The journey continues as I build the foundation of my newly founded start-up. I am squarely in the relationship building stage. Other cogs in the machine are already moving, now my turn to move. While networking events are great for the masses…relationships are built in a more intimate, one-on-on setting. I am in the process of building my referral network. Coffee shops, lunches, offices, anywhere just you and another person or two. I get to tell my story – what do I do, why am I doing it, and who do I want to serve? I get to listen. Listen about what they offer their clients and think about how I might help their clients.

It speaks volumes as I go through my spiel and the people I meet with are actively engaged asking questions and suggesting industry/specialty groups to me. Today I was asked if I ever considered looking at a specific healthcare segment as a customer – I had not. I now have added it to my list for research. Of course I want it to be a win-win, so how can I help them? I am not one to just take, take, take…we will figure out a way to become a collaborative team.

I envision a team that includes banking, strategy, investments, legal, bookkeeping and tax. Every small business should have a list of advisers to whom they can rely on. I am selling myself as part of a package. Right now, I am building that package…building the relationships…teaming that team where I can say Joe Law can help you with human resource issues, Maddy Banker can get you started with business accounts and loans, Abby investments can put your dollars where they need to be to make the best return…and Katie (I) am your strategist. I will work with the rest of this team to figure out a timeline to get your goals done.

Strategy – now that is an interesting word. It is a defined as a “plan, method, or series of maneuvers for obtaining a specific goal or result.” A year ago – I had no strategy – I had no plans – I had no specific goals, I was wandering not knowing who I was or what I wanted to do. I went through interviews for jobs I was overqualified for, under-qualified for, and generally qualified for…NOTHING excited me. I finally had a fantastic interview for the hospital I presently work for. I saw a light, a glimmer of hope…that I finally had started to figure “it” out. I learned, I observed, I listened…I liked what I heard, I liked what I observed, I LOVED was I was learning and found the fire inside of me.

Working on strategy is FASCINATING to me. If you think of a hospital as each specialty area being a small business – I get to work with all these people who have a passion for what they are doing. If they want an expensive piece of equipment – we look at how they have been doing in the past and what this equipment could do for them in the future. Maybe they want to develop a new program – what expenses will there be? What types of revenue will it generate? Who is their target customer/patient?

I get so excited! The speed of my typing just increased as I starting writing these last couple paragraphs. I finally found my passion – and it has made every part of my life better. No question about that. Passion.