Sometimes I can’t believe I was only 19 when I started my first business. I was still a college student. I was at my last quarter at FIDM, working 35 hours a week at a bridal gown store, and on the verge of graduating. Who has time to start a business?! After I graduated, I found a job at a print company and was working 40 hours a week while still doing my business on the side. Since graduating I’ve held lots of full time jobs all while doing my business on the side. I was working until 3 am sometimes only to get up at 6 am the next day. Hey, I had to survive right? I had bills to pay.
In every way you can imagine, entrepreneurship is about survival. You have these skills, passion, and you see an opportunity that you can fulfill. You want these things to be part of your daily life and would do anything to survive by using those 3 assets. Even if that means working night and day to make it happen. Why would anyone do that to themselves? Because it makes us happy. I know it makes me happy being able to exercise all 3 of those things – skill, passion, and opportunity. When you start a business, that’s how you survive. You realize you do what you have to do so that you can be happy.
Don’t get me wrong, being a business owner is hard – really hard sometimes. I’ve written about it before. Here, here, and here. Sometimes things will be great! And other times, you just want to curl up and hide from the world. Sometimes you have more than enough money coming in, and sometimes you won’t. A lot of entrepreneurs start off doing their business after work hours until their business can sustain them. That was me for a while. Up until 2013 I was working on and off at full time jobs, part time jobs, freelance jobs until I started working at Ninong’s. When I first started working there I would be the first one there and the last one to leave. I’d come in at 7:30 am, stay past 10 pm, and then work from home after. There were weeks where I was really really stressed where I’d cry every day and there were weeks where things would go well. Point is: it’s just the nature of the beast.
You’ve got to learn how to do things you never thought you’d have to learn – how to be an accountant, marketing guru, social media manager, graphic designer, operations manager…the list goes on and on. You now wear a million hats, at least until you make enough where you can pay to have a professional lighten your load (trust me, it’s worth the investment).
When you’re a business owner, a lot of times it’s all you can think about. It’s actually all you want to think about sometimes. If that’s the case and you haven’t started your business yet, then you should! Don’t let fear stop you. Don’t let fear take over your life to the point where you stop doing purposeful work. Do what you’re passionate about, work that gives you meaning and makes you happy!
I always tell people that come to me when they’re thinking about starting a business the real deal – it has its pro’s and its cons. But I always tell them that I would never have it any other way. If you’re the type that just isn’t happy working for someone else, or you have an idea that you just can’t get out of your head, then being an business owner might be for you! The great thing about starting your own business is that it taps into your unforeseen potential. The potential to make more money than working for someone else, the potential to come better than you ever thought you could be, and the potential to push yourself and learn how to want to do work instead of have to so work.