Being an entrepreneur is not always easy. It’s risky, challenging, unconventional, and sometimes it’s downright scary. Let’s be honest, people are not always SUPER comfortable with their friends and family members opting to give up a stable career to become self employed.
So many different personality types can become entrepreneurs. I remember hearing many times as I attempted to grow my career in the 9-5 world that I was destined for a “support role” and that my personality was best suited for an administrative position.
I was the opposite of a dominant, confident, assertive leader like so many corporate giants we see dominating the entrepreneurial space.
I want to be brutally honest here. Of course we all feel our parents, siblings, spouses and best friends are incredibly supportive. It seems taboo to imply they aren’t. But your dream is yours alone! It’s difficult for someone else to completely understand all the decisions you make and support everything you do to reach your goals. there is bound to be criticism and questions along the way and sometimes that can feel a little lonely.
I’ve needed support on my journey both financially and emotionally. I believed so strongly in my dream that I’ve gone into debt to support it. I TOTALLY understand how some people can think I’m crazy! Especially the people that love and support me. I had a really important conversation with one of my family members over lunch that was the inspiration for this post.
I remember we sat at a restaurant and she said “my friend’s daughter is a Paralegal. She has great benefits and works in a smaller office where they just love her”.
My dream before becoming an entrepreneur was to go to Law school and become a Lawyer. Once upon a time, this would have been my dream job! A comfortable office with benefits, job security, and the conventional 9am-5pm hours. My family member continued the conversation by actually offering to pay for my college degree at law school which was an attempt to push me into a real career and kick this entrepreneurial thing I had been doing. I said to her “that sounds great, but I want MORE”.
For the entrepreneurs out there, you will understand what I meant by that comment. I don’t mean I want more material things and more money. I mean I want more of what I value: autonomy, creation, innovation and freedom. I want to build something amazing.
Then she said to me, “well, I’m just saying, you have to start somewhere!”.
I found this comment really confusing because, as far as I’m concerned, I HAVE started! In fact, I’m well on my way becoming the successful entrepreneur I want to be.
Suddenly, it occurred to me: she hasn’t seen everything I’ve done to grow my business both online and in real estate investment.
She doesn’t know about all the nights I didn’t sleep or the fears I had or the sacrifices I have made. All she saw is that I don’t have a steady paycheque coming in, I don’t have an official job title, and I don’t have a career ladder to climb, which are all things she has been very successful with her entire life.
This conversation was not isolated. I continually have conversations with friends, family or even strangers who don’t believe in my dream! They either tell me I’m crazy or try and convince me to get a “real job”.
From these conversations, I learned some really important lessons. As Oprah used to always say, I had some crucial “A-HA” moments that help me through the rough times.