I was very fortunate because I had a vast network of friends who had kept in contact over the years, and I had access to new friends who inspired and motivated me. In looking back, here's some advice I would offer anyone who finds themselves in a position of building their own business or career:
1. Create a ceremony to commemorate your new venture. I had the good fortune of travelling with two great friends by train from San Francisco to Yosemite on the first day of my new "solo" adventure. It is a cherished memory and allowed me to focus on all of the wonderful possibilities that lay before me.
2. Have some big goals. I wanted to write a book. I had no idea how I was going to write it, much less get it published. In February of this year, I self-published that book and it is now being sold on Amazon.com.
3. Meet people who are NOT like you. Find a new crowd to hang out with. As an accountant in technology, a lot of my friends were either accountants or technologists. I met a group of marketing creative types that I spent time with in the beginning. They really helped me have a new perspective.
4. Invest in your business. Don't try to hoard your funds for fear that you will run out of cash. Invest in one or two items that will help you generate business immediately. I put on a luncheon seminar that included mailers and a co-presenter. It helped me get clear about the value that I could provide and gave me proof that I could show prospective clients. The title of my first event "Wine and Your Bottom Line" was enough to inspire one client to hire me.