The internet is full of content. This very blog is adding to that content. We are caught in an overflow of information, but is it the right information?
After stumbling across yet another article naming the “harsh realities” of being an entrepreneur, I became frustrated. Yes, being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. Why the need for these over the top titles that serve as click bait and fail to highlight the rewarding factors of owning a business?
We shouldn’t sugar coat the obstacles entrepreneurs face. Instead of focusing on the negativity the media often provides, let’s uplift and empower. Let’s not only share the challenges they face, but give advice on how to work through them. Let’s come together, not to commiserate about the “harsh realities,” but to help find and share a solution.
This will be the goal of our blog: to spread the positive things that we should be hearing and celebrate the milestones. We want to empower not only LAUNCH entrepreneurs but all entrepreneurs.
Through this blog, you’ll be hearing from different members of the LAUNCH team, our partners, and LAUNCH entrepreneurs themselves.
It seems appropriate in this first blog post, to share a few words from LAUNCH entrepreneur Nancy Green. She graduated from our Business Entrepreneurship Academy last fall and spoke at graduation.
Hello, my name is Nancy - and I’m a serial entrepreneur. It seems that as far back as I can remember, I’ve had a little bit of hustle. I imagine that the majority of the people in this room can probably say the same thing. As a teen, my daddy wouldn’t let me take on a regular job - he said that I’d have to work the rest of my life and that my only job at the moment was to do well in school. Somehow, that didn’t stop me from making and selling friendship bracelets for a quarter, babysitting for a dollar an hour or eagerly awaiting my brother’s departure for college so I could scoop up the opportunity to earn 5 bucks mowing the grass for my parents and grandmother. Later, as a stay at home mom and wife of a teacher, I had a baking business called Sweet Stuff, making goodies for the 250 Baylor School boarders on campus. I would tuck my kids into bed and head into the dorms at night to tutor math. I mastered the art of bartering my skills with other moms so that we could all get things we needed without money ever changing hands. It was a way to get things for my children that I could not have afforded otherwise.
As I was filling out the exit questionnaire last night, one of the questions really struck me. It actually took me several minutes to answer it…it was something along the lines of, “How satisfied are you with your current situation in life?” My first thought was, “Good LORD! Should I answer based on my love life, my children, my job, my financial situation? There is NOT enough room to answer this question!” But I hesitated, because I actually wasn’t sure how to answer. I didn’t want to be disrespectful of the blessings that God has given me. I have a job, healthy children, and a roof over my head. In my mind, ANY day you wake up is a good day! But at the same time, do I want MORE for myself? And the answer is YES - YES I DO.
It made me realize that I may have a little problem with mindset. I really felt guilty for wanting more. But what is it that I’m really wanting more of? I have to say that the best part of our class, besides just getting to know new people, was actually seeing the hearts of people in our group. Each of you came to the table with an idea born out of love for other people - a desire to meet the needs of others, to give back, to reach others on a level that you might not be able to do without this business undertaking. In the end, I don’t think any of us are chasing money - we’re chasing a desire to make a mark, to stretch ourselves beyond our comfort zone, and to accomplish something we know we are capable of.
We are chasing a dream. Think back to when you were a kid and what you thought you’d be doing when you grew up. When I was younger, I was going to be the next Barbara Mandrel, then I was going to be a lawyer, and when I joined the military, I was going to be a CIA agent. Wife? Mother? Are you kidding me? But things don’t always turn out like we think they will, do they? I never imagined that at 46, I’d be navigating life alone after 24 years of marriage. I never imagined that after being a stay-at-home-mom for over a decade and working just a few years, that the economy would bust and what little I did have in my retirement fund would disappear. Many of your lives revolve around the needs of your family, not your own. If you are no longer taking care of your children, you are probably taking care of your parents. We get so busy and so overwhelmed that we forget to dream. I know I did.
So in the end, mindset is the key. This is not the end, it’s just the beginning of what will be your new business…I have to say that before the class, I did feel a little trapped in my life. No matter how smart I was or how hard I worked, as a teacher, there was a glass ceiling when it came to my earning power. Being able to turn all the jumbled thoughts in my head into a more cohesive idea has made all the difference in how I see my potential as a leader and my potential earning power. I know I didn’t feel the same two months ago. I am so grateful for this program, for those around the table who shared their dreams with me, and for those of you who worked with us, for making me feel BRAVE, more CONFIDENT, and EMPOWERED. Thank you.
Nancy really inspired all of us at LAUNCH that evening. It is our hope, that through this blog, we inspire you, no matter who you are or what your circumstances may be.
LAUNCH PR and Communications Manager