Tell us a little bit about what you do (business, career, etc.) How did you get started?
Gemini Janitorial Services was founded by me in 1984. The business world was a different place, especially for women business owners. The commercial cleaning company has been built one team member at a time. We have a rigorous screening process that includes background checks on all employees. We are blessed to have a strong management team that is capable of handling any situation. Our clients are loyal. We focus on building long-term relationships that provide benefits to Team Gemini and the customers we serve.
How did you push through a turning point (career or life) and what did you learn from it?
Although I come from humble beginnings, there were nine people in my family, I decided early on to work hard and appreciate every opportunity that came my way. I had the chance to purchase another cleaning business, started hiring the best workers I could find and the rest is history. Although I suffered from anxiety, with determination and a positive attitude, I worked hard to build a well-managed and profitable business. My advice to fellow entrepreneurs, “Get rid of all negative people in your life. Educate yourself, work hard, believe in yourself, stay strong and you will persevere.” Be brave enough to take risks but do your research to make sure you have a plan to protect your assets just in case.
We know that your first children’s book, Howl of A Day, is about to be published. What inspired you to write a children’s book?
I’m always looking for a challenge. Now that I have a wonderful management team in place, I thought it was time to pursue another passion. My love of dogs is legendary! I hope that my book will inspire children to treasure their pets as much as I do mine. I get a great deal of pride in becoming an author. Now that I have ventured into this world, I can’t wait to work on another book.
What piece of advice would you give someone who wants to be a children’s author?
Surround yourself with the right team. This is not something you can do on your own. You also need to promote yourself, as well as your book. Offer to speak to as many groups of people that you can. These events also provide a great opportunity to sign your book for the participants. Gather the name and email addresses of everyone you meet. You can communicate with them and add a link to the place where your book can be purchased.
How do you define success?
I get great satisfaction in a job well done but the biggest benefit to entrepreneurship is providing for the people on your team. I’m very proud of the people that I have mentored and trained to become the best versions of themselves. The fact that we are responsible for increasing the economic stability of our team members is very satisfying.
What’s a surprising tidbit about yourself that most people don’t know?
Although I try to exude confidence, I’m actually have a very shy and introverted personality. If you told me that I would enjoy speaking in front of people or taking a leadership role for area organizations a few years ago, I would think you were crazy. Now that I have pushed myself in that direction, I can honestly say that I enjoy every experience, especially when giving back to my community.
Give a shout out to the woman or women who inspire you the most.
I don’t want to name any specific individuals since there are so many wonderful women who have made an impact on both my personal and professional lives. Running a business is a team sport. There are people I depend on for a number of things. They have become great friends as well as business associates. Becoming an author required a new set of people with expertise in publishing. I’m grateful to add them to my list of trusted friends. In conclusion, the past two months have been very challenging. During the current quarantine period, we are dedicated to keeping the offices and facilities of our valued customers clean and safe. We have made an investment in heavy duty but environmentally friendly supplies and have taken precautions to protect members of Team Gemini. This is a situation that requires us to be diligent and focus on the health of our employees and customers. Let’s be safe and see what we can learn from the experience.
Why Janet Killian is On this List
“I feel like anything I write won’t do this woman justice: she’s an owner of a highly successful business + a children’s book author. Everyone who meets her loves her, and it’s easy to see why. Janet possess all the qualities of a strong leader. She respects her team, gives credit where it’s due, and is humble as pie. This interview is extra special to me since I also suffer from anxiety. She isn’t afraid to be vulnerable and share herself with us. The world is a better place because Janet is in it — I want to be her when I grow up (but let’s face it, I’m probably not that mature).”
More 2020 Most Inspiring Women
Dr. Teri Quinn Gray is the Technology Operations & Portfolio Manager with DuPont Transportation and Industrial (T&I) business. She is an inspiration to women who want to work in the STEM field.
Rebecca Simeone Lennon created the Graphic Design & Color Print Department at DLS Discovery Creative. Whether it’s photography or designs, she puts her heart and soul into everything she works on.
Jennifer Vitak is an Insurance Agent at Liberty Mutual Insurance and the organizer for Women United. She’s a networking expert and brings a ray of sunshine to every event she’s attending.
Linda Arrey is the President/CEO of Women in Leadership Development and Empowerment Inc (WILDE.) She is also an Active Duty Captain in the United States Air Force Medical Service Corps.
Chrysa Cohen is the owner of Continental Jewelers, a family-owned jewelry store that opened in 1955. She takes pride in knowing that the store is on top of every phase in the jewelry industry.
Dr. Eunice Gwanmesia is an educator, author, consultant, speaker, coach, philanthropist, and mentor. Her story as an immigrant is inspiring and we are honored that she shared it with us.
Barbara Day works at Unique Impressions and assists people in finding the BEST marketing and promotional tools for their business. Everything she does is with 100% enthusiasm and pride.
Nicolle Surratte is Chief Inspiration Officer at NspireD, LLC where she advocates health & wellness as a lifestyle. As a breast cancer survivor, she discusses breast cancer awareness & education.
Gigi Gaul is an administrative assistant for the College of Arts and Sciences at Wilmington University. Gigi loves giving her time to several DE nonprofits.