CAREERS: My Big Break

My big break happened in 1988 in the form of a personal tragedy - a

situation that I managed to overcome and transform into an event that

catapulted my career.

While crossing the street 12 years ago, I was hit by a car. Because I

held a senior-level position as PR director of an international ad

agency in Miami, my doctors told me that my injuries from the accident

would prevent me from ever working full-time again, especially at the

level to which I was accustomed.

Driven to succeed in my career, I traded my windsurfer for my sister's

computer and began freelancing out of home. My business grew, and I

opened Thorp & Company 14 months later.

Today Thorp & Company has 23 employees, is the fastest-growing of

Florida's top 10 PR firms, according to PRWeek's 1999 rankings, and in

the fall of 2000 was rated the 24th fastest-growing private company in

South Florida by The Business Journal.

Looking back, I really think my accident was the turning point in my

career. It allowed me to enter a new phase in my work life, start a new

business, set new goals and achieve new levels of success.

Patricia Thorp is founder and president of Thorp & Company.

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