Desiree Adaway wants to show you how to get out of your comfort zone, so your work can make you feel liberated.
She’s the founder of the Adaway Group, a consultancy focused on helping organizations become more open and inclusive.
She describes herself as the person organizations have difficult conversations with after experiencing a crisis.
Desiree shares how she rebuilt her career after leaving her 25+ year career in the nonprofit world while still putting her two kids through college.
Even with all the status and perks that came with her executive position, her job was making her miserable and she knew it was time to start over.
Some important lessons in our conversation include:
- Why we only a crisis forces us to change and why valuing comfort is hurting us.
- When she started exploring her values as one of the first steps toward working for herself.
- Why it’s crucial to intentionally reach out to potential new clients every day.
Life Skills That Matter In This Episode
- Build community
- Embrace discomfort
How Desiree Works and Thinks
- Wake up time: 6:30 – 7:00 am
- Ideal work environment: Being able to go through her morning routine of getting coffee, reading and consuming knowledge in the morning, and then digging into work. Keeping work in the office.
- Superpower: Calling the thing, “the thing,” and having people hear her.
- The best part of working for herself: The flexibility of when she can work and travel and maintain the flow of business, even when she broke her leg.
- 90-day goal: $40,000 in new business through a new survey system she built with a statistician.
“I’m the person that you have difficult conversations with.”
“I tell organizations all the time: doing this work is not optional, it’s essential if you want to be here 20 years from now.”
“You have got to do the work and that means everyday, asking yourself, ‘Who are you talking to? What seeds are you planting?'”
In a dynamic economy, career resilience is essential for maintaining success. Desiree offered this advice to make your career more resilient:
1) Realize that you do work for yourself. Even if you have a job, you are still responsible to your own moneymakers: your creativity and intellectual property.
2) Embrace a growth mindset. Doing so will facilitate excellence in a traditional job, as well as in your own business.
3) Distinguish excellence from perfection. Excellence is built around failure and growth, perfection is binary. Gritty people don’t seek perfection, they strive for excellence and fulfillment of purpose.