“Yes a Woman can make a difference in a Man’s world”
Let me first start off by saying, I didn’t wake up one day and want to be a Debt Collector.
I was offered a job as a Receptionist in a debt collection agency and the rest, as they say, is history!!
After a successful career in the debt collection industry and after all my employers were unwilling to look at changes or my suggestions. Years of frustration of being treated as just a ‘mere female’, I decided I would use my frustrations to make a difference. The debt collection industry was and is seen as a male dominated
The debt collection industry was and is, seen as a male dominated industry, with overweight harassing bullies.
I seriously felt in my heart that there had to be a better way of running a debt collection agency.
So in January 1995 I took the plunge and established my company, Accelerated Collections with $1000 and started my business from our family home. I had a vision to make a difference.
A sleek black cat as my corporate image, using a ‘female approach’ in collecting money, an all female team, turning a negative situation into a positive outcome, treating debtors like human beings and educating them, rather than making unrealistic demands and threats.
At times I found that being a woman had it’s struggles, however, also worked well in my favour.
Looking back, one key management factor I instilled in myself, was to win business awards. I entered many and missed many however I persistent and eventually the flood gates opened for me. I was winning business awards from every aspect of my business, including Entrepreneur of the Year.
I must admit I loved all the media attention and it was all positive.
I have had many opportunities to be written up in books/text books/appeared on TV and print media. I wanted to be different and this definitely set me aside from the boys. I also managed to be the first female to be President for the Institute of Mercantile Agents, an association for our industry. I just kept putting myself out there and it worked.
This year we turned 21, I still love what I do, my company owns and operates from their own office premises with no overdraft.
Phew, I sure have had my highs and lows especially managing a family, teaching Aerobics (for my sanity) and now I operate two businesses. (A cake business which I named it, Bakes & Cakes, very different business). I find it allows me to switch off and be creative.
I have managed to strive and survive, through many take overs within the industry and we are still standing as a family owned business. Over the years, I have learnt to ask for help, believe in myself and keep loving what I do and its ok to make mistakes. I keep my head full of personal development information to keep me on my tracks.
Passion and determination are the two main ingredients that worked for me and my business, otherwise, I would have no business. Sonia Ferlauto
COMMENT: If this story has impacted you in any way, we would love you to leave a comment below. It only takes a second, but leaves a lasting impact on us.
Thankyou.. YMag Team