A Game-changing Moment

Changing the game. It’s not the makeshift hockey arena that my two little guys create in the middle of our kitchen that looks less like Nationwide Arena and more like we’re about to have dinner. It’s not about beating each other up about our political affiliations and beliefs on social media as though we’re in a twelve round fight. And it’s not about keeping up with the Joneses and that new car they have parked in their driveway.

Changing the game is about taking what you do and creating change in the world.
It matters because what we can do in our own little way can be incredibly powerful.

I’ve always loved this quote by Marianne Williamson:

Marianne Williamson

When we live in fear, we can’t change the game. Believe me, I know.

You may think the game changed in my life when my contract with a local TV station wasn’t renewed after waking up with viewers for almost seven years. I’d spent my entire adult life, 17 years in total, telling stories and connecting communities. And in the blink of an eye, with no explanation, it was gone.

My Old Life

But this act, of being let go with absolutely no explanation by the News Director or General Manager, was not in and of itself the game changer. What happened next, and what happened because of that moment, is what changed the game.

I had a family to provide for and wanted to make sure those hockey-loving boys had a woman in their life they could look up to– and I wanted to make sure that they saw that she picked up her life and moved forward. I also refused to let what I was passionate about disappear for good, knowing that I had good to give to the world.

After spending two months meeting with all of the fantastic people I’d come to know working in the public eye in Central Ohio, I settled on a concept.  I was going to tell stories on my own, through my own company, in a space that not too many people were familiar with: I was going to become a brand journalist.

That decision was the game changer. I didn’t take a job in PR, I didn’t move my family out of Columbus to find a job in another TV market when my former employer tried to hold me to a non-compete. With a solid faith in the path and that passion for helping businesses and organizations, ultimately helping the community, I moved forward to establish Mikaela Media. Within a year I had worked with 15 clients and at the end of 2016, my revenue was equal to my salary when my contract was surprisingly not renewed. I also helped develop a podcast for moms through Sunny 95 and Columbus Radio Group– a way to continue telling stories and providing critical information to a larger audience in Central Ohio and across the country. We even have some listeners overseas!

Momcast 20 Outstanding Women

I also now have the opportunity to sit on the NAWBO Board of Directors– surrounded by incredible Central Ohio women and helping the larger group of 250 plus women find great business counsel as the Vice President of Roundtables. On top of that, I’ve been able to partner with other women in the PR & Marketing world for some projects that have increased exposure and created greater excitement about the brands and companies they work with on a regular basis.

Apolo

This sense of changing the game and making a difference also shows up every time I attend a Women’s Fund of Central Ohio Programming Committee meeting, where we’re constantly talking about what conversations need to be had about gender bias, equal pay, and so much more.

I’m not going to sit here and say it was easy. It took hustle, it took some long nights, and it took patience (which is not my best virtue) to make 2016 a success. But because of changing the game, choosing a new professional path in the midst of a really difficult and confusing time,  I have grown personally and seen the power of the women in my life. It would never have happened if I hadn’t changed the game. (And to be honest, looking back, I needed a change months before that surprising moment inside a TV station. I just hadn’t been listening to my inner voice.)

What has been your game changer? Has it happened yet? Is it right around the corner? And why does it matter? Please let me know in the comments below on you’ll be entered to win two tickets to the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio’s Keyholder event in May.

Talk about a game changer. Going to this event will inspire you to take that next step in your life and do that great thing that you’ve been dreaming about for a long time.