This post is about a deeply personal moment that changed my career: the moment I realized that I had more to give than sitting at a desk doing the same work in and out for someone else’s business.
Before I started True Blue Marketing, I’d worked at other businesses. In one of my last jobs, I had a must-change moment that pushed me to start out on my own.
I enjoyed my job.
To set the stage, I’d achieved a title that I was proud of and was doing work that I was good at. My department had cycled through several supervisors in a few years, some great and some not-so-great. The one who really fueled my search for a better way to work is at the center of my story. He had been an unsupportive supervisor since joining our team and although that was difficult, it wasn’t enough to change how I viewed my place within the organization.
Then, a peer left and I was asked to take on many of her position’s responsibilities while they searched for a replacement.
I loved my co-workers and the mission of our organization, so I happily agreed to the request. I believed (perhaps naively) that it would simply be a month or two before a new person came in to pick it all up again. So, I rearranged my responsibilities and workload to make it fit into my position for a few months.
Then the months passed and passed while the list of responsibilities grew and grew. I requested help by way of the addition of an intern and brought her on board within a month. She was incredible and including her was just what I needed. However, the list of responsibilities continued to grow with so sign of a real movement toward a replacement for my peer who had left.
Thankfully, my next request of bringing this intern on as a part-time staff member was granted as well (a huge help!). Soon after, I was allowed to have another team member jump in when needed for additional tasks. With all of this shuffling around, if you’re imagining that the workload was enormous then you’d be right. It was an incredible shift in my responsibilities, my focus, and in the scope of my work.
I’d quickly moved from overseeing my individual projects to adding in my peer’s projects plus creating and then managing a small team of hard-working women.
We made a wonderful team.
They made a fantastic team and we were able to incredible work together by finding creative solutions in a collaborative format that pleased everyone outside of my department. I was so pleased with them and could see myself working with both of them for years to come. Everyone we interacted with outside of our team was pleased as well.
Except for my boss. He disliked our success, dismissed our unorthodox way of solving problems, and pushed back on the positive feedback we received. If this sounds like something you’ve experienced, let me say this right now: I hear and feel your pain.
It was excruciating to experience his push-back on every success we had, every challenge we met, and every moment we worked together with smooth results.
I could see that we needed to continue working in this way and that this team was the way to do it. So, I took another big step and asked to make the changes permanent so we could build upon our successes.
It didn’t go over well.
In response, my boss laughed in my face.
Then he reminded me that I was a mom and that meant that I couldn’t do what I’d been doing.
I. Was. Shocked.
What would you do in this situation?
I knew at that moment that I wasn’t meant for that organization, for working with him, or for being affiliated with any place that would allow someone to talk down to another person because of their gender or parenting status.
However, I also wouldn’t leave immediately because I cared so much for my co-workers. That day I started the plan that would send me to where I am today.
They eventually hired a replacement for my peer and my responsibilities went back to what they’d been before this shake-up, but I had changed. I’d realized that I could do so much more than what I’d been doing: sitting at my desk day after day, creating the marketing and communications that drove so many programs. I realized that I was much more than an anonymous writer.
I knew that I had more to give to others
I felt the calling to help more people. I could do more than I’d been doing, could impact the lives of many more people, and could contribute to the greater good. And I wasn’t doing it with a supervisor who treated people this way.
Within a year, I left it all behind. I’d made some amazing relationships with co-workers which made leaving them much harder than I’d imagined. And yet, I did it. I planned my way out of that full-time position and then slowly, step by step, built my first business from nothing. A few years later I built my second business the same way. If he were alive today, my old boss would be shocked at the businesses I’ve created while also being a mother.
What inspired you to take the leap to start your business? What circumstances, good or bad, forced you to take action? I invite you to share with me on Instagram or by email at email@example.com (I personally respond to every email!).