This month marks 18 years since I launched Wisnik Career Enterprises (WCE). It has been an amazing journey filled with tons of opportunities, challenges and rewards.
Many people have asked me over the years, “What inspired you to start your own business?” My first response is “temporary insanity!” What was I thinking, to quit my six-figure a year job as Director of Recruitment & Training at Cadwalader? Well, during my moment of “temporary insanity,” I decided that the risk of not trying was greater than the risk of failure. So I spent 3 months writing a business plan, sought the advice and support of my peers (who turned out to be my first clients and many still are!), quit my job and started WCE.
It all sounded like a well thought-out plan, but I was absolutely terrified! Every morning for the first 6 months, I wrote in a journal. Most of what I wrote sounded like this: “I am really scared, what was I thinking when I quit my nice job?”
The most important thing I have learned over the years is that when I feel fear, but listen to my “gut” and still move forward and act, really good things happen! Honestly, even after all these years, I still feel fear on a regular basis; mostly it is the uncertainty that is inherent to being an entrepreneur: Will clients still want my services? Will a change at a key client result in loss of the relationship? What if the firm merges?
I have had to train myself that the only thing I can control is what we offer clients. Being “of value,” so clients want to work with WCE, underlies everything we do. In other words, listening to clients’ needs and constantly evolving, so we are relevant and needed. There is no paycheck unless we do something that clients need!
So…what would I tell my 33 year old self, 18 years ago? I would say, “Go for it!” There will be so many people who will be there to support you and if you can just get past the fear, you will experience amazing rewards and you will have no regrets!