I’m excited to be participating in Quintessential Career’s annual Job Action Day – for its second year. To quote Katherine Hansen, PhD, Quintessential Careers, “While the economy is showing signs of recovery, indications that the recovery will continue to be ‘jobless’ casts a pall over hopes for a full bounce-back. Job Action Day … addresses the jobless recovery by spotlighting promising areas in which the unemployed and other job-seekers may find opportunities.”
As entrepreneur and daredevil pilot Amelia Earhart once said, “The woman who can create her own job is the woman who will win fame and fortune.” Think about the time period when this was said: the 1920’s. In fact, Earhart took her first flying lesson on January 3, 1921, and in six months managed to save enough money to buy her first plane. In 1929, the stock market crashed, which led the Great Depression. In 1932, three years into the depression, Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic and in 1935 she became the first person to fly solo across the Pacific from Honolulu to Oakland, California.
Despite an economic depression, Earhart took risks. You can too. Many of my clients are also taking risks and deciding to pursue entrepreneurship, rather than getting another “job.”
Thomasina Tafur, a former FedEx executive, is one such risk-taker. She told me, “When I got laid off, I heard that small voice telling me, if I really believed in my dreams, now would be the time to take that quantum leap. So I did, [and] I haven’t looked back once!” Tafur has always had a passion to help other women along their journey in life, professionally and personally, and had wanted to do so full time. While still at FedEx, Tafur coached many women along their career paths, including helping them break the glass ceiling. She also helped friends write their business plans for startups and mentored young women from her alumni, the University of Miami.
Like Tafur, Pat Shuler, Sales Trainer, Kickbuttsalestraining.com is passionate about her business. She said “Your business needs to be important to you. It’s a lot of work.”
Tafur agreed, “One surprise was how I’d feel about working so many hours alone. By nature I’m an introvert, but I never realized how much I would miss the constant human interaction. I now make a point of leaving the house at least once a day and participating in networking activities at least three times a week.”
Schuler added, “It’s a double-edged sword, the cool thing is, you get to do everything and be everything. The bad thing is, you get to do everything and be everything.”
But is it worth it in today’s economy? Tafur said, “Absolutely! I’m doing something I love and believe. …. [I] make a greater difference than before. Now that’s a purpose driven life!”
Schuler advises her clients starting out, “Be prepared to work hard, be flexible, and be resilient.” She said that many executives are used to having “minions” to do their administrative work. “You don’t get too many minions when you start your own business. You’ll need to put your capital where you can get the biggest bang, like sales and marketing.”
She said, “You have got to be somebody who can sell and market their business. Not having this skill kills your business.” Or, she recommends, hire a consultant who can advise you in these areas.
Tafur’s advice for start-ups, “Be sure to develop a good business plan, and if possible, keep your day job for as long as you can until you’re fully ready to launch. Hiring an outside person, like me or Wendy [Terwelp], can ensure your plans are objective and that every possible scenario has been considered and thought out thoroughly.”
Are you ready to create your own job and let your dream take wings? Share your lift-off story!