Step out of life’s hurricane and gain a clear perspective.
Following your passion, by caring and having compassion for those around you, is the new chapter in the life of Jeanne Rowzee, founder, and CEO of Homeward Bound Animal Rescue. In 2001, she was inspired to open an animal rescue sanctuary. She began with retrieving eighteen animal rescues to her location. With a very big heart and very little knowledge of the enormity of her undertaking, her focus was on acquiring veterinarians foster homes, transportation networks, contacts to other shelters and creating marketing campaigns. It was a massive enterprise, but she eventually was able to accomplish each of her goals.
Eventually, Jeanne created the organization with a staff of altruistic volunteers. Their mission was and has always been to rescue animals who have been abandoned or displaced. This animal rescue focuses on Golden Retrievers and Golden mixes, regardless of the condition of their health or age. This is a lifetime sanctuary.
With over 18 years of experience operating the animal sanctuary, Jeanne Rowzee has paused her law career to open another animal rescue establishment on the East Coast. She is currently in the works of determining all the critical components required for a successful launch of her Mid-Atlantic Coastal Animal Rescue for her east coast location. They will be lined at www.homewardboundgoldens.org.
Ms. Rowzee was born in Maryland just outside the District of Columbia area. She began her college career, after being awarded both an academic scholarship and a basketball scholarship. She attended Stetson Univesity in Deland, Florida, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in American History and bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a focus on finance in 1980. She continued her education at the University of Virginia School of Law and graduated with honors in 1983. In 1984, she obtained her federal clerkship with Federal Judge Peter T. Faye of the U.S. Court of Appeals 11th District Circuit Court in Miami, Florida.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
I opened my own law firm in 1994, which allowed me several opportunities to travel all over the world. The business found itself to be a huge success, while also grew to be very large in size. At that point in my life, I felt I was ready to have a family. However, I didn’t have much control over my own time due to my continuous dedication to my firm. The two worlds would collide; either I could have my own business, or I could start my family. I chose to have a family at that time; making the decision to raise my family was one I would not change. By starting Homeward Bound Animal Rescue in 2001, it was one of my life aspirations coming to light, while also adding real joy to it. The Rescue Center is run with the best group of magnanimous volunteers, who are passionate about the animal rescue. Everyone who works there, carries the same goals in mind; that they are doing what they can to better the life of the dogs.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I am taking a break from practicing law for now and just doing some consulting work. I am currently focusing all my abilities on opening the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Animal Rescue Center. As for my children, one is a young adult in college and the other is a sixteen-year-old high school student. There is quite a bit of prioritizing required in my time right now. There is not a “typical” day, as it is more like tossing balls in the air and addressing them as they come.
How do you bring ideas to life?
The way I address any new ideas for a required topic, is by doing some research prior to adding it. I reach out to individuals who are or will potentially be involved in bringing the idea into action. The internet would be the main hub for researching different options or outcomes regarding that idea; it gives you several different updated perspectives. By putting my name on the idea, it gives us the opportunity to see if it would work for our situation. I do my best to allow it to test run itself, if it works out, then we can move forward and implement it into our plan.
What’s one trend that excites you?
One trend that excites me is how rescuing animals have become a more accepted thing to do. It may have come with the transition of generational millennials. It used to be a “thing” to have a purebred animal; it had to have a big family history with huge breeding lines. Today, there have been several advancements, especially with pet stores; which used to sell puppy mill dogs but currently places like Pet Smart sponsor frequent adoption days. Puppy mills have begun to be not such a good establishment anymore; it has come to such a full circle! There is a definite trend now in society, that saving animals is the “thing” to be doing, which shifted in a very positive direction. One problem has been with pets not being sprayed or neutered in the south. As a form of exercise and enjoyment, many people take their animals to the dog park or even for walks, they usually tend to run wild. There is a good network for bringing these animals to the northeast and the Mid-Atlantic to accommodate rescues.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I find that reading all the time, has made me more productive business wise. I am an information junkie! I research everything I can prior to implementing or making decisions, I like to be as informed as possible. Now that I finally got an iPhone 10, I am basically able to have information at my fingertips. Keeping an open mind and always learning is really an important thing to do.
What advice would you give your younger self?
My daughter and I are both perfectionists but also procrastinators, which makes for a tough combination. As acquiring that combination, it adds quite a bit of additional stress, as you wait to get certain things done and end up completing certain things last minute. In the end, it usually gets done well and the outcome ends up alright. It makes most ventures highly successful but does not always equate to the highest form of happiness. I think I have found a good balance of following my passions in life and have really seen that reflection in my daughter and the work she does daily. In the end, I would tell myself to look at the bigger picture that life can present to you. Sometimes you cannot see the forest for the trees. When you have a career that takes up most of your life, you know you will live it for a certain amount of time. You leverage that time and try to play the long game a little longer. It would give you a better perspective. Step out of life’s hurricane and gain a clear perspective.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I tend to follow my instincts quite a bit and I believe that many individuals need to learn to listen to that more often. If you don’t listen to your instincts things never end well. I wanted to be unique with my animal rescue; I have done many things that have not been done before. Almost everything that I have tried with animal rescue has been successful. During the time I have worked to establish the rescue center, it resonated that not many people agreed with the way I have accomplished many of our goals but in the end, it all worked out.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I think what I do that works well for me as an entrepreneur is to listen and be open. It could be with clients, employees or really anyone that you are working with; just to listen and let them know they are heard. It is important to make people feel like they are a part of the enterprise. When they feel like they are invested in it, they put a lot more effort into it. They are your eyes and ears and are in the places that you cannot be every point of the day. Being open and listening is a good piece of advice for everyone.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
One strategy that has helped me grow my business is having a really good website. People need to know how and where to find you. They can ask questions and give feedback. You can provide positive articles and get client feedback, while also being interactive and having your own direction laid out clearly in the website, such as our own at www.homewardboundgoldens.org
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
When I first started Homeward Bound, I knew I wanted to rescue animals, but I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I jumped in with both feet and I bit off more than I could chew, which was evident when my first rescue van held 18 animals. I got overwhelmed with all the details that needed to be addressed and didn’t have the right infrastructure in place at the time. I also didn’t have everything that was required to accommodate all the animals. I had to find veterinarians and foster homes, as well as create marketing campaigns, transportation networks and contacts to other shelters. It was an enormous undertaking to jump into, but the good thing is that through the initial trial and errors, we are better prepared and have all these things in place for Mid-Atlantic Coastal Animal Rescue.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
In regard to the illegal aspects of the animal business, it would be extremely beneficial if some inventor could come up with a way to find and eliminate puppy mills.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best money that I have spent was in upgrading my phone.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I am an Apple Fan. Whatever they make, I buy. They are so user-friendly. Google Drive is also extremely helpful and works as another great organizational and communication tool.
What is your favorite quote?
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
• Read all the time. Be an information junkie!
• Step out of lifes hurricane and gain a clear perspective.
• One strategy to grow a business is having a really good website. Help people find you easily.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.