On January 10, 2008, I was having lunch with a former boss doing the networking thing wondering what I was going to do with the rest of my career. You see, I had just left a corporate gig two months earlier, intentionally took December off to spend with family, celebrate my baby turning one, see her first steps, and recover from a very stressful season. I had been interviewing for Chief Human Capital Officer positions, contemplating a learning and development focus, and secretly wishing I could be a full-time coach after graduating from the Georgetown Leadership Coaching program in 2006.
During this lunch my old boss shared he was going to be leaving his current position and moving to a new company and he would want some help with creating a leadership development strategy and would I be interested in consulting for him.
At that moment, The Ermi Group was born. I immediately drove to PNC Bank and opened a business checking account. On the way there I realized I need a company name. My dad (and hero) started his own firm many moons ago and called himself The Evans Group, so I figured that was good enough for me. I tend to not overthink these epiphanies because I will just screw it up if I do! I used this same strategy when it was clear adoption was in my future. From surrendering to the notion and baby in arms was a swift 7 months. And only 5 months from when we were official with a home study. Anyway, I digress…look a bird!
Back to the story. Seven years ago I took a giant leap of faith and declared I was a leadership development and human capital solutions firm. I found a web designer (thank you Pinix Design Studio) and by February I had my first client.
I cannot tell you how blessed and grateful I am for this profession. I coach about 80% of the time now, and still love the occasional training gig, keynote and facilitation. I am surrounded by the most amazing coaches in our cadre, and as mentors and friends. The Georgetown coach community is a plethora of wisdom and generosity. Crista Leonard, my Business Analyst, reads my mind and helps me in countless ways. My husband is the most supportive and all I could ask for as he holds down the fort and makes sure the household is running smoothly so I can focus on building the business and serving my clients well.
I learn, stretch and grow every day. I wake up each morning loving my job, and able to be a part of my 8 year old girl's daily life. I think I only missed one major event of hers at school and that was because I had the time wrong on my calendar!
I never dreamed that being my own boss for seven years was even possible. My husband’s stroke in 2002 has kept him out of the workforce, so I have been the primary earner since then. And each year I am able to say I love what I do, and I am keeping my family fed, my oldest daughter recently graduated from college, and my little one is in second grade at The Trinity School of Frederick. It also helps that my Pastors pray for me and my business on a regular basis! Thank you Damascus Road Community Church!
If you have been thinking about starting your own small business, do it! Break through the fear, and hang out your shingle.
Here are a few articles and resources to fuel you!