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One year on...

Today marks the one-year anniversary of my last day in my corporate career at TD.

Leading up to today, I found myself reliving some of the emotions I experienced last summer as I processed my decision to take what I viewed as a wild leap. But, mostly, I’ve been overcome lately by feelings of awe (that I did it!) and gratitude (for a lot of things).

I want to mark the occasion by sharing five of my (many… MANY) learnings from the last year.

I want to point out that a year is a long time but… it isn't really. So, I still have a lot to learn, which is one of the things I love most about this experience.

1. Courage is not the absence of fear. Being an entrepreneur is exhilarating but scary. Fear is just an emotion. We should honour that fear but it's what we do despite or because of that fear that counts.

2. Take time to pat yourself on the back, every day, no matter how insignificant your accomplishments may seem. External validation is important but most of us don’t spend enough time cheering ourselves or celebrating our “did wells”.

3. Find your people. Entrepreneurship has a lot to offer but it can be lonely. I was so fortunate to find Sarah Santacroce and the Humane Marketing Circle last Fall and Finka Jerkovic and the Sell From Love Accelerator program earlier this year. Both Sarah and Finka are wonderful and, through their respective groups, I have met other truly inspiring kindred souls.

4. Connect to your values. Whether you work for yourself or a large corporation, we can become lost if we aren’t clear on our personal values. Figure out what your top two or three are and put them somewhere where you can see them regularly. Consider how you live your values every day, in ways big or small.

5. Broaden your definition of success. Society will try to tell us that making money is all that matters. While most of us want and need to make money, there’s more to success than that. While I’ve been blessed with a more incredible first year than I ever dreamed possible, I learned that my definition of success includes gaining flexibility, making a difference, controlling what I work on, and being my own boss. If you’re having trouble figuring out what your definition of success should include, imagine yourself several years in the future, on your deathbed. What would you want to be able to say about your life then?

Finally, I try not to be overly mushy on social media but it’s important to note that I wouldn’t be doing any of this if it wasn’t for my incredibly supportive husband, Patrick Edward. This particular Patrick is taken, but I’m a big proponent of everyone finding their own “Patrick”. :)

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