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Jul 10, 201311:51 AMBeyond the Bio

A Closer Look at MBQ's Power Players

President of 1 Source on "Parallels – Running and Running a Business"

Jul 10, 2013 - 11:51 AM
President of 1 Source on "Parallels – Running and Running a Business"

In our weekly blog, "Beyond the Bio," we ask MBQ Power Players to write a post of their choosing about their industry. This is the fifth post from our June/July issue which features the category of Office Design. Previously, Carol Johnson of Spaces Group posted on the new ergonomic reality. Prior to that, Deborah Vaughn talked about changing times in the office supply world. The week before, Chris Miller of Yuletide discussed his start in the business. Prior to that, Henrik Schmidt talked about celebrating a quarter of a century in the U.S.

Exhilarating yet demanding, rewarding yet exhausting, fascinating yet humbling. These words accurately describe running a business and the sport of running. As President of 1 Source, a growing distributor of office and facility supplies, I am constantly learning, seeking to be better, stronger, to lead our team to new heights. As a novice runner – one who is drawn to the challenge, I have discovered some parallels between running and leading a business:

  1. Goals are essential - Where do I want to go? How fast do I want to get there?

  2. Move forward or else - Sometimes slower and sometimes faster. If you are not moving forward you are losing ground.

  3. Solitary - Running a business can be a solitary endeavor. Although you are often surrounded by others, it can be a lonely.

  4. Celebrate successes and learn from mistakes - Take time to reflect.

  5. Pace yourself - There are times to pick up the pace and times to slow down. Going at a constant frenetic pace can lead to burnout.

  6. Cheerleaders are priceless – It is invaluable to hear words of encouragement and to encourage others along the way.

Running helps me see the challenges of life from a different perspective. Experiencing ground-view perspectives of beautiful parks and cityscapes for the first time, it has provided me with hours of enjoyment. Whether I’m downtown, along the river or in serene wooded areas, the fun of participating in races leaves me feeling upbeat and confident. Sometimes the sun is shining, the hills are few and running comes with ease. Other times it is hilly and hot and I wonder if I can make it to the finish line.


And so it is with running my business. I am inspired by interacting with people and discovering ways to meet customers’ needs. There are times when we are on top of the world, exceeding goals, delighting customers and discovering great opportunities. There are other times of extreme challenge, when things don’t work out as planned. Time to regroup and develop an alternate strategy.


Our company’s growth is a result of having a vision, setting goals and working hard to overcome obstacles. The same can be said for running, although it also provides a respite from the rigors and stressors of daily life. As we seek future growth, it is a time to look inward, test limits and enjoy the feeling of a job well done. Whether in business or sport, it time to lace up the shoes and pursue the best results!


Power Player Profile: Laurita Jackson

President, 1Source. B.S., Howard University; M.B.A., University of Michigan. 1Source, formerly Memphis Chemical & Janitorial Supply, specializes in space planning, design, custom solutions, installation coordination. Notable projects include the Crump Station Police Precinct. Finalist, 2011 Small Business Award, Memphis Business Journal. Recieved 2009 Quality Cup Award, Greater Memphis Chamber and 2010 Women of Excellence Award, Tri State Defender. Member, Mid-South Minority Business Council.

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