Sometimes work gets very personal.

Nicole Witt, owner of The Adoption Consultancy, had trouble becoming pregnant. When she started to learn about adoption, her efforts uncovered more myth than fact: adoption takes years to complete and then birth mothers can show up throughout childhood to claim involvement—both of which are false. Nonetheless, what she learned had an impact, and Nicole chose to pursue donor egg options, eventually conceiving two children.

Despite her personal success story, the product manager in her kept seeing an opportunity to guide would-be parents to accurate information and vetted resources. Many interviews and spreadsheets later, she launched her small business to help other people adopt a family, and seven years later she has a waiting list of new clients who want to hire her.

Fittingly, she says “it began with baby steps.” Nicole moved to a part time role from her full-time position. She found this approach helpful to avoid becoming emotionally or financially dependent on the business before she was ready. This graduated approach provided both a financial cushion and the time she needed to build her confidence before truly striking out on her own.

Previously employed in the healthcare industry, Nicole knew that building a reputation among fertility doctors, acupuncturists and sector organizations (such as Resolve, a national network for people dealing with infertility,) would create the referrals she needed to get a clientele going. With time, she was tapped as a thought leader and invited to speak at conferences and consulted by the press.

The Adoption Consultancy

An online training course in social media introduced her to three women who became part of a small group of female entrepreneurs she regularly connects with for business-building and media strategies. This network meets via conference call once a month and the mentoring and camaraderie has been “invaluable” Nicole says.

Today her clients come from all over the world and she walks them through the many options. Once decided, Nicole connects her clients with vetted adoption agencies and attorneys to help create their families. She holds their hands through the entire process much like a wedding planner does for a bride and groom. And the photographs that show off the results are rewarding in ways her corporate job could never deliver. Problem, passion and profit married up to benefit all.

Read about Greenie Tots and check out how this family took the lessons they learned in their personal lives and built a business. Or, take a few minutes to watch Joe Festa and learn how he has built a business based on community.