When I was young, I realized that everyone around me was working all the time, and couldn’t wait for 5 PM and for the weekend, so they could come home and (finally) have fun.
That didn’t make sense to me. I decided that I was going to do what I love for my work – not only between 9 AM and 5 PM. And I’ve done that, and am still doing it.
When I set out to do that, I looked at the things I did really well, and things I loved to do. I studied and developed skills in those areas, and chose the corporate positions that fit those things.
My corporate career started as an Account Executive in Manhattan. I did that successfully as a top producer, and after a while, I was ready for new challenges.
Then a global consulting firm brought me in to start and manage a national selling skills program for their partners. In less than 2 years we increased the size and scope of engagements as much as 25%. I stayed on there, even though there wasn’t a lot to do.
At that time, a lot of mergers and acquisitions were happening. I made it through them, though it was always in the back of my mind – Would I make it this time? When would the next one be?
And when I looked at my life — really looked at it — I realized that I wanted something more. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I wanted to be in charge of my own schedule, who I worked with, be in charge of my income.
I didn’t want to be just another corporate leader. I wanted to build a different kind of life. One where I not only did work that I could be proud of and that fulfilled me. One that gave me the freedom to live as I wanted. And make the difference in the world that I’d always dreamed of.
I envisioned myself having more time to spend with my family and friends. I wanted to travel, to meet new and interesting people. I wanted to spend time on our boat. And I wanted to be in control of my income, and not be subject to the whims of someone else’s company.
The meeting that changed my life
I’ll never forget the day we were told that there was a meeting, and everyone must be there. That was unusual. The rumors were flying – it’s a merger or acquisition, they’re downsizing, someone’s leaving. Or what?!
We sat at the oval round wood conference table in a silent conference room. My boss was already there. Not a good sign – she was always the last to arrive. When everyone had gathered, she told us that there was a merger, and that we would all be working from the NJ office of the other company.
I realized 3 things: 1) The commute to NJ was impossible – more than 2 hours each way. 2) The work wasn’t anything close to what I wanted to do, and 3) I was going to start my own business. And I did.
When I was working with my clients, I found that after they got traction with their business, they were too busy to grow their business and get more clients. And I knew from my own experience that there were easier and faster ways to get clients. I’d learned and used them in my sales career.
I decided to make that my specialty – how to get new clients effectively and efficiently, in less time than traditional methods. I analyzed and studied how many entrepreneurs were doing their sales and social media. And I found huge time-wasters: Things that took hours and hours, and got no results. My clients often see results in the first week or two.
I designed and gave my Turn your Connections into Clients: From Networking & Social Media to Clients method, where my clients were able to get fast results – build relationships and create new clients. I also designed and gave my Speak to Sell program that teaches entrepreneurs how to give their Signature Talk that has audience members ready to work with them before the presentation is finished. So they sell their services and books on stage and at the back of the room. Also very successful. Half of the people in the program were booked to speak and as podcast guests within 2 weeks or less, and one was booked to speak through October.
After I left corporate, I discovered that it’s very different from entrepreneurship. I didn’t have staff – I was wearing all the hats, doing everything (until I hired a VA – virtual assistant). I hesitated getting out there and networking because it felt as though I wasn’t ready (in corporate, you’re the expert if you’re in the front of the room, so heaven help you if you’re not 110% prepared! LOL)
I was also working a 9-to-5 day – just like corporate. Only I was missing out on things I wanted to do. Then I realized that I was suffering from “Corporate Hangover” – thinking that I had to work the same hours I did in corporate. Wait a minute! I’m an entrepreneur now!
So I changed my schedule. Now I do the things that are really important to me. And live my life that way.
Now sidestepping Corporate Hangover is a part of all of my consulting.
If this resonates with you, and you see yourself here, let’s chat.