I’m LaDawn Townsend. The last strategist you will ever have to hire.
I was an Executive in Corporate America for over twenty years.
And, then the day I was carried out of my office on a stretcher and into an Ambulance, everything changed for me.
I had a decision to make.
It was time to redefine what it meant to be a leader.
The reality became even more real as I laid on the Emergency Room bed hooked up to machines that monitored my vitals, all humming along like a finely tuned orchestra, all I thought to myself was “this is not the career I signed up for”
And, where do I go from here …
I decided that it was possible to be a leader and not live a life of high stress and anxiety.
How was I to share this methodology with others?
The answer was clear and that was to start my own business. It would be years before I made the move and it wasn’t a self-guided leap it was a push out of the land of a comfortable addiction to the bi-weekly direct deposit payroll check and into the unknown land of entrepreneurship.
Leadership isn't a job it is a calling.
“LaDawn, we have to let you go”
Sounds shocking, doesn’t it? But, wait there is more.
“We have to let go of your position, your managers, and your colleagues”
That was the call that I received in November 2014 that ended my twenty-year career in Corporate America. It is the call that no one wants to receive but I took the opportunity to start a new chapter in my professional career to start my own business.
It sounds like it would all be successful from the beginning right? An Executive that comes from a family-owned business, gets laid off and makes her business a winning success?
Not in the least bit.
After being laid off I gave my business a full force best effort to make it profitable while attempting to get funding and fell face first into opportunities for growth as a leader.
The first opportunity was receiving 35 rejection letters from banks in under 6 months in my attempt to get funding.
The second rejection was that no one seemed interested in my consulting services.
Here came the next decision to make. Do I give up or do I press ahead?
I pressed onward embracing the darkness of the unknown.
After surviving the wake-up ambulance ride of a lifetime I decided to stay committed to what I knew could help leaders transform their companies.
However, to do this I needed funding for my business because I quickly learned that being an executive was one thing but leading a successful company is very different.
What I did next took great courage, discipline, and a decision to not allow ego to get in the way of my success.
I went back to Corporate America.
But this time it was different. I committed myself to build the leadership discipline I needed to do whatever was needed to be done to get my business off the ground. It called for late nights, early mornings, very little downtime with family & friends, and a move to an entirely different state just to find a job.
I was willing to make these sacrifices because of the vow I made in the hospital years before and that was to never allow the circumstances around me to interrupt not only my life but my health ever again.
What has happened since that fateful day years ago that left me staring at the Emergency Room ceiling?
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And the journey is just beginning...
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