As we celebrate Female Founder Friday, I am pleased to introduce you to Marta Wilson. Marta is the female founder of Transformation Systems, Inc. (TSI), a woman-owned executive strategies and management systems engineering firm committed to helping their customers work leaner, faster, smarter, and better. Their multi-disciplinary experts help customers boost efficiency, effectiveness, quality, productivity and savings. TSI has been recognized for both their impact on customer successes and our excellent business results within the Defense community.
I met Marta when she spoke at a women’s group I attend. She was so engaging, gracious, and knowledgeable that I was instantly inspired! As I sat there, I knew I had to do a Female Founder Friday spotlight on her to share her story and expertise. If you are curious about leadership, consulting, or starting your own business, don’t miss Marta’s answers to my questions below.
What inspired you to start your company?
Raised in a vibrant farming community, I loved working with my family to grow gorgeous heirloom flowers, fruits, and vegetables from an early age. That’s when I started learning the value of the human element. Those experiences helped me realize that regardless of what is being produced, if people are clear about their mission and have shared values, the results of their labor can be amazing. As a young girl I was also curious about leadership, which drove me to read every historical biography in my grammar school library to learn everything I could about the lives of great leaders.
These experiences and inclinations led me to specialize in leadership effectiveness for my doctorate in industrial-organizational psychology. I took my passion for helping leaders to be their best, and launched Transformation Systems, Inc. (TSI) in 2002. I have dedicated my career to being a leadership consultant while serving in many roles including CEO, board member, author, catalyst, coach, mentor, researcher, speaker, trainer, volunteer, and fundraiser. I talk further in depth about my path to starting my company in my three books, Leaders in Motion, Everybody’s Business, and Energized Enterprise.
What was your biggest obstacle and failure in going from idea to business?
The transition from idea to business moved somewhat fluidly as I had specialized training, a brilliant team, and a client base in need of the services my company provided. However, it required a leap of faith to launch the company. It also required some personal sacrifices in the early years. Finally, I didn’t know what I didn’t know about many elements of running a business. Every new business owner faces many challenges from cash flow to finding talent to bringing in new business. In the end, it comes down to the power of intention. That means getting focused like a laser with such unbending purpose that you find the mechanisms to help you achieve your goals and make a difference. In the end, when it comes to going from idea to business, where there’s a will there’s a way.
In addition to continuing work with our existing customers, at TSI we’ll be helping an even wider range of leaders achieve their bold goals as we’ve rolled out our Leading Edge Programs. The company is growing as we almost doubled our workforce in 2016. We are currently developing an app which will serve as a valuable leadership tool, and it will be released later this year. Also, I’m currently working on my next book with a publication date of spring 2018!
Please share your best piece of advice for aspiring female founders.
Do what you love, and success will follow. Always stay in motion toward achieving your goals. Surround yourself with trusted experts. Build a strong network. Continuously seek feedback, and don’t rest on your laurels. And finally, give back to your community.
If you had a theme song what would it be?
“Happy,” by Pharrell Williams. I’m so energized by my work and inspired by the leaders I meet, so the lyrics speak to me.
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you