This Founder Is Offering Virtual Event Solutions To Help Businesses Scale. Here’s How.
Georgie-Ann Getton, Founder and CEO of GSD Solutions, is helping companies increase customer engagement and sales by using experience-driven technology solutions.
Georgie, a technology ecosystem trailblazer and multimedia content creator, is passionate about developing inclusive and innovative business models. A self-proclaimed “execution expert,” she started GSD Solutions in 2019 to help small and medium-sized businesses grow their companies digitally. While continuing to serve clients through the mission of helping businesses scale and connect with their customers, GSD Solutions will soon be launching their first SaaS product.
We asked Georgie how her differences have shaped her journey as an entrepreneur, the advice she’d share with her younger self, and what’s next for her and GSD Solutions.
Q: Tell us the story behind your company’s founding. How and why did you start working on GSD Solutions?
A: I started GSD Solutions in 2019 because I knew that small and medium-sized businesses needed a more sustainable way to grow their companies in the digital world. These businesses, especially ones that are women and/or minority-owned, weren't adapting to technology at the rate that they should in order to be successful in the digital world. I personally have loved technology since a young age. I have seen firsthand how the lack of technological adoption has stunted the growth of various businesses. With my knowledge, expertise, and passion, I wanted to create a business that would change the narrative.
Q: Have you ever felt like you’re “different”?
A: In many spaces, I find myself being the only woman, the only person of color, the youngest person in the room, the only parent, and so on. Being a young, Black immigrant, mom, and entrepreneur is a big undertaking. Identifying with just one of those factors can be a huge differentiator. With the unique makeup of my identity, I have been able to stand out, speak up, and lead change in various spaces where I was proud to represent myself and others who identify with me. I look at being different as a competitive advantage where I am able to see not only the issues or topics at hand but also how they connect back to the larger world. Using my presence and voice has been a gift that continues to ignite the rocket fuel inside me to be a great leader, mother, and human.
Q: Did you always know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
A: I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. At times my love for entrepreneurship was frowned upon by family who wanted me to have a more stable career path. Yet, the entrepreneurial bug was consistent and refused to go away. My mom has told me stories of how any time I was asked what I wanted to do when I grew up, my only answer would be, “I want to have a business.” I have memories as early as six years old of wanting to create jobs. I was inspired by the entrepreneurs around me who were doing just that—supporting, uplifting, and creating jobs in our community. I would tell these crazy stories to my mom about a vision for owning a strip mall with all the stores a person could imagine.
Q: What are the most difficult and most impactful lessons you’ve learned since starting a company?
A: Two of the most important and difficult lessons of running my company was niching down and targeting a specific audience and setting boundaries with clients. Niching down was hard because I wanted to serve everyone and be accessible to all potential clients. I learned the hard way the cliched lesson of, “if you serve everyone you serve no one.” By aiming for a goal of who I wanted to work with and how I wanted to work with them, I created a path that was crystal clear to follow and would lead to success over and over again.
The second lesson of setting boundaries came the hard way. I learned the importance of setting boundaries after experiences of staying up until the crack of dawn putting out client fires, ending up in the hospital due to burnout, and being unclear about where GSD Solutions ended and Georgie began. Once I drew the line in the sand and built a toll bridge on that line, access to my professional time versus my personal time changed. I had to first uphold these boundaries loud and clear. When I did that, it became easier for others to respect them too.
Q:What are the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
A: The biggest mistake I've made in business is who I've allowed into my network. From partners to colleagues and team members, a few bad eggs have slipped in. At the time, these individuals seemed as though they were there to support and uplift me while we worked together on larger common goals. But throughout this journey, I have been financially scammed, heartbroken, mistreated, and belittled. Once I realized the red flags and common threads, and took some time to reflect, I became very strategic about the places that I’m in and who is around me. Now, I’m grateful to say that I have an amazing network of team members, colleagues, friends, and family who help each other grow.
Q: Have you struggled with self doubt as an entrepreneur?
A: I have struggled with self-doubt in many ways as an entrepreneur. When you're a “first,” “only,” or “different,” there is a lot of pressure applied to everything you do. You want to represent yourself but you are also expected to represent your entire group. I navigated this pressure by focusing on being the best me in every moment. I knew as long as I stayed true to myself, I would be positively representing myself and others.
Q: What would you tell your younger self if you were to start your entrepreneurial journey all over again?
A: I would tell my younger self to wear confidence and bravery in her heart instead of on her sleeve. For years, I would work hard and be a symbol of strength and resilience to those around me. My external actions showed I was ready and willing to conquer the world at every turn. But what lived in my heart was a girl who was scared; a girl who had experienced both the wild gentleness and harsh realities of life and wanted to make it better for those around her. Because I wore my confidence and bravery on my sleeve, I soared in spaces that only needed to see me in a professional sense. My personal life suffered. My insecurities about my value and worth led me to overcompensate by overextending myself to others, almost as a martyr. This undertaking would lead to panic attacks, anxiety, and depression that would take years to beat. Little Georgie, you are whole. You are valuable. You are confident and brave. You are you. And you are loved as you are.
Q: What’s next for you and GSD Solutions?
A: We are going to finish building out and will launch our first SaaS product. We have been working on this for a while and can't wait for people to start using it. We will continue to work with clients to serve our mission of helping businesses scale using technology solutions. For me, I plan to speak and write more. I have experienced and learned a lot in such a short time span. The lessons I've learned and teachings I can share will help the next person feel seen, heard, and get through life a bit better and stronger. In the last year, I spent countless amounts of time and energy rediscovering who I was, my goals for my life, and overall what I want my legacy to be. I want to embody love, connection, exploration, and learning.
Georgie is a member of Dreamers & Doers, a private collective that amplifies the entrepreneurial pursuits of extraordinary women through thought leadership opportunities, authentic connection, and access. Learn more about Dreamers & Doers and subscribe to their monthly The Digest for top entrepreneurial and career resources.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.