Female Feature: Betsy Price, Fort Worth Mayor
Every week we feature a different female small business owner in an effort to empower young women to chase their dreams. This week, I am over the moon excited to announce we are featuring BETSY PRICE on our blog. That’s right y’all... the Mayor of Fort Worth herself is sharing valuable insight into what she has learned along her small business journey.
THIS WOMAN is the real deal…she ran a small business for 17 years while she raised 3 babies, and NOW, as our sitting Mayor, she has gone above and beyond to make Fort Worth a city chock-full of opportunities that tens of thousands of people (including myself) have flocked to. God Bless Betsy Price…and long may she reign.
Let’s Get Down to (Small) Business
What does a typical day for Mayor Price look like?
No day is ever the same and that is part of what I love about being Mayor. I typically start my day with tea and emails before jumping into a workout. My workout depends on what I am training for at the time, currently Mayor’s Tri, so weights, bike ride or swim. Then I dive into a series of briefings, conference calls, events and community meetings. We are always on the move, out and about in the community. I always say you can’t govern from behind a desk at City Hall. I typically end the day by catching up on emails and preparing for the next day’s schedule.
You owned your own small business as well, tell us about that:
I’m proud to have been a small business owner, that’s why supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs in Fort Worth is so important to me. Prior to serving in public office, I owned and operated a successful title company, Price Cornelius Title, for 17 years. While at times it was challenging being a mother of three and my own boss, I embraced every moment and found it extremely rewarding. Being a business owner taught me lessons I still carry with me today; it also opened lots of doors and afforded me the opportunity to learn new skills, and presented me with countless opportunities to grow personally and professionally.
Why is small business so important to you?
Small business is a big factor into what makes Fort Worth great, and it’s also the backbone of American industry. Entrepreneurs create jobs, and when they grow, they contribute to a thriving city and overall economic growth. This all factors into overall quality of life and makes for a really wonderful place to live, work and play. When we foster an environment where people pursue their passions, everyone wins. It’s important to me that we find ways to contribute to make that happen. For example, when we partnered with Goldman Sachs to launch the 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative, it’s that kind of effort that shows our community that we believe in our small businesses and support them.
What motivates you to keep going on the less than awesome days?
There are difficult days, we all have them. But it is the people of Fort Worth and representing my hometown that keeps me going. I remind myself that with incredible opportunities often come challenges, and from those challenges we all learn and grow. On a more personal note, I count my blessings that I have a loving and supporting family that inspires me and allows me to do what I love each day.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own business?
I want them to know they can do whatever they want to do in life. I believe you can do whatever you want- no dream is too big. Starting a business is a way to actively build your dreams, contribute to the community, and inspire others as well. I love when I see the people of Fort Worth do this – know your city is behind you, cheering you on every step of the way!
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made and what/how did you learn from it?
I am just like everyone, I make mistakes. Nobody is perfect; if you are growing and learning, you’re going to make mistakes. I try to learn from my mistakes and use them as an opportunity to improve.
What surprised you about running a small business?
Maybe this is no surprise, but a great number of strengths, skills, and experiences I had running a small business equipped me to best serve Fort Worth. With a business, you must deeply understand the importance of keeping a balanced budget and leverage every dollar in the most efficient way possible. These are things I am proud to do for our city. We’ve kept the city budget in check and continue to leverage public and private dollars for public good. Most recently, in our effort to end homelessness in Fort Worth, the Morris Foundation announced its plan to match the city’s investment in homelessness on a $1 for $1 basis. Additionally, we’ve added money to important capital projects while also being able to lower the city tax rate for three consecutive years.
Who have you looked to for advice and mentorship?
My first mentors were my parents. My father was a small business owner who inspired me to start my own business. My mother was a community volunteer who taught me at a young age the importance of volunteerism and giving back to our community. My mentors have changed as my career has evolved and new chapters of life have opened, but I am proud to say I have learned something from all my mentors, and I do my best to share that wisdom with others.
What advice would you give to someone who is also balancing the duties of their career and being a wife/mother?
I have three adult children who have little ones of their own, so I know what that’s like. I know that to passionately follow your career while also juggling the important work of raising a family is tough. But remember to take care of yourself. The greatest joy of motherhood is enjoying the memorable experiences and watching your kids grow up. While the balance is challenging, I want all the mothers to know that Fort Worth is blessed to have this many dedicated moms and wives who continue to make contributions to our city. We are proud of you, and you are what makes Fort Worth a great place to call home, raise a family and also do business. And lastly, it is okay to delegate!
What’s next for Mayor Price?
I wish to continue to serve a city full of compassionate people who care about each other and who are active in co-creating this amazing place to live. I have witnessed this in the eight years I’ve been Mayor of Fort Worth, and I know this is our strength. We are the 15th largest city in the nation, but what sets us apart are the people that call Cowtown home. I hope to help keep Fort Worth growing while preserving our city’s charm, history and compassion for building a community that our future generations will be proud of. My parents always said, “Whether you have a little or a lot, give something back to the community in which you live.” I intend to keep doing this, always finding a way to give.
Let’s Get the Skinny on Fort Worth!
What brought you to Fort Worth?
I was born in Fort Worth and grew up in Arlington Heights. Fort Worth has shaped my life. I know that people come here, and stay here, because of the amazing culture. Fort Worth has something for everyone - world-class museums, a bustling music scene, the historic stockyards, a nationally ranked zoo, and Sundance Square. We truly are the best big city with a small-town feel. We have also become a more active city and have made major strides in recreation with more than 80 miles of trails and nearly 300 parks. Our economy is booming, we are adding new jobs and attracting new businesses which are fueled by a diverse workforce, entrepreneurs and small businesses. With an emerging technology scene, we have seen great innovation throughout Fort Worth. It’s easy to see why we are adding nearly 80 residents a day – because Fort Worth is the place to live. Fort Worth is a city of great character, made up of great characters and that is why I am proud to call it home.
Best taco in Fort Worth? Best queso in Fort Worth? Favorite marg in Fort Worth?
There are too many places to name and I never pick favorites!
Favorite way to spend a day in Fort Worth?
My favorite way to spend a day would be anywhere in Fort Worth with my family. I always reserve Sunday’s for church with my husband and family time. My grandkids and I will ride our bikes along the Trinity, relax by the pool, visit one of the museums or go to the zoo. We love doing activities and seeing Fort Worth.
Tell us 3 of your favorite Fort Worth small businesses.
We have a business assistance and tech center that helps small businesses grow, and out of that program was a company that addressed the 2015 Ebola crisis. It was a really proud moment when this Fort Worth entrepreneur was able to solve a tremendous health issue and eventually sell for $100M. I consider that one of my favorite Fort Worth small business success stories.
I also love that we rebuilt Forest Park Pool (all privately funded by local businesses!), became the largest city in the nation to become Blue Zones certified, and have made an impact on early childhood literacy with Read Fort Worth. All of these successes are a direct result of having an active and engaged business community that is dedicated to making Fort Worth the best city in the nation.