Build the Plane as You Are Going Down The Runway

Taking Flight!

Recently, I resigned from my position as director of engineering for a global company. Several people thought I was crazy because I decided to open my own engineering firm.

However, I have been encouraged and helped by some great friends. Several of them have been wonderful enough to go out of their way to recommend me personally for a job.

It is humbling. I am so grateful to be surrounded by great leaders who are willing to assist me with being successful.

Build the Plane as You Are Going Down The Runway
The best advice I received was from a good friend of mine, Mr. Jon Rennie. Jon opened his own company just a short time before I did, so he was able to give me timely mentoring.

He told me to, “build the plane as you are going down the runway.” You will never know everything the moment you launch your company. It is a learning adventure into entrepreneurship, so you build it as you are running it. After jumping out of the corporate airplane, plummeting towards death, I pulled my parachute.

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What was my parachute made of? The fabric is made of all the experiences and projects I have completed throughout my career that make me an expert. The stitching is my reputation for quality and customer service.


The ropes that attach to my harness are my friends and colleagues. Without them, I would be frantically trying to grasp anything that would keep my business alive. My harness is my faith.

Now, I’m building a new plane as I’m screaming down the runway. Ready to take off into the sky as a business owner, I look to my friends once again to provide much-needed lift.

The entire time, I think back to the advice I got: “build the plane as you are going down the runway.” It’s terrifying advice for sure, but it could end up being the best insight I ever receive.

Written by Heather


Heather graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a BSEE. Later, she received her MBA. As a mother of four wonderful children, she has found a way to balance her career with her role as Mom. After becoming director of engineering for a global engineering firm, she decided to start her own company. She is CEO of Select Power Systems, LLC.

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