Meet Lori Carter; she hit her lowest point in life about 15 years ago. Her husband was battling addiction and decided to leave her and his six children to figure out life alone. Lori struggled financially. She was left with a mountain of debt her husband racked-up without her knowledge. But Lori knew two things: the art of the deal, and the value of hard work.
“When your credit is ruined and you’re left with no money, it’s hard to dig yourself out of a hole,” she says.
Society often views top achievers as powerful men like political leaders, doctors, CEOs and entertainers. But, there are great stories of highly successful women who are less public—like Lori Carter; who came from the brink of bankruptcy to create a mini AirBnB empire in a beautiful, but often overlooked area of Georgia on the Tennessee border.
“My best and worst quality is that I don’t give up,” she says. “It’s a good quality to have and it’s one that’s not always in my best interest.”
When Carter was in high school, she worked five jobs and still graduated a year early. She had her first daughter less than a year later—she was 18. Even at this early age, Lori figured out how to get a loan and put a down payment on her first house. A year later, they did the same with another home when the opportunity presented itself.
"That was a way for folks who really didn’t have money to learn how to acquire wealth,” she says. “You could buy a house live it in for a while, paint and powder and you could sell it.”
Lori went on to start two additional businesses: a carpet cleaning business and an estate liquidation business, before hard times hit in the early 2000s. The recession hurt business, and Lori began falling behind on her mortgage payments on her cabin near picturesque Lookout Mountain. It was her daughter who turned her on to AirBnB. Lori decided to rent out one of her rooms.
“I thought, ‘Wow, if I can just get five nights a month that’d be great,’ ” she recalled. “And boom, I started getting guests almost every night. AirBnB was huge for me. I was able to start a business without having to spend any money.”
DaMar Staffing supports women business owners, because we learn from the way women tackle life and business issues.