About planning everything in your career...

I used to believe that we could plan our career from childhood days. If not, then this would definitely happen by the time I would reach college or university. Isn’t it high time?

Looking back now, did I ever think, I'd be building my startup PMDojo to help career professionals accelerate their career in tech and product?

Never. 😮 As a kid, I had some big dreams:

1️⃣ Be a nun.

2️⃣ Be a teacher.

3️⃣ Be a veterinarian.

4️⃣ Be a palaeontologist.

5️⃣ Make the world better.

6️⃣ Build a library with 1M books.

7️⃣ Connect the world with bridges.

8️⃣ Meet Mother Teresa and work with her.

👀 40 years later, what happened to those?

#1, #3, #4, #6 and #8 definitely did not happen.

But here's how the #2, #5 and #7 turned out:

1. I'm not a teacher as I imagined. Today, I coach product managers and designers, helping them transition and advance their careers.🚀

2. I'm making the world a better place by empowering people to break through barriers in the tech industry. And I'm damn proud to say I'm opening doors for underrepresented talent.🌉

3. I'm not building physical bridges, but I am building a global community that connects diverse talent with companies in tech, product, and UX.🌍

Was this journey easy? Hell no.

Funny story: I failed twice as an entrepreneur before PMDojo. 🤦‍♀️💡

Back in 2019, I climbed the corporate ladder and was promoted to GM/President of a company.💪🤑

Great salary, and smashed the glass ceiling everyone talked about.

But inside, I hit rock bottom and was given 3 months to live. If you wanna know more, check out the comments.💕

Stepping down meant proving all the doubters right, that women were not good enough to handle what it takes.

But I stepped down and rebuilt myself. 👊💪

How did I start PMDojo?

I started my entrepreneurship journey much later (I did not care for 30 under 30 lists).

  • Financial access was crucial for me during a stage in life when I had a mortgage and a child. Coming to the US years ago with a HUGE student debt and without a wealthy background shaped my mindset to know that money is important or what lack of can mean...
  • My biggest challenge starting in 2019 was embracing uncertainty without a steady pay check. So, I gave myself 6 months to validate the problem and launch a scrappy version for testing.

This is what I did for the first 6 months (I still continue to experiment, validate and invalidate):

1️⃣ Test the extent of the pain point and target audience.

2️⃣ Test willingness to pay. Passion projects can only last so long, so it needed a monetization angle. These experiments brought clarity.

3️⃣ Focus on mastery before scaling. Craft experiences scrappily for learning. So, most things were manual so I could learn and adapt.

4️⃣ Stay humble and believe in myself. For sanity, I still watch and listen to Mike Cannon Brookes's TED talk on Imposter Syndrome -

5️⃣ Moments of wanting to quit came with a lack of income for a year. Every negative feedback seemed like I was worthless. But every success story pushed me forward. As a bootstrap venture with social impact, every decision had to be intentional.

6️⃣ Align with passions and non-negotiables. It all starts with identification. For me my tribe at home and in the community were HUGE. Don't do this alone.

Did I make millions in 6 months? NO. But evidence validated I was onto something.

Every competitor who attempted to copy my approach only confirmed the value and uniqueness of my work.

🔄 This journey has taught me the art of becoming a master 'reframer.' I've learned to flip most setbacks into stepping stones to push forward.

Here's the wisdom I picked up along the way:

1. Pivot when the time is right.

2. Build deep relationships with all your might.

3. Self-compassion, make it a priority.

4. Learning and unlearning, are the key to prosperity.

5. Balance idealism and pragmatism, with all your might.

Today, PMDojo exists and is growing. It's my passion to make the tech industry equitable, diverse, and inclusive.💜

And in spite of the many lows of building a 100% bootstrapped company that focuses on doing good over churning profits at all costs, I know I have found my joy.

What is your career story and how have you navigated any pivots? Would love to hear.