Seven years ago this week, I took a leap of faith and quit my cushy job at the House of Blues. I was the head of strategic marketing for the venues which at the time included eight clubs and over 20 concert arenas. It was a great job and I enjoyed working there for several years surrounded by some amazing people with whom I still remain close to today. Most people would not have walked away as I did. After all, I had survived three rounds of layoffs since the great dot-com bust of 2000. But while most people saw demise of an industry, I saw opportunity. Many of my colleagues were being laid off yet most companies still had the same work that had to be done and outsourcing was becoming very widespread. So why not outsource that to me?
Together with a recently laid off HOB colleague, we started our own marketing consulting company. The funny thing was every time we met with a client, they were confusing marketing with P.R. (at the time, P.R. was still very much about media outreach and begging for coverage.) So we decided we would be a P.R. company, why not?
By 2005 my partner and I had broken off into my own small companies, each concentrating our better strengths. It has been an amazing ride, I must say. In the beginning I was so scared, yet it was always a great scared. I felt empowered even when I was broke. With no steady paycheck I have depended on my clients paying me in a timely fashion, which sometimes is not so timely. I have had several holidays with no cash (clients tend to hold off on payments around that time of the year) but it’s never been so bad I felt like giving up.
I have been reflecting all this week as it’s my anniversary and I am so proud of what I’ve accomplished. A good friend asked me over lunch last week what surprised me most about this journey and I listed these:
- The fact that I am actually good at this
- That I am doing it alone without a partner
- The list of things I still want to conquer (such as speaking, writing, etc.)
- How much fun I am having, still
Have you taken a leap of faith? What has surprised you about your journey?