Syncing Up My Professional Pursuits

By: Shelley Klingerman

Have you ever had the challenge of trying to represent two things that you do, but they’re so diverse that you struggle with how to represent them both?  It’s especially tough when you’re expressing your professional image. I know, because that’s exactly what my challenge has been for the past four years. Ever since I began pursuing my passion to educate women about creating good safety habits and being vigilant, mostly based on my own experiences and frustrations.  

Up to that point, my career path had been in the corporate and most recently the startup world working in entrepreneurship, technology and innovation. That’s why I’ve been struggling to figure out how to mash my two worlds (safety and startups) in my professional online presence. I don’t want to miss any opportunities to connect with people in both worlds.  But then I realized something really important … I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. Both sides of my professional coin fit perfectly together and provide layers of experience and a unique perspective.

What I truly enjoy is empowering people.  I really like working to empower people who I feel have a disadvantage in areas where there is inequity.  With my company Stiletto Agency, I get to work directly with women (and men), but especially women, on how to stay safe.  Ladies, I’m sure you can relate: if you don’t feel safe in your environment, be it work or social, you can’t focus or relax.  Pause to think about a time when you were in a situation, getting a bad vibe about something, especially if you were by yourself or alone with another person you didn’t now well or at all.  Were you in the moment? Were you able to close a business deal or enjoy a social event? Or were you distracted by fear or feeling vulnerable?  That is my work in Stiletto.  

What I truly enjoy is empowering people.  I really like working to empower people who I feel have a disadvantage in areas where there is inequity.

But, I’m also a managing partner of a venture studio. Venture studios are all about helping visionaries take their idea to a product (or service), and that product (or service) to a company; then infusing it with the talent and capital needed to scale and grow the company.  My company — shameless plug here, NEXT Studios, — does a lot of “impact” work with diverse founders (black, brown, female, LGBTQ, rural).  Founders who are often at the disadvantage in the start-up/venture capital world; so much so that they receive less than 2 percent of all venture capital deployed.  

My Personal Mission

So that’s it!  That’s how and why what I’m doing appears on LinkedIn to be worlds apart, but quite frankly is one and the same when you look at my personal mission:

To find peace, purpose and passion in all things that I do and help all those around me to do the same.

And yes, that really is my personal mission statement. I wrote it four years ago to figure out what the hell I was doing with my skills, talent and passions while working with my executive coach and now dear friend, Dana. Thank you, Dana, for helping me get to exactly where I need to be. 

Syncing Up

So when you interact with me on LinkedIn, you’ll see I’m building my own company around my passion of empowering people by teaching them how to be safe (Stiletto Agency) and helping others pursue their passion by helping them build their own companies rooted in their own passions (NEXT Studios). Not dissonant at all, but hand-in-glove connected.   

So … what is your personal mission statement? And how does it inform everything you’re pursuing personally professionally?

On Key

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