This week we wrap up our Strong Women Creating Value series, where we highlight four women in the community who are making waves and creating things of real value in Rochester and southeastern Minnesota.
This week, we're focused on local entrepreneur Sherry Sonnenberg.
Who are you?
My name is Sherry Sonnenberg. I am a mother, an entrepreneur, a business owner, a personal trainer, a business partner, an author, a speaker, and a driver.
What value are you creating in the community?
My success is determined by helping as many other people reach success in life personally and professionally as I can. I help business owners succeed by providing them with the software my company (Next Level Suite) developed to be able to communicate effectively with their prospects and customers via phone, email, text message, and video messages. I provide opportunities for health and wellness professionals by providing a space at a low cost for other personal trainers to train their clients without all of the overhead costs on their own. This helps to make it affordable for them to be an entrepreneur and in turn help more people in the community reach their fitness goals here in Rochester (Fitness 4 Ever) and in my second location in Fargo, ND, with upcoming locations in Grand Forks, ND and Tampa, FL. I also work directly with people as 1:1 personal training clients via online personal training. I am an independent associate for IDLife, where I help people determine what supplements and vitamins will help them function at their highest capacity. As I build a team of other health/wellness professionals with IDLife, we will help people lose weight and function at 100% on a daily basis anywhere in the country.
You will find me driving for Lyft on the weekends while my kids are with their dad. I do this as a way to meet more people and get some really great stories! It allows me to not only make but save money versus going out myself and spending it. I want to provide the best possible life for my children and that means saving for their future and mine, so I can work hard now and play hard when I can retire by the time I am 50. The more people I can help now in my different adventures, the more likely this goal will be able to be achieved.
In my free time, I like to read and write. I co-authored a book called LUCK- Where Preparation Meets Opportunity in 2016. I am currently working on writing books on multi-cultural families and co-parenting. Although the father of my children and I have been separated for two years, we have nailed down the co-parenting like rock stars. We 100% always focus on what is in the best interest of our kids. For example, we just took a trip together to Disney World and Universal Studios to surprise our twin daughters for their 9th birthday.
What are your responsibilities in your day to day job?
My main responsibility from day to day is to ensure that each of my businesses is operating at the highest level. That all of my customers are happy and taken care of is the utmost important thing that I address each and every day, not just Monday through Friday.
What does it mean to you to be a woman in business?
Being a woman in business means I am showing my daughters that they can be anything they want to be with a little determination, hard work, and dedication. I was raised to work hard on the farm where nothing was taken for granted. I want to teach my daughters that anything of value is earned, not given to you, and you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
Being a woman in business means giving my 100% in everything that I do in every aspect of my life. It means being able to support my dad in North Dakota by physically being with him for five to fourteen days every month for the first seven months after my mom passed away while still being able maintain and grow my businesses from a distance.
What ask do you have for women in the SE Minnesota business and entrepreneurial community?
I ask that you believe in yourself. You are 100% possible of achieving 100% of your dreams and goals 100% of the time. Be the example of a powerful independent woman for those young girls and boys who are watching you. I ask that you build other women and men up instead of knocking them down. Support local business as much as possible and see the good/positive in every aspect of your life. When you practice gratitude in your own life, you view everything and everyone in a different light.
What challenges do you think that women face in today’s society?
With social media and filters on all of our pictures, the perfect image that society holds for a woman is unrealistic. I think that so much pressure is put on the youth today because of additional challenges that come from social media and how quickly rumors and falsities can be spread. It is easy for a person to sit behind their computer and knock another person down with their hateful words. Being on the receiving end of this hate can be detrimental to a young person. We need to teach our daughters and sons to build others up, to not let other's hate affect us, and to stand up for what they believe in.