Eight Life Tips I Learned from Starting Silver Linings Transitions

Eighteen years ago, a cancer diagnosis changed the trajectory of my life and though I didn’t know where it would lead, I knew the path I was on wasn’t “it”.  Fast forward 10 years later and I figured out what my career purpose would be. 
As I’ve shared, the pivot in my career and the inspiration for my company’s name was this cancer diagnosis.  Just like the clients we work with who may be facing challenging times, I found the “silver lining” in my situation.
This week Silver Linings Transitions celebrates the eighth anniversary of our official launch though it took more than a year to get it off the ground from it’s original inception. 

Starting a business from the ground up was much harder than I anticipated. Here are some things that have kept me going:

  1.  You have to be clear about your “why”. Simon Sinek says it best in his Ted Talk. People don’t buy “what” you do.  They buy “why” you do it.  If you are invested in your mission, it will make it so much easier to move forward when you’ve been knocked down.  I ended up separating from my husband of 15 years the same week I officially launched Silver Linings Transitions.  It was only then I discovered the “motherhood penalty” and how hard it was for women who’d given up careers, in order to take care of families, to re-enter the job market. Part of my “why” became creating an environment where people’s experiences and career sacrifices were valued. 
  2. “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Martin Luther King, Jr.  There were times along my journey I wanted to give up. I continued to just  take the next step and had faith what I needed would come.  
  3. The only thing you can rely on is uncertainty and change. You need to be prepared to react to what’s happening and pivot. 
  4.  “If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.” Booker T. Washington.  Many on our team have faced horrible tragedy while working for Silver Linings Transitions.  I found the best way to get them out of their darkness was by taking the focus off of their problems and being there for our clients.
  5.  If there is an activity that feels natural or it’s a place where you can be in a “flow state”, spend as much of your time there as possible. If there is an activity that sucks the life out of you, figure out a way to outsource it if possible. I have never been on an  organizing job but we have team members who light up when they organize.
  6. Treat your employees as clients.  As a “boss”, I never asked a team member to do a job I wasn’t comfortable doing myself. I also made it my policy from the very beginning to make sure team members knew they would be supported.  If they felt unsafe in a client’s home and needed to be taken off the job or they had personal issues they needed help with, I’ve tried my best to support them so they would bring their best selves to our clients.
  7. You cannot connect the dots on your life until you look backwards. Some things make no sense as you’re “in it” but when you look back you’re like “oh, this is why THAT happened”.  I love Steve Jobs Commencement Address  to Stanford University.
  8. Get a mentor or find groups who can help you. I was lucky to find the Entrepreneur Organization who offers an Accelerator Program to give me the tools I needed but did not learn having not gone to business school.. I joined Hera Hub, a coworking space which provided a community of other entrepreneurs to find support or a friendly environment when I felt overwhelmed or alone.

Whether you endeavor to start your own business or just need a little bit of “life support”, I hope you found some useful resources and tips. Thank you to the friends, family, clients and referral partners who trusted our company and enabled us to celebrate our Eighth year serving clients in the San Diego and Orange County area.