Month: September 2017

Liz’s Story: JC

“‘What can you do to go the extra mile?’

My good friend (and unsponsored life coach) JC, has always tried to find a way to get me to think beyond the finish line.

I met him during a time that I was breaking through many self-imposed mental limitations in my life. I was in my junior year at the University of San Diego, approaching the finish line on one of my biggest life goals, to join my brother and sister as a first generation college graduate. The following year, I transitioned into my first post-graduate world of work experience. I faced many mental roadblocks, the imposter syndrome and endless string of fears and doubts. Being originally from the Bay Area, I had a limited support system in San Diego and often turned to JC for help and advice.

The main way that JC supported me is by encouraging me to believe in myself, to build up my confidence and to find a way to increase my performance. He often asked me questions to get me to expand my thinking to go above and beyond. How can I make a better impression? How can I be better prepared for a meeting? How can I be better prepared for tomorrow?

JC is a personal trainer who always reminded me that accomplishments begin with mental and physical training. My daily accomplishments should begin in the morning, before I got to work; by planning, exercising and reflecting on my goals and next steps.

When I landed an opportunity as co-founder of the startup the Me Tyme Network, a flurry of doubts and insecurities plagued me. The idea of being an entrepreneur scared me. I knew entrepreneurship, as most other industries, is primarily male dominated. I had so many insecurities about being a female founder. The support of my mentors, including JC, helped me grow past those limitations. Turning weakness into strength, I transformed my fear of being a female founder into a passion to inspire women, specifically, the next generation of female entrepreneurs.

My team made huge strides in progress in year one. We developed a business plan, a business model, launched our product and verified demand in the market. In year two, we began to fundraise and discovered the harsh realization that as a minority, female founded company, there was a less than 0.05% chance of us securing venture funding. Pretty daunting. Once again, my male ally stepped up, to remind me that regardless of the odds against me, I had to dream big, take action and relentlessly pursue my goals.

Even after we break through this limitation and secure funding, I know other challenges will arise as we continue to grow our business. But I also know the importance of focusing my energy on the one thing I can control, myself. I can’t change the odds or the stats against us, but I can work on myself and improve my output in the hope that I will be more readily prepared to face the challenges of tomorrow.”

– Liz, Chief Millenial Officer
Los Angeles, CA

Emily’s Story: Alex

Growing up, Alex and I bickered like every other sibling. We’re the only ones we have. He is 3 years older than me with many of the same ambitions that I have professionally so I’ve always benefited from his hindsight.

Like clockwork, his entrepreneurial journey led to a spiritual awakening that preceded mine by about 3 years. During that time, I was embarking on my own journey of new beginnings.

I had just joined a startup that I was excited about. Our parents gave me the same lecture as they gave my brother for choosing a path that didn’t include insurance or 401ks.

Alex had primed them well, though. Between his announcement years earlier, the resilience he showed through his journey, and my history of not submitting to them in arguments I cared about, my news was easier to break.

The difference between his journey and mine was that I had positioned my career over safety nets.

Alex didn’t have a degree to fall back on. I graduated with my teaching degree. I’d always have the option to apply that credential to the corporate training or communication fields.

The startup he helped build was from the ground up. I joined my startup after it had already been around for a couple of years.

He had no family or friends around him (not even social media to keep up with them). I live about an hour away from our parents and the nature of my job puts me in frequent contact with people.

I had all the external safety nets that would allow me to perform professionally without feeling like I needed to change anything personally. If I was feeling guilty about something in my personal life, I could easily mask it from my colleagues and compartmentalize it from my work.

Alex didn’t have the same luxury.

Through our weekly conversations, he shared with me how he worked through his own challenges when I shared mine with him. We began having weekly calls to catch up on each other’s lives.

Seeing his journey inspired me to strive for my own goals and have the confidence to walk toward my dreams on my own.

Alex is the brother I wouldn’t want to live my life without and the ally who showed me how to appreciate it fully. ”

– Emily, Recruitment Marketing Specialist
Orlando, FL