I started a small business months before the world shut down

Photo by Edwin Hooper on Unsplash

Lessons learned

So what’s it like to make a giant career shift?

  • The bad news: it was nothing like I expected.
  • The good news: It was nothing like I expected.

Relationships matter, above all else.

This was really hard, having come from a legal background, where everything has to be in writing and skepticism rules the day.

Authenticity matters, say what you mean, not what you think people want to hear.

When I first started my business, I thought I had to sound fancy so that fancy clients wanted to work with me. I was so wrong. Nobody listened when I said what I thought they wanted to hear.

Everybody wins with partnerships; why compete when you can build a better, strong team, together.

Why compete when you can work together? Especially in fields like sustainability and climate change, where there is more than enough work for everyone.

When you feel stuck, give; when you’re crying on the floor, give more.

A mentor once told me that if your business doesn’t make you cry, at least once a week (really once a day), you’re not trying hard enough. Inevitably, when I feel stuck and overwhelmed, someone will ask me for help. I consider it a sign that I’m on the right track, because someone needs me.

Asking for help is OK; actually, it’s more than OK, it’s completely necessary.

This one was also really, really hard for me and the pandemic was really, really humbling in many ways.



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Nicole DeNamur

Nicole DeNamur


Attorney + sustainability consultant. I write about how we can drive deep green innovation at scale. https://www.sustainablestrategiespllc.com