I'm frequently asked how I ended up here, so I thought this would be the best first blog topic Honey Bee Marketing Solutions (HBMS) could put out. Most posts will be about true marketing but this will be our foundation, because honestly, it is my foundation. So, our story begins.....
More than a year ago I left day-to-day corporate America. The get up, check my phone for "urgent topic of the day", 12 hour work days kind of corporate America. I had experienced great success in a job I absolutely adored but the rest of my life was passing me by while I dedicated my life to someone else's vision. My children were growing up and I was missing it. A handful of special people in my life were dealing with serious illness and the warning bell of life's preciousness was ringing in my head. I wanted a true work-life balance, not just something I was professing during recruiting events. I was at a crossroads. So, after months of deliberation and with the tremendous support of my husband, I dove head first into the unknown.
The first few days and weeks were a mixture of elation and sleep; lots and lots of sleep. After I woke up on day one and realized I had no new emails, I freaked out. I created a new daily schedule, balancing the week between doing nothing (picture binge watching every season of Sons of Anarchy) because I could barely think and seeing all the friends I missed when my head was buried in my work. At some point, I really "woke up" and moved on to the "list". You know, the great list of things you never got to when you were working. We all have one and mine was home improvement, cleaning out and organizing. And man, did I clean out, both physically and mentally.
The following few months was a mix of every emotion you can imagine. I like to call this the "Rebuilding Season". I had shifted gears from the driver to the supporter of some very important people - my husband and my kids. For someone who had spent their entire adult life building a personal brand and career, that was quite a shift. Like a car going from 80 mph to 5 mph in seconds. But, with every day I found my way knowing that this path I had chosen was the right one. Being there for my kids on a daily basis fortified a relationship with each of them that is truly indescribable. I went to boot-camp every other day - like a "I think I'm going to die" boot-camp. But that pushed me both mentally and physically in a way nothing else could. And through all that hard work began to emerge the new "me".
In that "rebuilding season", the idea of my future began to take shape. I was waking up every morning with the urge to create and do. At the same time a dear friend was helping a company expand their brand and in that, expanding her own brand. She asked for help, and in an instant, I was reminded of what I love to do and my passion was reborn. I LOVE and know how to help people grow - themselves, their ideas and their brands and my wonderful network was asking for my help. Jackpot!! I began to create HBMS and in the days and weeks that followed new opportunities emerged.
The last few months have been the "growing stage". There's nothing that forces you to dig deep and find your drive like building a company from scratch. I have found my authenticity and this journey has brought me to a place I could have never arrived at had I stayed on the easy path with the job I adored. Marketing your personal brand is hard but the rewards are so worth it.
So my lessons from the deep end:
10. Plan and communicate IN ADVANCE with your support network. This is a big change for everyone.
9. Allow yourself every possible emotion. Some days are plain old scary but tomorrow is a new day.
8. Prepare yourself for surprises - you'll learn so much about yourself and the people around you. In my case, some of my biggest champions were not who I would have guessed 12 months ago.
7. Take the time to invest in yourself. For me, it was bootcamp and house projects. Yours might be bartending school or training for a triathalon. Take the time to build yourself and develop your own authenticity. Your personal brand will be more valuable in the end.
6. Be patient with yourself. Don't create unreasonable timelines. Anyone who knows me knows this is my biggest challenge. This adventure takes months, not weeks.
5. Get comfortable with the uncomfortable. You'll need to live in the uncertain but through that comes strength. As Dory says in Finding Nemo "just keep swimming".
4. Rejoice in the freedom that being on your own allows you. Meet your spouse for lunch, be with the kids, listen to their laughter, join them when they invite you to do something. You can still work hard and LIVE life.
3. Network with someone different every single day. You never know where your next project may lie.
2. Believe in yourself with the confidence that you know how to swim. Surround yourself with the people who believe in you and cheer you on. You'll find great strength from the energy of their support.
1. TAKE RISKS. If you do nothing else, try something new; prepare for failure, readjust and keep trying. If you didn't fail, you weren't risky enough.