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Exiting Corporate, Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs, and Juggling it All - Episode 14

Erin Carpenter
Jun 13, 2018 5:28:16 AM
Are you working in corporate, wondering if moving into entrepreneurship is worth the risk of losing your financial stability? It’s a common objection we hear about franchise ownership, and one that makes sense! It’s hard to leave something you know so well, and something that’s provided for you and your family for years.

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Real Story: Lisane’s Transition from Corporate to Business Ownership

If worry about leaving corporate is what’s stopping you from pursuing your passion, you need to meet Lisane Basquiat. Lisane is the owner of Hera Hub Carlsbad (as well as two other businesses), which is a licensed concept - similar to but not exactly the same as a franchise.

Lisane worked for 23 years in the corporate environment for several Fortune 500 companies. She would lead business transformation projects and organizational change management projects. These were large-scale, enterprise-wide projects.  

She enjoyed the work, and spent the last 5 years of the corporate career knowing that she’d had a good experience but that she certainly wanted to do something more aligned with her skill set and passion, something she believed would have more impact.

While working in corporate, Lisane had also been acting as a mentor and business coach, and in 2008 she decided to leave her corporate job and build out her coaching practice.

Years later, Lisane moved to San Diego. She loved the area, but didn’t know anyone and sought a community. Luckily, she was soon introduced to Hera Hub, a female-focused co-working space and business accelerator. Hera Hub offers space to get work done, community to work along and collaborate with, and programming that focuses on educational opportunities for female entrepreneurs to learn and practice different aspects of a business. 

Hera Hub was the community she had been searching for.

Soon, Lisane was offered the opportunity to buy the license to own Hera Hub Carlsbad. She was immediately interested because she had been an entrepreneur for years and really enjoyed helping women to live their dreams so they could do more of what they want to do vs. doing what they have to do. The opportunity to lead and facilitate that at Hera Hub Carlsbad was really exciting.

She decided to seize the opportunity had has been the owner of Hera Hub Carlsbad for just over a year now, and couldn’t be happier.

Here’s how her life has changed. When she worked in a corporate job, Lisane would get up in the morning, roll out of bed, and her day would start immediately - sometimes even before her feet hit the ground. She’d rush around all day, doing her best to balance time with her family with her role as a full time employee.

In corporate, full time really means full time, especially as you move up the leadership ladder. The higher you get, the more you’re working.

She have a lot of time, and didn’t feel a lot of power within her own work experience. She like something was missing.

lisane with felenaToday, even with three businesses and the responsibilities that come with that, she finds herself in a much better place. Lisane has a really strong team around her - both people who help her get things done, and a team of support community who understands the world of entrepreneurship. She can draw from them as an ear, for help, and for resources.

She’s now a strong, independent business owner surrounded by a strong community, fulfilling her passion. What could be better?

“When I have those moments when I’m frustrated or feeling a little overwhelmed, I remember working for other people and I remember what that felt like,” Lisane says. “This is so much more fun, and lighter, and impactful than any of the work I did in 23 years [in corporate] combined.”

Buying a Licensed Business vs. Starting one from Scratch

As the founder of Shaping Freedom and co-founder of Transition Haven, Lisane never imagined she’d own a licensed business or a franchise, or any pre-existing business model.

hera hub womenShe could have taken the concept of a female-focused co-working space and made one of her own. Instead, she decided to move forward as a licensee. Why? Because Hera Hub’s is a model that makes sense. She knows and loves the community, and knows the system works. The fact that it was a tried and true model with a pre-existing community was appealing.

A lot of her corporate job was fixing or tweaking systems and processes. The great thing about a franchise/licence concept is that the systems and process are already intact.

Lisane really appreciated the fact that she wouldn’t have to build a business from scratch. She’s done it before and knows what it takes. So, instead of grinding away from day one to build a business from scratch, she could instead focus attention on building and curating a community. Buying a pre-existing business allowed Lisane to make a greater impact in a shorter amount of time.

“If you’re at a place in your career where you really want to do something for yourself and you really want to be tied into and dialed into true pay for performance, then a license model or a franchise model is an absolutely wonderful way to be able to do that while also giving you a head start of building a complete business.” Lisane says.

Overcoming Doubts about Leaving Your Corporate Job

erin and lisaneMany women are inspired by stories like Lisane’s, but wonder if they can find the same success. Do they really have what it takes?

The objection that Lisane most often hears from women in corporate is that they don’t want to lose their stability. In her opinion, is simply not true, at least most of the time.

If this is your fear, her advice is to sit down and clearly determine your financial needs, time needs, and personal needs. Get rid of any belief you have that you could never do as well as you’re doing in corporate. You can!

Surrounding yourself with the right people is one of Lisane’s biggest piece of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.

This is something she knew from experience. In the past, she’d run into bumps in her businesses and well-meaning friends who worked in corporate would say things like “Why don’t you just come back into corporate? You had a great job.” It became obvious early on that to continue on the road of entrepreneurial endeavors she needed to surround herself with people who understand and support that.

When you make the decision to become an entrepreneur, especially as a woman (not to exclude men, but women have a unique set of circumstances), it is really important to also build community around you because the entrepreneurial road can be very lonely, especially if you’re not around a lot of people who are entrepreneurs.

They might not understand your struggle. You want to set yourself up for success, and one of the first and fundamental ways to do that is to surround yourself with others doing similar work, building their own businesses.

18518110_1355886647859273_5194588741601688769_oA group of like-minded entrepreneurs can serve as a sounding board for your ideas, an accountability team to help you stay on track, and a wealth of resources to help you when you or your business needs support. This is a key aspect of successful business ownership.

Another common objection Lisane hears is women who aren’t sure they have what it takes to leave corporate and go out on their own.

But, think about it. What are you doing in your corporate job? Lisane busted her butt for other people when she worked within her corporate career. She expectations every single year. She e the success of every project she worked on. She juggled priorities, worked within tight deadlines, showed courage, influenced others, and got things done.

This is exactly what’s done as an entrepreneur. It’s not uncharted territory. You’ve done it before, just working for other people. Have the confidence that you can do it for yourself, too.

“Trust yourself and have courage,” Lisane says. “Believe in yourself. Believe you can generate at least the revenue you were making through working for someone else, yourself. Get the right people around you to help to show you how and to show you how that’s possible.”

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