Lessons Learned | Lesson Five

Sharing the last of just a few of the lessons I’ve learned as Adjunct Advisors, LLC celebrates its first year in business.

Lesson Five: We don't have to do this alone.

Perhaps you’ve noticed the posts I make here each Friday, highlighting a woman in my network and the work that she does - the #HaveHerBack series.

These women, and so many more, made space for me just after I’d left my corporate job two years ago, when curiosity was the only thing I had to offer them. They shared their wisdom and their knowledge freely and honestly, expecting nothing in return from me.

They’ve been there with a hug, a high five or a kick in the you-know-what - depending on what I needed at the time! Being part of this community of knowledgeable, confidendent, supportive and generous women has been a true gift.

I couldn’t do this alone, and I’m grateful I don’t have to.

How do you know when someone has your back? Let me know in the comments below!


Lessons Learned | Lesson Four

If it’s true that life begins at the edge of your comfort zone, then my life began when I launched Adjunct Advisors, LLC one year ago.

This week I’m sharing a handful of lessons I’ve learned this past year.

Lesson Four: If it feels clumsy and awkward, you're doing it right.

I’m a recovering skeptic - I still struggle, though, with money-back guarantees and a one-size-fits-all approach to most things - including building a business.

You already know I believe that we learn by doing. We gather information and we process it. We decide where it aligns with our tolerance for risk, and then we act. Or we don’t.

This year, I’ve learned there is indeed no magic formula for growing a business. Instead, it’s an ongoing cycle of trial and error, good days and not-so-good days, more trials and more errors. Days when it all makes sense and days when nothing does!

I was asked recently if I have any regrets, and I said that I’d instead prefer to call it advice I might give to someone just starting on this path, as our journey is our own.

I’d love to know: What advice would you give someone new to your industry? Let me know below!


Lessons Learned | Lesson Three

So many lessons learned this first year in business!

Sharing today the one that is proving to be far and away the most challenging.

Lesson Three: Half price wine tastes just as good.

When more goes out than comes in, shifting my money mindset means, very practically, re-prioritizing where the money goes.

It’s saying “no” to those nice-to-haves: an “I’ll only wear it once dress,” spendy dinners with friends at trendy hotspots, and last minute trips to catch a musician I love.

It also means saying “yes” to software subscriptions, all the taxes, and pretty awful health insurance (don’t get me started).

It means digging even deeper within to acknowledge my own beliefs surrounding worth and money, and to honor the value of the investment I’m making to create a different future for myself.

Let’s just say this particular self-development “opportunity” hasn’t exactly been a perk of entrepreneurship!

Let’s lighten the mood: If you happened upon $50 right now, what would you do with it? Leave your response below!


Lessons Learned | Lesson Two

One year down, so many to go!

This week, I’m sharing a few of the many lessons I’ve learned since launching Adjunct Advisors, LLC one year ago.

Lesson Two: People have an inherent desire to help. Well, most of them do.

Building the foundation of a business is a series of very solitary activities. In the early days, I whiled away hours - sometimes entire days - identifying my ideal customer, perfecting a website, a logo, business cards and building the first product I’d launch.

Then it was time to start telling the world what I was up to - and I panicked. It was one thing to sell a product - and totally another when the product was one that I’d researched, developed and then brought to life...and had my name on it!

I started connecting with those closest to me - those I knew would love me no matter what - and told my story. With one single exception, every person I’ve connected with since has been open to learning more about the work I’m doing.

And that one exception - well, she’s a story for another day! :

Have you been pleasantly surprised when you’ve asked for help? Let me know in the comments below!


How Do You Give Back?

I grew up with public television; as a child, I assumed Sesame Street was just a few blocks away, and as a not-quite-teenager, my mother and I spent many winter afternoons devouring the latest installment of the Anne of Green Gables series. More recently, I looked forward to spending my Sunday nights in, watching the latest episode of Downton Abbey.

Through the years, and woven throughout these programs, were the segments filmed in the studio, when the on air talent would implore the viewers to call in to make a pledge to support the work of the station during a pledge drive.

“Who are those people?” I would often wonder as a kid; as a pre-teen it was more like “What qualifies them to do that?” And, a couple of years ago, the question was “How can I do that, too?”

A quick Google search and many volunteer hours later, yesterday afternoon, I again had the total pleasure to be in the studio during the latest pledge drive at WTTW studios, our local PBS affiliate.

To hear the stories of the callers as they recount their own experience with public television was time so well spent.


I’d love to know - whether it’s through a donation of time or of money, do you have a cause you are passionate about supporting? Let me know in the comments below!


Taking the Risk | Women In Tech & Entrepreneurship Breakfast

There is power in connection - and I felt the magic this morning! Such amazing energy and insights shared during this morning's Women In Tech Breakfast. I'm happy to grow in connection with you as we shared the stage, Liem, Laura, Rachael and Julia!

Thank you to General Assembly for curating this meaningful event and to TechNexus Venture Collaborative for hosting us.


Whose Voice Do You Hear?

Later this morning, I’ll be spending time with a group of my peers for our twice-monthly mastermind. I look forward to these gatherings in a way I couldn’t have anticipated when we first met at the start of this year, as I leave feeling more aligned, more clear and more determined, without fail, each time we meet.

Today I’ll be leading a session centered on risk and entrepreneurship, and as we work to make traditional risk management processes more accessible for entrepreneurs, I’ll be challenging the group to consider whose voice it is that they hear when they waver in their decision to take - or not - a risk in their life or business.

Sometimes these voices are an actual person - maybe a peer, partner or mentor. Often they’re the personification of a perceived past failure, or a lifelong belief we’ve had about our abilities - or lack thereof - to achieve. Once we can identify that voice, we can consider its role in our risk-taking decisions - and then proceed accordingly.

I’m so curious; do you have a strategy - formal or informal - for managing risk in your life and business?


Interested in bringing this engaging workshop to your group or team? Message me here to start the conversation.

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Women In Tech & Entrepreneurship Breakfast

Chicago gals!

Next Friday, join me and an inspiring group of female founders as we deliver lightning talks about how women are succeeding in tech and entrepreneurship, and how we are fostering the next generation of leaders during the next Women In Tech Breakfast. Hosted by General Assembly at TechNexus Venture Collaborative, along with fellow founders Laura Dribin, Rachael Kay Albers, Julia Kanouse and Liem Le, I'll be sharing my message "Taking The Risk."

More information and your free registration here: Women In Tech Breakfast