The Force, Inc.
And - Author
If you have the desire to do something, that’s Nature’s way of telling you that you have all the necessary talent inside of you to bring it to fruition.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
You know how a lot of organizations don’t get the reliability they need from their equipment? And that causes chronic downtime, increased costs, and lost production? I help people implement Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) so they can formulate an effective proactive maintenance plan so they get what they need from their machines. That way, they don’t have to live in Reactive Mode, feeling frustrated and stressed out.
I started doing RCM in 1997 as a civilian employee of the US Navy. We applied RCM because we needed to reduce maintenance costs on our mobile support equipment (like tow tractors and mobile air conditioning units). We found great success and were able reduce proactive maintenance by up to 68%. That RCM program is still going strong today (24 years later!).
In 2001, I started to feel like I wanted to apply RCM more broadly and I didn’t want my earning capacity to be limited. So I started by own business (The Force, Inc.). Twenty years later, I am still loving my life as an entrepreneur and RCM is still the (technical) love of my life.
I recently expanded my work to include “Human Reliability.” I know that many people have a big goal they want to achieve. But in order to accomplish it, you need to overcome the invisible obstacles that Life throws your way (like fear, overwhelm, and negative thoughts). The problem is, if you don’t know how to effectively deal with the obstacles, they leave you feeling stuck and crummy about yourself. I believe everyone has a vital Purpose in life, which is why I help people effectively manage the obstacles so they can bring their goals alive.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?
RCM definitely chose me! As a young girl, my father exposed me to aviation, and I fell in love with airplanes. I chose to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where I studied Aerospace Engineering. When I was a senior, the Naval Air Systems Command came and recruited at my college for the position of a logistics intern. Well, I applied and interviewed, and I got the job. So, I started right out of college and I moved around for a while and I always seemed to have flirted with Maintenance and Reliability. I ended up at the Naval Air Warfare Center in Lakehurst, New Jersey. In the beginning, I was bored; I was really looking for something that I could sink my teeth into.
One day In August 1997 I got to work, I put my things away, and my phone rang. I answered it and it was my supervisor. He said “Hey Nancy, have you got a few minutes?” I'm thinking, I just got here so I've got the next eight hours what can I do for you. But I didn't say that. Instead, I said “sure,” and I went upstairs and met with him.
He looked at me and he said “Nancy, we've been tasked from above to do Reliability Centered Maintenance.” I had my notebook and I was taking notes and I wrote down Reliability Centered…what did he say?...I think he said “maintenance”…I wrote down Maintenance. He said “I need you to go figure out what that is and what we need to do to implement it here at Navy Lakehurst.”
Little did I know that that 10-minute meeting on an otherwise ordinary day in August 1997 would set the trajectory for the rest of my life!
HOW DO/DID YOU TACKLE OBSTACLES?
The biggest roadblock I’ve encountered is dealing with my own mind – my own thoughts. I’ve studied the “power of positive thinking” for two decades and I feel like I’ve finally got it figured out. It doesn’t mean you should sit in a room and think about all the things you want, in order for them to magically appear.
It comes down to physics. Thoughts are energy; they have a frequency and a vibration. When we think “ugly” or negative things, we attract ugly and negative circumstances to our life. But, when we hold our goal – our Life’s Purpose – steadfastly in our mind, we begin to attract the people and opportunities we need to bring our goals alive.
It’s a universal law. The challenge is that thinking “positively” is harder than it sounds. I’ve spent the better part of 20 years learning techniques to control my own thoughts. It's a daily battle.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"
One of the most important lessons I think anyone can learn is this: Time is our most valuable asset.
Time is way more valuable than money. Money is a renewable resource. You can always make more money, but you can never make more time.
Time is the great equalizer. It doesn't matter who you are, where you're from, where you live, or what you do for a living. Every human being on the planet gets the same amount of time every day.
And once a moment is gone, it is gone forever. You can never get it back. Our time must be spent even more wisely than we spend our money.
WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?
I love working in STEM because I just know that helping others implement Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) is part of my Life's Purpose. And being around machines is exhilarating to me. My experience and knowledge is theoretical, but I so admire the hands-on maintenance skill that technicians have. My father was a blacksmith and as a young girl, I spent time with him in his "shop." Maybe that's where my love for STEM started...
BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?
If you ever doubt your ability to achieve your heart's desire, know this. If you have the desire to do something, that’s Nature’s way of telling you that you have all the necessary talent inside of you to bring it to fruition. It’s one of life’s laws. It’s as certain as the law of gravity.
“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.”
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow