Turning Corporate Lemons Into Entrepreneurial Lemonade

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By Janine Truitt

I was taught to go to school, you pick a career that can make you money and when you obtain that career you ought to be thankful. Once I joined corporate world, there was a slew of new mantras I learned and it went something like this:

“Welcome to Corporate World. We welcome you with open arms and closed minds. You will make just enough money to keep you dependent on us. We will tell you we admire your ambition and reward you with zero upward mobility. You will often work harder than many of your peers but be undercompensated to. More importantly, you will learn many lessons about yourself and others that will lead you down a completely new path. Oh and don’t forget to take it all in stride and while you’re at it smile and act like you love it here. With Love, Every Boss and Company You Will Ever Work For”

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If I had to summarize what ten years into my career has looked like, this would be it. I was always trying to raise the bar. I did more than my share in the hopes that it was not only helpful to the company, but that I stretched myself enough to learn. Equally, I was chasing the dollar and a prestigious title that would somehow illustrate the fact that my years of schooling, internships and toil had amounted to some semblance of success.

The conclusion of my trip to “Corporate World” came to a close when I jumped head and heart first into my then two-year old business in November 2014. During the course of my last job, I realized a few things:

  • The things that seemed to be out of reach at work were just signs that I was meant to do something different.
  • Social Media had opened up new opportunities and a vast network of mentors and colleagues that I couldn’t ignore.
  • My knowledge, skills and abilities far exceeded what I gave myself credit for.
  • Lastly, as my instinct, many real life signs and an assessment revealed – I am 100% an entrepreneur.

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I don’t regret my career travels, because each successive position taught me something I needed to know for life or my business. I learned that the doors that were shut while I worked for companies were merely corporate lemons squeezed for me to use to make entrepreneurial lemonade.

Every successful project, bad boss, good boss, dysfunctional HR department, drowning business I worked for has given me a unique lens with which to build my empire. The difference is instead of me toiling to build someone else’s dream, I am now working hard on realizing my own dreams. Quite frankly, that’s lemonade I don’t mind drinking.

Janine Truitt on Twitter
Janine Truitt
Janine is the Owner/Chief Innovations Officer for Talent Think Innovations, LLC, a multi-disciplinary business strategy and management consulting firm. She is also the Founder and Chief Blogger at “The Aristocracy of HR” and Host of Periscope TV show “Ask CzarinaLive”. Her career spans over ten years in HR. Janine is a dynamic speaker, entrepreneur, and an important and respected voice bringing both a human touch and business savvy to the HR and Technology disciplines. A globally-known figure in Human Resources and Business, she contributes for TLNT.com and IRIS.xyz, where she isn’t afraid to tackle the obstacles and issues facing employers and employees alike. She has been quoted by Maternity.com , SHRM, US News Careers and has been featured by Black Enterprise, Entrepreneur and Ebony Magazines.

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