Two questions come to mind whenever I think about my book, The Curious One, my career, and my life. Why should anyone care about me and what I have to say? Why would they want to hear the confessions of still another entrepreneur?
The answer to both question is the same: People are looking for inspiration, encouragement, and motivation (especially entrepreneurs). As they read about my struggles and heartaches in dealing with divorce and death, they also see how I came through each despair and sorrow stronger and more inspired to step forward and make something of my life. I always have believed in myself, and you can, too.
My message is crystal clear: It's not easy, but it's worth it!
Here are some examples of how that applies to me and, most likely, to you, too.
Starting and building a business
I freely admit that starting a business from scratch and keeping it going are not easy. But in the end, it is so worth it! For example, I've had to deal with the same concerns as most entrepreneurs: money issues, business flow, and relationships:
- No money anywhere in sight--Not easy: Truth is, when I went out on my own, I had no spare money. It was so hard to get started. There was no money other than what I was making at my corporate job. Just like so many of us, I had to handle both jobs for awhile, because before I could quit my full-time job, I needed the new company to bring in enough to at least put food on the table and pay for my rent. Worth it: But, it was worth all the worry and sacrifice, because as I pushed myself and worked my heart out, it ended up making a lot of sense. I could eventually afford to live off of my business...and even thrive. Today, the business I only dreamed about is supporting me AND 20 other people. Now, that's so worth it!
- The brutal ebb and flow of running a business--Not easy: Boy, the ups and downs are really, really hard. As a small start-up, I had no idea from month to month how things would settle out. That part is sooooo scary. It's those terrifying moments of "OMG, what did I get myself into?!" Worth it: The good part of fluctuating business is that it keeps you on your toes. Nothing ever gets boring. It's constantly changing. You have to keep running with it and try new things all the time. It's exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. I wouldn't want it any other way. I would never want a predictable, same-old/same old, 9-to-5 job ever again. Frankly, I am so grateful for the craziness.
- Relationships are different when you own a business--Not easy: You end up having fewer friends and more business acquaintances. That's hard for me to deal with, but it's a reality of the game. It makes a person a bit schizo to constantly have to change back-and-forth between a business hat and a personal hat. :/ Worth it: I feel like I make more passionate and purposeful connections. I have deeper conversations than I've ever had...about both business and life. It's made me be more of a thinker, a great listener, and a leader in my business and personal relationships.
Now that I'm talking about relationships, it's time to discuss marriage and love and how I have changed (for the better, I hope!).
First, the not-so-easy part. I freely to admit to two failed marriages. Both at a very young age. The break-ups were painful.
But, there is a happily-ever-after part that makes the sting of those broken relationships fade. I had to go through the relationships I did to be the person I am now. I'm really grateful for them, actually. They made me realize (and fight for) more in my life. I discovered that I wanted more, that I couldn't be boxed into any mold or role. I had so much more living to do. They taught me about myself in a BIG way.
So by the time I met Mark (my awesome hubby), I immediately knew I had a grown-up love. Something so unique and different that I had never felt before. He makes me want to be a better person, a harder worker, so much more each day. He doesn't hold me back...rather he springs me forward in the best possible way. Life is better, more adventurous and full of passion with him.
The BIG life-lessons
By going through the less than easy parts of my life, I formed a new definition of success. To me success isn't money, enormous wealth, or possession of things. It's measured by the amount of people you can impact and change for the better. I measure my own personal wealth by what I can do in the world for the greater good. And perhaps you might want to consider redefining success for yourself, if you want to get through the parts of life that are not very easy.
In the end, your life is measured by that dash on a grave (the one that's between when you are born and when you leave this world). It's what you do in that dash that's important...and worth it.
Another life-lesson: I have discovered that my life is like the wind. Sometimes it's gale-force crazy and scary. Sometimes it's calm and serene. However it goes, it's spirit that can't be tamed. But a force that loves to love. A life that chases the sun. So simple, yet so experimental. Innocent and a touch of crazy. And above all, it's all so worth it!