With various degrees of success in each position I’ve held since graduate school, I have been asked often about my professional journey, about the path I took to get to where I am today, how I’ve grown an extensive network of professional contacts, and how I had the gumption to quit my stable job and start Connective Impact. I’ve had more coffee meetings than I can count, enough telephone brain-picking sessions to fill a lifetime, and more advice emails sent than I ever thought necessary. My thoughts are always the same: take risks, be bold, be curious, ask questions, be a good listener, never stop learning, follow your gut, and keep moving forward at all costs.
When my friend Adam suggested that I publish my story about starting Connective Impact, instead of continue to repeat myself over and over with each request, I made the brave decision to take pen to paper and begin recording my story. At first, I wrote about the lessons I have learned fighting to get noticed in a (male and also generally) dominating world as an investment banker, then a policy negotiator, an NGO program leader, and now a company owner. The story evolved, however, into lessons in resiliency, grit, and determination—how letting go of guilt, fear, self doubt, and insecurity can lead us down paths toward fulfillment we would never have otherwise tested. I chose to include stories of others whose journeys are also laden with determination, a willingness to test the status quo or take risks.
These ChangeSeekers continue to inspire me, as many have, in the way each of their life’s work is about making a positive difference and seeking impactful paths for themselves. The process of writing became incredibly cathartic and emotionally healing for me after years of struggling with questions around my sense of worth. I realized that over the course of my many years navigating my own challenges, finding the “right” fit, and seeking a more impactful career, there might be something worthwhile to share.
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