From a poor and abusive childhood, Rosemarie left home at 17. She bought her first house at 18, put herself through college, and earned a Certified Management Accountant designation at 21. She then worked her way up through the corporate world to become VP of Sales for a Fortune 500 corporation and eventually started her own highly successful company. Today, she is the CEO of Etelu – a mobile web and app development company specializing in health care and education. Additionally, she is an angel investor, a real estate investor, an in-demand motivational speaker, and author of “The Better Life Book – Lessons Learned on the Road from Rags to Riches.”
If that’s not enough, her company, Etelu, donates a percentage of its profits back to healthcare and education. Rosemarie has also sat on numerous boards and still finds time to spend with her three daughters.
With an amazing journey like that, it’s obvious that Rosemarie has a lot of information that she can share to help others on their journey. Her book, “The Better Life Book,” delivers that insight in a warm, yet empowering way. From creating a dream (and a plan to reach it) to overcoming doubt, finding mentors and more, Rosemarie has the background, the knowledge, and the skills to help others have a more abundant life.
Let’s spend a few minutes with Rosemarie Francis…
Question 1: How did you make the decision to go out on your own at such a young age and how did you stay motivated?
When I left home at 17, it was because I felt like I needed to get out of the environment that I was in as soon as possible. By the age of 17, I had already seen so many other people living lives that were very different from mine, and I knew that if I wanted a chance to create a better life that I would need to change my environment.I think when a person has a clear goal that they are striving for, it is much easier to stay motivated.
Question 2: Obviously, doing what you did could not have been easy and you must have faced many obstacles. What was your largest challenge and how did you overcome it?
There were many obstacles. Some were environmental and some were due to my own way of thinking. The biggest obstacle that I had to face was my own self-limiting beliefs. When you are raised in an environment that is extreme poverty and non-supportive, it is difficult to come out with a lot of confidence. During one of my first jobs, I had the good fortune to be exposed to professional development courses such as Toast Masters and I took full advantage of those. The more I did, the more I could see the possibilities and the more I became determined to create a better life for myself. Additionally, it is important to surround yourself with people that believe in your dream and that can elevate you when doubt sets in.
Question 3: In your book, you discuss having mentors. As you were making your journey, did you have any mentors or role models? Now that you’re successful, do you have different role models?
Yes and Yes. I truly believe that the only reason that I was able to obtain the level of success that I have is because of mentors. Even at the age of seven, I had a neighbor who was always there for me. She encouraged me; she taught me new things and gave me pats on the back for doing a good job. At the time, she was likely just being her kind-natured self and took pity on my situation. She didn’t realize that she was, in fact, the first in a long list of mentors that I was fortunate to have in my life.
Sometimes mentors will show up in your life and you don’t even realize it. I think it is important for us to be an opening for learning and mentors will show up in every aspect of your life. Today, my mentors/role models are – in some cases – business people that I see regularly and sometimes are people that I respect and look to for inspiration.
Question 4: As CEO of your own company, you are the leader. What is the most challenging part of being a leader and how do you deal with it? What is the most rewarding aspect of your role?
I would say the most challenging part of being a leader is the sense of responsibility for the well-being of the company, the customers and the employees. Ultimately, it is the leader of any organization that is responsible for the outcome of the company and everything it touches. On the flip side, the most rewarding aspect is the ability to assemble a great team of people who care for the organization, have pride in their work, and go above and beyond for the company.
Question 5: What was the inspiration for you to write your book?
Over the years, many people have encouraged me to write my story because of the level of poverty, neglect, and the significant obstacles that I had to overcome to be successful. My hope is that by writing “The Better Life Book,” I might inspire other people who are facing change or difficult circumstances and to let them know that they are not alone and that there is a way out.
Question 6: In your book, you provide seven lessons that you believe are important for people to understand in order for them to get where they want to go. While all seven lessons are key, which one do you feel is most important?
Lesson 1 – Be Your Own Believer. Without a basic fundamental belief in yourself, it will be next to impossible to achieve the kind of life that you want. Without the foundation being solid, it will be almost impossible to build on it.
Question 7: Is your book primarily written for women or will men also find ideas and information that they can use?
On the book cover, a review was written by an older male reporter for “The Vancouver Sun.” He said that the book provided many sign posts for his life, even though he was a man. I think anyone who is looking to create a better life for themselves will ultimately benefit from reading this book. If anyone has ever wondered what it would be like to live the life of their dreams this would be a great read for them.
Question 8: As a speaker, you present for diverse groups. Is there one audience that really appeals to you the most?
I have spoken to many different groups over the years, but I would say the people that appeal to me the most are the ones that are hungry for change and are looking for specific ideas on how to create a better life. When I see the “light go on” or the connection to one of my stories, it is incredibly rewarding to know that in some way, I might be making a difference.
Question 9: On the personal side, what are you reading? Do you have a favorite business (or other motivational, etc.) book?
I read a variety of books and right now I am reading “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell. I truly enjoy reading books that help me understand the human psyche and what it takes to be successful. In some of these books, they look for ways to understand success and behavior and provide a formula-like approach. There is also another book I just read “The 5 Love Languages,” which I think is a phenomenal read because it helps us to understand what people respond to when it comes to relationships. I have even applied this logic to my own children and can already see how they are happier.
Question 10: You’re a CEO, an angel investor, an author, a speaker and an involved mother of three. How do you find the time to do all of these things?
It’s about 3 things – completion, creating an infrastructure for success, and surrounding yourself with great people. I talk about all of these things in my book. Anyone can have a life full of achievement and abundance – it’s all about putting these items into action to ultimately create the life that you want.
Bonus Question: If you could share one message with a young person who may be in a tough situation but had a dream, what would it be?
You are not alone. Many people out there are facing similar challenges on a daily basis. Do not hesitate to ask for help. Seek it out. There are solutions and ways to create a better life.
Rosemarie is not only an amazing person, she is also an inspiration whose unique story serves as a role model for anyone who thinks, “It can’t be done.” Rosemarie has proven that it can.
To get a copy of Rosemarie’s book or have her speak at your event, go to – http://rosemariefrancis.com.
Recognized as an entertaining motivational speaker who actually has something to say, Bob Garner travels the world on behalf of his Fortune 1000 corporate clients sharing usable information on personal and professional development in a fun and entertaining way. A busy writer, Bob is the author of books, as well as countless articles that have been featured in various magazines, blogs and sites.
©2015BobGarner. All rights reserved. 5 Minutes with a Leader™ is a trademark of Bob Garner. To use this article, you must first gain permission to do so in writing from Bob Garner. Contact him at http://www.bobgarneronline.com/contact.php . Photo courtesy of Rosemarie Francis.