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Journey from disillusioned executive to WFA entrepreneur

 

Before landing multiple five-figure contracts.

Before signing long-term contracts with national and global clients.

Before five-figure speaking fees.

And, before I created a work from anywhere (WFA) business that allowed me to travel (and earn revenue) from Lisbon, Barcelona, Trier and a few tropical islands including St. Lucia and Jamaica, I was a disillusioned nonprofit executive who was increasingly tired of the uphill workplace battles, the heavy workload, and the feeling that I wasn’t getting the support I needed.

 

The final straw came in December 2019 when I happily turned in my resignation.

 

It also happens that I’d been offered a new position. Sadly, just two weeks after starting that new job, I knew I had to move on.

 

"Talk about jumping from the frying pan into the fire."

No validation, no clients, no leads....


 

In January 2020, I launched Grants Works Consulting. I knew organizations would pay for the services the company would offer but I had no validation, no clients, and no leads. It was also 2020, the year almost everything changed.

After I built and launched the website, I didn’t expect clients to come rushing to me, so I decided to get the word out about my services and my expertise by stalking Facebook groups to find who I thought were my ideal clients.

I regularly posted and wrote blogs about something almost no one posted about—federal grants. How to be eligible for federal grants. How to apply for federal grants. About different federal grant funding announcements. And, about federal grant compliance.

 

I noticed people were curious and appreciated the content so I kept at it.

 

The posts attracted another consultant and she suggested collaborating with a few other consultants. Together we launched The Nonprofit Chatroom.

We created amazing synergy and formed a sisterhood 

The Nonprofit Chatroom was a partnership of four female consultants. Each of us specialized in different aspects of the grant world. One specialized in grant writing, another specialized in managing state and local government grantees, I focused on federal and other government grants, and the fourth consultant specialized in the design and evaluations of grant-funded programs.

Together we hosted six consecutive weekly webinars.

We had over 200 registrants and many people turned up week after week. It was May and June 2020 and webinars were all the rage since very few people were commuting to work.

The grant writer was also a dynamo at creating eye-catching flyers and we all posted them on our social media accounts.

Each week we met to create the presentations, discuss content we would teach, design the slide decks, meet for practice sessions, hosted the webinars, and the researcher (always a number cruncher), gathered survey data from the webinars.

Our survey numbers were great. Even more importantly, we stayed motivated and in front of potential future clients. This was also one of the ways I started getting clarity on my why.

The amazing synergy and sisterhood of women consultants supporting each other

The Nonprofit Chatroom was a partnership of four women consultants. Each of us specialized in different aspects of the grant world. One specialized in grant writing, another specialized in managing state and local government grantees, I focused on federal and other government grants, and the fourth consultant was an evaluation and research expert whose company helps grantees with program design and data collection.

Together we hosted six consecutive weekly webinars.

We had over 200 registrants and many people turned up week after week. If was May and June 2020 and webinars were all the rage since very few people were commuting to work.

The grant writer was also a dynamo at using Canva so she created eye-catching flyers and we all posted them on our social media channels.

Each week we met to create the presentations, discuss content we would teach, design the slide decks, meet for practice sessions, hosted the webinars, and the researcher (always a number cruncher), gathered survey data from the webinars.

Our survey numbers were great. Even more importantly, we stayed motivated and in front of potential future clients. This was also one of the ways I started getting clarity on my why

Getting clear on my why

 

People want to start a business for their own personal reasons. For some, it’s the freedom to work when you want, or to have a hedge against a layoff, or to maximize your earning potential.

My why is about the freedom to live life on my own terms.

Another why is to live out my childhood dream of traveling to six of the seven continents.

Another why is to launch business incubators for young people and a domestic violence shelter for women.

What’s your why?

The clients came and so did the clarity and confidence

I landed my first client in May 2020. She attended several of the Nonprofit Chatroom webinars and needed help with a federal grant she was awarded to provide meal delivery at her nonprofit childcare agency.

Needless to say, I was excited. I quickly sent her an invoice for an embarrassingly low amount and got to work.

Now when I look back, I realize while I provided the service, there was no onboarding process, no clarity on the long-term solutions, and a rocky engagement process.

The second client was more of a contracting engagement. The third client was a federal contractor. By the end of 2020, I’d had five clients and earned only about $39K. Not much but considering I earned it by myself….in 2020….I was still proud of my accomplishment.

2021 brought my first large contract. I was also now hiring freelance grant writers, other subcontractors, responding to requests for proposals and winning contracts, and taking on more clients.

This flurry of activity led to my first six-figure year. More importantly, I gained a ton of clarity and confidence.

The clients came and so did the clarity and confidence

I landed my first client in May 2020. She attended several of the Nonprofit Chatroom webinars and wanted someone to help her with a federal grant she had for her nonprofit childcare agency.

Needless to say, I was excited. I quickly sent her an invoice for an embarrassingly low amount and got to work.

Now when I look back, I realize while I provided the service, there was no onboarding process, no clarity on the long-term solutions, and a rocky engagement process.

The second client was more of a 1099 engagement. The third client was a government contractor. By the end of 2020, I’d had five clients and earned only about $39K. Not much but considering I earned it by myself….in 2020….I was still proud of my accomplishment.

2021 brought my first almost six-figure contract. I was also now hiring freelance grant writers, subcontractors for bigger projects, responding to requests for proposals and winning contracts, and taking on more clients.

This flurry of activity led to my first six-figure year. More importantly, I gained a ton of clarity and confidence.

Are you ready to change your life?

 

I successfully redesigned my life with my consulting business. Are you ready to change your life? 

It starts with a decision and an investment in yourself. 

Have you noticed opportunities and people come into your life to help you toward a goal once you decide? 

Maybe that’s why you’re here.

Ready to change your life by launching your own business? Your own WFA, live-life-on-your-terms consulting business?

 Get started by diving into a few select resources designed to get your started.

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A Little More About Me...

 

Vinyasa yoga enthusiast.

Lover of international fiction. Two of my faves are Sweetness in the Belly and Half of a Yellow Sun.

Dances at the drop of a beat—‘specially if that beat is reggae, Afrobeats, or 90s house music.

Loves the natural high of a high intensity workout.

Personal motto: The glass is half full.

Tune in each week for a new episode of the Age Has No Limits Podcast with Patrice!

VISIT PODCAST

Tune in each week for a new episode of the Age Has No Limits Podcast with Patrice!

VISIT PODCAST