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Inspiring the Future of Construction | Leah Hamilton
President & CEO
Coming from a family with over 50 years in the construction industry, Leah knows what it takes to get her hands dirty. Growing up on a farm, she learned how to operate just about every piece of equipment and had worked for her father’s residential building company but at the time hadn’t considered construction as her career aspiration. Instead, Leah went on to get degrees in psychology and sociology and a master’s in business administration. Yet, after graduating in the epicenter of an economic downturn, she landed in the civil sector and soon identified a need in the market which led to the foundation of Resource Industries.
According to Leah, one of the biggest misconceptions about working in a male-dominated field like the construction industry is that it does not provide a viable career path for women.
When most people think of construction, they think of yellow safety vests, heavy equipment, and physical labor. In reality, this industry offers so much more than that – especially with the implementation of technology. “Regardless of your education, background, or aspirations, there are a myriad of opportunities and, over the past couple of decades, it’s been incredible to watch how much it has transformed in terms of diversity!” says Leah.
When asked what advice she would give to other women considering a career or starting a business in a male-dominated industry, Leah recommends “embracing who you are! Being a woman means that you will see and do things differently than your male counterparts, and that provides a unique vantage point. Be confident in what you bring to the table and allow your feminine energy to be part of your competitive advantage!” Having emotional intelligence, grit, a willingness to take consistent action and evolve is what she attributes as the most fundamental traits a person needs to be successful.
On taking a leap of faith with starting a business in one of the most challenging industries in the world, Leah says her two sons are her greatest inspiration. “As both a mother and an entrepreneur, who happened to embark on these two journeys simultaneously, I am constantly surprised by how what I have learned as a parent has paralleled my growth as a founder and vice versa.” To successfully create symmetry between these two roles, some of the best advice she offers is to:
- Establish your priorities.
- Account for every waking minute of your day.
- Set boundaries and be present in the moment.
- Delegate, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Prioritize your well-being, and don’t underestimate the need for self-care.
In bootstrapping her way to success, Leah has inevitably faced many challenges over the years. One of the biggest has been “a lack of capital and funding,” says the steadfast leader. To overcome this, she has judiciously managed the company’s cash flow and has been selective with whom they do business with. A decade later, Leah equates much of her success to the support of her network as well as the ability to leverage technology and implement systems which automate and delegate internal processes to help scale the business.”
When it comes to success, everyone has their own definition. Whereas many may equate it to fame or wealth, Leah defines success in terms of “creating value, having a positive impact on the lives of others, and living your true purpose.” She adds that “everyone has the same 24 hours in a day; it is what we do with this time that sets us apart from the rest.” Whether you are an entrepreneur or someone who is simply committed to achieving your goals, Leah recommends having a clear “why” statement to help keep your head in the game and push forward when times get tough, which in her case, is to be an inspiration to others in building the life of their dreams.
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