We had the good fortune of connecting with Caroline Ferguson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Caroline, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
I think that being self aware when it comes to startups and business is very important. When I think about the answer to this question in regards to Grateful & Company, it conjures up mixed emotions. I don’t think it’s ever been a matter of “giving up” when it comes to Grateful & Company, but rather a realization that the way we come to our end goal of ending suicide and empowering radical gratitude may look different tomorrow than it does today and drastically different than what it looked like yesterday. I think that once you find yourself doing the same thing over and over again and the results aren’t exactly what you want them to be, it’s time to begin to consider what “continuing to keep going” plus a necessary change/pivot looks like for you. We as a business are in this season currently!

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Having the opportunity to fail in a safe environment is something I will forever be grateful for. Odd first sentence to this question I realize but important to say nonetheless as it is how I’ve come to become so passionate about my startup journey. Throughout college I worked up to 3 jobs at a time and had the opportunity to start my own gig, Grateful & Company. I had the opportunity to work with a startup, manage dog boutiques and bakeries and (yes this is ridiculously random) sell insurance. My sophomore year I got started within my mentor’s company, Southwest Utility Solutions and was challenged to create a Sales and Marketing department. After graduation I continued working on Grateful & Company and also committed to working with my mentor full time. Since then, we’ve gone on to launch a rebranded version of the company and 4 new startups- a marketing company, a valet trash services company, an online pay portal, and a national version of the existing in-state product we offer. Arguably one of my favorite parts of the journey of entrepreneurship and professional leadership is the chance I have to hear the stories of those around me. When asked what sets me a part from others- I’d say that it maybe it’s that I’m much more interested in the journeys of those around me and how I can help build solutions out for them….which most of the time ends up in another startup- ha!

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?
Ya know, this is an interesting question considering that not much activity is actually actively going on in the city right now. (Thanks Covid) During this season of life I’d say a weekend in Houston with friend would involve Door Dashing coffee, picking up a loaf of sourdough and some goat cheese and watching the latest episode of Space Force on Netflix! Absolutely WILD, I know. Clearly I’m living life on the edge here!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Mentorship is huge to me! Being coachable, moldable and willing to constantly learn is a huge differentiator when it comes to personal and professional growth and development. A few mentors that have been life changing for me: Ken Proctor- Chair with Vistage International Andrew Leach- Owner and President of Southwest Utility Solutions Dave Cook- Director, Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship (Go Coogs- c/0 2018)

Website: www.whoiscaroline.com AND www.gratefulandcompany.com
Instagram: @duym_doll96 AND @gratefulandcompany
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carolineduym/

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