What has been your biggest challenge in transitioning, and how were you able to overcome it?
Learning how to accept the word ‘no’ and not be crushed by it. At first I would take things personal. Let’s say someone didn’t have a sense of urgency about something I was excited about accomplishing. I’d get down in the dumps, wasting time and energy. I had to tell myself that a ‘no’ is not necessarily personal, and I can’t get stuck on that no. I have to keep pressing [on] and spending energy on getting the ‘yes.’
What were the steps you took to transition from your job, and how can others learn from these in starting their own transitions?
First, in my time in corporate America I worked with senior managers and C-suite executives, which put me in highly visible spaces. That prepped me for communicating with people on all levels of the organization, and helped build my leadership skills in terms of how to interact with people professionally and strengthen relationship-building skills.Â
Second, I connected with other people who were already in the position I wanted to hold. It’s important to learn from those who are already on the path that you seek to take. Third, I was willing to take courses and seminars to help improve my skill set—from business to speaking to coaching. Even before leaving my job, I had to get a coach myself, find people in the industry, and ask the questions: How do I play bigger? How do I use my skills to go further…to push further in my career and in my life? Fourth, I had to build relationships with intention. It’s not what you know or who you know; it’s who knows you. I had to figure out how I [could] serve, support, and nurture relationships before asking for anything.
Lastly, I had to develop a solid and consistent social presence and keep up with the times. A lot of people say they don’t want to be in certain spaces, but you must be where your clients are.