The Start Up Journey…Starting Again

On February 29th, I launched WNY People Development. For months, I had planned, researched, brainstormed, gathered feedback, and prepared to execute my vision of “people development with purpose”; I was poised to establish myself in Wilmington, North Carolina as THE top provider of leadership development for our millennial and Gen Z workforce. Every detail from the logo, training offerings, the “give back” model, and even the card stock selected for business cards, was meticulously chosen; I knew my brand, and I was excited to begin building local clientele through face-to-face coaching and training. While discussing the first draft of my business plan, I made it clear to a friend and colleague helping me work through the process, I was not interested in the virtual training space; my focus was local, in-person facilitation. She agreed, and the decision was made to put all my efforts into that model moving forward.

Then, the world was sent home, and everything went virtual.

Like many other businesses, I needed to pivot to find my place in a landscape dominated by Zoom meetings and social distancing; not optimal for a person who relies on interpersonal relationships, non-verbal cues, and basic human contact to build professional compentencies. Additionally, I didn’t have the equipment necessary to build a virtual brand…or did I?

One thing I love about change, although it may be uncomfortable, it breeds innovation. I didn’t have a snazzy camera with an expensive lens, but I did have an Iphone that took quality video. I didn’t have studio lighting, but I did have a desk facing a window to provide strong illumination. I didn’t even have a tripod to hold my phone in place for filming, but I did have an orchid in a pot that I could lean my phone against to provide a steady picture. With this random set of stuff, I filmed my first video, and I discovered something…I kinda liked it! I assumed that, without interaction and response, I would be uncomfortable sharing information; instead, I found that words flowed easy, and I felt energized.

In an effort to help leaders engage and motivate teams virtually, I shared stategies in ten short videos on multiple social media platforms, titled “Virtual Leader Snapshot Series”; I was shocked to discover that I had followers from around the country, not just local friends and family, watching, liking, and commenting. I realized that, with a little creativity and an open mind, there were other opportunities for me to grow my business beyond my little corner of Southeastern North Carolina.

So that’s where I am…start up, starting over. Historically, I put a ton of work into planning (ask my husband about family vacations; each day has a perfectly timed agenda of activities); I like to have control of my what, when, and how, and that was the goal when I launched WNY People Development. That being said, I am so grateful that I have been pushed out of my comfort zone into unexpected, and unknown territory. I have discovered new online avenues to connect with potential clients, free opportunities to publicly share my views in writing with an international audience, I’ve experimented with creative training software, and I now know what filters optimize videos; I can’t wait to see what I learn next on this journey!

We have a choice…we hold on to what WAS, or we grow with what IS, and COULD BE. In these times, I choose the latter; it doesn’t mean I’ve abandonded my brand, or the vision I set out to create, it’s simply an opportunity to look at both with a fresh set of eyes to build a stronger, more well rounded support system for business.

So I ask you, what COULD BE?

If you are stuck, and need to move past your “was” to what “could be”, WNY People Development is prepared to provide training and coaching for you and/or your team virtually. Contact us at to schedule a complimentary consultation today!

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Who needs fancy equipment when you have a window and an orchid?