Carolyn Gable takes supermom to a whole new level.
Not only did this single mother of 7 kids build a $30 million dollar company out of her basement, but she launched a successful career as an author, motivator and CEO with just a high school diploma and a whole lot of determination.
After graduating from Hoffman Estates High School in Schaumburg, Carolyn studied to be a beautician before switching gears and taking a job as a waitress. “I learned how to deal with all kinds of people,” she says of her 12 years as a server. Early on, she learned that whether she was assisting a table of four or eight, there was no guarantee that she’d receive a tip. “We all want quality service; we all want to do business with people we can trust and people we can have fun with,” says Carolyn.
When the restaurant closed, Carolyn worked in customer service and sales for a freight company. In 1989, she jumped at the chance to start her own business, New Age Transportation, Distribution + Warehousing, Inc., a third party logistics company that organizes the moving of freight across the country for thousands of customers.
As a single mom, she didn’t have the luxury of just dabbling in her business—Carolyn had to go for it 100 percent. “I am going to make this work,” she remembers telling herself over and over again. For Carolyn, hard work is the heart of being a successful CEO. “You have to be a worker, willing to devote 24/7 if you have to,” she says.
Carolyn is also dedicated to giving back. Ten years ago, she started a foundation, Expect A Miracle, that has helped over 5,000 kids in Chicago and across the country become involved in extracurricular activities. As a single mother, she understands that moms and dads who run a household alone often have trouble making ends meet, let alone having extra funds to send their kids to music lessons or sports camps. Expect A Miracle works to bridge this gap.
Despite her busy schedule filled with giving motivational speeches and supporting other single parent families, Carolyn’s own family remains the center of her life. “Children keep you grounded,” she says.
To learn more about Carolyn’s extraordinary experiences, check out her book “Everything I Know as a CEO I Learned as a Waitress.”