Whether you work a 9 to 5 or run your own business, life still happens. There are going to be ups and downs in your professional journey, and it can be tricky trying to navigate through it all. To speak more on that topic, I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Karlet Hewitt, a full-time entrepreneur based out of NYC. I met Karlet through a mutual connection who shared her story with me, and I knew I had to learn more.
Karlet graduated in 2009 and worked as an Executive Assistant for 10+ years at an investment bank. During that time, she was the go-to person everyone turned to with the smallest of tasks to the biggest of tasks. It wasn't until she heard God's voice telling her, "You don't belong here," that Karlet believed she could offer the world much more. It was time to step out on faith and start her entrepreneurial journey. Karlet started the Purpoint Group back in 2015 as a side hustle and finally decided to leave her corporate job in May 2019.
"I remember sitting at that desk in January 2019. I was making $100,000 a year and they'd just assigned me with the additional responsibility of sorting out the Poland spring water and snacks in the pantry. And I was like, 'Who, me? You want me to maintain the pantry, run the office, manage client reporting, do research, and plan events?' That's when I started to develop a strong nudge in my spirit, saying, 'Is this what you're worth? I have more for you.' That's when I decided to jump out on faith and resign. They were shocked! Immediately after, God flipped my world upside down. Literally upside down."
"I remember sitting at that desk in January 2019. I was making $100,000 a year and they'd just assigned me with the additional responsibility of sorting out the Poland spring water and snacks in the pantry. And I was like, 'Who, me? You want me to maintain the pantry, run the office, manage client reporting, do research, and plan events?' That's when I started to develop a strong nudge in my spirit, saying, 'Is this what you're worth? I have more for you.'"
The Purpoint Group is an agency that provides front to back business solutions and strategies, inclusive of event planning, publicity support, branding, and technology support. Even though The Purpoint Group was the successful new venture Karlet needed, she was facing life-changing news. During the height of COVID-19, Karlet found herself going through a divorce, still grieving the loss of her mother, all while trying to maintain a business and be a mother herself. With 2020 happenings, grief is something people have been dealing with lately, especially in the black community.
Karlet was able to share her story about coping with her grief and the lesson it taught her:
Navigating Grief During a Career Change:
Death is the one thing in life that is certain. Death is an eye-opener for anyone that we are all on borrowed time, and we should not waste it. What helps with grieving after death is using the time you still have wisely, and continuing to have faith. For Karlet, the news of her mother becoming ill hit like a ton of bricks and left with a feeling that she notes as "indescribable". She shared, "As soon as I put in my two weeks' notice, my mom had just been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. I remember feeling like, my gosh––I am losing my mother undeniably to this monster, cancer."
"I'm watching her wither away, my number one supporter, my best friend. The feeling is still indescribable."
Karlet expressed that her faith in God as her source to not stay in the pain that grief brings. She still has support from her family members and friends to lean on during the "not so good" days. She understands that this loss is something that she will never get over, but Karlet has faith in God that she can get through any dark tunnel. "I'm very rooted in my faith, so I went directly to God and said, 'Alright, God, I don't know what you are doing, but I trust you. You have put all these pillars in front of me, and I have no choice but to wiggle through this obstacle course.'"
Navigating Grief During the End of a Marriage:
We experience grief from relationships because it is still considered a loss. In a relationship, there is a sense of support in times of life's peaks and valleys. When a person no longer serves you or can no longer be that support you need, you can feel a sense of loneliness and even betrayal. "I had a moment where my emotions were very raw; naturally, I was mad. I was angry," she told xoNecole.
While you should welcome those emotions because you have every right to feel them, Karlet reminds herself of her value and her strength, daily. "I think, as women, we still get things done on our own, especially when you are goal-driven. Before I was married, I was a single mom. As a black woman, no matter what's happening around us, we are always going to take care of our home, our children and get things done."
Karlet knows that whoever stays or leaves in her life, she is her most important support system, and no man can take that away from her. "My mother always taught me one man don't stop, no show. So whether you are in or out, friend, partner, husband, client, employer, Karlet is always going to be OK," she added.
Navigating Motherhood While Grieving:
Black women are regarded as superheroes, and rightfully so, however the terminology can play the role of a double-edged sword. The world expects us to wear multiple hats and in the face of pain, the word 'strong' acts as an unlikely adversary to the necessary act of addressing our own needs. Karlet agrees that we are capable of showing up for others, especially for our children, but we have to be mindful of showing up for ourselves first. "This past January, I was battling depression. My son, who is seven, looked at me and said, 'Mom, you must get up.' That's when I realized; he too is experiencing this loss. At just seven years old, if he can wake up every day, enthusiastic and hopeful and say to himself, 'I don't know what's going on, but I know my mommy's going to take care of me,' that encourages me to keep going every day."
"Although I don't know what's going on during this season of my life, I know my Father's going to take care of me."
The phrase "you can't pour from an empty cup" is more real than we think. When women can take a step back and check-in on ourselves to make sure we are in a good space mentally and spiritually, everyone else will benefit. "Mommies––detach your identity from your children. As long as you are well, your children are always going to well. I think it is important, as mothers, we learn that outside of our children, we still exist. We can't get lost in the title of 'Mom'. It's not an easy thing to do, but it's necessary."
Navigating Grief as an Entrepreneur:
Ultimately, as with anything in life, grief can offer a learning experience and if you let it, you can move through it having gained something amid your loss. Karlet is proof of this sentiment as well. "Grief has taught me that no matter what's happening in your business, life is still happening. We are all going through something. Grief has taught me to be still. As entrepreneurs, we are always trying to figure out the next thing. We need to learn to enjoy life for what it is right now."
"We need to learn to be present. I'm a big fan of journaling, and my self-care is to shut everything down. I had to learn to detach from the work and focus on being Karlet."
"Prayer is super important to me as well as mentorship." Karlet explained, "Having a healthy and consistent prayer life is a part of my business plan as well as mentors. Mentors help you connect with someone who has already been through what you're about to endure as an entrepreneur. They help you skip the unnecessary steps as you build your business. I encourage anyone experiencing grief in any way to find your people because it helps to have support and grounds you a little bit."
For more Karlet, follow her on Instagram!
Featured image by Instagram/@karlethewitt.