Enterprising women: Mariah Hanson, The Dinah

Mariah HansonHeadshotBY LESBIAN.COM

Founder of The Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend shares the secrets of her success. Join the fun April 2-6, 2014, in Palm Springs, Calif.

What did you do before you started your company?
I was an admin at Esprit De Corp for an amazing boss named Liz Kane. She influenced me in my work ethic and how I wanted to show up for my employees. It took me a long time to develop attributes that I think came naturally to her, but I have a life long debt of gratitude to her for being so generous with me in my developing stages.

How did you come up with the idea for your company?
I was a club kid so starting a party was an organic expression for me. I wanted to create a party that I and my friends wanted to go to. And so I did. I never thought it would lead me to where it did, but I am grateful for the journey. It’s been an amazing experience for me to take a small party and out of that to create The Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend.

What’s the single most important piece of advice you received when first starting your company? What would you tell a young entrepreneur in turn?
At every success, real success, is a foundation of hard work and dedication, perseverance and courage. In my world view, success is never easy, but it’s certainly worth the journey.

What aspect of business ownership came as the biggest surprise to you?
All the bills. Who knew?

What do you find most rewarding about owning your own business?
I make my own hours. You actually end up working more than if you worked for someone else, but there is a freedom in knowing that if you really need that coffee break or an afternoon horse ride, no one us looking over your shoulder. You also realize that what you put into your business is exactly what you get out of it. That alone keeps me working long hours. But they are my hours and my choices. I like life on my terms.

Where do you see yourself / your company in five years?
I hope it continues to be the basis for a weeklong celebration of our lives. I hope the film festival develops and we make lots of money for HRC.

What would you say is the single most important key to sustaining a business long term?
Business is about relationships, not making money. Making money is a byproduct of good business. This can be the relationship between you and your customer, you and your dreams, you and your vendors, but when it gets right down to it, business, as in life, is all about relationships. The life-long lesson is how to show up in your relationships in a way that honors yourself and as a result, others. So, the most important relationship you can have is the one with yourself. If you can develop the highest form of personal relationship, the world is your oyster.

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