Sherry Stewart Deutschmann built an incredibly successful career out of the belief that empathy could be the key to a more profitable business model. She put that idea into practice with LetterLogic, Inc., a company she built out of her basement and grew to $40 million before selling it in 2016. LetterLogic, which was named an Inc. 5000 company for ten consecutive years, was built on a unique model of putting employees first, starting with the dedication to paying employees a living wage and trickling into other areas like profit sharing and allowing people to bring their kids to work. Sherry has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes Magazine, Fast Company and more, and she was honored by President Barack Obama as a White House Champion of Change in 2016. Her newest venture, BrainTrust, is a company dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs grow their businesses to $1 million in annual revenue and beyond. Sherry is also the author of Lunch with Lucy, a book that teaches business owners to “maximize profits by investing in your people.”
Sherry joins Leah on Her Story of Success to share some of the practical steps she took to create an employee-first business model, including the Lunch with Lucy program that she talks about in her book. She also opens up about what it was like to sell her company and gets real about the mourning process that went with letting go of something she’d built from the ground up. Sherry’s passion for leading well and empowering others is such an inspiration, and her story of finding new ways to invest in other women — both through her own venture firm and through BrainTrust — is such a great example of how women can lift each other up while also achieving their own personal success.
IN THIS EPISODE
Sherry tells her inspiring story of starting a company as a single mom with only a high school diploma and finding success through her intentional choice to put her employees first. She also breaks down the specifics of what that business model looked like, from paying people a living wage to becoming a more approachable CEO. As a newly published author and founder and CEO of BrainTrust, Sherry explains how she’s continuing to empower women business owners in every area of her career.
Here are some of the highlights:
Creating an employee-centric company, and what it means to pay people a living wage
Becoming an approachable leader with “lunch with Lucy”
Sherry’s experience of selling the company she built and looking for new ways to fill her time
Empowering other women business owners with BrainTrust
"I believe wholeheartedly that an employee first business model is a major key to success. Your company will be more profitable, more successful, if you put the employees first."
— sherry deutschmann
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"Thoughtful conversations. Fun guests and hosts. This is such a great podcast that dives into relatable stories about life, work, and perseverance! Thanks for sharing your voices!"
"Such an inspiring podcast for young women! Each guest has an interesting and different perspective, and a wide variety of backgrounds/topics are covered. I'm looking forward to many more seasons!"