Realness here. I wasn't born with the entrepreneurial spirit running through my veins. I used to think it was unreasonable for people to go out on their own to start a business. It just didn't seem stable. Far from guaranteed money in most cases.
I was frightened of it being unsafe and put a stigma on it being a “get rich quick scheme”. This belief was forced into my subconscious throughout my life. I didn't know any business owners in my family, or any family friends, or friends of my own, so all my ideas were based on general society. It was believed to be smart to climb the corporate ladder to the top. Full benefits and a few dollars in my 401K made me holler.
This spirit was embedded in me until I started to see people actually living their dream. Like, you don’t have to be miserable to reap the benefits of your desired life.
You don’t have to sit in standstill traffic on a Thursday afternoon while pregnant, going through Braxton Hicks contractions. Fathers don't have to face their children being calmed down by the daycare staff quicker than them... You don’t have to wait until “Happy Hour” to relax...
Before starting a business, I would think, who am I to just up and start a business? Then I reflected on my abilities, laid out my dreams and realized, why not me? I was the only person holding myself back from a life of bliss and fulfilling my purpose.
After having my daughter, Liana, I forced myself to rediscover myself. Thus, my blog Yannivlovely was born. In this path of rediscovery postpartum, I fell back in love with the passions of my adolescence. I had long ago packed away; like a time capsule, deeming them as mere memories.
When I began to rummage through my interests from my past and paid close attention to what I took in on a daily basis (books, blogs, podcasts, etc.), things began to change. I realized that all along entrepreneurship was right around the corner for me.
The only thing holding me back from doing the work was myself.
Here's how I found my calling and how you think about ways you can see how it can work for you.
Discover and understand your personality type to see if it meshes well with entrepreneurship
Knowing my personality type was pivotal for me. I discovered that I was an INFP during the later years in college. We did this exercise with the mindset of being an employee. Funny how I did not see much in the project about branching out into entrepreneurship.
When I retook my personality test through 16Personalities, I was still an INFP, but read with a more mature set of eyes. I also understood my thought processing and how it can craft into an ideal professional atmosphere in the service industry. I discovered the ideal avenues of work just for me!
I'm a mediator at heart and love to live with little judgment. Writing and developing content that took people on a journey was beginning to be my strong suit again. Although I'm an extreme introvert, I noticed how being observant and empathetic can be great as an entrepreneur because you'll be able to comprehend the needs of your audience.
As an INFP, I found that my concentration was through expressing myself on my own terms. Although we are great people of expression, it is hard for us to do focus on one thing at a time (We are naturally people of many ideas!). It is even more difficult for us to follow through. But when we complete a project, magic appears!
Think back to the things that you were interested your childhood that you would love to pursue as a business
As a child made of the concoction of extreme shyness, harboring feelings, and a slight speech impediment, I found that reading, writing and drawing were some of the things that kept me sane.
When I moved to Georgia in high school, these likes were superseded with the responsibilities of maintaining good grades to be good enough to get into a decent college. Along with the responsibilities of being a big sister (Professional big sister here!).
College consisted of me busting my ass to be able to keep my lights on while going to school full time. During college I enjoyed the medical field as well as accounting. I wanted to mesh those together to one day be a CFO to a hospital one day. I was scared to pursue it.
I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Management at the tail end of my pregnancy. Then the birth of my daughter came. Jobs did not see my education and experience in an emergency room as something important. Take home income was bleak.
Having a little girl meant that I would have to set a great example. I had to exude confidence so that she would be able to grow up knowing that I had things in order, and even if I didn’t, I would know how to get it down.
Then I dug deep and wanted a creative outlet. I wanted to figure out myself. What interested me in life?
Writing. Wrote a couple of books as a child that I was too nervous to share with even my mother
Reading. Loved reading until the end of the earth. Now I cannot wait to complete my book bucket list!
Draw… because I am left-handed, I soon gave this up because of the smudging.
Math. This interest turned into accounting. I’m excited about all things business and money.
I STARTED TO INTENTIONALLY SURROUND MY THOUGHTS WITH POSITIVITY
I was a child of deep sadness who suffered in silence. I would rarely complain of the inner thoughts of worthlessness to my family so I owed it to myself to now face the world with a positive attitude.
Of course, we can't keep away from some of the Facebook drama on our timeline, but when I started to care what my brain was taking in on a daily basis, things started to change. I started affirming myself on the wonderful things that I was capable of. When you ensure that you’re listening to things that will directly change your life, things happen. You get into the spirit of wanting more for yourself. They say that you are a reflection of the people that you hang around with the most. I believe that while that is true, the messages that you allow in your mind when people are not around is even more telling.
I have devoured countless blogs, podcasts, video series, courses, and read books about entrepreneurship and personal growth. I have learned so much about life, itself than I ever did with formal education.
Listening to those who are friends in my head have made me feel like I should be a part of their awesome equation.
I asked myself, why not couple my experience and desire in serving others in crafting a service-based business all my own. I loved technology and creating things on it - thus, the love of graphic design was born! Now I serve entrepreneurs/small business owners in getting their lives together in their books as well as branding. I also offer some virtual assistance work with an array of customized services.
Now I’m in my chapter 1 of my entrepreneurial journey so I would not want to compare myself.
Who says that you have to be perfect in your business right out of the gate?! I have been avoiding starting until everything was just right. My whole vision, plan, the name especially.
I am not going to go into depth about worthiness (can be saved for another post), but why is it that we feel as if we aren’t worth every bit of happiness? Why is that we think that we cannot travel around the world and experience it at its best? Why is that we think of work stowed away in a cubicle for hours on end only desiring to be in a corner office? Whys isn’t the concept of the world being your office (I’m writing at Starbucks btw).
Entrepreneurship means to me that you’re willing to be in the trenches and serve a need to the people you desire to serve the most. I desire to help millennial women with the desire to work in their businesses full-time.
Here’s what you can try.
Are you like me and don’t know how to feel about each day. Lost in the sauce of life in what you want to do with yourself. Feeling hopeless? Worthless? Not in the element you’d like to be?
I have a quick exercise for you.
What is your personality type? You can find out for free using the website 16Personalities
What are your interests? What has always been your interests? What have you done well that you think would be great to serve people?
What is your education? List the experiences you have done with your education that you can apply in your life now. Doesn't have to directly correlate.
What are your experiences in personal and professional? Ever kicked ass in an aspect of your career and just didn't appreciate how awesome it was? Think about this in how you can implement this in your entrepreneurship journey.
To dig a little further, I have created a detailed workbook to help those wantrepreneurs get started!