Many women believe it’s not possible to have everything. To have a successful career, to be an entrepreneur, to have children and a significant other, and to have balance in their lives. Lisa Hufford, CEO of Simplicity Consulting, is an extraordinary woman in that she’s done all of those things and believes you can too. When Would You Want to Know?
What’s a common belief among women when they come to you for consulting?
LH: Many women, I think, have that same self-talk that I had, which is, “I don’t know why anyone would hire me.” We’re so hard on ourselves, we forget about what we’ve done really well, especially in our jobs. What I believe is everybody has their unique gift and there is a place for everybody, but each of us have to do that work within ourselves. I think it’s a very empowering time but it can feel overwhelming for many people who aren’t used to really talking about their strengths and their unique skills and their contributions.
Why Now? Why is this talent shift occurring?
LH: Two years ago, I published Navigating the Talent Shift. A playbook for managers on how to build on-demand teams. I talked to a lot of people and generally speaking, Millennials are choosing to work more in project-based ways and build their brands. They are the largest population in the workforce and growing into managerial positions. This is why the talent shift is happening. In the next 10 years, the whole landscape, especially large corporations, will completely change as to who’s leading the company, how they see work, how they see family and it’s how it’s all integrated. More than ever people, especially women, are empowered to make better choices and to have the career that they want and they can.
On-Demand Consulting, is this the answer to job security?
LH: The bottom line is there is no security, nothing’s guaranteed in life. Even if you are doing great work [in a big corporation] you could still be part of a layoff. It happens all the time. I think consulting actually might be more secure than a corporate job because when you are project based, you are in control of the work you deliver. You can control what kind of opportunities you pursue, what kind of jobs you take. These are the things that define your brand and your security. How we [Simplicity Consulting] help people feel more secure is by helping them understand their value within themselves and how they can market it to the world.
We’re inundated with advertising that consistently tells us we’re not good enough, how do we find the confidence to cultivate the life we want?
LH: Our mission [at Simplicity Consulting] has always been to help people find significance and success, whatever that means to them. Oftentimes, what I’ve seen in mostly women is that we overlook our natural strengths. Your strengths are those things that are usually effortless for you. Ask people that know you or look at your previous performance reviews over your career and you’re probably going to see a trend.
Then the question is, do you want to own that? I think we’re waiting for someone to give us permission when there’s no one, you just have to give yourself permission. I say this to women all the time – guess what? You now have permission.
Beyond knowing what you’re great at is also really believing in the company or if you’re an entrepreneur, believing in what you’re building. It’s not just about making a lot of money, it’s about making a difference and an impact.
You CAN have it all!
LH: The pressure to juggle it all is real. It’s a very empowering time but it can feel overwhelming for many people. What’s really cool though is there’s so many more options, now more than ever. There are so many choices that we all have, especially women, to put it together, to be empowered, to really stand on our own two feet and do it for ourselves. I think women can have it all, maybe not all at the same time, but they can have it all.
To read more about, Simplicity Consulting, one of Washington State’s top 10 largest women owned businesses, visit simplicityci.com or follow Lisa on Twitter @lisahufford