Loretta Kryshak has two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin – one in Finance the second in Management Information Systems, where she also made the Dean’s Honor List. Subsequently, she earned her CNA and her CNE -Certified Network Administrator 4.1 and Certified Network Engineer 3.0, respectively. She utilized her degrees and certifications as a Software Engineer and Business Systems Consultant. In 1999 she and her husband Michael started their first company, and Loretta transitioned her career to helping with the business and raising their two children, who were three and one at the time. After the company sold in 2006, Loretta planned and orchestrated a six-month trip to China, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand with her husband and their children (who she homeschooled.)
Loretta, as an avid traveler, who with her family, has been to all seven continents and “would rather spend money on memories than material items,” also utilized her love of photography, capturing images of their travels. Loretta, her husband, and her children share her love of travel and her ideas on philanthropy. Her children have volunteered in Africa (Tanzania & Kenya, South America (Ecuador and Peru), and India.
Loretta continued with her study of photography and also earned an associate degree in graphic design.
In 2010 Loretta and her husband started Rebel Converting, which enabled her to continue with the business and philanthropy. With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Rebel Converting co-founded MaskUpMKE, producing 3.5 million face masks for local Wisconsin communities and healthcare workers.
In August of 2020, Loretta decided to serve Rebel’s charitable endeavors better to form Rebel Reform as its Executive Director to maximize and expand the philanthropic activities of Rebel Converting. As Executive Director, she researches and reviews each organization to determine their impact on the communities they serve. Loretta then analyzes these organizations to determine how Rebel Reform should allocate its resources best to aid them in their efforts, whether through goods, services, human resources, or influx of capital. L, LK, Rebel Reform – also actively seek out other organizations with similar missions to determine if collaborative efforts will have a symbiotic effect.
Where did the idea for Rebel Reform come from?
We know how we got to Rebel Reform if talking about Rebel Converting – Most likely not too applicable – Mike had been working for a wet wipe company and felt with their change in management he could do a better job – and was immediately successful.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I usually wake up thinking about the biggest item – I must do that day. It’s too easy to get sidetracked with the small stuff. It is cliché,’ but you have to have a reason to get up. I am truly blessed that I now have the ability through Rebel Reform to impact others – thinking of the result keeps me focused and productive.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I think one of the most important things one can do is to visualize the completion of the ideas – its results & it’s benefits.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Technology and its ability to reach others – so quickly. Also, digital imaging/photography -the photos/films that one can take on an iPhone – were unheard of – five years ago.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Daydreaming – & taking things to an extreme that most people wouldn’t go to – usually biting off more than I can chew.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Life is short – put things into perspective – most things we fret about are nothing and certainly nothing we will be thinking about on our deathbed.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
It may not be true – but it is true for me -Always put more on your plate than you can handle – my daily “to-do” lists would be impossible to accomplish, but at the end of the day -I have usually accomplished quite a bit.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
See and talk with those that you work with – look for positives in every situation. Encourage others to bring solutions, not problems.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Businesses are all about people, and having those people share the same vision – money is not the most important thing employees desire – it is a simple fact that they want to be treated just like you would like to be treated.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
No entrepreneur I know has had only one failure – most have had many, some hundreds, some thousands; keeping things in real perspective (not as easy as it sounds) and a positive mental attitude are critical to overcoming them.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Nothing novel or original, but make a concerted effort to connect with the people that work for you – not to be confused with being their friend.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Taking out my sister and my mother’s caretaker for lunch a year after my mother’s death. Life goes on, and so should the appreciation for those that impacted our lives so greatly.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
It may sound cliché’ but Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude – by Napolean Hill and W. Clement Stone. Not only because of all that can be achieved with a positive attitude but also as it serves to remind us of how a negative attitude robs us of everything that makes life worth living.
My favorite movie is It’s a Wonderful Life – we all too often forget what an impact we can make on the lives of others. Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.
What is your favorite quote?
“THE BEST WAY TO FIND YOURSELF IS TO LOSE YOURSELF IN THE SERVICE OF OTHERS.” ― MAHATMA GANDHI
“The question isn’t who will let me; it’s who is going to stop me. “
- It reminded me of the importance of keeping things in perspective – the old “Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff.”
- Remembering to focus on the results
- I should reread Napoleon Hill!
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.