Solopreneurship Goes Global

Kristi writes at Medium and JugglingNormal. This article first appeared here, and is reproduced in full with permission.

It all started with this post.

I’m not sure how I ended up there.

Wait, no, it was this one.

April 26, 2017

I was 4–7 months into a sabbatical of sorts at the time, depending on how you were counting. Was the first day the date of our separation? Or was it the moment I decided to stop looking for a new job and instead build a better life? I don’t know how I found the link. I think I must have googled something like “family, sabbatical, better life.” That’s the thing about SEO; it’s always the most obvious keywords.

I was coming off 13 years as a media executive at HBO and more than 20 years in sports and entertainment. I was burnt out and seeking…Something new? Different? Better? Inspiration? Motivation? A mentor? A role model? Hope? Who knows.

Can we set up a time to chat? I would love to talk about a sabbatical like this for our family.

I emailed the author, and she replied with her email address and calendar. We scheduled a Skype meeting for a couple of weeks later. I confessed my fears, ideas, and aspirations, and asked her every question.

I walked away from the conversation thinking three things, 1) I’ve always loved bold, decisive, smart women who live life on their terms. 2) What’s Medium? And I want to be a writer, could I find a home there too? 3) What a crazy cool world we live in that a woman in Colorado could reach out to a woman in London/Greece/Thailand, get a response that’s exactly what she needs.

An essential takeaway before I move on: First, what I did there — feel attracted to something, and take immediate action towards said attraction — that’s a valuable life skill. The Universe, God, your intuition, whatever you believe in, is continually nudging you towards your best life. Yet, signs, synchronicity, and instinct only work if you act.

Immediacy isn’t required, but often the moment passes us by, or we miss the opportunity in a sliding doors way. And, if we ignore the signs over and over again, we get so off track that it’s hard to find the signs. That’s when our lives don’t feel like our own, we are just going through the motions, and we’re disconnected from the magic of the Universe.

Life can be way easier than that.

Quick Recap

Laid off Fall 2016, launched my first blog shortly after, read Caterina’s post Spring 2017, published my first Medium post on January 1, 2018, and my first book on January 31, 2018, then off to the races.

Launched my coaching practice and took Yale’s most popular course Fall 2018, completed B-School Spring 2019, and DCA Fall 2019, launched my first course Spring 2020, and here we are.

All that to say, I know that of which I speak. I am all-in on entrepreneurship. It’s a wild, brilliant ride, but the most incredible part has got to be tapping into a global network. It. blows. my. mind.

On the evening of Memorial Day, I spent two hours in a Zoom meeting with a renowned coach from India who has delivered Ted talks on four continents. In the last month, I’ve had similar 1:1 sessions with women from Israel, Columbia, South Africa, Denmark, Canada, and Australia.

I’m a part of four private communities of more than 114,000 members, primarily women, who represent more than 150 countries.

I collaborate within two collectives of women from 28 states, and my mastermind is composed of women from 6 cities.

The women represent every demographic under the sun, but have so much in common too. They are bold, decisive, smart women who are living (or taking steps toward) life on their terms.

We all seek happiness, fulfillment, and success.

We all want the best for ourselves, our families, the planet. We all are empowered, motivated, caring, and incredibly inspiring.

Seeing like-minded women come together in so many ways, to lead, influence, create, help, collaborate, and change the world, will never get old.

Global citizenship is a family tenet, in part because my husband and I grew up in small towns with little exposure to the world. We didn’t travel until our 20s, and then, of course, we fell in love with everywhere. It opened our eyes to how beautiful and interconnected life can be.

We wanted to instill that appreciation for life from day one in our three children. They attend a language immersion school that teaches half-day in English, and half-day in Spanish, French, and Mandarin. There’s a strong emphasis on cross-cultural perspectives, tolerance, world-class ideas, critical thinking, peace, and global economies. The teachers are always from a home country that natively speaks the language, and the student body is as diverse as you would imagine.

When I exited Corporate America, I expected entrepreneurship to be a lot of things — less patriarchal, more innovative, less formal, more collaborative, but I had no idea that community over competition is more than just a hashtag, that the community would be truly global, or that so many promote and invest in each other.

I guess, I, probably like a lot of others, pictured more mom and pop small business owners than like-minded women and freedom-seeking digital nomads. My view was outdated; now, I know.

If you hope entrepreneurship is less bureaucratic than corporate, you won’t be disappointed. If you wish for more upside, more opportunity, and more freedom, you’ll be happy to know; it is what you make it.

So take everything good you imagine, picture being agile and uncomplicated as an organization or startup, then add a connected and accessible global network, in which you can celebrate, commiserate, brainstorm, conduct market research, learn from and with, and collaborate at any time.

Ask your peers and mentors for feedback, garner insights, and take the pulse on individuals and communities at the touch of a button, then pivot or tweak accordingly. It’s an advantage, but it’s more than that.

It’s an opportunity to be better informed, more conscious, broaden your perspective, resonate at scale, and be relevant. Take coronavirus, for example. The news sucks. When I want to know what to do, I call my doctor, but when I’m wondering what’s really happening in other places, China, Italy, New York, or anywhere else, I reach out to a friend that lives there.

What a crazy cool world it is.

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