julianne kirkland athens gaJulianne Kirkland owns and operates Sorella Hair Studio, works as a motivational speaker, and runs a blog — Oh my QUAD! —all about being a mother to multiples.

Last year, while running a small business and raising two young boys, Julianne and her husband Matthew received a surprise: they would be having three more boys and a girl.

For the Love of Learning

Julianne’s first salon job was a part-time position on the front desk of Sophisticated Shapes. During that period, she saw how much people opened up to salon staff and stylists, whose compassion compared to that of a counselor or a nurse.

Julianne’s job involved more than just answering the phone — she was interacting with guests and getting to know their stories. She soon became front desk manager, where she was overseeing operations.

When Julianne had her second child, she stayed home to care for her kids full-time. But after six months, she was ready for something different. She wanted to live intentionally, and grow other peoples’ lives. Julianne knows that a connection allows her a degree of influence, and she uses that opportunity to draw on her values and serve people as positively as possible.

Hire for Hearts

Julianne is interested in leadership and helping others, and she realized she wanted to have a “mom movement,” which she found through her writing in blog posts, speeches, and social media. And because being a stay-at-home mom is the hardest job she’s had, she also wanted to run a business that helps people grow. So she became the kind of boss that strives to see each staffer fulfill her dreams.

After starting Sorella, Julianne didn’t take a paycheck for the first three years. In her words, she’s “in love with learning, and the more you know, the more you realize you don’t!” When times were hard, she found purpose in seeing the incremental goals that her team was achieving through her business, whether buying a car or moving into a house. An employee once said that before meeting Julianne, she’d never had anyone tell her that they were proud of her.

Julianne hires for hearts, and trains for skill. She knows that she can’t train kindness, but she does personal development sessions with her team each month. She wants to propel her people to their goals, whatever they may be.

My team came together like never before. When you take care of the innards, the outer works. We provide the education to improve their skills, but we also provide the driving force that tells them to go after their dreams.

Defend Your Possibility

While juggling a demanding job, a marriage, and six kids, Julianne focuses on what’s in front of her: what’s the plan for today? What will she accomplish? She believes that interruptions are inevitable, and that they can be beautiful.

Her biggest challenge is summed up in John Maxwell’s Law of Process, which states that leadership grows day by day, not in a day. Julianne believes that anything worthwhile is an uphill journey, and although many people have downhill habits, hopes are uphill. She works to let go of bad habits, negative thinking, and naysayers, so that she can live up to who she is.

Don’t defend your inability, defend your possibility. We get so caught up in why we can’t, instead of why we can. You’re going to encounter obstacles. That doesn’t mean stop; it means if you can get through it, it’s absolutely the way to get through it. Challenge accepted!