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Are you dreaming of switching into a field totally different from what you’re in? Gone are the days when adults had one career trajectory. A recent 2017 study reports that overall self-employment is likely to triple to 42 million workers by 2020, with millennials leading the way.

Many don’t come right out of school ready for entrepreneurship. Like me, running our own business finds us and it requires a pivot from our current life.

And self-employment often looks like starting something from scratch. My friend Janel pivoted from a career in politics to launching her own athleisure brand.

So many gems from our chat here for those of you who are considering making career pivots.

Step One: Making Career Pivots

Praise: We’re now alive, look at us, we’re in. Hi everybody, so I am here and not my closet I’m actually in a wonderful closet in Washington D.C., in the nation’s capital with my friend Janelle here. She has been hosting me the last couple of days which has been really fun, but how I know her, is an incredible just like girlboss story. So can you tell them how we know each other?

Janel: Yeah, so we actually were fortunate enough to be in Bali earlier this year with Yellow, who put on a fantastic retreat for sort of budding entrepreneur female entrepreneurs that had a social good component and so it attracted wonderful people like Praise here, and that’s where we met.

Praise: Shout out to Yellow and Joanna and the whole team for putting us together, KC, what was her alter ego?

Janel: Janice! 

Praise: Janice! Yeah, Janice! Oh never forget, never forget. So it’s just so fun having friends all across the country especially like badass women accomplishing things and so we were just having a fun conversation in the car and I looked at her and said I want to put this on IGTV because I feel like people could really benefit from it. So, Janelle is an amazing badass woman, a go-getter woman which is just like my niche of women. She has had a few different kinds of lives which is really cool so I want her to talk about what’s behind us, and that’ll kind of transition into everything.

Janel: Yes, so again I’m Janel and I think what Praise is talking about is… everything that you see behind us right now did not exist probably about 18 or 19 months ago, but I just decided out of the blue that I wanted to learn how to start and run a business and I didn’t know what I was gonna do so after a conversation with my sister, we were talking about the fact that when we’re working out we have to work out in something, or when we’re done working out there’s you know there’s there’s some athleisure wear out there but wouldn’t it be fun to at least try to work inside that market. 

So everything you see behind is sort of a reflection of what I’ve been working on for the last year and a half.

Never Giving Up On The Entrepreneurial Journey

Praise: Cute designs, too, so this is one of her newest ones it says “never gives up” and it’s kind of a fun take (and let me know if this design inspiration is wrong) but is it like from the thank you bags?

Janel: Yeah, yeah and especially if you’re pushing a message of never giving up like, what better way to do that than like be super repetitive?

Praise: Yes be repetitive and you can probably catch her like doing something athletic in it too or just even if she’s grocery shopping, she’s never giving up with it. 

Janel: You know honestly I think this ties into like, everybody’s entrepreneurial journey, or even those who haven’t maybe started yet. It’s this idea that like, hustle beats talent any day of the week. And also this concept of resilience being, I think one of the greatest traits somebody can have: perseverance, endurance, resilience. Because it’s really seeing something through. I think that makes people successful. 

I was just listening–I had a run earlier today and I was listening to “How I Built This” with Richard Branson, and he just said “I just didn’t quit on the day I felt like quitting,” and I thought that was a really good glimpse into somebody who, you know, obviously he has the benefit of hindsight. He’s sitting from a perch that many of us would like to be at someday and he’s kind of looking back at his beginnings just saying, “yeah I just decided that failure was okay.” I think he said something like, “if you run 250 businesses and one fails, you still have 249 so you just can’t like give up a month in.”

Praise: Yeah, I love it, and that is so the entrepreneurial just motto – when we were talking about that yesterday that the entrepreneurial journey is like, “success, failure, success, failure” and overall in hindsight if we look back and see we’re actually going somewhere. But it’s this roller coaster on the way there.

Janel: Yeah and self-made, too, right? I think it was Mark Twain who said:

“Worry has ruined a lot of my days, and half of the things that I worried about never came true.”

Or something along those lines, so I think sometimes the mountains and valleys that we subject ourselves to can be avoided I think when we get a little bit further on the journey and we have the benefit of thinking back to, “oh wait, you know what, the last time when I launched a shirt nobody bought it for seven days.” You remember how you felt that way, okay well it’s just day two, wait till you get to day seven, before freaking out… 

Praise: Muscle memory.

Janel: Yes, exactly, so you start learning from those types of mistakes and realizing that you don’t have to subject yourself to all the emotions that you’re tempted to.

Praise: Totally, totally. It’s controlling those emotions as an entrepreneur. It’s a very real thing I feel like, psychoanalyzing entrepreneurs is a very real thing. We’re a different kind of brain. Definitely different. What’s interesting about you is that entrepreneurship is kind of a pivot for you. So, can you tell our friends out there a little bit about what you were doing before and the decision to pivot?

Janel Broderick, who discusses making career pivots in our interview, sits on a running track wearing her athleisure designs.

Making the Career Pivot into Entrepreneurship

Janel: Yeah I don’t know, for a couple of months I lovingly referred to this as a “midlife crisis” and so I told my husband, “you know hey other people are doing much worse things in their midlife crises than I am.” I’m not buying a new car like somehow I’m launching a brand that sells t-shirts. So for me, I had been in the political industry for about 15+ years. I worked at the federal level for the US Senate. I worked at the state level and then I worked on the political side with political parties and, you know, I think that everybody goes through this to some degree: 

Something can be your complete wholehearted focus and then you start to discover different things about yourself that you get interested in, and once you fan those interests then some of the stuff that used to really be captivating to you isn’t quite as captivating anymore.

That was definitely my story. Obviously as you pointed out, we’re sitting in the nation’s capital, there are probably times– and my guess is that it’s worse here than other places –where all of us want to tune out and say, “Hey why don’t we focus on the things that unite us instead of the things that divide us?” For me, launching a brand that seeks not only to celebrate women on their fitness journey but also hopes to provide space for these women who are pursuing individualistic athletic pursuits– may it be running, yoga, etc. My hope is to provide a community for all of them to kind of connect with each other with you know like-minded dream chasers, and be inspired by each other. 

So that’s kind of where I did the pivot, I knew that I had remained on a contract that I was working out with my employer about another year. So I launched this with a year left to go I mean, quite frankly, to subsidize the effort, knowing that right now when you don’t have the benefit of that second income, you know, it’s a little bit harder. But you know that was definitely a luxury that I had at the time.

Praise: Yeah so you kind of phase yourself out of one job to build this other brand. That’s, I mean, it’s still a really brave step because when we were talking about it, like some skillsets crossed over? So she’s being really humble. She was like, second in command to the first, is it female governor of Arizona? Or was it New Mexico?

Janel: A little different, so I was a policy director for the governor of New Mexico, and then I was the deputy executive director for a political committee, here in D.C. 

Praise: Okay got it. But then, deputy executive director wait deputy executive? What is it?

Janel: Director. 

Praise: Director. I’m doing great. And building a t-shirt brand. Any crossover with skills?… Oh, we’re back sorry… I have my social media limit. 

Applying Crossover Skills When Making Career Pivots

Janel: Yeah, so I mean I think that you can always draw upon past experiences. For me, it was how do I want to position this? Right, so if I come from at least a political environment about like “what is this campaign really about?” I started realizing that if I stopped playing somebody else’s game, like “what were other people out there doing?” “How were they trying to advance the brand?”

And started playing my own game and using the skills that I knew, that then I’d put myself back on the turf. That’s just where I’m the most comfortable operating, but I would say just kind of, contemplating anything you’re launching within that context can be helpful. But I’m sure that there is a lot of crossovers that anyone can draw on. I’ve just been very fortunate in the positions that I’ve held, I’ve met a lot of great people, a lot of smart people. And when you’re around those types of people, you hopefully pick things up. 

Praise: Yeah, like osmosis. The key skill is: surround yourself with good people. I think that’s something that Janel does really well, I mean she went to this retreat in Bali for women who are starting to do good businesses about a year and a half into her business. I went in like five years into my business and wish I had done that early, and I think that’s something you do really well. To wrap this up… If there is a go-getter woman who wants to impact the world, but she’s in the beginning stages: 

What is something that you wish you knew a year and a half ago?

Janel sits with her journal during her professional branding photoshoot with Comeplum in Bali.

Advice for Budding Female Entrepreneurs

Janel: Yeah, so I think that there is this misnomer out there that we have to have it all figured out. Like, what did all of us ask ourselves when we wanted to start a business before there is this thing to point to: it was like, “well what is your why? Before you do anything, what is your why?” I think that’s helpful to ask but I think sometimes we can stop moving forward because we’re too busy trying to have it all figured out before we launch. 

There is nothing better as a teacher than failure. 

And I think the best way to look at it is just like everybody else: this is not an original thought but that if you have figured out ten ways not to do it and hopefully and you’re a little bit closer to that. I’d say:

  • Don’t give up and then I just say
  • You don’t need to have it all figured out. 
  • And don’t be afraid to start small and humble because sometimes, like actually I did this wrong too, you think that you have to have a bunch of inventory on hand or have everything figured out when really like every time you do something you do it a little bit better and then that tends to pick up moment so. 
  • Be small, be humble. 
  • Just learn as much as you can and don’t see failure as anything except instructional. 

Praise: Yeah, so don’t be afraid to fail. Fail forward, as they say. And then never give up. And then if you want to remind yourself, just buy one of her shirts. So this is a very straightforward plug, can you give them your website and your Instagram handle?

Janel: Yes, so it’s @jotandtittledesigns and the website is https://jotandtittledesigns.com and also the same on Facebook and Instagram. 

Praise: And we created some content for her so I’ll be sharing that on my Instagram and website, too, so that’s it, thanks for hanging with me! Thank you also for letting me sleep over at your house.

Janel: Yeah, yeah this is so great! Yeah, of course, any time. 

Praise: Also, hi friends! I’m gonna wave back to you, but this is a wrap.

Janel: Sounds great, bye guys! 

Praise: Thank you, bye

Need more #bossbabe inspo? I got you! Find entrepreneur advice and tips for making career pivots on the blog!  Interested in personal branding headshots? Get in touch to learn more and schedule a photoshoot!
Packages start at $450 for photos + $200 with hair & makeup. 

 

Are you dreaming of switching into a field totally different from what you’re in? Gone are the days when adults had one career trajectory. A recent 2017 study reports that overall self-employment is likely to triple to 42 million workers by 2020, with millennials leading the way.

Many don’t come right out of school ready for entrepreneurship. Like me, running our own business finds us and it requires a pivot from our current life.

And self-employment often looks like starting something from scratch. My friend Janel pivoted from a career in politics to launching her own athleisure brand.

So many gems from our chat here for those of you who are considering making career pivots.

Step One: Making Career Pivots

Praise: We’re now alive, look at us, we’re in. Hi everybody, so I am here and not my closet I’m actually in a wonderful closet in Washington D.C., in the nation’s capital with my friend Janelle here. She has been hosting me the last couple of days which has been really fun, but how I know her, is an incredible just like girlboss story. So can you tell them how we know each other?

Janel: Yeah, so we actually were fortunate enough to be in Bali earlier this year with Yellow, who put on a fantastic retreat for sort of budding entrepreneur female entrepreneurs that had a social good component and so it attracted wonderful people like Praise here, and that’s where we met.

Praise: Shout out to Yellow and Joanna and the whole team for putting us together, KC, what was her alter ego?

Janel: Janice! 

Praise: Janice! Yeah, Janice! Oh never forget, never forget. So it’s just so fun having friends all across the country especially like badass women accomplishing things and so we were just having a fun conversation in the car and I looked at her and said I want to put this on IGTV because I feel like people could really benefit from it. So, Janelle is an amazing badass woman, a go-getter woman which is just like my niche of women. She has had a few different kinds of lives which is really cool so I want her to talk about what’s behind us, and that’ll kind of transition into everything.

Janel: Yes, so again I’m Janel and I think what Praise is talking about is… everything that you see behind us right now did not exist probably about 18 or 19 months ago, but I just decided out of the blue that I wanted to learn how to start and run a business and I didn’t know what I was gonna do so after a conversation with my sister, we were talking about the fact that when we’re working out we have to work out in something, or when we’re done working out there’s you know there’s there’s some athleisure wear out there but wouldn’t it be fun to at least try to work inside that market. 

So everything you see behind is sort of a reflection of what I’ve been working on for the last year and a half.

Never Giving Up On The Entrepreneurial Journey

Praise: Cute designs, too, so this is one of her newest ones it says “never gives up” and it’s kind of a fun take (and let me know if this design inspiration is wrong) but is it like from the thank you bags?

Janel: Yeah, yeah and especially if you’re pushing a message of never giving up like, what better way to do that than like be super repetitive?

Praise: Yes be repetitive and you can probably catch her like doing something athletic in it too or just even if she’s grocery shopping, she’s never giving up with it. 

Janel: You know honestly I think this ties into like, everybody’s entrepreneurial journey, or even those who haven’t maybe started yet. It’s this idea that like, hustle beats talent any day of the week. And also this concept of resilience being, I think one of the greatest traits somebody can have: perseverance, endurance, resilience. Because it’s really seeing something through. I think that makes people successful. 

I was just listening–I had a run earlier today and I was listening to “How I Built This” with Richard Branson, and he just said “I just didn’t quit on the day I felt like quitting,” and I thought that was a really good glimpse into somebody who, you know, obviously he has the benefit of hindsight. He’s sitting from a perch that many of us would like to be at someday and he’s kind of looking back at his beginnings just saying, “yeah I just decided that failure was okay.” I think he said something like, “if you run 250 businesses and one fails, you still have 249 so you just can’t like give up a month in.”

Praise: Yeah, I love it, and that is so the entrepreneurial just motto – when we were talking about that yesterday that the entrepreneurial journey is like, “success, failure, success, failure” and overall in hindsight if we look back and see we’re actually going somewhere. But it’s this roller coaster on the way there.

Janel: Yeah and self-made, too, right? I think it was Mark Twain who said:

“Worry has ruined a lot of my days, and half of the things that I worried about never came true.”

Or something along those lines, so I think sometimes the mountains and valleys that we subject ourselves to can be avoided I think when we get a little bit further on the journey and we have the benefit of thinking back to, “oh wait, you know what, the last time when I launched a shirt nobody bought it for seven days.” You remember how you felt that way, okay well it’s just day two, wait till you get to day seven, before freaking out… 

Praise: Muscle memory.

Janel: Yes, exactly, so you start learning from those types of mistakes and realizing that you don’t have to subject yourself to all the emotions that you’re tempted to.

Praise: Totally, totally. It’s controlling those emotions as an entrepreneur. It’s a very real thing I feel like, psychoanalyzing entrepreneurs is a very real thing. We’re a different kind of brain. Definitely different. What’s interesting about you is that entrepreneurship is kind of a pivot for you. So, can you tell our friends out there a little bit about what you were doing before and the decision to pivot?

Janel Broderick, who discusses making career pivots in our interview, sits on a running track wearing her athleisure designs.

Making the Career Pivot into Entrepreneurship

Janel: Yeah I don’t know, for a couple of months I lovingly referred to this as a “midlife crisis” and so I told my husband, “you know hey other people are doing much worse things in their midlife crises than I am.” I’m not buying a new car like somehow I’m launching a brand that sells t-shirts. So for me, I had been in the political industry for about 15+ years. I worked at the federal level for the US Senate. I worked at the state level and then I worked on the political side with political parties and, you know, I think that everybody goes through this to some degree: 

Something can be your complete wholehearted focus and then you start to discover different things about yourself that you get interested in, and once you fan those interests then some of the stuff that used to really be captivating to you isn’t quite as captivating anymore.

That was definitely my story. Obviously as you pointed out, we’re sitting in the nation’s capital, there are probably times– and my guess is that it’s worse here than other places –where all of us want to tune out and say, “Hey why don’t we focus on the things that unite us instead of the things that divide us?” For me, launching a brand that seeks not only to celebrate women on their fitness journey but also hopes to provide space for these women who are pursuing individualistic athletic pursuits– may it be running, yoga, etc. My hope is to provide a community for all of them to kind of connect with each other with you know like-minded dream chasers, and be inspired by each other. 

So that’s kind of where I did the pivot, I knew that I had remained on a contract that I was working out with my employer about another year. So I launched this with a year left to go I mean, quite frankly, to subsidize the effort, knowing that right now when you don’t have the benefit of that second income, you know, it’s a little bit harder. But you know that was definitely a luxury that I had at the time.

Praise: Yeah so you kind of phase yourself out of one job to build this other brand. That’s, I mean, it’s still a really brave step because when we were talking about it, like some skillsets crossed over? So she’s being really humble. She was like, second in command to the first, is it female governor of Arizona? Or was it New Mexico?

Janel: A little different, so I was a policy director for the governor of New Mexico, and then I was the deputy executive director for a political committee, here in D.C. 

Praise: Okay got it. But then, deputy executive director wait deputy executive? What is it?

Janel: Director. 

Praise: Director. I’m doing great. And building a t-shirt brand. Any crossover with skills?… Oh, we’re back sorry… I have my social media limit. 

Applying Crossover Skills When Making Career Pivots

Janel: Yeah, so I mean I think that you can always draw upon past experiences. For me, it was how do I want to position this? Right, so if I come from at least a political environment about like “what is this campaign really about?” I started realizing that if I stopped playing somebody else’s game, like “what were other people out there doing?” “How were they trying to advance the brand?”

And started playing my own game and using the skills that I knew, that then I’d put myself back on the turf. That’s just where I’m the most comfortable operating, but I would say just kind of, contemplating anything you’re launching within that context can be helpful. But I’m sure that there is a lot of crossovers that anyone can draw on. I’ve just been very fortunate in the positions that I’ve held, I’ve met a lot of great people, a lot of smart people. And when you’re around those types of people, you hopefully pick things up. 

Praise: Yeah, like osmosis. The key skill is: surround yourself with good people. I think that’s something that Janel does really well, I mean she went to this retreat in Bali for women who are starting to do good businesses about a year and a half into her business. I went in like five years into my business and wish I had done that early, and I think that’s something you do really well. To wrap this up… If there is a go-getter woman who wants to impact the world, but she’s in the beginning stages: 

What is something that you wish you knew a year and a half ago?

Janel sits with her journal during her professional branding photoshoot with Comeplum in Bali.

Advice for Budding Female Entrepreneurs

Janel: Yeah, so I think that there is this misnomer out there that we have to have it all figured out. Like, what did all of us ask ourselves when we wanted to start a business before there is this thing to point to: it was like, “well what is your why? Before you do anything, what is your why?” I think that’s helpful to ask but I think sometimes we can stop moving forward because we’re too busy trying to have it all figured out before we launch. 

There is nothing better as a teacher than failure. 

And I think the best way to look at it is just like everybody else: this is not an original thought but that if you have figured out ten ways not to do it and hopefully and you’re a little bit closer to that. I’d say:

  • Don’t give up and then I just say
  • You don’t need to have it all figured out. 
  • And don’t be afraid to start small and humble because sometimes, like actually I did this wrong too, you think that you have to have a bunch of inventory on hand or have everything figured out when really like every time you do something you do it a little bit better and then that tends to pick up moment so. 
  • Be small, be humble. 
  • Just learn as much as you can and don’t see failure as anything except instructional. 

Praise: Yeah, so don’t be afraid to fail. Fail forward, as they say. And then never give up. And then if you want to remind yourself, just buy one of her shirts. So this is a very straightforward plug, can you give them your website and your Instagram handle?

Janel: Yes, so it’s @jotandtittledesigns and the website is https://jotandtittledesigns.com and also the same on Facebook and Instagram. 

Praise: And we created some content for her so I’ll be sharing that on my Instagram and website, too, so that’s it, thanks for hanging with me! Thank you also for letting me sleep over at your house.

Janel: Yeah, yeah this is so great! Yeah, of course, any time. 

Praise: Also, hi friends! I’m gonna wave back to you, but this is a wrap.

Janel: Sounds great, bye guys! 

Praise: Thank you, bye

Need more #bossbabe inspo? I got you! Find entrepreneur advice and tips for making career pivots on the blog!  Interested in personal branding headshots? Get in touch to learn more and schedule a photoshoot!
Packages start at $450 for photos + $200 with hair & makeup. 

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