Entrepreneurism fascinates me. I think it’s fantastic when someone has an idea and chases it to the point of that very idea becoming their job. I love reading success stories online or striking up a conversation with someone only to learn that they or a friend of a friend started a business off of a passion. It’s amazing to look at something and be able to know that you built it.
However, just like there are two sides to every story, there’s many more sides to entrepreneurism. Some of them just aren’t talked about as openly.
First, I am an entrepreneur. I have a wonderful marketing and social media business that allows me to work with wonderfully smart creatives. These ladies (and a few gents!) are some of the most inspiring people, and I’m honored to work with each of them. I also work with brides to style and coordinate weddings. And don’t even get me started on flowers. I love them. I do, in fact, look at my business and am constantly in awe that I built something that has clients appreciating what I do for them. Making a client happy is my biggest goal.
But, the side of entrepreneurism that isn’t talked about as much is that it’s hard. So, so hard. Sometimes it’s a lonely road that you walk alone as you try to fill the role of each and every department. You are all of the things (or in this case, all of the roles). For every time you take two strides forward, it seems as though you’re taking one stride backward. Owning a business isn’t something you can leave, per say, at 5 pm or turn off while you’re on vacation. There is a balance that only you can create, but that balance likely does not mean that you actually stop thinking about your business. It’s always there for you to dream, scheme, and (sometimes) worry about.
As more entrepreneurs speak more openly about their business and how they’ve taken it full-time, I feel as though a job that is so, so hard is slowly but surely being glorified. It’s the goal of many to be able to say that they, too, built a full-time business. It’s a wonderful feeling, without a doubt, but simply being able to say that you built something that requires your full-time attention shouldn’t be the only goal. And it’s absolutely not the only way to feel fulfilled or as though you are “enough”.
You are enough already.
Being an entrepreneur may mean you take on a limited number of clients on a part-time basis.
Being an entrepreneur may mean you don’t want to leave your full-time job for a host of reasons that you should honor because you have them.
Being an entrepreneur may mean that you take your business full-time and decide that you would really rather scale back and work as part of a team.
Being an entrepreneur may mean that you do take your business full time and work through each and every high and low with complete optimism.
Being an entrepreneur may mean that you are the #girlboss of your own life. To me, this is my very favorite role. Be the boss of your own life. Make strides in your career. Spend completely focused time with your family. Prioritize your friends. Travel. Experience every last thing you want to experience. Do the things that are meaningful to you on the road that you want to travel, not the road that seems cool because that’s what other people are doing.
I am an entrepreneur who, at one point, wanted to work entirely for myself for the longest time. It’s the only way I thought I could be completely successful. But, I still have not reached that goal. And I don’t want to. I want to continue to divide my time between working with my clients and working as part of a team. I love having people to turn to when I have questions, and I adore using my talents to build someone else’s dream. Building that business into something even bigger has become my dream, too.
What I do want to do full-time, without a shadow of doubt, is be my very favorite definition of a #girlboss – I want to be the boss of my life. I want to run my business, but I also want to LIVE my life by making sure it’s filled with meaningful work and even more time spent with family and friends. And I want to travel. I want to see everything.
Being an entrepreneur means YOU make the rules that YOU want to follow. Don’t compare your dream to someone else’s dream, or their progress to yours. You may be chasing something that isn’t right for you in the end. I was, and now I’ve redefined what this role means to me. It means clients, but it also means TEAM. At this point on my path, the combination is my very favorite.