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Judith Guido shares how to make it in the green industry

October 19, 2020 -  By
(Screencap: LM Staff)

(Screencap: LM Staff)

Judith Guido, chairwoman and founder of Guido and Associates, kicked off her presentation at the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association’s (ILCA) Women’s Networking Group with a photo of the fearless girl statue.

This bronze statue in New York City is of a young girl defiantly standing in the face of the iconic charging bull statue on Wall Street.

Using that imagery, Guido asked the attendees: “How do you create your voice? How do you generate power?”

For so many women, it’s easy to look at someone else and see their successes, but in the end, everyone is human, Guido said.

“We are people, we have warts, flaws and pimples,” she said. “Nobody’s life has that trajectory. Everybody’s life story is different.”

She shared this lesson and many more as part of ILCA’s webinar “Living & Loving the Career & Life You Deserve: Helping Women LeadHERS grow & find their purpose, passion, power & path in life.”

Lifequakes

Guido used her own experience of being brutally attacked by a deranged landscaper to illustrate the point that every person goes through three to five lifequakes, as she called them, which could crush someone experiencing one.

However, Guido said it’s in how someone responds to a lifequake that makes is the difference. While her world was turning upside down, she remained calm.

“I use that day and use those events to make myself better, smarter and more efficient,” she said. “Having the tools to get through these lifequakes and get through those destructions, it’s up to us how we’re going to process that.”

How to find your why

Another life lesson, Guido said, is to discover to find your path and your motivation in life and at work. She encouraged attendees to observe what matters in their individual lives.

“Everything you do, it should be intentional — what you say, what you do, who you hang out with,” she said. “Align your decisions and your actions around those things. Ask yourself what matters? Put your decisions around those things.”

Conversely, Guido told attendees to also pay attention to things that are upsetting or disturbing as they help find motivators and detractors.

“What are those things that give you enough energy or make you happy?” she asked. “Those are going to be the clues to you why. The reason you’re good at it is it gives you energy, and it gives you strength. You become passionate about it.”

Green industry success

While there’s no secret sauce to breaking through in the green industry, Guido said it’s women who bring an aptitude for learning.

“If you want to flourish in a male industry and if you want to make it in the green industry, skills matter,” she said. “Don’t wait to be asked. Just do it and prove it.”

She also encouraged attendees to challenge assumptions and the status quo. Ask questions such as: “Why are we doing it this way? Should we still be using this technology?”

Networking is a part of a professional career, and Guido encouraged attendees to build relationships through networking. The easiest way is to strike up a conversation. Ask others about their life story.

“If you want to build relationships, you’ve got to be relatable,” she said. “Now, you’re talking on a very different level.”

And, have confidence, too.

“Confidence combines humility with a trust in abilities and people,” she said.

In closing, Guido offered several takeaways for women looking to enter or break the glass ceiling in the green industry:

  • Build a network
  • Advocate for others
  • Be resilient — break down stressful situations into manageable pieces and move on
  • Take risks
  • Get in front of more people
  • Focus on facts in presentations and speak clearly
  • Don’t apologize so much
  • Never stop learning
Christina Herrick

About the Author:

Christina Herrick is the editor of Landscape Management magazine. Known for her immersive approach to travel from coast to coast in her previous stint as senior editor of American Fruit Grower Magazine, she uses social media (Twitter/Instagram @EditorHerrick) to share her experiences on the road with her audience. Herrick has a degree in journalism from Ohio Northern University. She can be reached at cherrick@northcoastmedia.net.

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