You Go Girl!

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Kids can change everything. Anyone who has kids has heard this before, likely before the kids were even born. I never knew the extent of how true this could be until I had two of my own.

I was happily married, had just graduated with my Master’s in Business Administration, and was working my way up the corporate ladder with a 15-year marketing career; already under my belt when baby number one was born. I had to commute two hours each way and it was a bit like a scene out of the movie Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Each morning and afternoon I drive, take a bus, take a ferry, take a walk, and take a shuttle between my office and home, which left a lot of time pondering how I could do my life different and better.

Oftentimes it takes something life-changing to alter a comfortable, safe, and stable course of wake, work, and sleep. It’s Friday! It’s another repeat.

For me, having kids was life-changing. I wanted to be present for my family and I wanted something more than an eight-hour workday plus a four-hour commute. My catalyst into life as an entrepreneur may not be the same as yours, but don’t wait for something to happen to pursue what you love.

When I left the security of my career at a Fortune 500 company, I started consulting. Consulting allows me to set my hours and work when and where I want.

When thinking of making a change, keep in mind that you are the expert in something that someone isn’t, and people without your skill will pay for your expertise.

Creating the passion and flexibility you want in your life can begin with these simple steps: 

1. Start consulting. A consultant provides the expertise and manpower needed without the expense of bringing on a full-time employee. Companies are always looking to work with consultants for projects or to achieve their long-term objectives.

2. Get uncomfortable. Life as an entrepreneur needs hard work to be successful; you must be bold, ask for what you want, and step outside of your comfort zone. I vividly remember my very first sales meeting with my first client. I sat up the meeting (without any prior connection to this client) to present my ideas on how to improve their business. Driving to this first meeting, I was so nervous and kept thinking of all the reasons I should turn the car around.

3. Don’t let self-doubt paralyze you from acting. I sat in my car before going into that first meeting and gave myself a pep talk. This meeting could change the course of my life. I had to make it happen, and no one else would do it, but me.

4. No one is going to push you but yourself. When you’re an entrepreneur, it’s up to you to pick up the phone, send that email, or create that business plan. That meeting landed me my first client in the wine industry and opened many, many doors that I never thought would be possible if I would have succumbed to my fears and stayed in the car that day.

5. Do something every day that will keep the momentum going. That could be something like identifying a list of key clients, finding a web developer, or ordering business cards. Do something.

6. Find your passion and go after it. Wine is my passion and marketing is my area of expertise. I merged those two to start my marketing consulting business focusing on helping wineries grow sales through social media and traditional marketing.

7. Life is what you make it and no one determines your success except you. If you’re thinking of doing something different with your life and career, I encourage you today to take that first step to make it happen


Brooke Huffman

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Brooke Huffman is a wine loving California native who now lives in Puget Sound, Wash. She is the co-owner of Fletcher Bay Winery and the owner of TheSocialSip.org, a social media marketing company for wineries. She is the executive director of the Winery Alliance of Bainbridge Island, a board member of the Washington State Wine Commission and a mom of two toddlers.