In 2006 I left a lucrative market research career to start a business.
As a new business owner I needed to network, give presentations, sell my services and get people on board with my ideas. Having spent the first half of my career “behind the scenes”, I didn’t have the confidence or skills to do any of those effectively.
In fact, at networking events I’d head straight into market research mode asking questions of everyone else yet rarely talking about my business. During presentations I could feel my heart race and see people tuning out. And sales? Well, let’s just say I didn’t want to bother people with what I had to say.
As a result, my performance suffered and I felt like an imposter. Everyone around me walked away with new opportunities while I walked away thinking, “Hey! I’m smart and capable! Hire me!”
This lead to a steady stream of stress instead of a steady stream of business.
At a crossroad, I needed to get another research job or figure out how to talk to people. Not ready to give up on the business, I decided to beef up my confidence & communication skills.
So, I joined Toastmasters, hired personal and business coaches, took classes, read books and said “yes” to speaking, networking and leadership opportunities. Anything to help me stick to my vision and commitment.
Over time the work paid off.
Not only did I feel more comfortable with these activities, I became more engaging. And the more I put myself out there – taking risks, building relationships, acting on and selling my ideas – the more I noticed other women faced similar challenges.
While our business roles and responsibilities differed, we had the following in common:
We built successful careers “behind the scenes” – in finance, operations, or analytical jobs – and suddenly found ourselves in more visible roles. And, we had to talk to people all the time. Many felt uneasy and ill-prepared for these new roles.
So, I turned my biggest obstacle into a business. (Learn more about me professionally.)
I believe in you and your ideas
That’s why I created Engage The Room. To give purpose-driven leaders and business owners like you – who are used to working behind the scenes – the tools and support you need to get your message across more powerfully in all types of business settings.
You need what I call the 3Cs:
Courage: It starts with you
Bring your boldest self to every interaction.
Clarity: The message you send
Figure out what to say and how to say it.
Connection: It’s not about you
Create environments that bring out the best in people.