My Story 

 

Neuroscientist say the human brain doesn't fully develop until we are 25 and I believe it. My brain was a late bloomer. I didn't feel like an adult until I was nearly 30. 

 

I grew up in a tiny one-bathroom house in Minneapolis with a single mom who worked a lot. I knew very little of how the world worked. I struggled through 4 different high schools, eventually graduating with a very low GPA and a very high SAT score. Not many people score so low and so high at the same time. As it turns out, there will be many times in my life when I simultaneously belong in two different worlds. 

 

My college years were a mixed salad.  Successes mixed with homelessness, recognition tossed with punishing mistakes, the whole dish served raw with a generous side of luck. Getting an education without a safety net or guidance was really hard. It took me 8 years to finish. Eventually, I graduated cum laude from my 3rd college and scored a full scholarship to graduate school. 

How I went from living in my car to running my own real estate firm in Los Angeles is a long, improbable story. And did I mention having 5 kids in 5 years? As someone who grew up never wanting kids, I'm proof that brains change. We evolve and can become different people. The choices you make can surprise and delight the hell out of you. 

My best explanation for my success is that life conspired in my favor. I had help and privilege. I was always super creative and adventurous, but when my brain finally developed into rational adulthood, low anxiety and an inability to feel discouraged developed too. I just kept moving forward and things worked out, even when they didn't seem to. 

 

My work and my projects have gone viral a few times. I've gotten in some "good trouble."  I've created some amazing works of art. I'm grateful to have been a small part of massive change. I don't know what comes next but I hope to be of service. 

 

Like all moms and entrepreneurs, I'm always moving. In the last few years, I've realized that there are directions other than forward. Lateral movement is rewarding too. Or I can drill down deeper right where I stand.  I recently went on sabbatical to homeschool my 5 children. It's even harder than it sounds. 

 

If you've got ideas you want to bounce around, feel free to reach out. I love to fill up a whiteboard. I could use a break from my kids. I'm friendly. 

© 2019 Stephanie Smith & Industrial Partners Group

www.stephsmithla.com