• Asking for promotions and negotiating my salary. I ended up making $90,000 more a year then when I started out and moved from an entry-level position to executive management in ~ 10 years.
• Giving my first presentation. I signed up to give a 5-minute talk at a GIS conference. I was so scared that I hid in the bathroom. When I finally walked in, I learned that everyone else had canceled and I had 45 minutes to speak!
• Starting my own business. I didn’t have any money, so I paid for a GIS conference fee on my credit card. I knew I needed to be there. I went to a mentoring event and shared my idea. I asked for support.
National Geographic called me the next week and gave me my first contract. Turns out someone important was sitting in the audience. That was my first big lesson about the power of networking.
• Quitting jobs I loved and stable income to pursue bigger dreams. Now I’m doing what I really want and appreciate all the people that helped me grow and learn along the way.
• Speaking at the World Bank Innovation Center in Washington D.C. in front of a panel of experts. I was literally shaking on stage and couldn’t speak for a few minutes. Afterwards, they offered me a job and invited me to come back again. I did.
• Trusting my intuition. I got written up by HR for being too creative and fired twice for not following directions. Getting rejected sucked, but I continued to create what I thought would be cool.
• Taking big risks. I invested tons of money and endless hours to make Geopivot exist. I revised it a zillion times to make sure it was awesome and easy to use. I hope it helps you!