Jenna, Meg and I are at the dark wood kitchen table of Meghan's Los Angeles place, sipping wine, water and munching on seasoned nuts from Trader Joe's. A trio of Mac laptops are before us as early evening sun drops below the California skyline. Griffin, Meghan's dog, is squarely on her lap despite that the meeting is all business. I've mentioned before that the crew of us work together and play together, including regularly collaborating and helping each other on our start ups. On this particular night, it's Jenna's plans for expansion with her company.
As we talk shop, I got to thinking about the guts it takes to try to orchestrate a new move with your business. Or even trying to launch your own company at all.
Meghan had done it with transitioning out of a career on Wall Street to creating a TV/media brand. Jenna had gotten in a car accident and had come out of a coma when she hatched the idea to launch her fitness company. I took the leap over a weekend in my home office in Los Angeles when I launched my first startup, selling it three years later to transition out of a corporate career into serial entrepreneurship. I'm now on my second startup, a two year old one named 9. All of us doing so before the age of 35.
It's not easy to take the jump and launch a start-up. It is even harder to grow one, or sell one.
Over the short few weeks after the three of us had gotten together, I kept coming across and meeting other female founders who had done the same. Maija Pykett, who is at the West Coast Franchise Expo this week, left a job in publishing to launch her company Smallprint, which now has 110 franchisees. Marcy Roth took the leap when she created an online jewelry boutique, Accessoryartists.com.
"With Accessory Artists, from the earliest idea stage, it just clicked, it felt right and I knew I had to do it," Marcy said.
Like us, and like millions of other women in America and beyond, they both were willing to roll the dice and do what they wanted in their lives. It's something that you can do in all areas, not just business. And if you are in business, it doesn't mean you have to be an entrepreneur. You can jump to new levels no matter what you do, who you are or what situation you are in.
"I definitely believe that launching your own company is motivation in itself - what you put in, you get out. That sentiment is what has kept me going," Maija said.
I can definitely attest that even though there are days where you may not really know what is going to happen next, if you're going to sink or swim, if you'll make it or not. But, I have to say I am constantly the happiest I've ever been doing what I want with my life. It doesn't mean that the move is never without careful planning, timing and preparation -- but like Jenna, Meg, Marcy, Maija and so many other women, we wouldn't have it any other way.