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How A Corporate Executive Left Her Job, Launched A Business & Secured Her First Client Within 12 Weeks

Is jumping from corporate into entrepreneurship scary? 

It depends who you ask. 

But for most corporate executives though, that is certainly the case. 

Let's look at the bigger picture. 

Over the years, there has been the growing trend of corporate executives dropping out of their high paying jobs to start their own practice.

And this is due to a combination of reasons: 



Industries are getting disrupted by new business models and technology. This has resulted mass lay offs where highly paid corporate scrabble to fight for the next job. 

Staying within a stagnant job is akin to shooting fishes in a barrel. 

Just not the place you wish to be. 



While life as an executive can be very busy, does it actually fulfil your need for growth?

Most times, corporate roles requires you to be a specialist within a niche area.  

While you will get proficient at limited tasks over time, the corporate structure and bureaucracy limits your scope for growth. 

The result is a stifled growth curve and creative expression due to over-dependence on the corporate system. 



Imagine spending several decades in a corporate. Though you might have a fat pay-check and a prestigious position, you are unable to dictate your time as you wish. 

For instance if you wish to coach your kid's baseball team on a Tuesday afternoon, will work allow you to do so? 

Or play golf on a Thursday afternoon with your mates. 

These are examples where you might fall short in terms of life satisfaction. Despite working hard for decades to climb the corporate ladder. 

So what is stopping you from starting your own business? 


While there are compelling reasons to leave corporate, fear of the unknown holds executives back. 

One of the key reasons is financial. 

With obligations such paying off your home mortgage and school fees for your kids, foregoing a stable income is a serious matter. 



- "What business idea should I pursue?" 

- "How do I ensure a consistent flow of client work?" 

- "How do I position my business apart from competitors?" 

That was exactly that LI12W student Carol Benton asked when she left corporate. 

And within 12 weeks, she landed her first client. Here's her story. 



Introducing Carol Benton... 

She has had an impressive corporate career. 

Her highlight being appointed the General Manager of Toshibha Global Commerce division. 

Despite her high paying job, she was unsatisfied. Her role requires her to travel and separated her from her husband and children throughout the year. 

As a mother, she felt anxious that she could not spend enough time with her children before they grow up and leave home. 

Her husband commented that even when she was physically at home, her mind was occupied about work. 

Lastly, she felt frustrated that despite climbing towards the top of the corporate ladder, someone else had control over her time. 

This led her to seek alternative paths such as starting her own business.

Here is What Her LI12W Journey Looked Like

The goal was to launch her business within 12 weeks - From idea conception to building a client-generating system. 



Initially, Carol wanted to start a business but she was unsure about the products it should sell. 

This proved challenging because she functioned as a generalist during her corporate career. 

Hence we embarked on the ‘Understand’ exercise. 

This comprised of exploring her expertise, strengths and interest. 

After several brainstorming sessions, she recalled an incident where a ex-colleague remarked “Who is going to write the proposals when you leave the company?”

At this point, Carol knew she was on to something. 

With additional coaching sessions from Andrew, she started to sculpt the value proposition and target niche for her business. 

Her observation was that while businesses work hard to generate leads, they typically lose potential clients at the proposal stage. 

The reason was because their proposal does not sufficiently talk about the business benefits of the project. 

Watch her video here: 



Now that we had determine the business idea, it was time to find clients. 


But before that, we needed to build an online profile where her connections could learn more about her services. 


To kickstart the process, we focused on her LinkedIn profile. 

Why LinkedIn? 

Regarded as an authority site by Google, your profile ranks top of the search result when someone ‘googles’ your name. 

We worked on various profiles elements designed to catch the eye of her ideal clients and convince them that she was the right person for the gig.

A key profile element we sculpted was the positioning tagline. 

Most professionals simply state their job positions. And that is basically leaving money on the table. 

We helped her design a benefits-focused tagline: 

“Expert communication consultant and business writer, helping clients win more business with effective proposals”. 

It immediately enables profile visitors to understand exactly how she can help level up their business. 



At this stage, we have clarified her business idea and built a lead generation machine. 

The final step was to craft a compelling pitch for her services and win customers. 

As a new business owner, the bulk of your business comes through referrals. 

You can keep yourself top of mind within your existing connections by publishing new articles and sharing niche-related content. 

Alternatively, your pitch comes in handy when meeting new connections through networking events. 

Through in-person interactions, you are immediately able to transition toward a private coffee catch up. 

And even if that individual is not your ideal client, a compelling pitch allows them to refer you on towards their network. 



She managed to attract client from her existing network - even before the 12 week program ended. 

And that is not the end of it. 

She even landed an overseas client from Hong Kong through LinkedIn. 

Due to her succinct positioning, her connections could clearly visualise how her skills could help their business. 

This has given her the confidence that she has a viable business model that is scalable in the coming months. 


So there you have it...

Here is how Carol left her corporate job and went on to secure her first paying clients within 12 weeks. 

The jump from corporate to startup might seem daunting…

But with the right support and direction, it becomes possible. 

Here is what she has to say about the course:

“I knew that I didn’t want to work for someone else, but didn’t feel quite confident whether companies would require my service. “Launch In 12 Weeks” gave me the structure to assemble various parts of my business and bring it to market. Without it I would still be scrambling to figure it out and would have probably found another corporate job. With the support from Andrew and my course mates, paying for this course is worth every penny and more. More importantly, I currently do work that energises me, been blessed with the ability to control my schedule and spend more time with my family.” 

Found this article useful? You should check out our workshops. Learn the latest tips on how use personal branding and networking to grow your business.

Andrew Ford

Marketing expert Andrew Ford, the founder of Social Star, has discovered the secret of ‘Powerful Branding’. With a fire for unleashing people’s inner brand and developing business models to generate profit from an individual’s passions, Andrew leverages ground-breaking digital and social media marketing techniques to create digital strategies for clients to attract maximum opportunities. Having established a strong name for himself in the field, Andrew blends traditional business techniques with now-necessary tools for entrepreneurs to achieve scale, quality, and influence in their niche. Andrew’s comprehensive business background and qualifications consist of a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) (RMIT 2003), a Graduate Certificate in Management (MBA Executive Program, University of Sydney 2005), and a Masters of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Swinburne University 2011). Continually on the cutting edge of his own education, Andrew has tested his marketing theories in forums such as the BCG Business Strategy Competition, which he won in 2005 against all Victorian MBA schools, and the Venture Cup Business Plan Competition (Swinburne University 2003), which he won in the Masters category. With experience working at Hewlett-Packard, Sensis (Telstra) and IBM, Andrew also has mentored dozens of junior staffs to help them achieve their professional goals. Meeting and influencing high-profile public figures helped Andrew to realise just how many professionals require more understanding and control of their public brands or appearance, and need help with the skills to use the many amazing free tools at their disposal to generate success. At Social Star, Andrew consults with clients to uncover their personal brand – both where it is today and where it can be tomorrow – and refine and define how that should be displayed in social media in order to attract their perfect target audience. Andrew mentors his clients to rapidly grow their business’ audiences, resulting in larger potential client bases and higher revenue. Applying formulas that integrate over twenty years of Andrew’s business experience and fifteen years of formal business education, Social Star specialises in building clarity and velocity for clients’ brands using the ‘Understand, Build and Leverage’ methodology. ‘Having a Personal Business enables people to have an authentic, congruent connection with their valued clients and partners, using their brand as the bridge,’ says Andrew. ‘I’m highly driven to work with the new breed of entrepreneurs and small business owners – people who have a passion for making the world a better place. Traditional business models are stepping aside as people follow their innermost dreams and my role is to see them operate within their values while creating wealth. Some people think you have to sacrifice what you love to be successful in your business, yet it is actually the opposite. Follow your passion and success will come.’ Lecturing at Swinburne University from 2009 to 2011 on brand dynamics and digital marketing, presenting at numerous conferences, and consulting to hundreds of clients, Andrew has seen his philosophy work that if you follow your unique path, based on your skills, experience, values and goals, you will automatically attract the opportunities you desire and achieve the success you deserve. Living his mantra, Andrew has created a successful business and attracts high-profile clients including musicians, athletes, authors, models, entrepreneurs, professionals and small business owners, helping them find their ‘why’ in their business and fulfilment in their lives. Business for Andrew is more than work, it’s personal. Running a personal business means that he is able to fulfil all of his values rather than separating his life from work. It supports his two boys while providing social opportunities, educational development, fitness opportunities, spiritual fulfilment and many valuable friendships. Social Star has now become the vehicle for Andrew to crystallise his mission in the world, to help people love what they do, supporting his ‘why’, that if more people loved what they did, the world would be a better place.