“Wilmington, we have a problem.” Higgins has gotten that call from NASA. She can’t fix defunct space ships, but she can fix organizations. That’s why Higgins has provided consulting services to not just the space agency but also to the FDA, EPA, USDA, branches of the military, international corporations and nonprofit organizations.
“When profits, quality and morale are down, organizations know that things aren’t working well, but they often don’t know why,” Higgins explains. “That’s when they call me.” Since she launched Strategic Initiatives Consulting Group LLC in 1998, Higgins has become a go-to expert in organizational dynamics, strategic planning, team building and conflict resolution. But leaving a cushy corporate job to start her own firm was a big risk.
“Most advisors would say pick one thing that you do and specialize in it, but I didn’t want to do that because an organization’s problem could be anything and I can do everything,” Higgins says. “Marketing that concept was a challenge.” On the other hand, “if you don’t make mistakes, then you’re not taking risks and thinking big enough,” she says.
What advice would the expert give her younger self? “Accept advice,” she says. When Higgins started her business, she couldn’t see how to do things better and didn’t welcome feedback. Luckily, she had terrific, persistent mentors. Now, Higgins does the same for other entrepreneurs.