My Journey as an Entrepreneur
Many of us aspire to become successful entrepreneurs like the big names that have preceded us. We come up with creative ideas that we hope will one day be our winning ticket into financial freedom. We see all these influencers on social media seemingly living the dream on a beach while earning lots of money and we wish that could be us. Although it seems easy to the naïve spirit it is actually a major journey spiritually, emotionally, and financially.
Stages of Entrepreneurship
There are many stages throughout the entrepreneurial journey and it is not for the faint hearted. The first stage is excitement. When I first came up with the idea to start ILYNSI Yoga I was super excited and had every reason to believe that it was going to be a big hit with the market. I began this project as a side-hustle working on the business plan in the evenings and on the weekends. As I continued to develop the concept and business model, the vision for ILYNSI Yoga became clearer. I also listened to many podcasts on my way to work to help encourage the entrepreneurial mindset as well as learn from other people’s stories.
“Don’t wait for the opportunity. Create it.”
I was really inspired by all the stories and lessons as well as comforted comforting to know that many people were experiencing the same dissatisfaction with the traditional workforce. I always believed that I had more to offer the world and sitting at a cubicle was not how I wanted to spend my time.
In today’s world, we are inundated with pictures and videos of lifestyle bloggers and influencers making entrepreneurship look so easy. When I launched my social media and my website I thought it would be fairly quick to build an audience of patrons interested in my content and products. After all, yoga and fitness is such a popular topic and I’ve worked so hard on developing high quality products. It took a while for me to grow my audience on social media and start making recurring sales. This process made me feel inadequate and I began doubting myself. I was constantly researching promotional campaigns and ways to engage my audience with my business. That is when I knew I needed to start thinking differently. I needed to get out of my own head and into others.
Starting a business is very overwhelming. The process requires that you take a good hard look at yourself and understand your strengths versus your weaknesses. I realized that my time is better spent on focusing on my strengths rather than building upon my weaknesses.
“Only a foolish man builds his house on sand”
Success is not a one-man show. I began to realize my limits and learned about the importance of being vulnerable and asking for help. I knew very little about digital marketing, branding, finances, or product development. I diligently studied the internet and began absorbing as much as I could about these topics. I also joined mastermind groups, networking events, and hired people to help me achieve my goals. In business, you need to learn how to be efficient and maximize your time. Therefore, you have to focus on the things you can control and let the people you trust manage the things you cannot control.
I also realized the importance of discernment. When you start a business and begin sharing your idea with people, you will come across a lot of different people. Some people will try to discourage you and others will offer to help you. However, you won’t always know their true intentions and in both cases neither will occur without some level of self-interest. For those trying to discourage you, it is coming from a place of fear and lack of courage to follow their own passions. For those offering to help, they are more often than not interested in being a part of your success either in name or financially.
I realized that in order for me to succeed in business I needed to surround myself with the right people from whom I can learn the “secrets” to success as well as expose me to the right resources. Entrepreneurship is a journey and not all of the people you have in your life will take that journey with you. You will have to let go of the friendships and relationships that do not provide the positive environment needed when embarking on a new business venture. Unfortunately that also includes certain family members. It was hard for me to do and instead of completely removing people from my life, I just chose to spend less time with them. I still wanted to maintain my friendships with the people I cared about but I needed to prioritize my business needs over other things to ensure that this would become the success I envisioned.
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” – Jim Rohn
I’ve learned so much about myself since launching ILYNSI Yoga. First of all, there are a lot of moving pieces and things to consider. I realized that I am very conservative when it comes to taking risks, I’ve had trouble making fast decisions, I am very meticulous when working on something, and I have trouble delegating my work onto others. I also realized that I am very scrapy, I never accept the first offer I get, and I delve into the research to make sure I have a big picture understanding of what I am looking to accomplish.
Starting a business has also been very therapeutic for me. When I lost my job, it actually took a big toll on me emotionally and negatively affected my confidence levels. ILYNSI Yoga has provided me purpose and enabled my creativity in a time where I felt useless and rejected. I know many people have experienced being let go, working at an unfulfilling job, or are confused with what path they want to take in life. I realized that I had no more stability or security at my 9-5 job than I would by starting my own business. I just knew I would be a lot happier working for myself than walking on eggshells for another boss.
I believe that the power of entrepreneurship is within all of us. If is not on your personal business venture then it can be at your job or with your team. There is no such thing as an entrepreneurial DNA that differentiates you from your corporate counterpart. Those of us who show up every day driven by our goals to succeed embody the spirit of an entrepreneur.
This has been my journey and I am only at the beginning. I hope this has inspired you to follow your true passions in life.
Let me know what your passions are in the comments below!