If there is anything you need to have before you embark on building your own company from scratch it is extraordinary clarity. I have been thinking and dreaming about my own company for years: a chance for my own voice to be fully heard and realized, a chance to be impactful on my own terms, and a path wherein I chose the direction. But when you are driven and you work for someone else, you give your heart and your drive to someone else’s dreams and goals. You excel at the goals they have defined. You build and develop their teams. You please and impress their clients. In the process, you gain incredible amounts of knowledge and ability, pedigree. My voice still needed to be heard. And so here I am.
Many wise people say that unless you know why you are making changes in your life, it won’t translate into action and ultimately, into results. That could not be more the case when you embark on your own company. If you are even remotely capable of an inkling of self-doubt, it comes out in droves when you leap into thin air. It’s all just a tool. A lesson. So, I used it to define my “why”. Why do I want this? Why is it so important to me? Why is it all I think about these days?
I have spent my entire career knocking the doors off. The bottom line for me was always people. In my tax planning practice, I have had the chance to talk to thousands of people about THEIR passions, what drives them to create and innovate every single day, to top themselves. That is an incredible environment in which to work. In corporate America, I grew teams, developed them to be exceptional practitioners and ultimately, great leaders. I led them to grow and grow our practices. It was always enlightening and humbling. And it was my passion. What I saw once leaders reached a level of leadership is that growth stopped or was stilted. They made partner or got a promotion that indicated they had arrived. And the culture of the workplace was that they were now on their own. Mentoring and learning for leaders was sparse and inadequate. And it was epidemic. I saw it the tall towers as well as the up and comers. Leaders were not truly empowered to lead. If they had the authority, they didn’t have the skills to excel and evolve.
And people got disillusioned and worn out. They felt like they didn’t have the tools or the empowerment to make real differences in their teams and culture. I was one of those people. I had arrived. At the age of 35, I made partner in 9 ½ years at a Big 4 accounting firm. But now what? I had more bosses and less control over my own path and work. Much of my time was spent reporting on what I was doing, on administrative tasks, and not on the stuff that really mattered to me. Clients. Growth. My team. I had virtually no real “juice” as I like to call it. And I wasn’t happy. So, I gave it all up…
To realize my real dream: serve clients, develop leaders, on my terms. That’s MY why. I want to spend my time doing what I am really great at every day. On my terms. That is what everyone deserves. So, let’s do this thing! What is YOUR why?