The image of a successful entrepreneur is often that of a lone wolf, someone who has the drive and passion to guide their business idea to life largely on their own. While a strong inner compass is a must, it’s a myth that every entrepreneur brings their vision to life singlehandedly. This is especially true for small business owner Louise Masin Sattler, founder of Signing Families™, a sign language instructional company based in Los Angeles. Louise has always relied on one particular cheerleader, her business-savvy best friend, Mary Susa Ricardo. From the very start and through the years, Mary has reinforced Louise’s confidence, faith and passion, supplying all the wisdom and extra courage she needed to launch and grow her business.
Louise’s trust in and respect for Mary is so profound because they share a friendship that spans 50-plus years. They spent a childhood as next-door neighbors in Lake Ronkonkoma, a suburb on Long Island, New York. According to Mary, Louise was always the leader. "She made up this summer camp," says Mary. "Although it was just the two of us, we had our own camp song and a lemonade stand. Louise was an entrepreneur even then."