From the pool to the sales floor: Channing Flaherty

On a bi-weekly basis, Louisville Women’s Sports posts the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Parks & Weisberg, Realtors ® Business Profile and features a local successful businesswoman with former student-athlete experience.  To learn more about Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Parks & Weisberg, visit: www.bhhsparksweisberg.com.

If there is a specific local businesswoman that you’d like to be featured, email future suggestions to conor.revell@gmail.com. This week’s feature is on former Sacred Heart swimming star Channing Flaherty who is now an area sales manager at Enterprise.

1.) What is your athletic background (school and/or club) and education (High school-Collegiate)?

Varsity swimming, tennis and golf all four years of high school for Sacred Heart Academy. Two time member of State Champion swim team at SHA. I lettered in all three sports.

2.) How did athletics teach you to overcome adversity in the workplace?

Swimming was my primary sport throughout my life. Swimming never has an “off season” so you are trained to always stay focused on your goals. In swimming you wake up early for morning practice before school and go to practice after school too. It required discipline and time management to get homework and extra-curricular activities completed in between practices, not to mention trying to keep up with a social life! This discipline is no doubt what has helped me throughout my career to stay focused, keep a steady schedule, and prioritize my to do list.

As far as overcoming adversity, I think the best way I can apply this is to realize that I was never the most talented swimmer on the team. However, hard work, dedication, and discipline helped me to excel in the sport throughout high school. The same is true in my career. I am not necessarily the smartest or most gifted sales person, but I do the little things every day to separate myself from my competition. I strive to always be my best just like I did years ago in swimming. I am a firm believer that nothing good comes with ease. If it was easy, everyone would do it. Take the road less traveled and you will find success.

3.) What was the most challenging point of your athletic career?

During high school I was very conflicted on where to spend my time. I wanted to excel at swimming, but I started to realize that I may have greater talent in other sports like golf. I also started recognizing that I wanted to take on leadership roles in school and get more involved in social activities with friends. It was hard to decide where I wanted to spend my time. This was the first time in my life that I really had to make decision like this. Now that I am married with a son, a career and many hobbies/interests, I find myself making choices like this on a daily basis.

4.) What has been the most challenging point in your professional career?

At Enterprise, my peers compete on a national level. Being a very competitive person, my goal is to always finish on the top of the performance report at the end of our fiscal year. Two years in a row as an Account Manager, I finished just one spot shy of qualifying for our sales trip and walking the stage at our national meeting. This absolutely crushed me to put in all of the work and come so close but fail to reach my goal two years in a row. Finally, last year, I was able to achieve my goal, finishing 2nd in the country amongst my peers which also paved my way to a promotion as an area sales manager just a few months later. I am convinced that my determination and drive is a product of my competitive experience in sports.

5.) What is your advice to young student athletes today?

Make a habit of setting goals and then go after them with every bone in your body. The feeling you get when achieving your goals is worth every bit of pain and sacrifice that comes with it. When you fall short of your goals, learn from the experience. There is always something you can take away from the process. The same is true in the workplace. Mistakes are actually learning opportunities in disguise.

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Have fun and enjoy what you are doing. When you look back 10 years from now, you won’t remember if you scored a certain goal or achieved a certain race time. What you will remember is the friends you made, the challenges you overcame, and the memories you created. Smile!

Find a mentor. Mentors can come in the form of a coach, a former player, a teacher, or a peer. You should have mentors throughout your life and you should mentor others when you have the opportunity. I have been very blessed with great mentors throughout my athletic and professional careers.