In today’s episode, we’re making our way to Fargo, North Dakota to talk to Annie Wood.

I first met Annie through Startup Champions Network and was fortunate enough to visit her community during our Fall Summit in 2018.

Shortly thereafter, Annie left the host organization and started a new chapter of her life.

Today, she shares what was going on behind the scenes at the time, how she regrouped after leaving the profession as an entrepreneurial ecosystem builder, and what this next chapter looks like.

We talked about the grief of letting go of what could have been, and how to find your way back to yourself when you’re letting go of a part of your professional identity.

Annie Wood thinks of herself as a combination of life experiences – she’s a learning facilitator, an experiential educator, and a community builder. Her day-to-day work in student life on a college campus is really the perfect mash-up to use the skills she’s developed. In her role, she helps folks explore who they are and where they want to go – through formal programs, mentorship, and encouraging them to follow their curiosities.

Annie is a believer in lifelong learning and aims to live with a growth mindset. She is passionate about providing opportunities for folks at any stage of life to explore who they are and how to live a life that matches their values. She believes that each day, we make choices about how we’ll contribute to our communities – and that is a reflection of our values. So Annie chooses to have a positive outlook and to validate people for who they are. Outside of her daily work and facilitating trainings, Annie especially loves creating or attending community events with a hint of whimsy and being part of groups that are just a little bit quirky, because the people with the wildest ideas are usually the most fun to be around.

Click here to listen to this episode on your favorite podcast player!

Listen to the full episode to hear:

  • How Annie used counseling to help her come to terms with needing to quit and how to let go and process grief
  • Why she took a month for Annie-tober, and why she still does it to this day
  • Why Annie believes in having a personal manifesto of her values
  • How Annie used her network to remind her of what kind of work brings her joy as she looked for the next thing
  • How Annie’s current role allows her to empower students to create community

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