Nine months ago, I was laid off. I saw it coming. My employer was more worried about how I was going to move on than I was; after all…I am a survivor and I welcome change into my life.
I took the first two months off from everything! I slowed down, read books, took road trips and reflected on what was important to me: my faith, my family and my friends – in one small word “relationships.” Then I started thinking about what I wanted to do with the next chapter in my career. After all, I still needed a paycheck! An “ah-ha” moment came as I constantly searched Monster.com and Dice.com and a few other “sign up here, create a login there” employment sites. The realization was that I really, really, didn’t want to go back to that rat-race again! I was ready for a BIG change in my career!
Fast forward to May. I was about nearly the end of my first few months of unemployment, but ready to make my “ah-ha” moment come to fruition! I decided to open a small business. What did I want? Could I really do this? Would it be a brick-and-mortar business, in –home, ohhh… the possibilities are plentiful! There were many questions to answer. I was excited! I finally decided to focus my business on the same thing I focused on while unemployed: relationships!
Well, we did it! Yes, I said “we”…as in Steve, my hubby, and myself. After extensive research, we decided to open a Medical Software Consulting business. We went to Dallas for training (darn it, we had to go to Dallas! I’m the BIGGEST DALLAS COWBOY FAN – EVER!!!), filed the necessary legal paperwork and completed all the other tasks to open a business. On June 1st, Medical Revenue Solutions, LLC. officially became a small business entity!
Remember the saying, “You’re never too old to learn?” Well, that’s me. My next few months were spent putting what I learned from training, into practice. I was cold-calling, door-to-door knocking, reading sales/referral books, networking, purchasing marketing materials and making promotional items. I was also tracking receipts and mileage, deciding what Chamber to belong to, schedule to have a booth in trade shows, overseeing the creation of a new website, and, of course – focusing on those relationships! By the end of August, it was confirmed: cold-calling and door-to-door knocking were just not my thing. But I learned networking groups were more my speed. Because of networking groups, my relationship building was gaining momentum. I was learning and growing fast!
By November, the fruits of my labor were becoming visible. My relationships were solid. My appointment calendar was filled with client meetings and demos. I knew where to focus my time to have those quality conversations with clients and partners instead of being reactionary. I learned to say “no” when the opportunity just didn’t make good business sense. The past few months have, by far, have been the most exciting. Because…drum roll please, I signed my first client!! This business is my baby. I’ve nurtured it, fed it and now I’m watching it grow into a successful small business.
Have you accomplished something big this year?