My greatest fear is being alone. Coming up a close second (after the welfare of my family, of course) is giving up control of my life. I’ve been in complete control over my career, work hours, income, and destiny for 20 years! The last time I had been an employee was when I interned at a headhunter while getting my business degree at Marquette University. (I didn’t like the fact that I wasn’t going to get vacation to go to the Final Four in 2003, so I went anyway and didn’t go back to work.)
So I understand what it’s like to work independently. There are so many bonuses to being your own boss and in control, but there is a dark side that’s not too easy to take: the feeling of being alone in your success and journey.
And today, it seems like isolation and loneliness are rampant. The more social media, texting, and zoom calls, the less face-to-face interaction there is. We want to reach out, but who can we trust? Do we talk to others in the same boat? What if they use it against us? What if we look weak? We need to keep a positive light on everything! What would it look like if we asked for help and community?
It turns out it looks like success.
I spent 15 years as an independent sales woman and manager with the Southwestern Company. I worked six years with their main business and the last nine at an insurance company they sold after I retired. (Since I wasn’t there anymore, I guess it no longer had as much value. 😉 ). The culture has changed tremendously in the past five years, as all businesses do as they evolve.
But the main thing that contributed to my success there wasn’t something corporate did or didn’t do. (Although I did love all the sales conventions and traveling opportunities.) The biggest reason I was successful was because of the people in my inner circle. I had won the leadership lottery. I had such powerhouse people that took me under their wing. They taught me how to grow professionally and personally. I was then able to take those lessons and pass them to my teams (and my kids now).
The teams I were part of had structures in place so that I not only had amazing individual coaching, but was also part of masterminds. The top team leaders always got to participate in knowledge-sharing and those connections and community were the reason I never felt alone as I was an independent contractor.
What type of community do you have right now? Who are people that you can call on? What type of work do you need to do for yourself to get to the point of asking for help?
The whole mission of my business is to fast-forward people’s growth. Personally and professionally. Miracles happen in community, not isolation. If you want the unfair advantage of having a second-opinion, a coach that has the experience to help you, or be part of a mastermind community, join the email list to be kept in the loop!
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