How She Got There: Lindsay Bell, Founder of Lucky Lil’ Darlings

Name: Lindsay Bell
Age: 29
Job Title and Description: Founder and President, Lucky Lil’ Darlings
College/Major: Bowling Green State University, Ohio / Interpersonal Communications
Twitter Handle: @LuckyLilDarling & @LindsayBellNYC

Her Campus: What does your current job entail? Is there such a thing as a typical day?
Lindsay Bell:
There is no such thing as a typical day, especially managing Lucky Lil’ Darlings (LLD): an elite family care solutions company now servicing eight states across the US. Every day is unique; sometimes I have a day of sitter interviews or partner meetings. Other days, I’m on the phone with my lawyer all day, traveling, housesitting in the Hamptons, attending business lunches, or just sitting in front of my computer for hours booking sitters for families. Honestly, 95 percent of my life involves LLD in some shape or form. I’m always working, but I mesh it into my day-to-day to make it as fun as possible.

HC: What was your first entry-level job in your field and how did you get it?
I love to tell this story! I knew I was moving to New York City after my days at BGSU, but I couldn’t find a job in NYC while living in Penfield, Ohio with my parents. I was traveling back and forth and constantly interviewing—it was becoming costly. So in August 2005 I told my parents I was leaving. They gave me $300, drove me to Akron/Canton Airport, and I hopped on my one-way ticket to Manhattan. I moved into a studio apartment on the UES, began interviewing, and started what I knew best: babysitting. Three weeks later I landed my first job with the Radio City Rockettes as the Rockette Coordinator. It was the best three years of my life, and much of my role with the Rockettes helped develop my current role with LLD.

HC: What is one thing you wish you knew about your industry when you first started out that you know now?
It is impossible to make everyone happy. LLD is in a very sensitive line of business; there are lots of feelings and emotions involved. As I always strive to keep a positive energy in everything that LLD does, there will always be bumps. Secondly, intuition is key. In past jobs I had to listen to other people tell me what to do, even though I did not feel right about it. Now I follow my intuition and that seems to be effective in most situations.

HC: Who is one person who changed your professional life for the better?
Just one? That is tough. My mom, for one, has always has been my biggest cheerleader. Having someone believe in you all the time is the coolest feeling in the world. I have found some excellent mentors over the years, too. I meet with them regularly, get advice, have lunch, and catch up. It’s so comforting to talk to someone that is supportive and has been through the same things as you.

HC: What words of wisdom do you find most valuable?
My quote master is my sister Jamie; she sends them to me all the time along with motivational books. I like the ones that make me stop and really think, like this one:

"Don't ever confuse the two, your life and your work. That's what I have to say. The second is only part of the first." - Anna Quindlen

HC: What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?
I have plenty! I wish I would have done this and that, but my biggest mistake in business—and life in general—is not letting things go. I take everything personally, so it is hard for me to forget about something. My dad is my former high school teacher and overall role model when it comes to judging character. He once said, “It is better to be respected than loved.” I have always wanted everyone to like me, but I’ve realized it is more important to be respected than liked.

HC: What is the best part of your job?
Having balance—I get to call the shots. Being my own boss allows me to prioritize in a way that I never have before while working for someone else. I like to come and go as I please, but I am a hard worker and I get what I need to done.

HC: What do you look for when considering hiring someone?
At LLD we hand-select each sitter. All of our sitters and families come from a referred source. Our business is built on loyalty and trust; we primarily grow our business through word of mouth. We strive to bring that hometown feel to urban cities. We are not hired help, but an extension of the family. We truly connect with our sitters and parents. Most of our sitters come from the Midwest (where I was raised) and the south to bring that wholesome, good-natured and hardworking sitter to your door. I individually meet each sitter for the cities that I oversee. I have hired my most trusted colleagues to represent the brand. I follow my intuition and can usually tell in the first five minutes if the sitter is a good fit for LLD.

HC: What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations?
First, I would have not worried as much and just enjoyed the experience. Make sure you listen to the right people. I have heard a million “no’s” throughout my career and it just made me want it more. Stay positive, talk to everyone, but run what you hear through your own filter. Most importantly, you’re the one responsible for your life. So if you really want something, go for it!

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