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March 2013

One Year Later…

One Year Later… 601 400 Kari Switala

I am thrilled to be celebrating my 1 year anniversary in business! For those of you that don’t know I actually started my business 3 years ago on a part-time basis, then in March of last year I got that push off the ledge that I needed to launch my business full-time! I became one of the 18% nationwide laid off professionals that chose entrepreneurship in 2012. Even though it has been a roller coaster of a year, I know I definitely made the right decision. Over the next two weeks I am going to be celebrating my success by recognizing those people that have helped me get to where I am today. Here’s my story…

One year ago, I had probably the most insane week of my life. I knew my position as the Marketing Director for a local accounting firm was in jeopardy and began to make plans to finally launch my business full-time. Much like many others, I had a plan and was ready to implement it. Unfortunately (or fortunately), someone else had another plan in mind. I was laid-off three months before my planned launch date which put a kink in my plans to say the least. Two days after I was laid off I headed up to our cabin (my sanctuary) with my family for Spring Break feeling relieved and terrified at the same time. This was it! This was what I was waiting for, but why was I so scared? At that point I faced what many entrepreneurs face when they choose to launch a business…no more safety net. You have to fight or flight!

I was gearing myself up for the fight when my husband I received word that we owed an enormous amount in taxes (this was on a Monday…no wonder I don’t like Mondays). Two days later, my husband was notified that his contract for his consulting position was ending. As if starting a business wasn’t scary enough, now I had all of this on my shoulders. I will say, as much as this was a low time in my life, I knew I was still in a better position than others dealing with loved ones dying of cancer, people facing foreclosures, etc. What did I do? I already had decided I was going to fight, so I got down on my knees and prayed for God to show me the way.

Choosing to pray and rely on my faith was the best business decision I ever made! After all, God has a plan for all of us and I knew this was the plan he had in store for me! Over the course of this past year, every time I have come to a crossroads, I have asked for directions and have been sent down the right path. Was it easy? No. I think I have cried the most I ever have in the past year. I have experienced many highs and many lows, the difference being when I hit a low, I CHOSE to get back up and fight for my dream!

You are probably wondering..why I’m telling you all of this? Well, my goal is to help encourage and inspire others that may be faced with the same situation. We will all hit a low in our life that will bring us down on our knees, but it’s our choice to determine if we are going to stand-up or lay down and give up. I hope you will choose to stand up and fight, because in the end that feeling is truly the reward for following your dreams.

I would like to thank some very special people that have helped me realize my dreams and have encouraged me to go after them! First and foremost, I thank God each and every day for the gifts he’s given me and for the path he has set me for me. My husband, Kevin and my two boys, Max & Sam who have picked me up many times with words of encouragement or a funny joke to get me out of my slump. My parents who have instilled in me the importance of hard work and dedication. My brother who is always there when I need him. My extended family that told me…Congratulations and you can do it (when I got laid off)! My best friends who have inspired me to keep going and have always been there to offer a shoulder when needed. My BNI group members who have been my cheerleaders and have helped me generate over 85% of my business! The list could go on and on. Thank you to each and everyone of you that have inspired and encouraged me along the way. Cheers to many more years in business!

“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t…you’re right!” –Henry Ford