The Conversation Continues
In my blog post entitled Level Up and G.R.O.W., I outlined Ascentim’s process to help you:
- Gain Clarity
- Realize New Possibilities
- Overcome Obstacles
- Win at Life!
And, I promised to tell you why I walked away from a ‘cushy corporate executive career.’ Today is the day.
How I Gained Clarity
I want to share the life-changing moment of Gaining Clarity that led me to my Big Bold Move. Hopefully, it encourages you to get clear on your next bold move.
Let’s go back to my role as a corporate executive at Synchrony where I worked for 10 years before starting Ascentim.
As the Senior Vice President and General Manager for eBay, I led a $2.5B (yes, that’s a billion) credit program and was the highest-ranked African American female in the company. And what a good company Synchrony is. The organization’s culture and commitment to being a diverse, inclusive organization were admirable.
It is a great place to work. I had a positive personal brand and could have climbed even higher up the corporate ladder. By most standards, I was successful – living the American dream.
Millie – Winter 2021
Heck, my photo appeared in a full-page print ad in Millie magazine. Synchrony placed the ad recognizing women in leadership during Black History Month 2021. Board member Laurel Ritchie is front and center. Headshots for Synchrony’s nine black female executives frame her picture. That’s me – outside the norm – wearing a bright green jacket.
When Achievement is No longer Enough
One question kept coming up. Why are my achievements no longer meaningful? I didn’t have the answer. But I was determined to find it. That was a concern I could no longer ignore.
Shortly before I decided to leave, I hosted a roundtable for a small group of employees who were part of the African American Network (AAN). The goal was to give members of AAN executive exposure. I was only supposed to meet with the group once. But there was so much to explore that I offered to host another meeting to continue the discussion.
We met twice more.
I listened to their concerns about diversity, career advancement, the pandemic, social injustice, racial injustice, and work-life balance. There were so many concerns. They trusted me, and I wanted to help. Together we created a safe environment for each other. We were in a space where our titles and roles didn’t matter. What mattered was our connection. Each of us needed to speak with someone who understands that the struggles are real. So we spoke – freely.
During our second session, I said, “This meeting was the best part of my day. If only I could find a way to get paid to do just this.”
And in response, a woman in the group said, “When you start your coaching practice, let me know.” Interesting. What made her say that? I never mentioned a coaching practice. Frankly, I had never even considered that possibility.
Listen to Your Heart
The answer became clear as I listened to my heart. Coaching, mentoring, and sponsoring others are what I love. It’s what I’m good at doing. My passion is showing others how to reach their goals and exceed what they believe is possible.
And this was where I Gained Clarity. The reason all my successes weren’t enough is that I felt unfulfilled. Not only that, but I was also spending an excessive amount of time doing things I was good at but didn’t enjoy. My purpose, strengths, and passions were out of sync! It was time to bring them all together and step into my power.
That’s the secret! When you operate in your area of greatness – the space where your purpose, strengths, and passions all align – it resonates with others, they receive value, and you find fulfillment.
This revelation brought me to crossroads. Time to choose a path. Either:
– Stay on the familiar road – the one where I’m Successful but Unfilled or
– Chart a new course down an unfamiliar path called Passion and Purpose
Bet on Yourself
My decision was to trust my instincts, bet on myself, and make a Big, Bold Move.
Thus, I left Synchrony in March of 2021 and poured my passion and heart into creating what is now Ascentim. I started Ascentim because I realized that I was not the only one. There are countless other high achievers trapped by a generic metric for success. I want to help them break free. I want people who are doing well but feeling empty to find the cup they can pour into that pours back into them.
And that’s my wish for you, too!
I hope you step into your power, define success for yourself, and go for what you want. Your definition of passion and power may not be the same as mine, but that doesn’t mean I can’t help you find it. I can, in fact.
It may be scary, but you can decide to take the first step. Then trust your instincts and make your #bossmove!
Ask Yourself These Questions
- How do I define success?
- Where is my heart leading me now?
- What big, bold move would I make today if I knew I couldn’t fail?