Can I tell you a secret? There are many times that I have hated being an entrepreneur. I know. I know. I’ve shocked you. But really, should you be shocked? The thing is, the world, and social media, glamourize everything! Like, how being a stay-at-home-mom automatically is the equivalent of being a stellar #mommyblogger. Or, being a killer boss at an executive company is #bossmoves. And yea, I admit. I too am guilty of it 🤷🏾♀️. I love to show the highlights of my life, layered in snazzy filters, donning the right angles, with just the right light to highlight my darker than normal skin complexion (#blackgirlmagic). BUT, we all know that life isn’t just highlights. In fact, those low lights can ooze in as soon as the camera clicks on our little iPhone 12s when 3-year-old Antoine starts belting out screams of terror in his cute little outfit, no longer wanting to pose and be still. Then, your spouse makes a hurtful comment that clams you up and ya’ll are no longer on speaking terms, right before the dog suddenly finds the need to pee in the corner on the plant, instead of outside like he was trained to do, even though there is a doggy door next to the area he just peed on. Sound familiar?
So, even though we LOVE seeing those highlight reels on social media, (Instagram even has, by the way, a new featured actually called “reels”) NO ONE actually always lives in the highlights. Instead, we each get dragged down by the lowlights on a daily basis (womp womp). And I know I’m breaking some unspoken taboo rule in our culture to blatantly say so. But a man about 2000+ years ago once said that the truth shall set you free. So let’s get some freedom people.
About four years ago God made it clear to me He wanted me to start my own business. Well, I ignored Him🙄. Instead, I did what I had always done when I found myself unemployed and jobless. I applied for jobs. And then, I went on interviews. Interview, after interview, after interview. Do you know it got to the point where my interviewers were telling me that I should start my own business??? SMH. Then, I would listen to sermons and they would talk about manifesting your dreams and tapping into ownership. It got to the point where I knew God was harassing me about it until finally I caved and started my own LLC. Now, some of you are wondering, “Nicole, why are you trippin’? I would LOVE to have my own business! Financial freedom, be your own boss, hashtag boss moves!” And you know what, if it wasn’t me who was the one having to navigate this experience, I would agree. If I were on the outside looking in, I would surely concur! But I knew that in real life, this wasn’t going to be a glamorous situation. I knew that being a “boss” was going to closely resemble my spiritual journey, which has definitely required a lot of FAITH.
You see, I am what they call “risk-averse”. That means I try to avoid any kind of risk at all possible. I am a planner. I like to create plans that make me feel in control of the outcome I want. I admit it. Type A, all the way (please don’t steal that, I think I’m going to use it on a T shirt). But God is the ultimate planner and I have had to learn to submit my plans to His. I have had to learn that only He knows the best outcome for me. Three words: Hum-bl-ing!
So, when He was leading me into entrepreneurship, I dragged my feet until I could no longer escape His leading. I got my first client right away though and was in good spirits about it (yay, this is working😆😁). I knew that He was confirming my call, but I still wasn’t sure if this calling was to be a full time “boss”. I continued applying for other part time gigs and some temporary gigs and while some opportunities did open up, I could never seem to get anything full time. My business itself wasn’t full time, and so I wrestled with this constant frustration of not being in a full time position. I did have enough understanding however to know that God was giving me a season of rest after a period of trauma and loss, so for that I was grateful. But as my spiritual mentor told me all those years ago (and as my long time readers of this blog already know) I, am a mover and a shaker. I don’t get any pleasure of being a sitter and a “rester”. Unless of course, I am taking a nap in the middle of the day with my cute cat, BJ. 😃
Now, let me put on my Bookkeeper hat real quick. Did you know that the IRS considers your business to actually be a hobby if you do not make a profit in the first three years? Well, I have been making a profit, but I have not made enough to be sustainable. So, while the government will say I have a business, they will still say I have a “small” business. And it gets better. Just when I had all these plans to grow my business a world wide pandemic hit, shutting down my networking opportunities and slowing down lots of potential clients from coming on board. But of course, God knew this, and thus, He directed me to my passion for writing, as He has done in times past when my career was slow.
Now, I can see the benefit of having a part time business, because in reality, I am pursuing two careers simultaneously. Again, this probably sounds super glamorous, but for me it is straight up UNCOMFORTABLE, because, can I tell you guys another secret? For so many years I have just wanted to be “normal”. I have just wanted to have this typical life story that I feel like many of my peers have had. I have not wanted to be so different and “set apart”. Yet that has not been my journey. My career is one example of where I have felt so different.
Isn’t the grass always greener though? I remember working at my 9-5 years ago, bored out of my mind because I was under-challenged and under-worked and couldn’t seem to progress. I met a woman who was a contractor one day while at work. She went from job to job and shared that she envied my stability and 401k. But I envied her freedom. I wanted her flexibility, and I hated feeling so tied down. Now, ironically, I have more freedom, and I want more stability. SMH!
I am in a space where I feel I am called to build. I am not called to navigate a path that was already chartered from someone before me. I am called to create new opportunities and new doorways for others to walk through. It probably sounds novel, but the whole thing just freaks me out. I told a friend, I am almost 40 years old and yet am still wondering, what I will be when I grow up?🤔🤔🤔
The truth is, this experience of entrepreneurship causes me to be on my knees. I have to be in tune with the Holy Spirit for His plan and strategy for my life. And I have to believe that there is fruit on the other side of the pruning, sewing and investing that will eventually match my faith journey. Because I have yet to see that, and I have been deeply hurt by the wait.
In conclusion, I would love to share that I set out for entrepreneurship. That I had this great epiphany that being your own boss was the way to go so I told my previous boss to shove it and went out and killed it. But I would be lying if I did. I honestly feel “recruited” into this calling, even though I can clearly see how I am made for it. I have the discipline. I have the drive. I have the vision. And even more importantly, I have a God who has never, ever let me down in my life. When He says it, I have learned that I can surely take it to the bank.