Pivot Profile: Jennifer McClure
Jennifer McClure is a sought-after speaker, coach and consultant with a focus on leadership and talent strategies. She’s also a masterful networker.
Previously, Jennifer was an HR executive for over 18 years and an executive recruiter for 4 years. In 2010, she stepped out on her own and made the pivot from corporate employee to consulting for corporations.
Jennifer, why did you make a pivot?
While sitting in a training class about 10 years into my career, I made the decision that someday I wanted to do what the speaker was doing: sharing his knowledge and expertise to help others grow. However, at that time, I didn’t feel like I had enough experience — or enough good stories and personal examples — to have credibility. The speaker I was listening to had over 45 years of experience in the corporate world before becoming a full-time trainer and consultant!
I knew I didn’t want to wait that long, so I made a decision to take that step after I had 20 years of experience. It was a random number, but one I felt comfortable with.
Looking back, what was the most important mindset shift and action step you took?
The most important mindset shift was simply deciding it was time. I had over 20 years of leadership experience and some career success, but then I became intentional about building a personal brand. I leveraged relationships I already had to land speaking and consulting opportunities in addition to my “day job.”
As a result, I never stopped gaining experience, building expertise, and developing a strong network. Those three things were always deliberate and ongoing. The preparation for success had taken place; the only thing left to do was to stop thinking about stepping out and actually do it!
[clickToTweet tweet=”The only thing left to do was to stop thinking about stepping out and actually do it @JenniferMcClure” quote=”The only thing left to do was to stop thinking about stepping out and actually do it @JenniferMcClure”]
What was the biggest surprise, good or bad, that you experienced after setting out on your own?
I was surprised at how much time was spent doing things I don’t enjoy or that I’m not good at, but are absolutely necessary. A few examples: administrative work, invoicing, and setting up the infrastructure of my business, among others. Unfortunately, these are the very things that have to get done in order for me to be able to do the things I’m best at: speaking and consulting.
What would you have missed out on had you never made this pivot?
I would have never experienced the joy of fully utilizing my gifts and knowledge. I love to encourage and equip others to succeed. By having a bigger (and more personal) platform, I’m able to do that on a much broader scale. It’s very rewarding!
Many people would love to make the pivot you did: from corporate employee to advising and training corporations. What would you say to them?
Do the necessary work as a side-hustle, or in tandem with your current job, as much as possible before jumping in full-time. Make some mistakes when they don’t hurt as much or cost as much!
Also, build your network: people who can help and support you. See if your concept, idea, or product is something the market wants. If you do that, people will pay for your expertise.[clickToTweet tweet=”Make some mistakes when they don’t hurt as much or cost as much! @JenniferMcClure” quote=”Make some mistakes when they don’t hurt as much or cost as much! @JenniferMcClure”]
Introducing The Pivot Profiles, a ‘magazine’ featuring 18 real-life pivot success stories, just like Jennifer’s. It’s yours, absolutely free.
The singular goal of this magazine is to give you a wide array of people, personalities, and pivots for you to identify with. This is a powerhouse group. The folks inside hail from a variety of industries: huge corporations, small business, radio, military, ministry, government, academia; the list goes on. We even have a former park ranger!
Some of them launched into solopreneur ventures; others started companies. One left business to enter the ministry, while others left the ministry to go into business. It’s all here.