This week on IAW’s podcast Unlimited HERizons our host and president, Megan Bozzuto, chatted with a long-time member, Dr. Carol Soloway, about standing up to the stigma that mothers can’t return to the working world. Before she earned her doctorate, Carol was an English teacher with three children and a dream to become a chiropractor. She faced rejection from NYU, a divorce, selling her house, and setting up a business with no connections to build what is now an extremely successful generational practice.
“I built my chiropractic practice from nothing. I got a divorce right after graduating, my graduation present,” said Dr. Soloway. “I sold my house and put all the money into the practice. I had no plan B. The practice became extremely successful by hard work. I mean even going to networking meetings and sleeping in the office. By the way, I only had enough for three months. I had to not only break even but make money after three months.”
Today, her son runs her practice, and her grandson will graduate soon to continue the legacy of chiropractors in the family. But Dr. Soloway does not stop there as she works as a qualified medical examiner due to her love of the forensic atmosphere. You may also know her as the author of the International Amazon Bestseller, The Surprise Circus.
With all her wonderful lived experiences, there is a lot to learn from Carol’s story. Here are a few pieces of advice she shared with Megan:
Mothers Can Be Serious!
Dr. Soloway applied to two universities, one was her alma mater NYU, and the other was Columbia University. At the interview for NYU, the admissions officer said, “I would not accept you because you can’t be serious with three children.” Carol explains it was an example of the sexist environment she lived through, as it was forbidden for female school teachers to wear pants. Columbia was too far away, and with rejection from NYU, she went to a chiropractor school closer to where she lived. Her story and success prove that mothers can be very serious about their career aspirations.
Time Management Will Always Be a Challenge
Even today, she finds it challenging to keep up with all her careers, hobbies, and family life. Carol always plays tennis every night to relieve stress and, while it cuts down her sleep time, she finds that cutting out those few hours works for her. “There is something that has to give when you are trying to do everything. The big thing is not feeling guilty. That’s critical, and that’s something that I am just learning,” she said. We can’t all be Super Women who manage everything. “Let and seek the help offered to you, or even if it’s not, requesting it is so counterintuitive to many of us,” says Dr. Soloway.
Networking is Everything
Starting from zero meant that Carol had no resources to kick off her business. She began to connect people to others she met. Forty years ago, the massage therapist she met at the tennis club started sending her patients which built the foundation of her practice. They continued to send each other patients throughout the years. Then, during the COVID 19 pandemic, her friend could not treat patients without a doctor’s note. Carol stepped in and reciprocated the favor forty years later. “If you meet someone and try to think ‘will this person be a good prospect for me?’ No, what can I do for this person,” says Dr. Soloway.
Want to listen to Dr. Carol Soloway’s full story and get more advice? Listen to Unlimited Herizons updated weekly with different amazing professional women telling their stories. All IAW members can connect with Dr. Carol Soloway in the IAW Community!