The Tricks and Treats of Entrepreneurship
I’ll admit that I still like Trick or Treating. Ok, so I’m a bit bummed that I’m too old to actually go door to door and ask for candy, but nothing says I can’t still get dressed up and pass out little bites of Snickers, Reece’s Butter Cups and Peanut M&Ms (my favorites!) to all of the cute little kids in my neighborhood. So, in the spirit of the season and since I can’t physically share my favorite treats to all of you Career Girl ghosts and goblins, I though I would share with you some of the tricks AND treats that I have been experiencing during this past year of entrepreneurship:
- You don’t actually get to work less. Yes, despite the initial thoughts that being your own boss will actually free up your time I have quickly found that I actually work more than I ever have before (yes, I am writing this on a Saturday). Especially when you are operating on a bootstrapping budget, you find that you are the writer, editor, social media manager, marketing director, CEO, CFO, business development specialist and website developer. Yeah, it’s exhausting!
- You don’t become a millionaire overnight. Have you heard of the term “overnight success?” Unless you’re a lottery winner, it doesn’t exist. I recently heard Stella & Dot founder Jessica Herrin talk about this exact term that she has been labeled a number of times by the press and industry experts. She very effectively stated that if she is an “overnight success” then that is easily a seven-to-ten year time period. Ok, 2020 – get here soon!
- If you build it, they will come. I’m a sucker for the movie Field of Dreams, but despite what those baseball spirits say, just because you think it’s a good idea doesn’t mean that line of cars will be pulling up to your cornfield right away. I still think that I have something with Why Not Girl!, but what I’m learning is that I may need to focus my vision a bit and shift my immediate goals to something more attainable. URGH! Where’s James Earl Jones when I need him!
- You get to work in your pajamas or workout clothes. Ok, this is not the case everyday. But for those days where you know you are just going to be sitting behind a computer and the only people that may see you are your husband, kids and perhaps the mailman; get comfy. You can be a bit more relaxed. Plus, you can save about an hour in the morning not showering, ironing your clothes and putting on makeup. Woo hoo!
- You are your own boss. Especially for those of us who feel like we can stay on task and hold ourselves accountable, it’s great to feel like we don’t have multiple bosses looking over our shoulder checking to make sure you are “clocking in” at a certain time or working late to keep up appearances. You do get more flexibility to take that afternoon yoga class or decide what are the priorities on your to-do list. It’s very liberating to feel like the only one you need to do that mid-year review with is yourself.
- It’s the learning experience of a lifetime. Perhaps it’s because I am finally truly passionate about what I’m doing, but I find myself wanting to learn about new ways to develop websites or utilize social media to get the word out about Why Not Girl!. To be honest, a lot of what I do is very similar to what I did in my previous corporate job, but the act of actually learning all of this stuff is motivating and empowering. Think about all of the things you can say you’ve done when you have to learn how do it yourself.