Michele had been working at TechTravel for eighteen years, providing corporate travel solutions for both small and large companies, when she was summoned into the VP’s office of human resources. He explained the company had to make cutbacks, and although her performance was right on target, the company was being forced to layoff twenty percent of it’s most valuable employees. He explained she would have an hour to pack her personal items, turn in her keys and computer, and then security would escort her out through the front doors.
Michele had a few hours before the school bus dropped off the kids, and another hour later, her husband would be home. When she curled up on the couch, the doubt started sinking in. What was she going to do? What value is she to others? Is she too old to start over in another job? Then the anger set in. She was mad she’d been fired, especially by a firm where the partners weren’t always honest with employees or did the best job for their clients. The bottom line dollar amount was always more important to them. She’d struggled with this internal dilemma for years and she started wondering if this was her turn to do the business right. To offer a travel service to corporate companies. She knew she could offer a better service and product than her former place of business. So many ideas were spinning around in her head, that she jumped off the couch, made a cup of French press coffee, and sat down at her desk with a notepad and pen.
Writing down her thoughts, she started seeing a pattern that was leading her into being an entrepreneur, something that was always in the back of her mind, but she had never made the choice to leave the corporate world. That choice was now made for her. She continued with her list:
• Read over employment contract and review any non-compete clauses.
• Professional/Educational Goals: Be, Do, Have, Give (Giving back is important)
• Value proposition: Offer a better value?
• Passion: Passionate enough to make this happen?
• Impact: What impact does she want to have (day to day with clients, but also vendors).
• Success: Define success, (vision, relationships, compensation, results).
• Remember past accomplishments.
• Lay out clear steps to transition into being self-employed.
Michele had so much to think about, write about and prepare that she started feeling an inner peace and an accomplishment in her first goal of planning her new future. She knew the timing was right and she was ready to press on. Lastly, she decided to ask her friends for help her in discovering her strengths. She sent out an email to her closest friends and asked them to fill in the blank, "Michele is really good at _________________." Her friends wrote a variety of answers, but most commonly they commented on her ability to take personal responsibility for her situation. They were inspired by Michele and her new venture.
Remember to Plan, Invest, Live™