Cassandra Garvey, founder of Career Focus Inc., comes from a family of entrepreneurs and was inspired to launch her own company by her grandfather.
"I had the idea for a while," she said. "I was working at a hospital and thinking about starting a business when my grandfather passed away. He was a successful entrepreneur whose masonry company built malls and prisons. We were very close and that inspired me to launch the business. Six months later I did."
Career Focus Inc. helps people with disabilities find and keep employment in addition to helping them become more independent by assisting them with independent living. Garvey plans to extend that mission to a residential program in 2018 called Florida Service Providers.
"We have supportive living coaches were we go in and help them pay bills, rent etc.," Garvey explained. "We promote independence through training and assistance. I'm very small and the quality of work is very high. I could be much bigger but because we're working with vulnerable adults, I keep it small to ensure quality and everything is in line."
Garvey clearly loves what she does. "I had one client who hadn't worked in 10 years," she said. "I got him a job cleaning at McDonald's and he was so happy about that. The feeling you get from that type of gratitude is larger than any monetary gain. It gives me purpose."
Garvey's advice for aspiring entrepreneurs centers on motivation. "you have to remain hungry," she said. "You have to find ways to motivate yourself, and you have to stay focused because there are a lot of distractions."