I used to think Blake and I were crazy for having our eggs in so many baskets... Or at least I thought everyone else was thinking that... So I tend to not talk about our business ventures much... But I think that's all about to change!!
I read earlier this week that most millionaires have 7 or more streams of income, daily, that get them to their financial goals! SE-VEN!!
Now that I know that other successful people have multiple things going on at once, I don't feel quite so uptight about talking through what Blake and I have our hands in...
For starters, you need to know that I grew up in an entrepreneurial household. My parents supported us with an HV/AC business, plus they flipped houses on the side, managed properties for other property owners, and now my mom is a book editor!! I've witnessed all the joys of self-employment - answering to no one, working as much or as little as you want, the financial freedom it brings if and when you succeed, and quite frankly, not busting your butt trying to make someone else's dreams come true!! Of course, there are some short comings as well - like, how hard you do have to work in the beginning stages of a business to get all the kinks worked out, the effort it takes to build a loyal customer base, providing your own health insurance, and not really being able to leave work at work...
But now that Blake and I are married and are doing life together, we have started to lean very strongly in the direction my parents are walking. Blake is a full-time RN at Lexington Medical Center. I am a full-time chemist for the City of Columbia's wastewater treatment facility. I am a boutique owner of 2.5 years. We have a rental property, and hope to have another within 3-5 years. We are looking to flip a house with my parents as we speak. And if all that weren't enough, I have just started this lifestyle blog!
Even with those 5 streams of [potential] income, Blake and I aren't anywhere close to being millionaires, in fact, I think we're actually LOWER middle class!! But like any Millennial, we want to be more than that!! We have such a drive to have the kind of financial freedom where nothing would hold us back from being the most generous people God created. Even still, that'll never be a title we could actually proclaim, but we want to strive toward it!! We've said since we started life together that we want to have money just so we can give it away!!
My parents' influence + a life goal of generosity + the fact that no corporate job has ever satisfied me + the fact that I am a Millennial, = an irrational desire to be an entrepreneur!!
Being a Millennial complicates things that should otherwise be very simple... You see, not only do I want to be my own boss and be successful, I want to be successful, like, yesterday!! I care way too much about what other people think of me, while simultaneously having to place myself deep within the world of social media, to be judged, just because I was born into this generation!! Being a self-critical, female, Millennial, entrepreneur is such a hard role to play in this world where you can only succeed if you have a presence on at least 3 social media platforms!! But anyways, back off my soap box...
Within the last 4 months I have become OBESSED with busting my butt to establish a business that people what to support, and a platform from which I can do good!! I can narrow this sudden heart change down to a day, even to a specific conversation on that particular day. From that point on, the way I viewed my business was... just, different. I had previously let myself get so beaten down by having a dead end job + a boutique that wasn't doing well + the crushing standards of the world of social media, that I just gave up... Before my heart change, I didn't make a single piece of jewelry, post a single pic to Instagram or Facebook, or consequently, make a single sale FOR. 5. MONTHS... I had almost decided to close my boutique!! Until I had ONE conversation with another local business owner. She happened to have come twice as far as I had, in half the time!! And even though we are in very different areas of business, she was able to say exactly what I needed to hear, exactly when I needed to hear it!! And she continues to be willing to help me improve: making me be creative, pushing me to come up with new inventory, letting me bounce ideas off of her, and welcoming any questions I may have!! She helped me completely renew my desire to succeed in the dream I was letting slip away, not by handing me all the answers on a silver platter, but just by challenging me, holding me accountable, and expecting great things from me!!
Though, I would like to clarify for a second that my first business mistake was starting it at the immature age of 23!! I thought I was mature for my age at the time, and maybe I was, but I definitely didn't have what it took to run a business... I've mentioned in previous posts that I have taken several breaks from Demure for various reasons over the past 2.5 years, mainly because I didn't truly WANT it back then... But that's exactly what my friend helped me with!! She was able to challenge me with one simple phrase, "You just must not really WANT it then"... Woah, I was offended and slightly caught off guard at first... But within 20 more minutes of conversation, I realized she was totally right, because she was a Millennial, small business owner as well and knew where my heart was!! I didn't REALLY want it, and until I did, I wasn't going to succeed!! I had to allow my heart to change before I could be better (kinda how it is with most things in life)...
From now on, my #1 biggest advice to any young entrepreneur would be to not start a business until they have a mentor. Period. Please take it from someone who has been there, done that, and written the book on it (or at least a blog post, LOL). Ask someone who has succeeded in your field if they could point you in the write direction of reference material that is need-to-know for your particular area of business, or even ask them how much an hour of their time would cost and be willing to pay for their lunch!! Have your questions ready in advance and don't waste a second!!! Learn, learn, learn!! Or even find an "apprenticeship" where you voluntarily work (free of charge, on your own time) with someone who can show you the ins and outs of what your business will take to succeed!!
Whichever road you take, the "LEARN, LEARN, LEARN" part is not an option... Study, read, find new resources, look, seek, find, and don't stop trying to improve, because we all can!!
And then don't stop there... Create, help, teach, show, and encourage others to improve too!!
I started Demure 2.5 years ago to escape an awful job that I had at the time... Every penny that Demure makes goes back into it so I can grow it into what is should be!! Blake and I haven't profited a single penny yet, but its still not something I'm going to give up on!! Its my DREAM!! I want it to be my future!! And now I've started this blog in order to attract attention to Demure from a different angle!! While also promoting all the other local, small businesses that I've posted about. I can't wait for the day when I get to influence people to "shop small, shop local" wherever they are!! THAT is what I want to stand for!! Because its not all about me...
Being an entrepreneur that supports other entrepreneur... What job could be better than that!?
Take Away Points:
1. "Be so great they can't ignore you" - Steve Martin
2. "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as [if] working for the Lord, not for human matters." - Colossians 3:23
3. "When you really WANT it you'll get it done" - Ayanna White
4. "We've come to far to give up now!" - Ayanna White
5. I feel like just conversing with like-minded people lead to great ideas and productive thoughts!! Go to coffee and just talk about whatever comes to mind :)
6. STAY HUMBLE, WORK HARD, BE KIND!! - unknown (but I'm totally having this printed for my office)
7. Find a MENTOR that will hold you accountable and won't let you give up!
8. Never stop learning - that's non-negotiable!
9. "Be a DO-ER" - Grace Lever
Y'all, I hope you enjoyed reading this post... My thoughts were sort of just flying everywhere, and I totally could have written like 8 more pages because I feel like this post didn't even touch on anything too SPECIFIC, really... But I hope this helped someone!! Please feel free to comment below if you have any questions!! I would love to answer ALL of them!!!