I didn’t start out wanting to be an entrepreneur. As a matter of fact, I promised myself [and my husband] that I’d always have a job. He was an entrepreneur when I met him; a true entrepreneur. The number of businesses he’s started is anyone’s best guess. It’s just how he’s made. Me? I enjoyed stability. I liked knowing when I was getting paid, how much, and how I could spend it (bills mostly). I worked hard to get to the top level of my career field and I had no plans of quitting.
Then, the worst of the worst happened.
I was terminated from my cushy government job.
I was devastated. I felt as though my whole life stopped and I didn’t know who I was. In reality, of course, life didn’t stop and my identity wasn’t lost. I’d just never taken the time to truly develop my own identity regarding business because I didn’t need to define it. I had a job that told me exactly who I was (job title), what to do (job description), how to do it (standard operating procedures), and when to do it (8am to 5pm with lunch from 11am-12pm; with no room for flexibility or creativity in anything).
I liked the guidelines. They made it easy for me to fly under the grown-up accountability radar. I didn’t have to think for myself and making money wasn’t my direct responsibility - meaning that, I was not responsible for finding clients, creating products or services, or dealing with finances. I could honestly say, “I just work here,” and mean it.
That all changed, abruptly, and I guess the initial shock was...well, shocking. Though, I got snapped out of the funk I was in almost as quickly as I got shoved into it. I was explaining to some friends what happened (and I’m sure my face was telling the story, too - pouty and all), and their response stumped me.
I told them, “I was terminated! What am I going to do?” (Waah wah wah.)
To which they replied, “Great!”
WHAT!? I was so confused. Did they not hear what I’d said? “Are they really making jokes right now?” I thought. Then, they explained. They told me that getting fired was a good thing because it left an open slate. They knew I was capable of much more than what my job allowed me to do. I didn’t see what they saw in me at the time, so I wasn’t really pleased with their response, but I thanked them for their confidence in me.
So, that’s how it all started.
About six months later, I had an idea.
I created a successful women’s athletic apparel online store, and ran it for a little over a year. It was doing well and I could’ve continued, but I caved under the pressure. Sales were being made faster than I could fulfill them (a good problem to have) and I didn’t have enough money to beef up the fulfillment process (a bad problem to have). My anxiety got the best of me and I called it quits. Closing the store was one of the hardest business decisions I’ve ever had to make - to date. It was really tough. I was attached to all the women I’d come to know, so closing was like a really hard breakup.
On one side, I can say that I beat the odds; in that, I started my first online business and I actually made money. People liked my brand, they liked the products, and the community engagement was awesome! It was a success. On another side, I couldn’t handle it when things got tight.
Would it have continued to be a successful online business, or would it have plummeted? I have no idea, but I know for a time that it was great. That makes me happy. I made a difference in women’s lives. I inspired them through the brand, and that was priceless.
Fast-forward to now.
I’m mentally unemployable. I caught the bug. I’m hooked on entrepreneur life. I know too much and imagine way too much to work for someone else; helping them build their fortune. Why would I do that when I can build my own, right?
So, here I am.
My husband and I own a few businesses - all successful - all online.
Business, today, is different than it was when I was growing up in the 80s. Computers and the interweb changed the world. I grew up at the right time, because these things were just picking up when I entered high school in the 90s. (Remember AOL dial-up? Wow!) I quickly picked up typing, Windows, and the Internet. From that point, there was no going back. I was hooked on all things computer and Internet, and I still am.
I’m kind of an online queen-of-all-trades. It’s not easily explained, other than to say that a lot of what I’m able to do is sheer gifting, but all of what I do is skill. I don’t take what I do lightly, especially since I’m helping others grow their businesses. So, though I have certain talents that come easily to me, I still work on perfecting them. I think I’m worth the investment. I think you’re worth the investment, too.
Oh, yeah. In the midst of all this, I’m also a wife and mother. (I mentioned that I work with my husband. I also do a lot of his PR stuff, which is no easy task. He’s everywhere!) Wife and mother are, certainly, not afterthoughts. They are the most enjoyable and frustrating positions in my life. (Hey. I tell the truth - it’s kinda my thing - blunt honesty.) Sometimes being an entrepreneur along with being a wife and mother is tough. Sometimes being an entrepreneur with an entrepreneur husband is exciting, tough, and scary, all at once. Always; however, being an entrepreneur with my husband and kids is my life and my love. So…
that’s me, summed up in a not-so-short, but not too long (or agonizing - I hope) story.
...and... Oh, yeah! In November 2016, Tomboy Princess (my fashion fitness apparel brand) re-opened! With more experience & a bit more wisdom, the future is quite bright for TBPC.
"Never give up on the greatness for which you were created, never try to hide your uniqueness, and never feel you cannot do what you believe you were made to do."