This year, LDS businesswoman Gail Miller received the Rosa Parks Award in Utah and she became the third woman to win the Utah Leadership Award. Not only that, but she also published her autobiography.
Recently, Gail Miller sat down with LDS Living and shared how she achieves success while keeping her faith strong.
Success and Childhood
Few people would guess Miller grew up in impoverished circumstances. About her childhood, Miller says, “Being poor wasn’t a detriment to me. You don’t have to have stuff—you just have to have what’s inside of you. My mother was a master at teaching her children, ‘You are of worth. You are a child of God. The glory of God is intelligence. Cleanliness is next to godliness.’ Those kinds of lessons were deeply instilled in me. It wasn’t what we had that was important; it was what we were that was valuable. And that became my foundation. It has served me well all through my life."
When people ask her what she would buy with the money she now has, she’s quick to sincerely reply, “I’m content with what I have. It’s not that I have everything, but I’m happy because I don’t have a lot of needs. I’ve tried to keep that level of consistency in my life— to not want a lot of worldly things. That’s not where success is, in my opinion. Success is like a report card if you work hard, but it’s not the reward for working hard. The reward for working hard is what you learn and can share with others.”
She continues, “My life is very different from the way I grew up. I’ve never forgotten how I grew up and the sacrifices that my parents made, and I think my perspective on success is still the same; I think you make your own success, and you make your own happiness. You can’t rely on others to make you happy. It has to come from within.”
According to Gail, however, the most important thing to remember is that “there is a higher power always watching over you and ready to help you. Day in and day out, be consistent with your efforts. If you have a goal and you want to get there, you have to do something about it. You have to make a plan and then day after day after day adhere to your plan.”
Gail’s advice to anyone who wants to strengthen their faith is, “Don’t do it for anybody else. Do it for you, because if there’s something inside you telling you that this is the right thing or that you have a void that you need filled, that’s reason enough to go back. There’s no need for embarrassment; there’s no need for feeling lost or feeling awkward. It’s a place of love. And it’s a place people will embrace you and help you find your way.”
About her own journey of faith, Miller shares, “The blessing for us that came through [returning to] church was that we recognized that we had been given a stewardship, and as long as we took care of that stewardship and magnified our callings, the Lord would give us more because He could trust us. He could trust us to do what was right with it and share with those around us.”
“You can make a difference with little things,” Gail says, “and I think Heavenly Father expects [women] to use our talents to bless and serve each other. . . . He didn’t leave this all up to the men. He created Adam and Eve, and we have to remember that we are following the strength of Eve as we use what we are given to do good things.”
Being a businesswoman—especially a Latter-day Saint one—isn’t always easy. Miller says, “Being a prominent woman in business is very challenging because it is a man’s world, and even though I don’t actually run the company, I do oversee it, and I choose to follow the standards that Larry and I set, the values we espoused, and continue to do the things that we wanted to do in the community." Gail works to make her voice heard and believes that women can make a valuable contribution wherever they are. “I really think Heavenly Father has given women an opportunity to make the world a better place because we have a different kind of strength than men have,” she says. “It’s very important to represent yourself as an LDS woman—don’t ever be ashamed of that. There are so many good things about our church and so many valuable lessons you learn as you go through life because of the teachings of the Church.”
Learn more about Miller's life in Courage to Be You.
Gail Miller might seem as though she has it easy—now. But she has experienced challenges in nearly every aspect of her life: financial struggles, family trials, and personal loss. Through it all, she has had courage to move forward and remain grounded in her faith.
In Courage to Be You, Gail encourages readers to find their own path—with the help of the Lord. Her candid stories and personal insights about faith, hard work, grief, and many more topics are both fascinating and inspiring.