Thursday, August 25, 2011

On Our Own Terms

CHICKS ROCK! welcomes Adelaide as a special guest blogger this week and next after letting us interview her before the launch of the book The Big Enough Company: Creating a business that works for you. This week, she writes about what inspired her to be an entrepreneur:

Adelaide Lancaster is an entrepreneur, speaker and co-founder of In Good Company Workplaces, a first-of-its-kind community, learning center and co-working space for women entrepreneurs in New York City. She lives in Philadelphia, PA with her husband and daughter.

When it came time to graduate from my Masters program in Counseling Psychology I couldn’t find the kind of job that I was looking for. I wanted to be a career counselor for women who were deciding what direction to go professionally. Most of the positions available were in schools and there was very little counseling involved. The other larger organizations either required a lot of ancillary HR work or were working with more at-risk populations. So since I couldn’t find the job I wanted, I decided to create it! I started my own career counseling practice and consequently became an entrepreneur. I plunged myself completely into entrepreneurship, building my practice and learning everything I could about small business. My own exposure to entrepreneurship made me more interested in working with entrepreneurial clients. I got hooked and eventually morphed my whole practice into working with entrepreneurs who were starting and building businesses.

Before long we began to notice the negative impact isolation was having on our clients. Because most of them worked from home, they spent their days alone and were more unproductive, uninspired, and disconnected as a result. Plus too many of them battled to maintain a professional image while meeting clients in the local coffee shop. We decided to create a remedy: In Good Company, a community, learning center, and shared workspace designed specifically for women entrepreneurs. Four years later we support more than 300 businesses.

Two years ago we decided to shift our focus to another common entrepreneurial challenge: disenchantment. We had found that often entrepreneurs become more disenchanted as their company grows, very often because they made steep compromises on their own needs and goals. Convinced that entrepreneurial success is really about satisfaction, we decided to write The Big Enough Company: Creating a Business that Works for You. It pools our collective expertise as well as the stories of 100 entrepreneurs who demonstrate various ways to take advantage of the opportunity that entrepreneurship affords. It is our mission to help you work on your terms.

I love being an entrepreneur and love the opportunities it affords me. I have the ability to create work that is meaningful and rewarding on my own terms.

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