Behind every great woman-owned business is an emotional reason she built it — I believe that through and through. Woman are nurturers, we are creative, and we are industrious. We can get the job done!
For ten years, I have been by my daughter’s side as she fights cancer. I have spent many years in and out of the hospital. There were days that I was just too fried to sit through a meeting, let alone try to drive to one! I was drained, but money and security were becoming more and more necessary in my life. I knew I needed my own business, and I needed to be my own boss. I brainstormed how I could build a business that I could run while spending nights and days with my daughter at City Of Hope. For a time, I actually sold tools to all the contractors at the hospital! I made sales calls to them every day. The customers I called on had no idea I was actually living on campus at the hospital — they just thought I was persistent! Finding the right business for me was challenging. I had many obstacles to overcome in order to have a traditional business. Time, money, and my family’s best interest were my biggest goals.
Like may of us busy moms, my car was really turning into my home office. One day while opening my trunk, I saw a cake pan in the back and there was still cake in it. This cake had been there for at least a month. Hot Wheels and football cards were stuck in the icing and they were surrounded by some fungus of a sort. It’s an image I will never forget. That cake might as well have screamed out that was doomed! I would never be that mom that has it all together.
Sometimes your best ideas come from your lowest moments. Emotional inspiration is the best driving force you can ever have. I had to clean my car to get ready for a ride along with my boss (where I am supposed to have samples and binders in my trunk for the customer)! Believe it or not, this was my most inspirational moment! When I had to clean up my act I realized being “me” is the best business I could have! If I could turn that wreck around then I can pretty much do it all! This low moment was huge in evaluating why I wanted my own business.
WHY do you want your own business? We all say things like family, God, time, and money, but your WHY is what will help you design a model for yourself. For me, my WHY centered on doing things that I know I can accomplish on my own terms and my own schedule. Working on your own schedule does not always make you the most money, but if you meet small goals then you can see success one step at a time.
I know it is hard to take the plunge into starting your own business. Declaring it to yourself and family is the first step — take yourself seriously. Your kids need to know when your phone rings it could be a business call and there better be no fighting. The way I treat my business like a business is to give myself a list of goals, and give myself my own daily report card. I have homework every day and try to take care of loose ends before I close my office door. I struggle with ADHD, so this is even harder for me and can lead to lots of sleepless nights. I try to give my business a power hour before 2:30pm when all hell breaks loose! I let others know my goals, so they will understand why I am so busy and so someone can hold me accountable. When you get caught up in the work, you may need someone outside asking you, “Are you making any money ?”
If you think striking out on your own is something you want to do, sit down and really think about it, and then follow your instincts. You can do it!