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When It’s Time to Go


Wed May 22 2024

When It’s Time to Go

Women in business give advice to the next generation.

Five female entrepreneurs shared insights, lessons, and regrets with their audience Tuesday afternoon in a panel, "Women as Entrepreneurs: Navigating Challenges as a Business Owner."


Nanci Appleman-Vassil, founder and CEO of the APLS Group, moderated the panel, which featured Cindy Huggett, a virtual training consultant, facilitator, author, and speaker; Christie Ward, principal at the Impact Institute; Sharon Wingron, CEO, president, and chief people officer at DevelopPEOPLE; and Wendy Gates Corbett, speaker, author, and president of Signature Presentations. All five have been in business for at least one decade.

Each panelist spoke about how they left their jobs to start businesses and how people in their networks helped them get off the ground. For instance, Corbett’s first client was Appleman-Vassil.

“So, my first business that I started was doing slide design and material design for trainers, and Nanci was a huge support to me as I was planning this business,” Corbett said. “She helped me think through business models and pricing. And Nanci was the first person to hire me. It’s been amazing.”

The panelists also spoke about their biggest challenges, with Ward telling a story of her then-seven-year-old daughter getting diagnosed with leukemia and needing a bone marrow transplant. Ward had to balance her business with the needs of her child.

“So now, Mama wants to stay in the hospital with this child until the child, who was seven, says, ‘Mama, you need to go home,’” Ward said. “‘You don’t have any energy, and when you come see me, I need you to have energy.’ She’s here with me, by the way. She’s 41.”


Regarding advice for young entrepreneurs, Huggett suggested posting on LinkedIn, probing networks, and getting involved with a local chapter of the Association for Talent Development.

Finally, Wingron offered very succinct advice on when an individual must leave their current job to forge a path of their own.

“When the pain of not doing it gets bigger than the fear of doing it, then go,” she said.

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