Joyce A. Riley was born in Concord, NC, but grew up in North Philadelphia. On October 23rd she will be installed as a minister of her Church, Impacting Your World Christian Center. She is currently attending Gwynedd-Mercy College where she will graduate with a BSBA/Organizational Management degree May 2011. She is a nineteen-year breast cancer survivor and widow. She has always been one to take charge and pave the way for others. She looks forward to each new day and the challenges that it brings. She has made up in her heart that she will succeed and because of that she moves forward sometimes slowly, but at other times at a rapid pace. She enjoys reading and conversing with interesting people. Realizing that networking is one of the keys to success, she has become an attentive listener so that she can participate in conversations with wisdom and integrity. Now at 59 years old she is encouraging other women her age to follow their dreams and be the best that they can be. We interviewed Joyce for this edition of women entrepreneurs and here are her responses on life and her business, Bright View Senior Community.
Please list a quote or motto you live by and state why.
The motto I try to live by is, “Don’t get weary in well doing”. When I get overwhelmed I examine myself, take a break and start again. This pause helps me to think clearly, stay committed to my destiny and be convinced that what I am doing is the right thing.
Describe your business. List location, phone number, website.
I am the proud owner of “Bright View Senior Community. We were incorporated in March 2010. We are a nonprofit organization focused on providing quality living in a safe community setting for seniors and the disabled. We planned to offer residential care, adult day care, continual long term care and short term home visitation.
We are currently looking for property that will provide lodging for 20 people. Our telephone is 215-276-8664 and the website is: www.brightviewsenior.com
What motivated you to open your own business? I was raised by my grandmother and her four close friends. These ladies laughed, traveled and enjoyed life. They didn’t let work interfere with their thirst for life and helping others. I remember the happiness these ladies brought to others, and how strong they were in knowing themselves. It is because of their memory that I have a desire to provide for our seniors and disabled persons the opportunity to express themselves in their talent and share with others. Everyone must feel that they are valuable and that they matter. I intend to show these lovely people how dear they are to me, the youth and how their experiences and wisdom are priceless.
Did you have any initial fears or concerns that you had to overcome when opening your business?
As I moved forward with this business concept, often I was anxious, fearful and unsure of myself. Not knowing what the business would call for I ordered an administration exam book regarding senior care from Amazon for $1.99 and took the test enclosed to see what I actually knew. To my delight the only thing I didn’t really know was the medical part of the test, the administrative portion was easy. I knew then that this business was for me to do. I have two nurses on the Board of Directors to ensure that the medical application is done properly.
How did you develop your concept?
For two years I studied, went to workshops and lectures concerning the elderly and the disabled. Even Gwynedd Mercy College offered courses to help make me more aware of this important project. I still read articles concerning seniors and disabled so that I will be up to date on all issues that affect them.
How much capital did you need to get started? Did you use any creative funding sources?
In regards to funding I have very little capital but its growing slowly. What I did do was pay all my credit cards and car off. I am out of debt. I have gotten some contributions from friends and family and we are still soliciting for support. I have submitted requests to foundations and the government, these agencies take months before they make a decision.
How do you market your business? Do you use any creative marketing strategies?
Bright View has pamphlets, the website and business cards. I have been invited to speak at business breakfast and lunches.
Are you or your business on Facebook? Twitter? Linked In? Please list.
Yes I am on Facebook, and Linked In under Joyce Riley.
How do you manage employees if any?
No employees as of yet but I do have 6 on the Board of Directors. We meet every quarter and each person has an assignment to help move the business forward.
What are some of your day to day struggles as a business owner?
Right now my struggle is finding the right investor to help me fund the project.
As a business owner I can’t be in such a hurry to open that I permit an investor to own the business. That’s a mistake I see that happens often. I find that the people or groups that want to help so quickly are the ones that want controlling rights to the business. This is a journey where there are no detours.
What brings you the most joy from your work?
My joy comes from helping people. Even on a small scale we are able to help people and we are compassionate listeners.
How do you balance work life and family? Do your work demands affect your relationships?
My family is in full support of the business. I try to balance my life by committing myself to a schedule or routine. But I always keep in mind that I must be flexible. One of the things that I like to do that relax and refresh me is to get up on Saturday mornings fix breakfast, drink a hot cup of coffee and look out at the sky and reflect on how blessed I am to have family and friends.
Any advice you’d like to offer to anyone interested in your line of work?
Make sure that you have a heart for people. Caring for seniors and the disabled is a totally committed assignment. Be a person that is kind and compassionate for real. Your true character will not come to light until you know who you are. This line of work is not be everyone but for the person called to do it, it brings the joy and satisfaction that you have been strength to someone else in their time of need.
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