only with close friends. Most of the time, she was embarrassed to admit that she’d never gone beyond two-year secretarial school, much less that she’d been a 16-year-old mom.
But she agreed to do it.
When she started speaking to the students, Greene says, it
was as if somebody else had taken over her voice. After her
talk, she felt empowered. “It was overwhelming joy,” she says.
And it led to a story about her in a local magazine.
“A woman in a shop stopped me and said, ‘I read your
article, and I gave it to my girlfriend who’s been in an abusive
relationship for 20 years—and she finally got out.’;”
It was a revelation. By telling her story, by owning every
single ugly and inspiring part of it—the beatings, the escape,
the eventual business success and seeming fairy-tale ending—
Greene had helped another woman save herself. She realized
her business was more than a way to create something that no
one could take from her. It was a way to give to others.
“I was like, ‘Wait a minute. Everything I want to do—creat-
ing a world of di;erence in people’s lives—I can do better with
my platform than I can without,’;” she says. “I was more ful-
filled. I felt like I was making a di;erence, and making a di;er-
ence made me feel more proud, and that gave me an extra step
of excitement.” (She eventually decided to join the board of
the local women’s shelter, and to help raise money as part of its
$10 million campaign to build a new center.)
A gutsier Tana Greene started showing up for work. That
same year, the company made a bid on a huge deal—a $9 million contract sta;ng custodial and warehouse work for Coty,
the beauty products manufacturer. Tana and Mike decided
that she would preside over the sales presentation. Before the
meeting, Mike briefed the sales sta;.
“I said, ‘When Tana starts talking, everybody else needs
to shut up and let her go. She is going to close this business.
Don’t step on her toes. Just be quiet and let her go,’;” he recalls.
“Nobody can close like this woman.”
Before the pitch, says Tana, “I remember having the posi-
tive commercial going on in my head. What the outcome
was going to be, signing the contract, I saw it all coming to
fruition.” She nailed the pitch, and Strataforce won its biggest
contract ever. Tana was the sales team’s closer from then on.
“She’s a natural people person,” says Mike, “and has a rare
talent to inspire others. But it took years before those leadership skills started showing themselves.”
Huddling with Anderson, the couple set their sights on
what they wanted next. Tana said, “I want to be a $100 million
company in multiple states.” The problem was that the 2008
HURRY UP AND WAIT
The trucking industry is filled with ine;ciencies. The Blue Bloodhound app seeks to streamline the process
of hiring qualified drivers, to reduce regulatory paper work, and to maximize driver job stability.