Episode 16: Time to Pivot? From Corporate America to Entrepreneurship with Kate Erickson

Today on the show we have Kate Erickson who is partnered with John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneurs on Fire. Kate has a really unique background. She comes from the corporate world and has already spent 6-7 years in the entrepreneurial space. In this show, we talk about what transitioning from the corporate world to the entrepreneurial space looks like – and all the things they didn’t know before starting on this journey.

Kate’s Background Story:

  • Didn’t know entrepreneurship existed.
  • Wasn’t able to get a job in her major. 
  • Quit her banking job in 2010 to start her first business.
  • Discovered the power of niching down.
  • Went back to corporate world in 2012.
  • Discovered what she didn’t love doing and went back to the drawing board.

“The more that you know you don’t like something, the closer you’re getting to exactly what you want to focus on.”

After a failed business Kate went back to corporate:

  • Took a totally different role in advertising and marketing. 
  • Working in human resources helped Kate leverage her zone of genius.
  • Worked in advertising and marketing for 1 year.
  • Learned a lot of skills that were transferred to her work today.

What it’s like working with your partner:

  • Both of us knew our personalities enough to know that we each would be responsible for different tasks. 
  • We have opposite strengths so it was pretty easy for us to find and stay in our own lanes. 
  • We hire other experts to do things neither of us are good at. 
  • If you’re thinking about a partnerships, take a personality tests to uncover your strengths and weaknesses. 

What’s really worked in growing a business:

  • To stay productive, we never launch multiple projects at the same time. 
  • Everything we’ve launched has been direct ideas from our audience telling us what they’re struggling with most. 
  • Every year we look back and see what’s working at a high level, what do we love doing, how are we making the biggest impact for people? And phased out programs/products that don’t make sense anymore.

Planning the future of our business

When we first started out it was really important to have a vision of where we were heading. As the business has matured, we’ve moved into a space where we’re really in tune with what type of business we want to run. And on the day-to-day, month-to-month, year-to-year bases, we’re just checking in with ourselves to see if it’s still going the way that we want it to.

Questions we ask ourselves:

  • Are we still fulfilled?
  • Are we still creating and impact?
  • Are we still doing the best we can at what we have to offer?

It’s really easy to get wrapped up in trying all the things, but you have to check in and be intentional with what it is that you’re creating because who knows, a couple years from now you’re going to find yourself in a place where they’re like, this isn’t even what I want to be doing.

“Ask yourself. Am I doing this because I feel like I have to do this? Or am I doing this because I actually want to and I feel like I can really help a lot of people through this?”

What is the one thing you wish you knew then, that you know now?

It’s really just that you have to take imperfect action. I’m a perfectionist. I love organization. I want to know what’s going to happen. However, that will keep you stuck if you play that way in your business. And I’ve learned that if you’;re not willing to take action and get uncomfortable and put something out there that is not perfect… you’re never going to get to where you want to go.

About Kate

In early 2013 Kate left her corporate job at an advertising and marketing agency to finally start creating the life she wanted to live – one where someone else wasn’t dictating my every move. I joined the Team Fire in April 2013 as the content creator. Since, I’ve grown to consider myself the overall integrator of things at Entrepreneur On Fire.

Connect with Kate:

Entrepreneurs On Fire
Ditch Busy Podcast
Kate’s Instagram

Connect with Aryeh:

Apply to Work with Me