Happy anniversary to me! Today marks five years since I left my full-time job to go indie — and what a hell of a ride it’s been.
I want to thank all my clients who have valued what I could contribute to their organizations and the countless friends, colleagues and strangers who pointed them my way. I wouldn’t have a business without the support of my friends and family who have believed in me since Day 1, along with the many mentors who showed me the way.
In five years, I have introduced and strengthened the practice of User Experience at 38 different organizations, from Fortune 500s to early-stage startups to non-profit institutions. I am incredibly proud that it is such a low number because it means I have established long-term relationships with my clients and maintained ongoing engagements — not the wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am that so many creative agencies are notorious for. In fact, I’ve earned repeat business from more than 60% of my clients. It has been an honor to learn from them every day and get to play a small (and sometimes not so small) role in shaping their businesses.
Now I am entering the next phase of my career and transitioning from consulting to coaching. What’s the difference? I’m no longer accepting work from companies who want to outsource their problems to me; instead I am guiding them on how to build their own internal capacities to identify and solve problems for themselves. My area of focus remains in User Experience, but I have leveled up from product design to organizational design where I now more broadly help teams develop empathy for their customers and for one another. The fields of user experience, executive coaching and emotional intelligence are all exploding and it’s thrilling to be working at the intersection of them.
I started to write out all the people I’m indebted to for guiding my journey thus far, but then I realized the list is infinite. Every client or colleague I’ve been blessed to work beside, every inspiring person I’ve met at a conference, every dear friend I’ve been introduced to because of the magic of social media — each one of them has given me the motivation, determination and chutzpah to keep going, keep believing in myself and keep giving myself to the world.
A special thank you goes out to my naysayers — and there have been quite a few. You’ve given me more inspiration than anyone to make a positive impact on this world and change the face of business and tech forever. I’ve had so many wins in my very short career and I owe them all to you.
To you reading this, thank you. Every single one of you has been a blessing in my life. These five years have been beyond my wildest imagination. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
If you or someone you know is looking for expertise in user experience, someone to cultivate compassion within an organization large or small, someone who understands the equal importance of design, technology, customer experience and finance, I am here to help. My life’s mission is to put humanity back into business and I can’t do it without you.
From my heart to yours, thank you.
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- Four Years of Independence August 22, 2012 | 7 comments
- My Natural Next Step: Becoming a Coach May 1, 2013 | 5 comments
- The Evolution of User Experience July 29, 2013 | 28 comments
- Where in the World is Whitney? San Diego January 15, 2014 | 6 comments