As I continue to reflect on this last year and all the things that happened because I decided to start my own business, I keep going back to the fact that if it weren’t for certain people, things could have been drastically different for me.
My success over the last year had little to do with strategic planning, goal setting, or business savvy. Instead, it had everything to do with the people who took a chance on me. Yes, this is partially because of my experience but it is mostly because they chose to gamble. These are my mentors. Now, they may not see themselves in this way, but they were crucial to my success these past 12 months. I am so happy that I get to call Bob Livonius and Tom Erb my mentors, (even if they don’t know it)!
I was introduced to Bob years ago via a mutual colleague (another mentor) and frankly he was very intimidating. When I think of giants in the healthcare industry, I think of Bob. He has so much wisdom and knows something about everything. Fast forward to a year ago, I reached out to Bob, via email, after I lost my job, just to say thank you for a connection he made for me previously. I let him know that I was not
working, and he quickly asked to set up a call with me.
During that first call with Bob, I was at my lowest point in my career, my self-confidence was nonexistent, and I was holding back tears as we were speaking. I just felt lost. Bob as usual had valuable information to share, but mostly he was incredibly kind to me and introduced me to the idea of consulting. I don’t think he realizes what that initial phone call did for me and my self-worth. It is incredibly humbling when a brilliant person such as Bob says that he believes in you. Since then, Bob has been my “ask anything” person. There is no business topic off limits. How should I approach this problem client? Bob had the answer. What do I charge for this service? Bob had the answer. How should I track my billable hours? Bob had the answer. There was also never an idea that I threw at Bob that he shot down, he may have redirected, but was always supportive. Bob has also been instrumental in helping me grow my network. This is what led me to Tom!
Tom Erb is an entrepreneur and President of Tallann Resources. Tom is a veteran in the staffing industry and is a great teacher! After our first phone call, he reached out to me to partner with him on a project. At that time, I knew nothing about proposals, contracts or “selling” my services but Tom held my hand through everything! He has become a sounding board for me in all aspects of my business. Should I be an LLC or a S Corp? Tom had the answer. Do I provide freebies or charge for everything? Tom had the answer. Should I be 100% direct or sugar coat a bit? Tom had the answer.
There is also never a shortage of recommendations from Tom on ways that I can continue to market myself and grow my business. If I can say one thing about Tom, it’s that he genuinely wants the people around him to be successful. This is rare. Tom is the definition of bringing others up as you continue to succeed. From the moment I met Tom, he has treated me as a peer, when really, I was taking more than I was giving. I struck gold when I met him and will forever be grateful to him.
In short, I want to say thank you to these two men because there is not a doubt in mind that they paved the way to my success this year and I hope I have made them both proud.