6 years ago in July 2010, Vistaprint (my employer at the time) offered a free website for life to employees. I loved testing the new products, so quickly signed on and claimed www.promiseconsultinggroup.com. Did I do any consulting at that time? No. Did I give any thought to what I may someday do with this URL? Also no. But it seemed right, so off I went designing a basic site.
Over the next year, I was contacted by a woman responsible for selling ads for Tails Pet Magazine. She wanted me to design marketing materials for her to reach local small businesses. After I delivered the product and got such a positive response, I thought…maybe there’s something to this!
A couple of years later, my old colleague and mentor had started a business, and she asked me to lead customer acquisition efforts part-time for 6 months. It was a great experience, and she’s now been one of my best advocates. After many much-appreciated referrals, I recently helped her out again with marketing for her new start-up.
Fast forward to 2016, I now had a full-time business I was running, on top of my full-time corporate job. I had subcontractors helping out with some of the work, and was working with clients across many industries doing everything from Facebook & AdWords ads to strategy, social media and more. In May, I made the decision to leave my day job to expand my consulting business. That was 5 months ago and I’ve never looked back. I couldn’t be happier or more grateful to be running my own business. I love the flexibility and diversity, the challenges and the change.
A big part of running your own business is to always be networking and building relationships, and LinkedIn has been a big part of that for me. I’ve been able to reconnect with old friends and colleagues, meet new contacts and seek out potential clients. LinkedIn has been a huge part of my career over the years and has allowed me to be found and to find.
Leaving corporate for my consulting business has improved my life – it’s given me time rather than take it away by allowing me to choose my own hours. I now can spend more time with my friends and family and pursue the things I love like traveling. I hope to start volunteering again soon. I recommend everyone follows their dreams – big or small. I promise it will change your life.
Written for LinkedIn ProFinder Small Business Contest