As 2015 marks my 15th year anniversary in business, allow me to share with you the main highlight of my career: transitioning from corporate to entrepreneur. What a jump!
Every opportunity in my life began with a take off. At age 24, I left my native Spain to write my very own script of Coming to America with a professional twist. New York City is where my American dream unfolded. For 12 years I held top-level financially secure positions where I helped local companies reach their highest potential by growing internationally. In February 2012, I said my goodbyes to my title as Executive Director of the Spain-US Chamber of Commerce.
"Why leave such an enjoyable comfort zone and status?," you may ask.
The corporate world undeniably played an essential role in my professional development by allowing me to build a strong network, learn all my business skills and live a very comfortable lifestyle. No doubt about it. Nothing or no one in particular in my work environment prompted my departure from Corporate America.'
In fact, the transition was anything but voluntary. I had to face and quickly adapt to unpredictable life circumstances. As difficult as those may be, they have a way of revealing your true self and potential. Actually, you can hardly run from it. In Professional Destiny, Valerie Hausladen writes "you have to follow the signs and when they all line up and point in a certain direction--it's time to morph and change". My experience precisely.
My first entrepreneurial attempt was Bisila Wines in 2010. Cheers ? Not just yet. The mere thought of not having a steady income made me anxious. I was still holding on to my life preserver (i.e: 9 to 5) and afraid to fully immerse myself into the world of entrepreneurship but time was ticking...
As you might know, entrepreneurship comes with its fair share of insecurities and hardships and you can only accomplish so much on your own. In my case the tremendous help of my team, friends and peers have been the catalyst and backbone of my success. The overwhelming support and encouragement I received outweighed my fears and prompted me to take a leap of faith with all of my ventures.
In the midst of personal chaos and professional uncertainty, that same year my wine received 2 international awards in Germany and China and 2 more in 2013 ! No magic formula here - practicing what you preach can certainly do wonders... In essence, results transpired once I put myself in the shoes of businesses I consult to get to the next level. In other words: asking for help and advice, listening to the good, bad and the ugly feedback - but most importantly trusting and taking action. 2012 was a stepping stone: I left the corporate world for good and successfully launched BBES, my consulting agency.
As much as I like them, the most inspirational quotes alone could not motivate me enough to push my boundaries and break away from my corporate career. I owe my professional independence to a collective effort.
I believe we all are architects of our own future. Nonetheless, surrounding yourself with people you admire, inspire and care about - in and out of your field to help you build a strong foundation is key to success. Entrepreneurship can be a very lonely road and a strong support system to rely on through your high and lows will make you more comfortable with the idea that as challenging as they may be, endings can be magical beginnings.