As many of you know, I started my coaching business 7 years ago, after being laid off from a national company that I had been with off and on for 11 years. As crushing a blow it is to be out a job, at the time, it felt like a “get out of jail free” card – I had been struggling to go to work each day, as my ex-husband and I worked together there, and the job, quite frankly, was burning me out – even though I loved the people I worked with, and I loved certain aspects of my job.
I saw my new-found freedom as a chance to break out on my own and do what I had been dreaming of – start my own coaching business. I wanted to work with people who were hungry for success, and who needed to put policies, procedures, and strategies into place to get them to where they wanted to be, and to grow healthy, resilient, and sustainable businesses – here in Maine and beyond. I learned quickly, that not only was I passionate about this business, but I was good at it too.
But sometimes being good at what you do, and working hard, doesn’t mean lift off and immediate success for a start up business. In the infancy of my business, I hit a lot of bumps in the road. Michael and I faced challenges too – right after he asked me to marry him, he had a medical crisis that hospitalized him for a month, and put him out of work for about 3 months. As two self-employed people, it was a hard financial hit… one that many business owners don’t recover from…. I can’t tell you the sorrow you feel as you watch your dream slip through your fingers….
Luckily, I had been working part-time for a great company, and over the years, the owner of this great company became an amazing friend. A friend who saw potential in me, and had faith that I could help him reach his goals, and he could help me reach mine. He offered me a full time position – with the goal that I would help him create processes, policies, procedures, and as a result, grow his company so he was no longer managing it on his own. In the past 18 months, we have experienced over 40% growth, hired an Operations Manager, a Sales Manager, and an Admin Assistant. We went from having 15 summer employees to 35-40.
Meanwhile, I rebranded my coaching business. I narrowed my niche and focused on what I excelled at. I actually grew my business 50%, while only working on it a quarter of the time. My husband came back stronger than ever, and together we paid off our wedding, paid off our business and personal debt, and will have his medical debt paid off in the upcoming months. When you are debt free, you have the freedom to take risks… and, thanks to the support of my loving husband, and his unwavering faith and belief in me… I am taking a risk.
8 months ago, I gave my 10 month notice. Yup… longest notice of all time… but the success of Flaggship Landscaping is important to me, and I will likely still play a role in the growth and success of the company, just not as a W-2 employee. I will forever be grateful that Nicholas Flagg and company were there when I needed them the most, and I love them with all my heart and soul. My heart swells with pride when I think of the accomplished, talented and high performing team that has formed as a result of our hard work and dedication.
So, please wish me luck as I wrap up my last 10 weeks of employment with Flaggship Landscaping and spread my wings to fly once again as a self-employed entrepreneur. Needless to say, my coaching/consulting calendar is opening up in January – if you have ever thought of working with a coach/consultant to grow your business and balance out your life, or know of someone who is ready to take their business to the next level, I’d love for you to take a walk with me.
Love you all… thanks for all your support all these years. Looks like we’ve made it. Looking forward to Blazing Trails and Hitting the Heights!
This article is part of the #write31days challenge for October 2015. To catch up on the whole series – click HERE.