When Nothing's Right, Go Left
I find that I’m usually looking forward to the next step in my career. I grow restless with the status quo easily, which might explain my on again, off again affair with being a freelancer: I’ll work a real job for two years, then, get antsy, embark on a great freelancing mission (and maybe cut my hair), do that for one year, grow tired of the hustle, then get a job again. That pattern makes sense for my personality. But when it comes to taking next steps in my entrepreneurial ventures—which can sometimes means shifting direction and scaling back— that’s a lot tougher. Pivoting in my business is always much harder than quitting a job because it feels like I’m giving up a piece of me. I’m somewhat of a control freak, so not knowing what would happen on the other side of the pivot is a terrifying thing. But when all the signs are pointing to change, it’s time to leap. I recently made I made a tough business choice: rebranding Ladypreneur League to #gowrkgrls.
I’m working at a corporate gig that I really like—but the grueling schedule made running a platform like Ladypreneur League a beast. There was no way I could work all day and keep up with managing blog contributors and scheduling their posts or designing, marketing and executing Ladypreneur League programming. I was even too tired to network after work to spread the gospel of Ladypreneur League—and I love networking! In the middle of the whirlwind of work, I missed a crucial deadline to trademark Ladypreneur by one week. My trademark registration application got denied.
The trademark denial, coupled with the fact that I was already feeling terrible about running a skeletal version of Ladypreneur League, made me start to confront the need for change.
The next step I took was small. I simply reviewed the robust business plan I’d created and picked out the products I could manage with my schedule and that would bring me joy to work on. It was such a “duh” moment, but it helped me start finding my flow. I could see a way to continue. So Ladypreneur League 2.0 would be #gowrkgrls, an app that facilitates business relationships among women and focuses on community building.
While I’ve never been a tech founder before, and I sometimes wonder what am I even doing right now, the more steps I take, the more confidence I gain.
There are a plethora of next steps to make during the span of a career. I believe there are no right or wrong answers either, just different paths to take. Along the way, revel in the resources set out for business women – skill development (continuing education, workshops, taking the GMAT and nabbing an MBA), your business besties, your mentors, and organizations like Forté Foundation.