Let me share one of the hardest lessons that I personally learned January 30, 2016. Job and security are two words that should never be spoken in the same breath - period. They are not related by any stretch of the imagination, and anyone that believes that they can secure their future by punching a clock is a fool. There - I said it!
It was on that day in January that I learned how valuable I was NOT to my employer. While I negotiated a very generous severance pay package, the money did not make leaving feel any easier. I wish I could say the same for them - with a stroke of pen and the click of a mouse, I was erased from their database like I never existed.
It was relatively simple - once I had outlived my usefeulness, the company that professed to care, could've cared less. The first time I felt professionally vulnerable and financially insecure. After I had the requisite "What the hell did you just do?" discussion with myself I had to accept that I had put my destiny in the hands of people who could never make me successful.
It wasn't their job to secure my future, make me wealthy or consider my well being. I got caught up in the hype of my role and forgot my responsibility to myself and my big picture. Never again!
Here are the six actions I took to ensure that I was never, never ever, NEVER EVER EVER in that position again:
Resist the urge to panic! - I realized that this was the time I had been praying for - time to give birth to the ideas that I had been carrrying for years. You can always get another blanket - I mean job - but there may never be another time as exciting as now! I spent a full month just brainstorming and researching all the ideas that inspired me. Daisy Ventures LLC (my holding company), The Grown Woman Chronicles, Leslie Andrews Consulting and Leslie Speaks! were all born with more to come.
Get your grind going with several revenue streams - I have been blessed to have substantial contact with several billionaires throughout my career and one thing they all have in common is multiple streams of income AT ALL TIMES. There is no reliance on one business to secure their lifestyle. Following their example, I set-up a home office (great tax write-off) and got busy. Along with my companies, I have a platinum World Ventures travel business (www.teamonfire.dreamtrips.com ) which I highly recommend and I am looking into real estate development for 2018. The options are endless - paid focus groups and surveys, product tester, paid workshops, secret shopping - find something that interests you, fits your schedule, and do it!
Stay active - To manage the stress of reinvention I choose to lift weights and run 5Ks. Health is wealth - period. Being in good condition is good for your business as well. Your health care costs will be lower and you will be able to build a better company.
Get a coach - Don't do it alone! I cannot emphasize enough the importance of good coaching as you navigate this transformation. I have two coaches - Kathy Wilson-Duprey (coachkathywilson.com) and Kim Bettie (greateradvantage.com/kimbettie). Both advise me on specific aspects of my business but also provide me with much needed support when I get off track and need encouragement.
Establish your brand - By establish I mean, stay relevant by keeping your name out there. I participate on public panels, take leadership positions in nonprofit organizations that interest me and have some level of profile, and of course write this blog. I am always looking for ways to be visible to my community with the expressed purpose of staying top of mind. Trust me it works!
Launch before you are ready - I cannot tell you with certainty how many times I tinkered with this blog before I launched it. I was striving for a perfect reflection of the purpose I had in my heart, but to no avail. No matter what I did the look was just not quite right, but guess what? I launched anyway. Jump! Go! Move! There is no such thing as perfection, just action. Just launch/leap/start/go/move - the world is waiting on your gift!
I believe in you!
The Queen of Badassery