Why I Went For it All
I was sitting at my desk when I got a call from the president of my company, asking me if I would be open to a different role within the company. They were going to do some reorganization based on the goals of a new COO they had hired. He mentioned this role would require some travel and that I would be training new recruiters.
My heart sank. Tears came to my eyes. He didn’t see any of this over the phone. When he said the word “travel” the first thing that came into my head was my son Royce. He was 4 years old at the time. I had met his Pre-K teacher for the first time the night before. I sat in these itty-bitty chairs on a brightly colored rug with numbers all over it – I met the woman that would help shape my little boys mind, heart, and future.
I’m not a helicopter mom – they play in the dirt, get scrapes, eat food off the floor – but this is my baby boy. This woman will spend more time with him during the week than me. I have to trust this woman and I barely know her. And I thought, what if I missed that? What if I was traveling and missed this huge moment in my little boy’s life?
SO I took off my “mom” hat and put on my “professional, hardworking, kicka$$ woman” hat. I was running one of the most successful staffing offices in the company. We had record growth, no turnover, and a ping pong table! My team was in the top 10 recruiters in the company. I was in the top 5 in sales and had the 5thlargest client. I loved what I was doing. I love recruiting, working with clients. I love staffing. And I was good at it!
The plan from the president was for me to pass off my book of business to the other managing partner in my office. I just flat out did not want to do it. A few months later, I had a serious conversation with him. I sincerely asked, “Why is this my only option?”
You see, I wanted to still run an office, build my team and grow my network; while still being able to see my kids and husband in the evening.
I was told, “You can’t have it all, Rebecca.”
I don’t fault that president. He was running a business. He had goals of his own. He had his own plan. It just didn’t fit with my plan and that was okay. After our conversation, I just knew I needed to move on.
I had that conversation with the president on a Tuesday. I handed in my notice the next Monday. I cried. I loved my team and the people I worked with in Oklahoma City. They were my work family. I stayed on for another week to transition things – while the whole time, I had no job lined up. No business plan. Nothing.
I spoke to my unbelievably supportive husband; I reached out to my mentors, people that I strived to be one day. I asked them what I should do. Should I go into the corporate world or run with this momentum and try starting up a staffing agency?
I decided to go for it all – to have the career, the family, the healthy strong marriage – to have it all. And if I tried and failed, that is okay. I’m young, I have a great support system. Let’s do this! If it doesn’t work out, I can at least say I tried. I can learn from it and move on. BUT what if I succeeded?!
On a Sunday night, the kids were in bed, and after a few glasses of wine and dreaming about our future; my husband and I created a logo in Adobe, wrote some stuff about “Hartwig Staffing” the company that really didn’t exist yet, and prepared to go live with it on LinkedIn the following Monday.
I am a year and a half in. I have created a culture of flexibility, trust, courage, innovation, and empowerment. I no longer feel bad for staying home with a sick kid or going on a vacation and neither does my team. We are in our second year and we have seen over 400% growth and we aren’t even halfway through the year.
Not everything is glamorous when starting your own company. We have worked from home on TV trays and fold up tables, designed marketing materials at the last minute, learned payroll and figured out how to create an accurate P&L in QuickBooks – doing things I used to have a team of people to do. It is a lot of work; there are great days and bad days.
But YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL…
…and I do not regret it for a single second.