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Cara Brookins On How She Went From IT Worker To Homebuilder

“I didn’t have to know how to do the whole thing. To take one step forward. I didn’t have to know how to build a whole house to start building a house. Sometimes you just start by starting,” says Cara Brookins, a professional speaker and author.

When Cara Brookins was looking for a way for her and her children to feel safe she knew it started in the house, so she decided to build themselves a whole new home.

“You know what sealed the deal for us. Just looking at my kids’ eyes. Just the idea of this house, it changed. It changed the way they were sitting in their chambers when they were gonna try to change what they believe is possible. My kids and I wanted a better life. We wanted a safe way,” said Cara Brookins, professional speaker and author.

The inspiration started with a “how to make a bundt cake” on YouTube. It led the software architect-turned-professional speaker and author to rely how-to videos to successfully build her 3,500-square-foot house.

“This was the first project that I really went 100 percent all-in on. I didn’t have a plan B. There was no chance of anything else working so going all-in on a project like that, you do that for every project now. If you make a plan B you’ll take it,” Brookins said.

Brookins shared her struggle with domestic violence that led to her and her four children taking on the massive project.

From drawing up an amateur blueprint of the house to grappling with plumbing issues, Brookins dropped valuable lessons about resilience and the importance of ‘just starting’ — a message that resonated with attendees at The Channel Company’s Women of the Channel West 2022 leadership summit.

“Really empowering women in the family and her family and building her house from scratch. That was a great message about starting, just start to start,” said Tricia Jennett, senior director of global partner marketing at NetApp.

“I didn’t have to know how to do the whole thing. To take one step forward. I didn’t have to know how to build a whole house to start building a house. Sometimes you just start by starting,” Brookins said.

It’s a lesson that can be applied as attendees grow their careers even further in the channel.

“I think it gave me the nice inspiration to just even if I don‘t know something to just take the first step to start and that’s the key is to just take that first step and then move forward and learn as you go,” Jennett said.

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