Lights, Camera, Action…
People often see the finished product but rarely know or understand the work that it takes to create it.
With my company I Love Me
, I spend a great deal of time on sets at photo shoots. As an education major, I would have never imagined this to be my work environment. I had always envisioned myself surrounded with little people and adults wearing suits. I had always envisioned myself climbing the ladder as an administrator and eventually reaching what many of my cohorts in the education world refer to as a “glass ceiling”.
In this life, my surroundings are filled with adults wearing makeup, indulged in fashion and entertainers. I must say, this is certain a far cry from the study of learning disabilities and finance courses to learn fiscal responsibility to manage a school.
When people see the photos after the photo shoot and the jet setting, many say, “I wish I had your job” or “it must be nice”. While I agree that this is a job that I never dreamed of but always wanted and do find it nice as it combines all of the things that my education has taught me as well as many of the things that I am passionate about; there are so many levels of work that the eye alone cannot see.
As a solo entrepreneur, I have assumed responsibility to create, build, sow, harvest and envision my destiny. When working a traditional job, you know when your next check is coming and you know how much it will be. Moreover, there is usually a format to follow in a traditional job setting as you are responsible for sowing into someone else’s vision.
Here are two major lessons that I quickly learned about working for yourself:
1. You Are Alone
I don’t want to be alone, I want to be left alone. Audrey Hepburn
God said, ask and you shall receive. I received all right. I have always been a person that could get along with everyone. Prior to launching what I refer to as my second life as an entrepreneur, I experience some tumultuous working relationships. I began to question my love for my career which had never previously happened. Additionally, I had experienced motherhood again and as all new mothers, wished to be able to spend more time with my children. I prayed to God to ask for a way to do so and boy did he deliver. I never realized how much I valued the interactions with adults, the theoretical conversations and group efforts to construct and execute problem solving strategies. These were now activities that I conducted in isolation
Additionally, when you launch a business, everyone does not share in your vision so you again can find yourself isolated or on a campaign to rally the hearts and minds of potential customers and supporters. The quote “it’s lonely at the top” is famous for a reason.
2. You are Responsible
There is no one else to blame if things go wrong. You can only look in the mirror. Many people look forward to working in isolation because they do not have to yield to other people’s demands or merge personalities. Moreover, the “do it yourself” people like me don’t have to explain their logic or actions simply to have someone else agree.
Even though the aforementioned is true, there is also no one to take responsibility when things do not go as planned. You now own that. Not only can this be scary but it can also force you to deal with the things about yourself that need to be improved. You are left with no choice except to acknowledge and correct your areas in need of development.
Entrepreneurship as well as any other dream, requires you to give until you have nothing left and then give some more. If you are not willing to put it all on the line, this is definetly not the lane to drive in. If on the other hand, you are willing to shed blood, sweat and tears, I can honestly say that it is one of the most rewarding experiences that I have ever been afforded.
Ardre Orie is and Entrepreneur/Philanthropist