Q: And after high school?
A: Upon graduation, I married my high school sweetheart. He was a year older and had served a year in the U.S. Air Force. I was 17. We lived six months in New Mexico and then his orders took us to Japan, where I learned the language and worked for a time as a Japanese translator for Hertz. Shortly after our first daughter was born, we were transferred back to Edmond, where I've lived ever since.
Q: Did you ever want to be a stay-at-home mom?
A: Yes. That's why I started my first medical transcription business, because you can work from home in your PJs. My mom and mother-in-law helped watch my infant daughter and I squeezed a yearlong medical transcription program at the Andrews School into two months, training for nine-hour days. My first assignment, I worked for a company that contracted with the VA Hospital. But then I started my own network with 20 or 30 MTs (medical transcriptionists), which grew to 250 nationwide when I sold the company in 2008. The sale went bad, and I wasn't paid. So I started my second medical transcription company in December 2009. It's become almost like a calling for me, as many of our MTs are single moms or widowers. I trained some myself.
Q: What led you to start your commercial cleaning business?
A: I learned some of the physicians I served were having trouble finding a good janitorial service. So I saw a need and thought I can do this. At first, it was a real family affair that involved all of us. My daughters learned to clean toilets so thoroughly that you could eat off them.
Q: What business advice would you give budding entrepreneurs?
A: You can't be afraid to fail. Plenty of times, I've had my nose shoved into the ground. And when I lost my first transcription business, I wanted to crawl into a hole and die. But at the end of the day, you get back up, get back out there and get to work.
Founding principal, GT Clean corporate housekeeping company and Encore medical transcription service
• Birth date: Oct. 25, 1972
• Ancestry: Part Choctaw, she and her biological daughters are on tribal rolls
• Family: Kevin Sloan, information technology professional and husband of four and half years; daughters Kiley Simco, 24; Larryn (“La-La”) Jenkins, 19; Kali Jenkins, 16; and Sophia Jenkins, 6 (abandoned at birth in China, she joined the family at 11 months old)
• Residence: Edmond
• Education: Graduate of the Andrews School for medical transcription and Guthrie High School
• Church home: Crossings Community Church
• Favorite charity: Oklahoma City-based Beautiful Dream Society, formed to end human trafficking here and in Africa
• Community involvement: American Heart Association (her daughter Kali has a heart condition), Oklahoma Venture Forum, Oklahoma Business Roundtable and three chambers of commerce
• Travel: Through the Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce, she's visited Canada, Mexico and Spain; Jamaica is next