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Updated: June 12, 2023 Know How

The high dive into entrepreneurship

When I was growing up, my little brother Christopher had a unique ability to tease me into doing things I didn’t want to do, like riding a bike without training wheels, trying spicy foods, and jumping off the high dive at the pool. At the pool, he would climb the ladder to the top of the high dive and jump off, arms in the air, and yelling at the top of his lungs as the splash from his landing irked the sunbathers on the deck.

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Photo | Courtesy of Lauren Howe
Lauren Howe is principal and owner of empHowered PR, a public relations firm in Leominster focusing on providing strategic communications for the healthcare, manufacturing, and nonprofit industries. Learn more at

In January 2020, I decided to take a jump I believed would impress Christopher. I quit my job in corporate America to pursue my dream of becoming an entrepreneur. I planned to work part time at a local bicycle shop to share my joy of cycling with others while making ends meet for my family as I built my business. At the time, the world was only beginning to hear about the coronavirus and starting to wonder how it would affect us. We all know what happened in the months – and years – that followed.

The Massachusetts state restrictions resulted in a delay to obtain a business certificate. My bank, insurance agent, attorney, and accountant went virtual, so I had to establish my business from my dining room table via electronic signature and video calls. What began as a dream turned into a nightmare as I saw established small businesses making tremendous sacrifices to stay afloat when I was just beginning my journey. I worried about my elderly parents getting the virus and my husband, who is an essential worker, bringing it home to my family.

Yet, during the several months I spent considering my next steps and doubting my ability to survive the crisis, I found something wholly unique: a community of people who encouraged me to stay the course and remain true to my convictions to succeed. They reminded me of my value and determination. That summer, through virtual coffee meetings, I secured my first client. Since then, my business has grown to a team of four with clients across the region, the country, and world.

So many things during that time seemed to prevent me from making the jump into the pool of entrepreneurship: the financial implications of quitting a job without a foreseeable sustainable income, the uncertainly of getting that first client and, of course, lots of self-doubt. Still, in the last three years, I’ve learned I am capable of achieving success and blessed with people who believed in me and provided the encouragement to keep going.

Overcoming these challenges and turning them into opportunities not only made me a smarter businesswoman, a wiser mother, and a stronger woman, but it proved I have the determination and grit to achieve any goal. Everyone has this ability within themselves!

Though the high dive at the pool is long gone, I look back fondly to the memories on those summer days with Christopher. I just hope he sees how far I’ve come when he looks down on me from Heaven.

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