Cheers to a new year, and a new Zoom photo bomb.

I took a leap, and landed on my feet. Last year, more than ever has taught entrepreneurs and like-minded business owners to persevere. I was hesitant to write down my thoughts about my successes this past year but I believe it’s important at the end of any year (but especially in 2020) for us to each celebrate our victories and achievements. While also reflecting on what we have learned in the process. Trust me, this year has not just been a walk in the park,(for me or anybody) but I believe focusing on the positive could possibly motivate others to join me in celebrating their accomplishments too. Because we should.

Over the past few years I had found myself asking — what if I broke free from what I’ve always done and known — and go work for myself. There is no one in business I know and trust more than me — but the thought of starting a business, managing a household and starting my job from scratch was a huge risk. I found myself at the end of each year, around the holidays thinking — next year will be different. And then it never was…until 2020. The year I decided to take a leap.

As most of you know, I’d planned for years to move back to my roots in the good ole midwest and be closer to my family. I’ve received many comments on my line from my previous article as my goal of moving was “ to be within just a quick Miller Lite’s throw away” from my family in Wisconsin and this turned quickly into becoming a Quarantined Recruiter. I wanted my kids to grow up with their cousins and grandfather, which meant even more to me once we lost my mother 5 years ago. As an often described “workaholic” this would mean I would possibly have to sacrifice some of my worklife to balance out my home one. Many of us women don’t want to be viewed as a “working mom” but instead a business woman. These were all things to consider even prior to the move as I planned to launch my own business as well. Could I do it?

Fast forward to a year ago, end of 2019, before we had packed our bags — I had already started packing mine. I found a company called @TEEMAGroup that would allow me to run my business the way I wanted- but would also allow me to have access to a backend support system for their members for things like contracts, benefits and payroll services, etc. Having this type of support paired with the confidence in my ability to hustle — I knew I could break free on my own.

My network, both professionally and personally, also gave me the encouragement I needed to solidify my decision. I had a former co-worker contact me mid-choice time, and after our convo she sent me a text saying how supportive she was. Every once in a while she sends me my own quote I had said to her in the past“Do you want to be an INNOVATOR or just a doer? DO you want to build and take the reins, or be just another employee?”

The other good news about working for yourself is you get to choose not only when you work — but who you work with. Under certain corporate umbrellas you are told who your clients will be and how you will go about getting them. I don’t agree with this method. Regardless of your line of business, you should always be looking for likeminded prospective clients who’s company vision and motives are aligned with your own. You get to choose who you pair your success with. And I think the year 2020 has seriously brought out the best in people who allowed it to. We are becoming human again.

A year ago we would have never imagined being on a Zoom call with an executive who politely asks for a moment as they help their child with a quick math problem, or a CTO who makes an entire Zoom room meeting laugh with a barking dog as we debrief on a candidate. I even took a call recently while one of my hiring managers and I were both cooking dinner for our families. Coincidentally we were both feeling the cold weather and became inspired to make something warm and cozy for our kiddos. He and I started exchanging our favorite family soup recipes and took a quick break from talking about business. 2020 has humanized and humbled us as a people. We’ve started to realize that everyone is trying to balance it all — and we should embrace and celebrate our milestones, no matter if it’s landing a new client or creating a successful preparation of a soup that our kids actually ate. We did it!

If 2020 has taught us all as humans anything — it’s that we CAN do things. I took a leap into starting my own business and being my own CEO. I had no idea 2020 was going to hit us like a brick, but I knew going into this jump that I would succeed. That’s the difference. I always knew I could do it, the real question was just always when? And the answer to my own question really was- I know what I am capable of, I know the relationships I have, and I know I have never failed myself. That’s all I could go off of.

So in closing I guess in a weird way I have 2020 to thank for challenging my beliefs further — but allowing me to be successful as I persevered. I encourage anyone who is looking to take the leap to do so — there will always be an excuse or reason not to do it. And if this last year has humanized us and taught us anything….there is no time like the present. And you can do it.

Technology Enthusiast — Entrepreneur Driven — Connecting Tech’s Best Talent