My first appointment today is with a very long-time friend in the tech industry. We’re going to review the next draft of a pitch deck for their new niche service. After years and years of working for others, they are going to take a giant swing at going into business for themselves, providing the type of work as a service that makes them happy and fulfilled. I’m excited to see the progress.
Helping people evolve their careers is a job that brings me joy and I’ve been doing it for almost 25 years. My experience ranges from helping folks who decided they want to try a different path to discovering people who are capable of so much more, they just needed a push—someone to introduce them to the idea of working in a different way, sometimes in a new industry.
I keep in touch with just about everyone I’ve worked with in this capacity over the years. Especially two people in particular that I met at different times in 2000. One came to me looking for a career change. The other I went to them knowing they weren’t fulfilled and needed change.
They were both completely new to digital but willing to learn. At times they were nervous, maybe a bit self-doubting, but we worked through it while I reminded them they were more than capable, making websites is not rocket science. While we have since each gone our own ways, they are both still working in the industry and happy they made the transition decades ago.
I won’t take any credit for their success. I did nothing but point them in the right direction, praised them during times of struggle, and celebrated all of the small wins. They did all the hard work. They came to work tenacious—willing to make mistakes, ask questions, and stick it out until problems were solved and learn from the experience.
When it comes to helping people in their careers what they already know can be helpful, but it isn’t the most important. What matters most is their desire and ability to learn combined with a passion to invest in themselves. The rest is easy.
A former co-worker of mine had this saying, “Inch by inch, everything is a cinch.”Moving from one career to the next or from being employed to owning and running a business is seldom a switch to flip. It’s a journey to start—small wins and tiny losses all on the path to big victories.
In parting, I have a question for you. Where is your tenacity? Do you still have it with you or is it in the attic? When was the last time you felt the tenacious fire?