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  • Writer's pictureHeather

The Real Reason I Left Corporate to Consult

Some called me brave. Others said I was a “badass.” For me, it was neither. I just started paying attention to the stirring inside and a deep sense of knowing there had to be a better way.

When I made the decision to leave my successful corporate job and title of Senior Marketing Director of Strategic Initiatives, I did so knowing I was on “the list” for equity compensation — the corporate equivalent to getting signed to the major leagues.

While I will never know specifics, no amount of money was worth another 4-5 years at the same frenetic pace.

The truth was:

▫️I was tired of good work being rewarded with more work (and no comp adjustment).

▫️ I spent 80% of my “work hours” in meetings and too many nights and weekends trying to catch up. (I was always on and feeling the burn out.)

▫️ I wasn’t able to carve out the blocks of uninterrupted time I needed to actually think. (I wasn‘t mentally able to bring my A-game anymore, and it frustrated me.)

The Wall Street Journal best-selling author and business coach Dorie Clark refers to this as “white space” in her book The Long Game.

In her book, she cites two separate studies where nearly the same percentage of senior leaders identified strategic thinking — defined as the ability to focus deliberately on long-term priorities — as key to their company’s success while also saying that they don’t have enough time to do long-term strategic thinking.

Read that again. 🤔

The only thing that makes that statement more absurd is the percentages — 97% and 96% respectively. Whaaaaat!?!? 🤯

That’s just silly, and it confirms that how I was feeling was seemingly par for the course in corporate. I mean, when do 96% of people ever agree on anything let alone confirming the inability to do the one thing that’s game-changer for the company?

So, I laid out a plan and did it. I left corporate to consult.

What I’ve learned in the years since is content for another day, but that decision is one I will never regret.

Now I’m able to structure my client work around the invaluable “white space” that only 3-4% of today’s corporate leaders get to enjoy.

Plus, it gives my clients the benefit of a strategic thought partner with depth and breadth of marketing experience to solve pressing business problems.

If you’re contemplating a shift yourself or simply have questions, drop me a line.

It’s never too late to build the life you want.



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