I’m a 20-year Fortune 100 leader turned 2nd-year entrepreneur, and I love working for myself!
Yet, I just took a job as senior advisor at FarWell leaving lots of people asking: “Why?” “What happened?” “Corporate?”
Valid questions! My friends and colleagues know I value flexibility and freedom to work a lot or a little, try new things, do what I love, AND that I fully planned to finish my career as an entrepreneur. If I were them, I’d be asking the same things!
Then I met FarWell…
At a particularly low point of my entrepreneurial journey, I applied for a job with some company named FarWell. FarWell is a business advisory company helping clients move their strategic, transformational, and sometimes messy priorities forward (one of the things I love).
Over the following 6+ months I got to know many advisors, they hired my company for some of their own strategic work, and I discovered who FarWell is. During that time, I realized what I value might just exist inside someone else’s organization. Here are the learnings that moved me out of full-time entrepreneurship into becoming a FarWell advisor.
I value freedom to do the work I love: it brings out the best of me!
In a large corporate environment, jobs and hierarchies are pretty defined. While I had some amazing roles in my corporate experience, I had to work hard to find or shape the ones that allowed me to contribute my blend of strategic thinking, innovative curiosity, and playful creativity. [Enter entrepreneurship.]
FarWell not only offers, but expects, that I will contribute me to the company and to our clients.
Strategic thinking? Absolutely. Innovation? YES! Help us bring more value. Creativity & playfulness? I probably wouldn’t fit in without it.
I value being human before all else: a great employee experience builds a great client experience.
While all companies need to be profitable to stay alive, there are many ways to make that happen. In my experience as a leader, employees who are proud of where they work and excited about what they do create great value and experience for their clients.
As I began talking with FarWell, I started hearing about putting employees first in their business model. (Of course, all companies say that.) But get this… person after person I met had their own version of this story:
FarWell is growing and will as much as possible place you with the kind of work you want, AND to the level of capacity you have: it’s the only way to give our best to our clients.
The advisors’ stories were unique examples of this truth in their own lives and left me wanting to learn more.
I value giving much and building trust: relationships earn profitability.
As an entrepreneur, I re-learned the lesson I’ve always known to be true: people hire you when they trust and believe you can solve their problems, NOT because of marketing, advertising or even cost. That trust and belief comes from a relationship developed over time.
FarWell is a humble, value-driven company rooted in relationship. Rather than investing in big ad campaigns, 50+ advisors offer connection and value through community leadership, blogs & free content.
My favorite example, which I see as unique for companies needing advisory help:
We offer a no-cost strategic assessment and recommendation for the best way forward called the “Right-Fit Discovery.”
It’s not part of a proposal, but a service offering fresh eyes, deep expertise and strategic insight. And yes, it also provides value and builds trust so company leaders can assess our capabilities and decide whether FarWell might be the solution they’re looking for.
So, am I an entrepreneur? YES! Am I an employee? YES! That breaks all the rules, so how is this possible? Because FarWell brings the values I have into an organization that seems to be built for me.
Together, we are an entrepreneurial enterprise with entrepreneurial people collaborating to make great things happen for the people we serve.