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georgie-Ann Getton, Founder and CEO of GSD Solutions, helps companies increase customer engagement and sales using experience-driven technology solutions.

Georgie, a technology ecosystem pioneer and multimedia content creator, is passionate about developing inclusive and innovative business models. A self-proclaimed “execution expert,” she launched GSD Solutions in 2019 to help small and medium-sized businesses grow their business digitally. While continuing to serve its customers through the mission of helping businesses scale and connect with their customers, GSD Solutions will soon launch its first SaaS product.

We asked Georgie how her differences have shaped her journey as an entrepreneur, what advice she would share with herself younger, and what’s next for her and GSD Solutions.

Q: Tell us the story of how your business was founded. How and why did you start working on GSD Solutions?

A: I started GSD Solutions in 2019 because I knew small and medium-sized businesses needed a more sustainable way to grow their business in the digital world. These businesses, especially those owned by women and/or minorities, were not adapting to technology at the pace they should have to succeed in the digital world. Personally, I have loved technology since I was very young. I have seen with my own eyes how the lack of technology adoption has held back the growth of various businesses. With my knowledge, expertise and passion, I wanted to build a business that would change the narrative.

Q: Have you ever felt “different”?

A: In many spaces, I find myself being the only woman, the only person of color, the youngest person in the room, the only parent, etc. Being a young black immigrant, mother and entrepreneur is a big undertaking. Identifying with just one of these factors can be a huge differentiator. Through the unique composition of my identity, I was able to stand out, express myself and lead change in various spaces where I was proud to represent myself and others who identify with me. I view difference as a competitive advantage that allows me to see not only the issues or topics involved, but also how they connect to the larger world. Using my presence and my voice has been a gift that continues to ignite the rocket fuel within me to be a great leader, mother, and human.

Q: Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

A: I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. Sometimes my love for entrepreneurship was frowned upon by my family who wanted me to have a more stable career path. Yet the entrepreneurial virus was constant and refused to go away. My mother told me that whenever people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my only answer would be, “I want to have a business”. I have memories from the age of six of wanting to create jobs. I was inspired by the entrepreneurs around me who were doing just that – supporting, uplifting and creating jobs in our community. I used to tell these crazy stories to my mom about a vision of owning a strip mall with all the stores a person could imagine.

Q: What are the hardest and most impactful lessons you’ve learned since starting a business?

A: Two of the most important and difficult lessons of running my business have been to target and target a specific audience and set boundaries with customers. Nestling was difficult because I wanted to serve everyone and be accessible to all potential customers. I learned the hard way the clichéd lesson of “if you serve everyone, you serve no one”. By aiming for who I wanted to work with and how I wanted to work with them, I created a clear path to follow that would lead to success again and again.

The second lesson of setting boundaries came the hard way. I learned the importance of setting boundaries after experiences of staying up until dawn putting out client fires, ending up in the hospital due to burnout, and not knowing where GSD Solutions ended and Georgie began. Once I drew the line in the sand and built a toll bridge over that line, access to my work time versus my personal time changed. First of all, I had to respect these limits loud and clear. When I did that, it became easier for others to respect them too.

Q:What are the biggest mistakes you’ve made?

A: The biggest mistake I’ve made in business is knowing who I allowed into my network. From partners to colleagues and team members, a few bad eggs have slipped in. At the time, these people seemed to be there to support and uplift me as we worked together on larger common goals. But throughout this journey I have been financially scammed, heartbroken, abused and belittled. Once I realized the red flags and common threads, and took the time to think, I became very strategic about where I am and who is around me. Now, I’m grateful to say that I have an incredible network of team members, colleagues, friends and family who help each other grow.

Q: Have you struggled with self-doubt as an entrepreneur?

A: I struggled with self-doubt in many ways as an entrepreneur. When you are “first”, “unique” or “different”, there is a lot of pressure applied to everything you do. You want to represent yourself, but you also need to represent your whole group. I navigated this pressure by focusing on being my best self at all times. I knew that as long as I stayed true to myself, I would positively represent myself and others.

Q: What would you say to your younger self if you were to start your entrepreneurial journey all over again?

A: I would tell my younger self to wear confidence and bravery in their heart rather than on their sleeve. For years I worked hard and was a symbol of strength and resilience to those around me. My outward actions showed that I was ready and willing to take on the world at every turn. But what lived in my heart was a girl who was scared; a girl who had known both the wild sweetness and the harsh realities of life and wanted to make it better for those around her. Because I wore my confidence and courage on my sleeve, I flew into spaces that only needed to see me in a professional sense. My personal life suffered. My insecurities about my worth and worth caused me to overcompensate by overextending myself to others, almost like a martyr. This endeavor would lead to panic attacks, anxiety, and depression that would take years to overcome. Little Georgie, you are complete. You are precious. You are confident and courageous. You are you. And you are loved as you are.

Q: What is the next step for you and GSD Solutions?

A: We will complete the build and launch our first SaaS product. We’ve been working on it for a while and can’t wait for people to start using it. We will continue to work with our customers to serve our mission of helping businesses grow using technology solutions. For my part, I intend to speak and write more. I have experienced and learned a lot in such a short time. The lessons I learned and the lessons I can share will help the next person feel seen, heard, and go through life a little better and stronger. Over the past year, I have spent countless amounts of time and energy rediscovering who I was, my goals for my life, and overall what I want my legacy to be. I want to embody love, connection, exploration and learning.

Georgia is a member of dreamers and doersa private collective that amplifies the entrepreneurial pursuits of extraordinary women through thought leadership opportunities, authentic connection, and access. Learn more on dreamers and doers and subscribe to their monthly The summary for the best entrepreneurial and professional resources.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.