I read stories about other people, and a lot of them start out with “I was born to be an entrepreneur”. Not me. I became an entrepreneur by accident, but I would never go back to working for anyone else. I grew up in a small community that was part of a bigger city that has since been built up. I remember a community feel, isolated in a pocket of small town feeling.
My mother was ill most of my young life. The first cancer hit when she was in her early thirties, and she was a single mother which left her in a very scared place. My younger sister was ill as well, although she lived a somewhat normal if extremely sheltered life. I grew up in a position of caring for others as a way of life. It was a duty, but also a choice.
I grew up, got married young and started my life. I had jobs but no career, and I never thought much about what I wanted to do. I took on lots of small requests from friends and family to edit photos, help with forms, write articles, setup businesses, help with taxes-you name it. I was always busy with different types of tasks and requests. Bottom line, a career was not what I was searching for, but I didn’t really want to work a job either.
Having lots of skills but no degree, I was of the mindset that since I didn’t have a degree in anything, my skills were good for helping, but not the type of thing I could use in a business, or start a business from. I was fine staying home with the kids and “helping” on the side. This worked until my then husband was laid off from his job.
Not really laid off, more like outright fired. He had been with the small business for 14 years and was fired for using his cell phone on his birthday. It was a huge reality shift for me and my family. Later, my ex-husband was asked to return the job, but opted not to. He didn’t want to feel unappreciated anymore! He was going to start a business of his own!
This was my first real foray into the world of business. Suddenly there was so much to do. Not just figuring out the products, the layout and the financials, but also the planning, the opening and keeping it open. I felt out of my element, but also saw lots of room for possibilities. We were running the show! The partnership had begun.
We quickly saw we were at different ends of the spectrum. He was focused on things that I wasn’t, and we had many different views as we moved forward. In addition, we had out three small children.
Long story short, and several businesses later, I KNOW I have found my calling. Through all the disasters, wins, losses and achievements, I strive to move forward and fulfill my mission and vision which has developed over time.
I am an ADVOCATE for small business owners everywhere, and further advocate for women in business. I look forward to elaborating further through my blogs and podcasts, to help you understand my story in the hopes it will help you to continue to move forward.