Unpacking Success: Lessons from Swilled Dog’s CEO at the WV Chamber’s Women’s Leadership Summit

Photo Credit: WV Chamber of Commerce

Fresh off the heels of our adventure at the WV Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Leadership Summit held at The Greenbrier, we have some juicy insights to share. Our Co-Founder and CEO, Brooke Glover took center stage for a fireside chat moderated by Kaylin Jorge, Director of Communications at the WV Chamber of Commerce.

So, what was the hot topic? Defining success! Brooke dished out some savory nuggets of wisdom that had us nodding in agreement and scrambling for our notebooks. 

Let’s dive in! Brooke kicked things off by discussing fears and risks associated with starting and growing a business. She mentioned how being vulnerable and having a growth mindset helps with tackling fears and managing risk. 

Next, Brooke moved on to outlining her multifaceted approach to defining success, emphasizing four crucial dimensions:

  1. Health: For Brooke, success starts with personal well-being for herself and her family. She prioritizes aspects like sufficient sleep, proper nutrition, stress management, regular exercise, and overall physical and mental wellness. She emphasized that taking care of yourself is key to crushing it in business as you can’t offer the best of yourself to your family or team if you’re running on empty.
  2. Quality of Relationships: Recognizing the importance of nurturing meaningful connections, Brooke values the quality of relationships in her life, both personally and professionally.
  3. Purpose and Fulfillment: Brooke reminded us to find our purpose, our reason for getting out of bed every day. Then the group was encouraged to stay true to our purpose, which should be our guiding light when the going gets tough. It’s all about staying grounded in what matters most.
  4. Financial Stability: While acknowledging its significance, Brooke views financial stability as a tool that allows her to focus on the most important parts of life, rather than the sole measure of success. 

Now, let’s tackle the challenges. When asked about her approach to problem-solving, she shared a four-step approach that can be helpful in any situation. 

  1. Emergency Mode: Think Fast, Act Faster!: When the going gets tough, the first step is all about triage—assess the damage, stop the bleeding, and understand the problem. Stay calm!
  2. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: There’s no “I” in Team! Brooke believes in harnessing the collective brainpower to devise solutions and chart a path forward. Diverse thinking is paramount to avoid an echochamber.
  3. Sleep On It: If possible, take a pause before you make a final decision in order to remove emotion from decision making. Make sure you don’t have analysis paralysis, though!
  4. Learn, Grow, Repeat: What’s a hiccup without a lesson learned? Brooke encouraged us to embrace failure (yep, you read that right!) and use it as rocket fuel for future success. She’s fostered this culture within her own business, empowering her team to be more creative and take risks, knowing that failure is just a stepping stone on the path to success.

Lastly, Brooke left the audience with a mantra that guides her approach to life and leadership:

“Reach Forward, Reach Across, and Reach Back”

– Brooke Glover, Swilled Dog’s Co-Founder & CEO

Reach Forward: Surround yourself with mentors and advisors who inspire and challenge you. Seek guidance and insights from those with greater expertise to propel your growth. Be curious and be a lifelong learner.

Reach Across: Foster collaboration and camaraderie within your industry, even with competitors. Whether it’s mentoring a newbie or paying it forward, helping others rise is what it’s all about. Remember, as they say, “a rising tide lifts all boats,” and together, we can create a rising tide of success for everyone.

Reach Back: This is the most important step! Help pull others up by mentoring and supporting them on their journey. Elevating others contributes to a more inclusive and thriving ecosystem. You are sure to learn a ton in the process as well. 

So, there you have it! A small peek into the mind of Brooke Glover and the Swilled Dog ethos. But, the cherry on top: Brooke’s confession that public speaking gives her the heebie-jeebies. Yep, even CEOs get stage fright! But she powered through because she knows our mission to help animals is worth it. Talk about a boss move!