Taking a leap

SparkAnnounce

Some exciting news: This week I start the SPARK Women’s Entrepreneurship Program at St. Mary’s College! I’ll be learning all the ins and outs of running my own business and networking with other small business owners in the Michiana area. It’s such a great opportunity, and I can’t believe that I get to participate in this program! There is SO MUCH that I need to learn.

I am not the type of person who always knew that she’d end up starting up her own business. I knew I was creative, self-motivated, and a good manager; but, I’m also risk-averse, and don’t often make decisions without having a good idea that the overall outcome will be positive. This endeavor is new territory for me.

So, how did I get here?

Back in March, I’d just finished grad school and was contemplating my next move. I thought I might want to get a new job, so I’d put some feelers out with people who I thought could connect me with the right people in Michiana. I had just met Willow Wetherall, a community leader in South Bend who seems to know EVERYONE, and she suggested I have a lunch meeting with one of her mentors, Ed Lockman. Ed is a business owner and mentor to other local business owners.

I met Ed, and as we talked about what I do, and what kind of opportunities I was looking for or who I’d like to work for, Ed stopped me and said that he thought I wasn’t actually looking to work for someone else—he thought I should look into going into business for myself.

WHAT?!?

The more I thought about it over the next few months, the more I wanted to give it a shot. I learned about the SPARK program at St. Mary’s and thought if I got in to that, I could definitely have a chance of making my own business work and be successful at it. So, I let them know that I was interested in applying.

Here’s where serendipity kicked in. I ended up leaving my job at the agency I was working for earlier than I had originally planned. I had no idea what I was going to do, and I certainly wasn’t ready but it was a “now or never” moment so I had to take the leap. I was apprehensive—but the very next day I was contacted by the SPARK program and asked to come in for my preliminary interview!

And now, two months later, I the groundwork is laid for my new business and I have been accepted into the program that will help me run it properly. Everything is falling into place and I couldn’t be happier.

I’ll keep you all posted on how things go and what I’m learning, so stay tuned!

-Jane


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