It’s our anniversary!!! July of 2023 marks the ten-year anniversary of Madelyn Mackie & Associates, LLC. 10-YEARS!!!! It’s hard to believe. Think about where you were ten years ago on your own career journey and how far you’ve come. A lot can happen in a decade! 

In 2013, I was miserable in the corporate world. I cried every morning when the alarm went off; I cried while driving to work; I cried in my executive office; I cried at meetings; I cried driving home thinking about having to go back the next day. I cried and cried, and cried, and cried. Eventually, I knew I had to stop crying and find a way out.

I had a glimmer of an idea for a resume writing and career consulting business. It was something I had done for friends and family in the past. I didn’t know what would happen if it would work, or how to support myself, but staying in the same place was no longer an option.

Here are five ways I changed my entire future and activated my career dreams.

1. Exit Strategy

My process for leaving the corporate world actually began twelve years ago, not ten. I didn’t jump ship immediately. Over the course of two years, I created an exit strategy that included finding a mentor, taking classes, getting my money in order, and doing a little market research. Having a plan made going to work a little easier. I know that it wasn’t forever and each day I was one step closer to leaving.

2. Find a Mentor

Are there any successful entrepreneurs out there? Yes!! Once I decided to become one, I found entrepreneurs everywhere! Every time I met someone, who was a business owner, I asked for some one-on-one time to get their advice, point out potential pitfalls, provide feedback on my business plan, and show me examples of success. Most of them were more than happy to sit down and chat with me.

3. Take Classes

I knew nothing about running a business. I decided it was time to go back to school and took a ton of classes on becoming a business owner. Many of the classes were low or no cost. Check out your local Small Business Development Center or SCORE. No one is born knowing how to run a business and giving myself this wisdom was a key component to activating my career dreams.

4. Pay off Debt & Save Money

Before I could start my business, I needed to get my finances in order. By eliminating my debt while also beefing up my savings, I was able to break free of the “golden handcuffs”. I had to cut back on Amazon, dining out, lavish vacations, and impulse buying. Instead of buying a new wardrobe, I invested in a website. Rather than a fancy dinner each month, I hired a bookkeeper. Going to the movies was replaced by reading library books on how to market a small business. It was not easy, not always fun, and sometimes painful. Today, I can say, it was worth it!

5. Start Small

In the beginning, I often worked for free to learn the ropes, get feedback, and identify the best clients for me and my business. As I started to gain more experience, my confidence grew, and I started to charge for my services. Within 2 years, I knew I could make this work. My dream was becoming a reality.

Being a small business owner is scary and there are some days I still cry, but 10 years later, I love my job, I love my career, and I love my life. So, where do YOU want to be in 10 years? Let’s start activating!

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Madelyn Mackie

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