Make Your Mark! Women in Commercial Finance Profiles 2019
Featured in The Secured Lender
Gordon Brothers Finance Company's Lisa Galeota is profiled in The Secured Lender's Women in Commercial Finance issue. The article profiles women in the industry who exemplify success and deserve recognition for their hard work and dedication. Here she shares her thoughts on building a career in commercial finance.
What advice would you offer to women just starting out in the industry?
Work hard, be yourself, care about what you do and have fun doing it. There are going to be “wins” and there most definitely will be challenges. Women tend to be tough on themselves. During the more challenging times, I always tell myself “this too shall pass” and without fail, it always does. Be confident and have conviction in decisions you made and are making. We work in a world of “gray” and in many cases, there is not always one clear path. Be comfortable choosing a direction. You will not always be right but it is important to have an opinion. The old adage “if you like what you do, you won’t work a day in your life,” most definitely rings true.
What do you know now that you wish you knew in the beginning of your career?
I wish I better understood the importance of marketing and relationships in this industry. Being good at what you do is essential. However, having relationships is just as crucial. This industry is driven by deals and deals are driven by relationships. These relationships start from the moment you begin your first job. The industry is small, your colleagues now will likely be a contact later. People do business with people they know, like, trust, and are comfortable with. It is easy to get caught up in day to day responsibilities or even your own agenda and forget the importance of nourishing and maintaining those relationships.
What do you enjoy most about your role? Least?
I am lucky enough to work in an entrepreneurial environment with a great group and get to look at interesting opportunities. There is no lack of opinions on our team, which brings a lot of debate and energy to meetings. I really enjoy evaluating the deals and analyzing the various companies and industries. As part of my role, I have been involved in a lot of our international transactions, which has provided me the opportunity to not only travel, but really experience and get an understanding of different cultures and how they approach credit. Since I like the “doing” so much, what I probably like least is delegating. However, this is an important part of developing and growing a team as well as keeping people within the group engaged and interested and should not be overlooked, even in the “heat” of the deal.
How do you balance work/personal time?
Balancing work and personal time is challenging. I have honestly struggled with this and it took me longer than it should to recognize the importance of managing it. In many cases, women have a lot of responsibilities in addition to their job. Juggling it all can be difficult and it takes some time to figure out what works best for you and your family. It is important to be honest with yourself and family about what is realistic and manageable. My husband is truly an enormous help and a true partner. However, figuring out that partnership doesn’t just happen. It’s sort of like a business deal where both parties need to discuss, negotiate and ultimately have the same goal. It may sound easy but it definitely takes time to work through the kinks.