Today we’d like to introduce you to Renie Cavallari.
Renie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I grew up in Philly. I’ve always had wanderlust and it is no surprise that I ended up in the hospitality and travel business. I grew up camping so the hotel business ensured I would never again have to pitch and sleep in a tent!
After graduating from Florida State University, I did the corporate climb and rose to the SVP level which was an exciting accomplishment as not many women were in that position then. It allowed me to open doors for other women — to lead and inspire people to ignite their passion and reach their potential.
Then, I was offered an opportunity to become a partner in a management firm. This offer made me reflect on what my real aspirations were and I realized that in my heart I was an entrepreneur and a disrupter. I didn’t want to run someone else’s business… I wanted my own!
Aspire was born in 1995 and it has been the most exhilarating ride. Our vision “to awaken the potential of people and organizations and to touch lives” has inspired me for 23-plus years which is saying something as I have serious attention deficit. Keeping me inspired and innovating in the same company is a serious accomplishment in, and of, itself!
I have been privileged to work alongside thousands of amazing people and I feel such gratitude that Aspire’s amazing team created a lifestyle company long before there was such a thing! I believe our legacy as a company shines through all the people who have worked at Aspire and most of them are still a part, in some way.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Has it been smooth? Anyone who says owning a business is a smooth road is lying, ignorant, or unconscious! The road is windy. The road is bumpy. The road has pot holes and needs repair.
I think the toughest challenge is the personal worry. The worry about people. The worry about our work product. The worry about the economy and its impact on our clients, the company, and our team. The worry about the journey of those I work beside as they go through happy times and sorrow.
I have often witnessed personal and professional struggles impacting the work. Human beings make mistakes so you have to understand that mistakes are always happening. (I estimate mistakes happen 50% of the time from misuse of time, redundancy, errors, omissions, reworks, waste, etc). You have to have systems and processes in place to ensure mistakes are minimized. Forget about perfection. It’s unrealistic and unreasonable.
Another struggle for myself, as well as my team, is around life-work balance. Life is never in balance. That’s why it’s a balancing act! Entrepreneurs are”All In” kinds of people. We are tenacious, demanding and driven. We have to be! There is a constant struggle for balance between work load and quality of life.
As a company, Aspire is a collection of talented, smart, and highly intense people who love and care personally about their work. This is their gift and our challenge. As their leader, I must constantly consider the balance of work, thinking time, love-your-life time, my-life-is-a-mess-clean-it-up time, take-care-of-your-health time… you get the picture. I need to make sure balance is a priority. It is a fine line!
There are times where I wonder “what am I doing?” Sometimes, I just want a day where everyone is happy!
The road has been an amazing journey and a lot of fun! I have been fortunate to have mentors, models and coaches that have helped smooth the way and have learned to never stop listening — not just with your ears! A mantra worth remembering is “stay humble or be prepare to be humbled!”
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Aspire. People. Performance. Profits. – What should we know?
Aspire is an internationally recognized brand working with service-oriented businesses by effectively instigating change and capturing the magic within their organizations to increase their profitability and market share. We do this through disruptive, game-changing strategic planning, leadership development, talent development and training, and service culture designed to bring a brand to life.
What sets Aspire apart is — hands down — our culture. We have heart and soul and move from there!
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
At Aspire, we are most grateful for the tens of thousands of people we have inspired, collaborated and imagined with, and ultimately touched their lives over the last 23 years. I am proud to have worked beside so many talented people, from team members to truly demanding (a good thing) and inspiring clients, as well as amazing partners, vendors, and contractors. They have all made Aspire better and smarter, allowing us to evolve and contribute to their worlds.
- Address: 23o1 E Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ . 85034
Keith & Melissa photographers (Renie headshot only)