With the gig economy on the rise and a nagging need for more flexibility, Heather decided to leave the corporate world behind and explore life as a solopreneur.
Heather, Entrepreneur, 36
I started my career as a marketing coordinator for a small architectural firm. As a junior level-person with a great boss, I was quickly exposed to many aspects of the business beyond just marketing. Eager to learn and grow, I took on as much responsibility as possible and truly loved seeing the difference I could make within the company. To my boss’s credit, she gave me the autonomy I needed to manage up and make an impact, but also the room to sometimes fail and quickly learn from my mistakes. I was promoted several times within a 7-year span and couldn’t be more thankful for the experience, but I was ready for something new, so I took a job at a nearby construction management firm.
As the managing director of the department, I found a new passion for managing people and helping them learn/grow. I took on a similar leadership style to the one that was offered to me but added my own twist. Some days were a bit more challenging than others, but for the most part, I had a great team and was proud of the work we were doing.
After five years with the company, my team and I had built a robust marketing engine and finally had the foundation established to really take things to the next level. That is until the announcement came – we were merging with another company and the leadership team was going to change completely. Trying to remain positive, I had hoped that the results we had achieved would keep my team intact, but the reality was we needed to downsize significantly.
A year or so in under new leadership, I made the tough decision that the company culture and direction no longer aligned with my values. I loved my team and the work we had done, but I could no longer support them in the best ways because I no longer aligned with the company vision.
So, I decided to go out on my own. I’ll admit, I didn’t know if it was the right decision or a foolish one. But I knew I had strong industry connections and that although I loved managing and growing a team, I missed being in the “do” of things. I liked rolling up my sleeves and doing the actual work at hand. And I was good at it.
Three years into being a solopreneur – it’s the best decision I ever made. I love helping a variety of clients and the diversity of work I can pursue. Though I am incredibly grateful for my time in different corporate settings and for the teams I built, this is the right fit for me at the right time in my career.