We had the good fortune of connecting with Terra Schaad and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Terra, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
To know my strengths and know my weaknesses and ask for help. I cannot be the smartest person in the room or I will never grow and neither will the business.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have learned that what sets me apart from others, but not other entrepreneurs- that make it-, is my fiery heart, unyielding determination, and tireless energy. It has set me apart from other organizations in this field, from people who have left the organization and tried to replicate and from the dreamers who want to do this but never start. I always encourage people to follow their dreams, but I encourage knowing that most will not have the stamina to endure the hardships that come along the way. I am most proud of the sustainability of the organization to have endured a recession and now a pandemic. That is in large part and most importantly because of the relationships that have been formed with our community partners, our board of directors, volunteers, and donors. I’m so honored to know them and ridiculously humbled and grateful for their ongoing support. Hunkapi has seen many challenges in 21 years. Each of them were proportionate to what my spirit and soul could handle, although for many of them, even if mentally I didn’t think I could. My default work ethic got me most of the way through them, but the bigger challenge and lesson learned during times seeming unbearable challenge was for me to learn to ask for help and receive it. Ultimately, we have gotten through everything by calling upon all resources and finding people specializing in the challenge that we are facing to pull us all the way through. i’ve learned that people want to help if you give them a chance. Its been one of the greatest kick in the pants soul lessons I have learned! I’ve also learned that traits like working hard and determination got me far, but wisdom has taught me to really use my intuition and to feel into the somatics of challenges. I used to feel that if I worked really hard I could bash my way through every barrier, but as I have grown as a leader, I’ve realized sometimes when things present as difficult and full of resistance, you should listen to it and conserve energy for opportunities that you may not see. Those opportunities are often easy and full of flow and I would’ve missed them if I had been expending energy on things just because I want to “conquer”. I’m a farm girl raised low to lower middle class. I was given an opportunity and I worked hard, but the story could’ve ended there. I had to learn how to lead like a woman which involves using flow and intuition. I’ve learned how to change my purpose from a fear based drive to a love based stampede, which I think ultimately is what has allowed me to grow as the organization grows. I believe in women leaders and I think it continues to be challenging to raise women leaders up, despite all of the progress that we have seen over the decades. I believe women are trying to lead in a mans business world, like men and I believe that if women can learn to lead in their own way we will see far more women leaders. I imagine our new Vice President will also cause a major inspiration ripple as well!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Day 1: Farm tour and equine session at Hunkapi Farms (of course), Dinner at FNB restaurant because I love their philosophy and their food. Day 2,3,4: Drive to the Grand Canyon. Hike to Havasupai Falls for 3 days. Set up camp, explore Havasupai Falls Day 1, Mooney Falls Day 2, dinners under the stars and sleeping under the stars with Arizona Outback Adventures/REI Adventures. Day 5: Day spa all day at the Montelucia. Pedicures, Manicures, Massage and hanging out all afternoon on the patio/pool overlooking Camelback Mountain. Dinner at Lons. Day 6: The Old Town Farmers Market to start the day supporting local vendors. Afternoon Volunteering at a pet adoption event for Puppy Luv or helping with the herd at Healing Hearts Horse Rescue. I believe all tourists should volunteer at local agency needing support to get the flavor of the city. Those are my chosen charities. Farm to Table Dinner at Hunkapi Farms with Private Chef for 20 people so they can experience the abundance of food produced in AZ and understand the sense of community at the farm. Day 7: Breakfast at The Breakfast Club, quick walking tour of Old Town Scottsdale. Depart Airport
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Dr. Debbie Crews and Dr. Barbara Kerr both deserve equal shoutouts. I dedicate my success to them because without their supportive challenge for me to question traditional ways of thinking and really believe in my own intellect, will, power and creativity I would’ve never had the idea that my little dream could turn into the service business it has become. Every woman entrepreneur needs a female mentor (or two) to encourage them to rage against the machine of traditional thinking and norms.
Twitter: HunkapiPrograms & TerraSchaad