This time last week, I was feeling scared and unsure after leaving my job as Communications, Content and Community Manager at Connecting Up, Inc. It was a job I loved and felt really passionate about. Something I was more than pleased to be a part of. That sort of excitement for work doesn’t come easily.
But. Yes, there’s always a but.
To make a long story short, I had to go because typical not-for-profit budget cuts required some restructuring within the organisation. Saying goodbye was tough. And, I wasn’t the only one affected.
However, in less than 48 hours of leaving, I was faced with a number of projects and opportunities to investigate. Long before I even reached out to my networks locally, around Australia and in different parts of the world, I was getting meeting requests and project proposals. That was on top of the messages from all the well wishers and concerned colleagues, friends, and family. Even though I haven’t made the formal announcement yet.
In fact, I became so busy looking at my new professional options that I didn’t really feel I had the time to completely absorb what had just happened (not to mention, feeling grateful for all the personal support).
Before I knew it, I was entertaining requests for collateral and proposals for my services.
I was completely floored.
Last week, I was employed by a not-for-profit organisation helping other not-for-profits.
This week, I became Chief Verve and Founder of my own business, Vervely . And, in-between trying to set up the website, blog, and social media platforms for my new business, as well as working on the paperwork that goes with setting up your own business, I’ve been attending potential client meetings and putting together packages and tools.
Yes, I still hope to help not-for-profits. That is part of who I am. Even before my last job, I’ve been involved in this sector for years. It’s a passion that won’t go away.
However, I also have business in my blood. That’s how I was raised by my parents, and one of the ways that they have taken our family out of poverty. That’s why I know that I will always find business enterprises fascinating. I hope to be able to help some of them out too.
And yes, while the core of my current business would be primarily consulting and training, I also have other interesting projects in the pipeline that do not fall under those categories. So, there will be more exciting things ahead.
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If you are a not-for-profit, charity, or association, my experience in the sector is a valuable part of my offering. I’ve been part of a specialist services team (in the disability sector), a volunteer, and an advocate for NFP capacity building, so I have very strong ties in this field. I understand your needs intimately and would love to help in any way I can. After all, I must be dubbed as Australia’s Beth Kanter for a reason, right? 😉
If you are a small business or a start-up, you can also ask me how I can help you grow your business with the right strategy and tools. I co-founded a start-up that harnessed the power of the web, community, and social media. That start-up grew enough to attract over $10M of VC funding. Before that was years spent building small business as a young entrepreneur and through family enterprises. So yes, I understand your needs too.
If you are a contractor or a freelancer, do know that I’ve been there as well. I understand the need to develop your personal and professional brand. And, if I can assist you in some way, just let me know.
Shai Coggins is the Manager and Chief Digital Media Specialist at Vervely, an Australia-based agency serving local and international clients. One of the company's main clients is Microsoft. Shai has been featured in a number of media due to her online work, including being named as one of Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list (2009).