Part I: The Road to Entrepreneurship is Paved with a Severance Package & 401(K) Savings
Updated: Jul 14, 2021
What a weird journey entrepreneurship has been. 🤯
When I answered the call to venture out on my own in 2013, it was a snap decision made on the heels of my self-emancipation from Corporate America.⛓️
You see, I had enough of languishing as another cog within the Corporate structure for 20+ years as administrative & marketing support.
🤬 I got my fill of being party to booking lodging for third-shift managers & their mistresses.
🤬 I grew weary from speaking with dept hierarchy with only my head poked inside of their office doors, as I couldn't step inside full-view without risking their eyes boldly traveling up & down my then considerably smaller size 8 frame.
So, what was the proverbial needle that broke my back that caused me to flee Corporate America & not look back? 🤔
Was it my blatant flirtation with HR, by posting passive-aggressive signage advising people to make their own damn coffee, or that I don't kiss ass (in so many words)? 🤬
It was none other than a pretentious, arrogant analyst.
A little back-story: I was a five-star Senior Administrative Assistant within the financial services sector. 😎 I single-handedly managed a department of 350+'s inventory & spending as I did my own household: not a penny was spent unless it made sense where it was going & how well it could be accounted for. 💪
My immediate manager delighted in my sadistic wielding of miserly budgeting prowess over his subordinates, so much so, it was factored into my five-star rating. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Pens had better been damn near out of ink before any hopes of new ones being brandished from the supply closet. Color copies were an absolute no-no unless it was for client deliverables, & the $200 phone headsets were luxuries capped at the management level. Ordering a $200 headset for a lowly analyst was an automatic, "hell-to-the-naw!"
At least it was supposed to be. 😬
Supporting a group of 350+ meant I supported all types: grateful & ungrateful. Boomers to millennials. Milquetoast to severely testosterone-deficient. ♀️
I handled my business, until one day I received a supply request from an analyst -- a 'Lord Forest Ponsonby' of sorts (name slightly changed to not protect his guilt). 💩
Trust-Fund Baby, going forward. 🍼
You see, Trust Fund Babies have a widdle problem with words they're not familiar with.
Words like, "No." 🙄
So, I tell Trust Fund Baby the bank protocol: he lacks the rank for me to fulfill his request.
TFB wasn't having it. So began his campaign to get me fired. 😒
Fast-forward a couple of weeks, & my boss is signing off for TFB's headset. 😡
Fast-forward several months, & wouldn't you know it? Somehow my well-earned five-star rating dropped to 🌟🌟🌟🌟. Then 🌟🌟🌟. Then 🌟.
What happened? 😵
TFB spent enough time in my boss' ear to weaponize managers whom I rejected supply requests of high-end items they were too cheap to buy themselves.
Who knew what vengeance being denied executive Montblanc Rollerballs could inspire? 😈🖋️
Long story short, I was on the verge of resigning via Post-It Note, paying homage to Sex and the City's, The Post-It Always Sticks Twice episode, when Berger dumped the show's protagonist, Carrie, via Post-It note. ("I'm sorry. I can't. Don't hate me.") 📝
A co-worker, who was also a dear friend & basically my husband-at-work, talked me out of it. 😩
That would've been so savage, in hindsight. 😈
I ended up (forced) resigning with only 24-hour notice. I collected the $7K I'd accumulated in my 401(K) & went my merry way. 🏃🏽♀️
I blew the opportunity for the bank to pay the remainder of my PMP certification, & I was a mere THREE payments away from my student loan being paid in full at the time 🤬, but at least I left with my sanity still intact. 😌
So began my entrepreneurial journey.
I'd like to honor March 30th, 2013 as the start of my journey, as I believe April 1st would be a jinx -- & one helluva cruel prelude.
Built my first website on Yahoo! All the entrepreneurs who say if you're not embarrassed by your beginnings, you didn't start off right, are so spot on. 🙌
Figuring out who I was going to be & who I was going to serve would come (then change, & later refined), within the following weeks, months & years. I networked what seemed like seven days a week. 🤝
I learned about networking platforms like Eventbrite, MeetUp, Brown Paper Bag Events & was instantly hooked (& constantly on the go.)
Oh, the heels I wore out. You don't know the half of it. 🏃🏽♀️
Already equipped to write for the (now defunct) news site, Examiner.com, with Online Marketing & PR - Chicago as my beat, I was ready. 📰
I wrote about damn near all the start-up founders I'd met, & so began my reputation as a Secret Santa, of sorts. 🎅
But, I'm getting ahead of myself. 🛑
I'll save further misadventures for Part II. 👋
Um, that's your cue to come back! In the meantime, what were your biggest stumbles that led you to venture out on your own?
Sound off in the comments below! 👇👇👇