From Layoff to Women Empowerment: The Five Key Lessons I learned Along the Way to Starting My Own Business- Featuring Sandy Stricker

Sandy Stricker is CEO of Emerging Confidence, empowering women to listen to their inner voice and live in confidence while achieving their personal & professional goals. I have invited her to share some valuable lessons she learned along her Entrepreneurial journey.

My name is Sandy Stricker, and I am the founder and CEO of Emerging Confidence.  My mission in business and my life is to help every woman I meet make friends with that voice in her head and understand how amazing she is so that she can reach her career and lifestyle goals! In fact, I’ve written a guide titled Four Reasons to Make Friends with Your Inner Critic, and you can download it here for free. 

 My Entrepreneurial journey started in 1997, although it would be 23 years after that I actually started my own business. I wanted to share with you five key lessons I learned along my journey to becoming my own boss and the importance I believe they can play in helping you along your journey.

Lesson #1 – Things happen FOR us, not TO us (let’s read that again, Ladies)

In March 2020, I was one of the millions of Americans whose job was eliminated. While most would see this as a negative as losing a job could have devastating effects, I look at this life-changing event a little differently.

I believe everything happens FOR us, not TO us.  It was up to me to figure out what the “for” me was.  After some soul searching, long conversations with my husband, and many glasses of wine, I decided to start my own business. 

I had been in corporate training for over 30 years. I had a lot of consulting experience and an extensive network with excellent skills to lend credibility, so this seemed like the natural route to go.

Lesson #2 – Make sure you set yourself up for success in the right and legal way

I started mapping out everything I needed: getting my business set up with all of the legal mumbo jumbo such as entity, taxes, bank account, etc. (TOTAL SIDE NOTE: The incorporation documents for my business were approved on my 60th birthday, proving that you’re never too old to start something new!), creating a budget and now on to the fun part! Setting up a website and going after Clients! 

Lesson # 3 Always have a support system in place

As I started to tell my friends & family about my venture, they were thrilled for me!  They were incredibly supportive, and when I had those days where I thought I should give up, those closest to me were the ones who pumped me up and reminded me who I was.  I would have quit very early had I not had that support.  You may have heard, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” which is why I’m so grateful all the people in my tribe lift me rather than put me down. 

Just a note, if you don’t feel like you have that support system, think of ways you can make positive changes.  You might join a business group, a social activity where you can meet new people, or even talk with a professional.

I feel so strongly about a community that I have an amazing Facebook Group full of women who genuinely support each other.  You can join us here.

Lesson #4 – Listen to what the universe tells you

A funny thing happened on the way to being a consultant.  I wanted to hone my business skills, so I signed up for a training program that taught online marketing strategies.  While in that program, I had the pleasure of meeting some amazingly talented women with brilliant business ideas.  Their businesses ranged from social media management to teaching businesses to creating sustainable ecosystems, even to a woman who’s reimagining education.  Yet, they all had one thing in common—they had this voice in their head telling them they weren’t good enough, smart enough, or brave enough to be successful.

This broke my heart.

I started telling others what I was hearing and feeling and had several people say, “well if anyone can coach them on how to overcome that feeling of not being good enough, it’s you because you did it for me.”   

It turns out I’d been intuitively helping women make sense of the voice in their head, that inner critic, my entire career.  The universe was telling me to switch gears, and I’ve learned never to question that wisdom again. 

Lesson #5 – Never discount the impact you’ve had on someone

Let’s come back to 1997.  I had been in my corporate training role for a couple of years when my manager called me into his office.  He was working on a succession plan and had to name the person who would take his job should he ever leave or take another role.  I assumed he wanted my input on who he should choose; instead, he said it was me!  What’s the only logical response to that? Thank you, right?  

Nope, I asked him, “why me?”

I couldn’t believe he picked me out of all the other possible candidates.  We had a lengthy conversation about why he was choosing me over anyone else, and that began a 25-year journey to build my confidence and learn to help others build theirs. 

I reached out to that same manager recently. I wanted him to hear my story and share with him the impact he had on me. He was astonished—he had NO idea, just like I had no idea, the effect I had been having on women throughout my career.

The lesson here is that if someone has impacted your life, let them know.  It’s a small thing to you, but it could be a huge thing to them.  Never underestimate your ability to be kind or even lend a listening ear!

If you want to learn more about my business or are interested in connecting, reach out to me here.  I would love to see how we can help your authentic confidence emerge!

In power and confidence,


To shop effortless style for women of ALL ages, shapes & sizes, visit us at Southern Soul Collectives.

1 comment

  • Leslie

    Such a great message, Sandy! I appreciate all the lessons you shared above and for inspiring those who may think it’s too late to get started. Taking what you learn along the way is what’s preparing you for who you want to become.

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