25 Years of Solopreneurship – Sherri Edwards, Founder of Resource Maximizer – Issue #325
Don’t wait for permission
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My guest for this episode is Sherri Edwards. Sherri started her own consulting business, Resource Maximizer, nearly 25 years ago. Her career in sales, operations, and HR management included 37 jobs across half as many years.
This winding path led her into the staffing industry, where the lightbulb finally went off. She found she could help others improve their performance and find easier paths to rewarding careers and that she could do it within a context she defined. Resource Maximizer was born.
Over the years, Sherri has provided outplacement services and corporate training on topics such as effective communication, goal setting, time management, and customer service — while also offering 1:1 coaching for individuals.
Her business focus is now centered on coaching services and workshops for individuals pursuing a career change or those needing guidance in moving their careers to the next level. She facilitates a structured networking group that is moving into its 20th year.
You can also find Sherri on Twitter (where we met) and LinkedIn.
We talk about:
Her career journey and why she had so many jobs.
Why and how she launched her own business.
How she didn’t wait for permission to pursue her goals.
How she overcame her impostor syndrome.
The incredible value of community and networking.
Key points from our conversation
I want to call out a few points from my conversation with Sherri to help you if you feel blocked and are waiting to do what you know you should be doing. She also shared more advice that is helpful for every job seeker.
Don’t wait for permission
Sherri decided that she had learned enough about recruiting, staffing, searching for jobs, and interviewing to break free and do it on her own. It’s impressive! Remember, she started her business 25 years ago before LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc., even existed.
Perhaps you’ve already encountered this in your life, but someone asked her why she thought she was in the position to help people find a job when it seemed like she changed jobs frequently. I’m always amazed when people try to make us feel small and shut down our dreams. Maybe the right word is “angry” instead of amazed.
Side note: What in the heck is wrong with people? Why would you try to discourage someone from being ambitious and taking a swing at doing their own thing? Don’t ever be that person! Please support your entrepreneurial friends. It’s hard enough to run a business without your friends tearing you down.
Anyway… Sherri just went for it. She started her business, experimented frequently, and wasn’t afraid to pivot as the economic conditions changed. She didn’t wait for someone to give her permission to do it.
Overcome impostor syndrome
Sherri described how she initially felt intimidated when coaching clients with advanced experience, Ph.D. degrees, etc. But, then she realized something…
Yes, they had deep experience in their domains. But, they did not have expertise in successfully finding a job, interviewing well, and landing a great offer. They didn’t need her help with their profession. They needed help finding new jobs.
I tell my clients the same thing. They’re the expert at what they do for a living. I’m not here to help an engineer write better code, a designer create better designs, or a doctor perform surgery better. I’m here to help with the issues that are holding people back in their careers (e.g., why aren’t they getting promoted?) and find ways for them to get ahead and be more successful.
Build relationships and community
Sherri and I agree that success in your career is all about relationships. If you want to struggle in your job search, try the “spray and pray” approach of blasting your resume to hundreds of online job listings.
If you’d rather succeed more quickly in finding a great job, build relationships and nurture your network. My connections have been the secret to landing pretty much every great job I had.
Sherri also built a community to help people with the challenges of their careers and searching for jobs as they grow older. Rather than mope and complain, she encourages people to do something about their situation. Take action!
Now, her community is growing by adding younger people who are children of the clients she’s worked with for several years. How cool is that?
⬆️ Scroll to the top if you want to listen to our entire conversation, and hear more of Sherri’s valuable advice! 🎧
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This week’s office hours topic
Larry Cornett is a leadership coach and business advisor who hosts a private mastermind community for ambitious professionals with weekly challenges, office hours, and 24×7 support. If you’re interested in starting your own business someday (or accelerating an existing one), check out his “Employee to Solopreneur” course (launching in 2022).
Larry lives in Northern California near Lake Tahoe with his wife and children, and a gigantic Great Dane. He does his best to share advice to help others take complete control of their work and life. He’s also on Twitter @cornett.
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