If you would have told me 10 years ago, that this little side idea, The Curvy Fashionista would have become a business that I have grown from a blog to a digital platform, I would have looked at you sideways. I made have nodded my head, said thank you for the belief and kept it moving… because 10 years ago? This made no sense… to have my thoughts, share my expertise, and to show the resources in plus size fashion would become an industry leading platform?
But, here I am, 10 years later…
And let me tell you… this journey has been a hell of a roller coaster of a ride. You have amazing days, low days. High months, low months. High years and especially rough ones.
I WOULD NOT TRADE IT FOR ANYTHING.
You learn just who you are in this journey. You learn just how STRONG you are. Where you need to apply more attention to. And sometimes, you have to UNLEARN a few things, in order to grow.
I liken this Entrepreneurial journey to having an umbrella.
Entrepreneurship… Before I walk about how this relates to me, let’s first talk about working for someone else. When you work for someone else, your company is the umbrella. They perform repairs, upgrade the handles, and may even change the colors.
But when you work for yourself?
This journey to entrepreneurship is a whole other game.
You are learning HOW to build the umbrella, without instructions… or if you do have them, there are akin to the Ikea instructions, with pictures only and no words. If you do not build fast enough, you get rained on. If there are holes, you have to find the resources to repair them yourself… and then there is the repair. No instructions, you cannot just go to the store, you do not even really know what you are looking for.
Google becomes your best friend.
But then, you can spend forever reading and researching, getting stuck at the prep space. You may spend all your little coins on resources that either do not perform or apply to something completely different to what you need.
And yet, you still need to repair, fix, or upgrade your umbrella.
How do you stay encouraged and motivated?
As an entrepreneur, you become resourceful. ESPECIALLY, if budget is limited. Especially if no one in your immediate circle knows what the hell a blog is or even understands your why. You have this little vision or what an umbrella could do, could be. Your family and maybe even close friends, or even your spouse looks at you sideways, questions your every move, and when they see you struggling, they cannot relate.
But you have this dream. This vision.
Social media has been such an interesting blessing and challenge for a lot of us. For those like myself, it has blessed me with the means to build my brand, to chase my dreams, and to take leaps of faith.
BUT. This journey has also challenged me to find out just WHO I am. Standing all alone sometimes, in the rain, with holes in my umbrella. Sometimes bullheadedly, sometimes unexpectedly. But I was there.
With my depression, anxiety, abandonment, abuse, and the drive to follow this vision and dream? How is that for a recipe?
I got help. Therapy works wonders.
I embraced it.
Walked through it.
Not only did I understand that my umbrella needed to be completely replaced to a brighter and larger one (brand growth), I had to find other umbrellas who looked a little like mine (networking). From there, I could be smarter in my repairs, changes and upgrades (the tools to learn and understand this growth and what was needed).
I needed to learn how to build a stand (a team) for my umbrella, rather than holding it all the time- my arm hurts and limits my mobility… right? Learning how to prepare for the upgrades and pattern/color changes (budget and finances) was an even greater challenge.
And throughout this entrepreneurship process, I had to learn that my umbrella played its own important role. Learning how to accept those challenges, respecting and understanding this process, and celebrating the successes, required quite a few mindset shifts (therapy and training).
And guess what?
I WOULD NOT TRADE IT FOR ANYTHING.
So, for those of you who dare to chase a dream, own your vision, or have the audacity to build your own umbrella?
Go for it!
You are not alone, and you have more resources at your fingertips than ever before!
It will be a roller coaster ride and it will be a challenge, but the YOU who comes out on the other side? You will learn to love and respect in a whole other light.
Who knows where this path will lead you! This journey may be a stepping stone to an executive role, lead you to innovate a current program or solve an everlasting problem.
You will not know until you step out on faith and find your own umbrella!