Do you acknowledge certain milestones in your business, carving out time to look back and remember specific challenges or accomplishments? I do, and I think it is helpful to stop and take inventory from time to time. 

It feels like another lifetime, but 13 years ago today I was sitting at this same desk in a different apartment, wondering what I should do first. I was swimming in the emotion ocean and feeling all the feels – excitement, anticipation, and a good measure of fear. 


It was my first day in my new business. 

My last day at my last corporate job was yesterday. I had given back all of my equipment and said goodbye to my colleagues. They wished me well. We probably ate cupcakes. 

But this morning I was in my office wondering how I was going to find clients. I was thrilled to not have to make the commute downtown. I was elated not to be under the constant stress of not enough time or resources to do my job that helped make the company millions of dollars.

My future was uncertain, but it was in my control and I could chart my own path. I had the freedom and flexibility that I desperately wanted. 

I also had six months of expenses in the bank. 

I thought that my background in sales and marketing would ensure my success. I thought that this business would be as financially successful as my business prior to my last corporate job. 

Not so much…

Carol Roth often says starting a business will be three times as difficult, cost three times as much, and take three times longer than you expect. 

In my case, she was right. 

Hindsight is lovely and maddening. If I had it to do over, I would have built my business on the side until there was recurring revenue and the proof of concept had been validated.

But I was single with no kids, no debt, and I could take a risk because it was just me who would be impacted if things went sideways. 

I also had some scary health issues caused by the stress of my job. My body had made it clear it was time to go. 

That job was not sustainable for me and I had to get out. I liked the company and my colleagues, but I was in the wrong position. I tried for two years to transfer to another group, but that didn’t work out. 

Maybe the universe had a different plan for me. 

If you were my client, I would strongly recommend you grow your side hustle first. 

Over time, I grew my skills and worked with some amazing humans. I faced down my demons and impostor syndrome about coaching professionals who had held much higher titles than I ever did. And I was able to get them great results, which felt fantastic. 

Today, it’s 13 years later. So much has happened. I have created thought leadership I am incredibly proud of – presentations, training, courses, an eBook, and a “real” book. 

It has been a wild ride, but as I look back, I would not trade it for anything. 

So, I am raising a mug of coffee to you, my fellow intrepid entrepreneurs. Keep doing your thing, and I’ll keep doing mine. We’ve got this. 

Photo by Bram Naus on Unsplash