We had the good fortune of connecting with Deanna Hedigan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Deanna, what’s the most important thing you’ve done for your children?
I picked this question as I think it is the most challenging one for me to answer. Parenting is so complex and the relationship with our children continues to evolve as both parties grow! In business, most times a particular strategy or plan will yield projected results that can be tested and proven time and again. With our children, it is a whole different story. Something you do for one child, does not always work for another and a strategy that works today, may be totally ineffective the next time you try it! That is way I always say parenting, although super rewarding, is hard, much harder than running my own business, training employees or dealing with large multi-million companies. For you parents out there, you know what I mean. I can definitely say I did a lot of things wrong that is for sure. I can remember days when I could not wait to drop them off at school. You know, when they are fighting in the backseat and you are trying to go over their spelling words and get them to eat their breakfast that you picked up at a drive through because you are running late and have a client meeting. The funny thing is that the minute the car door shuts and you turn to see their adorable faces waving and smiling at you as you drive away, you miss them! That to me in a nutshell is the definition of parenting. So, given everything, I would say the most important thing I did as a parent was to apologize to my kids when they got older for all the mistakes I made when they were growing up. I know right now you are thinking what, apologize, no way, we are the parents, we know best. The thing is, we don’t always know what is best for our kids, and that same thing is true in business, but I will get to that later. We love our kids, we want the best for our kids, and so when they are little, we quite honestly bully them. Sure, we do it in the name of love and the saying that “it is for their own good, and we know best”, but the truth is, when our kids are young, so are we and we are just learning how to accept ourselves and figure out our own path in life. I am not suggesting no rules or boundaries, and of course there needs to be discipline and consequences for children, but what I am suggesting is that instead of pushing them to follow the path we think is “best”, we should listen more and observe more to our children. We are their teachers at home, but they are also our teachers, showing us what excites them and what they are interested in. Moreover, when we get it wrong, and we do no matter how good of a parent we try to be, then we should be honest and respective of our children. When I told my kids in their late teens that I didn’t have all the answers and I made some mistakes as a parent, I thought they would be surprised. Instead they smiled and gave me a hug and said they know that and appreciated my honesty. Our relationship changed in that moment and although we still had some major bumps in the road, we tried to respect each other and listen rather than push, blame and bully. The same is true in business. As a leader and the boss, I try to listen to my employees and let them find their own way of doing things rather than dictating every move and direction of their job. I give them guidelines and expectations, and let them set their own goals. Most times, their goals are much loftier than my own goals for them! When I make a mistake, I admit it, and that gives them the freedom to admit the same when they have made a mistake. We then move forward from there with respect. The same principals apply to my clients. In the end, I owe much of my business success to my children, as they were my first “clients” and “employees”, and they taught me so much.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
When most people hear what I do for a living, they most often say, “Oh you are an accountant, how do you deal with all those numbers, it must be kind of boring”. Well maybe I am a nerd, but for me what I do is seldom boring. The reason is that the numbers always tell a story, and it is the story that is most important and exciting. In simple terms, companies borrow money from banks and in some cases, these loans are risky and need to be monitored. That is where we come in. We are hired by the banks to visit these companies (“Clients”), and review their books and monitor their assets. That is way I say the numbers tell a story and what I have learned in over 25 years in business is that the story is about people. People who are running a business to make a difference, or because of their passion, or to feed their families and provide for their employees. It is the people that provide the story that is supported by the numbers. We see all types of businesses from retail clothing stores, to lumber manufacturers, to produce farms and health providers and in most cases, what sets apart a good company from an exceptional company is the people.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
South Florida has so much. I would start in Jupiter and work South to the Florida Keys. Stops would include Delray Beach, downtown Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale Beach, Hollywood Boardwalk, South Beach in Miami, Coconut Grove, Key Biscayne, Downtown Miami, Key Largo, and Key West. There is so much to do. Take a water taxi in downtown Fort Lauderdale, or an airboat ride in the Everglades. Visit the Miami Zoo or rent bikes in Key West. I like to be outside and doing something physical and active, so for me if the sun is shinning, the best way to see a city or the sites is to walk or bike ride.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
This one is easy, my husband. He is my business partner and the one who keeps me grounded. I am all rush in, get to it, move fast. While my awesome husband of the last 23 year is more thoughtful, reflective, and patient. Don’t get me wrong, we are more alike than different, as we agree on most big topics like parenting, money, religion and politics. However, when I need to be reined in a bit, he is there, advising me to think it through, take my time and give it some space. The same is true for him, when he is slow to pull the trigger, I am there, telling him to consider the upside, take a chance and make the leap. We compliment each other and that is the best kind of support, as I truly believe that we get as much from giving as we do from receiving.