Deborah Rosado Shaw knows that when it rains, it pours. She grew up in a tough Bronx neighborhood where violence was a way of life. Deborah hoped education would be her ticket out. She got a full scholarship to Wesley, but dropped out after only one year. She got a part-time job with an umbrella company answering phones. One day she took a sales call that turned out to be the break of a lifetime. Passing herself off as an account executive, Deborah sold $140,000 worth of umbrellas and landed her first full-time sales job.
Deborah took the umbrella business by storm and went from taking sales calls to running her own company. Although her umbrellas were being sold in museums and major retail stores across the country, balancing her growing company and motherhood has not always been easy. "There have been times in my career when I thought, 'I'm stuck,'" says Deborah. "You have to keep picking yourself up and doing it again, even when everyone says you can't."
Even though this divorced mother of three can afford the best of everything, she refuses to live like a millionaire. "When I watch rich people, I see that the more you live beneath your means, the more you have," Deborah says.