being one with nature is important to me as it is to him.   We have all these things in common and he shares my interests. He is my sounding board when decisions need to be made and m rock.  It took me a long time to find him but now we are inseparable.  At the end of the day we have dinner and enjoy our time together.  We do projects together or separately depending on our interests.  One of my newest things I have started is to learn to play the harp.  This is something I have always wanted to do.

Kelly: Maybe the next time we come you can play for us.

Norma: Maybe so, but I need a lot of practice first.

Kelly: It’s getting late and I should think about getting back home.  I want to thank you for your time.

Norma: You’re welcome Kelly.  If you want to stay for dinner you are more than welcome.

Kelly: Thank you, but I need to get back.  Maybe when I come for your concert we can do dinner then.

Norma:  That sounds good but I am sure the dinner will be better than the concert.

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