To kick off 30 Days of Thankful, I am starting day 1 with the decision to be an entrepreneur.  It was a big decision to do it and it stresses me out several days a week. Today of all days for some reason, I needed to remember that I am grateful for this opportunity cause I feel kicked in the gut the last few days.

I have operated my own business for almost 3 years now. Something that the IRS and mortgage companies love. It means I am over the 2 year mark, because not a lot of businesses make it there. Three years ago I was a VP for a nutritional company. WOW, a VP the highlight of my career. The career I wanted from high school –  the “cu de gras” if you will, but it came at a cost. Time away from my growing girls, long hours, office politics and unhappyiness.

This journey started when I received a call from Karen, my current biz partner, telling me that a business I was involved in the year before was still going and she needed help. “We could do this together,” she said and BAM here we are! We purchased the business from Richard Paul Evans for $1 and became partners of BookWise Publishing. Then I also started Novel Images, my personal marketing company that owns BookWise Publishing and this company does other marketing services for my clients separate from book publishing.

Owning your own business is HARD! I loved this image today because it is SO true. There is never a dream job. I work every day to create the job and life I want.

But like most new business owners, here are some of the things I didn’t know going into it:

  • You work far more hours than a “regular” job. On the flip side, I have the flexibility to be home with my girls and train for my 70.3 Ironman. Things that would be hard with a “regular” job.
  • You stress WAY more then a “regular” job. It’s yours. You want it to succeed. You want to see it thrive. It keeps me up at night.
  • You wonder where the money will come from.
  • You work with clients who nickel and dime you, who lie, stiff you for services performed or who want your services for free. As a small business owner, these types of clients have caused some chaos in the last 3 years. However, for every one crazy clients, there are usually 10+ WONDERFUL clients!
  • Making money and staying competitive is a daily battle!
  • Staying creative in your field and on top of an industry that is changing daily. YIKES!
  • You can lead your clients to drink, but you can’t force them too!
  • Balancing work and family. It’s a daily balance.
  • You get in your own way. Sometimes you want things to be SO perfect or you can’t see the forest for the trees and can’t really “see” things as they are. I can’t be perfect, so work to get over it. I ask for help and listen when I get advice!

It’s had it’s ups and downs, and it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done! Seriously!! I was having lunch with a friend and client last week, and he reminded me that what I do is the dream of many people and I am doing it. He’s right!! So right.  I never want take this opportunity for granted. I am an entrepreneur in my soul.

When I look back at my career path, the most rewarding jobs were launching or creating something new. When I worked for Comcast we launched high speed internet, phone, VOD, and DVR’s. Fun times. Then I worked for several start ups – again, launching and creating. It’s what I do and what I do well. It’s why working with my authors and small business clients is rewarding. They are launching and creating new things. So here I am.

Owning a business is not a one man job, I couldn’t do this without the support of my husband. BUT that’s another grateful day post. He supports me when I don’t make any money. He listens to me vent or cry. He listens to all my ideas and doesn’t undermine my efforts, instead thinks of ways to support me when I want to do one. He owns his own business as well and brings those talents to my clients or to me. Having 2 entrepreneur’s is stressful too but rewarding as well. The nice part is we both understand it’s feast or famine and support each other through both. When the getting is good, we save. When it’s slow, we get creative. Ying and yang!!

As a parent, I hope I am setting a good example for my kids that they can do WHATEVER they want! Or mom has lost her mind! Both of which are probably true.

***The credit for 30 Days of Thankful, comes from Cathy Zielske. I have a women crush on her. Her blog & products inspire me, her comments make me laugh and I appreciate her honesty and sincerity. Check out her website and her Facebook page. She’s cool, just saying!

***I am doing this on my blog, because I really don’t have time to scrapbook these days!