Slamming doors can signal new opportunities - #IMadeTheAsk with RM Harrison
Welcome to the #IMadeTheAsk entrepreneur spotlight series, where we share the stories of entrepreneurs and small business owners who have made the ask...and lived to tell the tale.
Read on to learn about RM's business journey, and why hearing NO was just the beginning of a new adventure.
Tell us a bit about yourself, and your journey as an entrepreneur.
My journey as an entrepreneur began back in 2011, when I quit my "good job with benefits" to start my own design company. At the time, I had only one objective, which was to never again return to the 9-to-5 life. I had no idea what it was going to require of me to actually achieve that! After only three years in business, I completely burned out of it, because I had outgrown the work and was no longer motivated to keep the business going. It took a year of soul-searching, following that, for me to figure out who I wanted to be in the world and what I had to offer; and to then decide how to apply that to building a viable business.
What's an Ask that you chickened out of making...and regret?
I honestly can't think of one...
What's the Ask that you're most proud of making - whether or not it worked out?
About six months before I decided to leave my corporate job, I'd asked to be promoted into a higher-level position—which I felt would be a good challenge professionally and re-engage me at that particular workplace. When I spoke with my then supervisor about it, her response was "no." They wanted someone with more experience in that role, so I was unqualified.
Which Ask has been the biggest win for you - professionally or personally?
I consider that Ask to be the biggest win for me. I knew I didn't want to work for anyone else. So, had it worked out, I might not have had the fuel I needed to strike out on my own. I probably would've been distracted for another few years by a job that I didn't love, because it was paying the bills and providing "security". However, because that door was slammed shut, I was nudged on the path that I'm on today. Now, I'm doing work that's deeply satisfying. And I had to go through the process exactly as it happened in order to end up here.
What's your #1 piece of advice for other entrepreneurs or business owners who are gearing up to #maketheask?
My advice for other entrepreneurs is to find the opportunity in the "no." It's very possible that one door is not meant to open for you, because your journey is taking you in a different direction. Consider the other opportunities that might be wide open to you, and are aligning you for where you ultimately want to be.