Guest post by JoAnne Funch

Whether you are an employee or a self-employed entrepreneur, career transitions happen.

As an entrepreneur, I started my first business in 1993 as a manufacturer sales rep company which I started with a partner.  We had years of experience, some great contacts and a boat load of determination to make a go of it. Unfortunately, after several years the partnership broke up due to some difference of future direction for the company.  This happens in the corporate world as well and people find themselves looking for new opportunities.

In my case, I decided to work in my husband’s business which was an interesting combination of our talents combined with balancing our personal life.   This was an example of work life balance at its core and we didn’t have the support of a corporate wellness department offering ideas of how to make it all work, we just figured it out as we went along.

We’re not always prepared for a career or life transition

In the early summer of 2005 my business partner/husband was at work and fell from a ladder suffering injuries he ultimately died from a week later.  I was not prepared to run our business without him let alone manage my personal life going forward.

There were a myriad of decisions to make about the business and I was forced to make changes, which included selling off the manufacturing portion of the business and retaining the marketing clients and services that I knew I could handle.  Downsizing felt like the best decision at the time.  Two years following the death of my husband I felt I was at another transition point.  Continue to put in the hours necessary to keep the business going, quit and look for a job or relocate from Southern California where I have been for 24 years back to the Midwest where I had family.   I opted for the third choice and moved in 2007.

Keeping Up With Technology

I had been in marketing, promotions and sales since 1993 and could see the world was changing to a more digitally driven economy.  Following my move, I learned and implemented online marketing strategies and social media into the company, recognizing this was the future trend of marketing, and I knew with certainty this was the direction the business needed to go.  I was 50 years old and in the beginning it all felt like learning a foreign language, but I stuck with it and learned through classes, coaching programs, forums and groups of peers.

A year ago I rebranded my company name to Marketing Dish and core messaging which is “Serving Up Solutions For Your Online Success.”  This is more congruent with my personality and personal vision.

Today, I help small business owners gain more exposure for their business through proven marketing strategies.  I also teach social media strategies and implementation to individuals and companies.

Looking back, I went from not knowing anything about social media to teaching workshops at the University of Minnesota, Business and Economic Development Department and many other organizations and conferences.

My passion is teaching business owners and job seekers how to use and leverage LinkedIn to meet their goals.

5 Lessons learned Through Life Transitions

  1. Surround yourself with supportive people
  2. Ask for help
  3. Learn new skills (especially social media)
  4. Learn to adjust your sails when necessary
  5. Always use the good dishes & the cloth napkins




JoAnne has been a small business owner in marketing and sales since 1993. She helps growth oriented businesses gain more exposure making a bigger impact in their market!

As a marketing consultant, JoAnne loves to teach, share, motivate and empower small business owners to build a business and a brand they love. She is also a passionate social media trainer specializing in LinkedIn For Business, as well as an author, speaker and avid blogger.

You can learn more about JoAnne on her websites: and