First 30 Days Blog

29 jun

Seeking Direction

Ten years ago, I joyfully gave birth to my beautiful child. I don’t think anyone is ever prepared for the many changes we encounter as we become parents for the first time. While I was like a deer caught in head lights, I did know I wanted to the very best I could for my daughter, both in raising her and being a good example as a person.

Making a long story short, I chose to start a consulting practice specializing in providing strategic planning and real estate development for non-profit organizations. During those early days, I kept my business small though it was quite lucrative and I loved the work and the flexibility which allowed me to participate in my daughter’s life.

Two years ago several of my long term clients were wrapping up their projects and changed seemed to be in the air. When a for profit company entered the picture, I was excited to expand my services. I worked with this new team for six months before realizing that they would not end up paying me for my services. This created a significant financial strain just as the economy was slowing. At the same time, my father passed away. The loss of my father combined with this business setback left me feeling rutterless and while capable, I needed time to heal. While I continued outreach activities, I have not signed a new client in quite some time.

I am grateful to have had ample time to heal but am ready to resume work. Non profit organizations are struggling and many do not have resources to pay my fees or embark on new projects. I see this as an opportunity to branch out, and try something new, but what? Where do I begin? Where do I fit in? I so want to create an opportunity that is again exciting, lucrative and flexible so I can continue to parent and provide a loving homelife.

Shared by NinaBBIC.

Posted by First 30 Days on June 29th, 2009 in Personal Stories | 1 comments

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One Comment

  • Hi NinaBBIC – thanks for sharing your story. CONGRATULATIONS on building such a successful business while keeping your daughter a priority in your life. So many people wish they could attain such a balance, and you were able to do that. I am also sorry to hear of the loss of your father, but it is good you were able to take the time to heal – that is a tremendous blessing!
    I would love to understand more about your decision to branch out and try something new. I get the sense from your post that you love your work (and are quite good at it). Are you looking to do something altogether different, or are you afraid that the market for your services has dried up? If it’s the former, I suggest you begin to take stock of your assets (your skills, talents, etc.) and marry them with the activities that juice and excite you! Your skills are there to support your passions, not the other way around, so focus on what you really enjoy and determine how you can use your skills and talents to monetize your passion. I don’t want to oversimplify the task – just giving you a starting point.
    If it’s the latter, I have a couple questions for you:
    1) You mention that many non-profit organizations do not have the resources to pay your fees. That certainly may be the case for many non-profits, but is it the case for ALL, and have you exhausted your opportunities on the ones that might be fairing well despite the economy? There is certainly a change in the economy, which means that we all have to change our approach to how we do business, but the ability to thrive in this economy is still there for those who are flexible. If non-profits are not the way to go, have you considered the small and mid-size businesses that are consistently in need of your services. I recognize you had an earlier setback with a for-profit company. Did that experience in any way make you hesitant to approach future for-profit clients? If so, is there some learning you can take from the experience. For example, if you had to do it over again, would you have set a different criteria for which companies (for-profit and non-profit) you choose to work with? And if you had different criteria for the companies you consulted with, would that affect how lucrative your business could become? You seem to be a woman who is good at what you do and actually enjoys it (so refreshing!), so I ask these questions to help you determine whether you need to change businesses altogether or merely change HOW you are doing your current business. I hope the comments are helpful to you as you continue “seeking direction.”
    All the best…

    Shared by nessagirldc.

    — Added by admin on August 24th, 2009

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