Owner-Operator of the Month

| January 01, 2012

WORK TOWARD GOALS. Simpson works to continually improve profits by controlling spending, she says. “The theory is it’s not how much you make, but how much you keep. If I need something, I get it. If I want something, I just think about it.”

She also sets safety goals. “It’s a goal of mine to reach a million safe miles,” says Simpson, who already has nearly 750,000.

STAY ON TOP OF PM. “Everybody’s out here to make money,” Simpson says. “You don’t want to waste it by being complacent about repairs. It’s much cheaper to take your truck to the shop when you have downtime than to get it towed because you were too complacent or too lazy or you just had too much on your mind.”

GAIN BUSINESS KNOWLEDGE. When she lived in Australia, Simpson worked in banking and for an attorney. She worked in the lending branch of the bank and dealt with small businesses and business plans.

“The details differ in every business, but there is a core there that’s with every business,” she says. “When I worked in banking, I could see trends and see where businesses were failing. I wasn’t realizing how much knowledge I was gaining, but now I can look at my business and know what caused downturns and what made things better.”

Though other owner-operators may lack the business background she does, Simpson says, anyone can learn about business basics. She says she continues to use self-help learning options online and through carriers.

Gaining Dual Citizenship

Simpson poses with a kangaroo at the Wilsons Promontory National Park in Victoria, Australia, roughly 20 years ago.

After moving to the United States from Australia in 1999, Jeanette Simpson married and attained working rights. After she divorced, she could have stayed in the United States with green card, permanent-resident status, but she wanted to consider dual-citizenship options. “I didn’t want to risk not being able to visit my mother or my family,” she says.

In 2009, she found out she qualified for dual status and applied for it in January 2010. She became a U.S. citizen on Aug. 31, 2010. “It’s been fantastic,” she says.

Though it didn’t change her day-to-day life much, she says it changed her business in that she’s been able to gain access to ports and other areas she didn’t before.

Professional Pipes

Jeanette Simpson calls singing at a local recording studio “her outlet,” and she sets aside time on off days to record songs.

She started recording at home in 1998. When a friend died in 2000, she recorded a song to be played at the memorial. “It’s kind of like a drug,” she says. “I can disappear from all the other problems and just sing and relax.”

She’s achieved one goal by recording an entire album, and hopes to write and record an album of her own music. “I just want to continue to improve and hope one day I get to the point where I can do that.”

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