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How This Serial Entrepreneur Found Commitment

“Do you think you will stay with this job?”  This is the young girl in the 9th grade Spanish class who stood up at Career Day.  Smack me in the forehead.  She changed my life.  I get bored when I work on the same project for too long.  I have so much energy, ideas, passions…  And I didn’t always have to earn “green ones” in order to survive.  Former spouse was the bread winner and frequent flyer mile millionaire.  I was mom, available and rather capable with tons of energy.

So I enjoyed going from adventure to adventure.  Right or wrong, I learned so much about career options, humans, the ability to morph.

I am a serial entrepreneur (hear Darth Vader in the background).

Job One:  Secretary

Had my MBA (me and three other women at UF) and graduated during the the worst unemployment period, comparable to what our “Occupy Wall Street” kids had to deal with.  Any job in advertising would be fine.  Just had to get started.  Briefcase in hand, I walked into the big NYC ad agency, ready to be the very best typist and coffee retriever EVER.  After one month, I asked to be included in the AE training program, without a pay raise, and was given the opportunity.   It was just okay but after 6 months, I was antsy.   Ran into a college friend in an elevator.  She was moving to London and needed to find someone to take her place.  Interviewed, gave notice, and off to the next adventure.

Job Two:  Special Events for American Express PLUS

I worked for a creative entrepreneurial woman, in her bedroom in Manhattan, and ran a major national special events campaign on 150 college campuses for Amex.  At 3 pm, her son came home from school and I was the babysitter.  Not quite what the professors said I would do with my MBA.  But terrific learning, exposure and opportunity.  Led to the next adventure, of course.

Job Three:  Director of Special Events and Promotions for a major college newspaper company

Heaven.  I now worked in an office with other people, dressed for my job, created new projects, had a sales team and wait for it…. got a word processor.  To put it in perspective, there were no computers, no email, no cell phones, no fax machines, long distance was way too expensive.  All direction was mailed via the US Postal Service. Loved the job, hated winter.  Headed back to South Florida.   No one knew what special events and promotions were in Miami.  Can you believe it?  Interview after interview and finally, I met this extraordinary man who ran one car race through the streets of Miami.

Job Four:  Car Racing Promoter

A few of us organized, promoted, and ran an international car race through the streets of downtown Miami.  Knowledge of motorsports — zero.  Knowledge of special events marketing and hospitality, a lot.  Great job, fun people, lots of growth and opportunity.  But alas, all things change in my world of serial entrepreneurship.

Job Five:  Manufacturer.  The One Job I kept for a long time.

I ultimately manufactured three pieces of gold named Adam, Shane and Matthew.  But my first baby led to transitional career needs.   I was ALWAYS late for daycare pickup; I learned what road rage was before it had a name; I hated rush hour traffic.  Quit the car racing job and became my own boss….

Job Six:  Target Market Consultants

I worked car races, tennis events and even air shows.  I had interns working with me and taught them so much about the business.  It was fun, it was growing, but I did not want to travel and be a job slave.  With three boys under the age of four, the TMC doors went into hibernation.

Job Seven:  The best PTA mom in the world

Way too much energy directed towards motivating other moms to participate.  But boy did we have fun.  I spent a year running one special event after another, encouraging moms to connect and contribute.  And we did.  A year though was plenty.  Needed another adventure and before I knew it, I was recruited from the tennis courts.

Job Eight:  Camp Director

The JCC needed a camp director and although I had never done this before, it was in my blood.  Just another special event so to speak.  Still needed by the tennis team, I worked where I played.  Revamped the marketing, the programming, the management systems and learned as much as I could about the world of summer camp.  I loved it!!  I was dealing with kids, teens and the parents in an environment that was right up my alley.  Four years and I had gone as far as I wanted.  New adventure needed.

Job Nine:  Snuggl’Up Pillows

Sometimes I wonder how I would get myself into these crazy adventures.  But I continued to learn – how to buy fabrics, manufacturer pillows, build a website, design a logo, get licensing, develop accounting systems, inventory, sales, trade shows, legalese, and more.  Used my MBA for this adventure.  BUT I HATED HAVING INVENTORY!!! Next!!  One of my clients needed a rep in South Florida…. Next adventure ahead.

Job Ten:  Camp Experts & Teen Summers

I feel like after a lifetime of learning and growing, I landed where all of my skills would finally come together.  I love people, working with parents, children and teenagers, AND I can finally earn a living doing what I love.  Being everyone’s “Camp Expert” has been rewarding, fun and when I look for new adventures, I remember the young lady at that career day.  She has no idea how she changed my life.

Through all of these adventures, I am at a point in my life where I have learned the difference between education and work; learning and passion; earning pocket money and earning a living.

And this I passed on to my kids…..  You are not too good or too big for any job.  Learn at every corner, be passionate about what you do, don’t be afraid to take a risk, and certainly know when it’s time to commit.

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