In less than three months, I had my first paying client. Since then, Ive served more than 70 organizations.
What I do for my clients: research, writing, connecting them to resources, negotiating on their behalf, facilitating meetings and teaming up to develop strategic plans. Did I have these skills before I launched? The answer is a resounding Yes. Did I need other skills? Yes, and I found ways to acquire them.
Fifteen years later, I remain fully engaged in the field and evolving with it. Interestingly, I also answered those initially unanswerable questions:
Can I do this? Yes, I can do this, because I have entrepreneurial seeds in me.
How would I do it? By applying and transferring skills, confidence and knowledge acquired before conceiving the idea of owning a business.
Why would I do it? Because I value the nonprofit sector, and my commitments and skills are in alignment. In other words, there is a passion for the work that I do that fuels my inspiration and determination.
I uncovered from my experience that our own seeds of entrepreneurship can catapult us toward business success. Having clear awareness of those seeds is the equivalent of capitalizing and maximizing on our tried-and-true competitive advantages: drawing on skills, confidence and knowledge, so that we can passionately carry on with our business mission and goals.
About the author
Mara Perez, Ph.D. As Founder and Principal of Mara Perez, Fund Development and Planning Services, Mara provides fundraising and strategic planning services to non-profits. Mara has helped over seventy organizations obtain funding, design innovative work strategies, and execute growth plans. Mara holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago. Community service includes: 2010-present Board Member of Marin General Hospital; 2002-2012 Board Member Canal Alliance, twice Board President; 2005 Spirit of Marin Award, Business Person of the Year; Coro Leadership Community Fellow. She has published articles about immigration, social change, and fundraising. Born in Argentina, Mara resides in California.