Although I’ve worked alongside business partners and collaborators, I consider myself a solopreneur. Still, I’ve always relied on the input of others for inspiration, especially from those working toward similar goals. I find it fascinating that so many people have such incredible ideas brewing inside them, just waiting to bubble to the surface, with things like productivity apps for more mindful and efficient living, technical fitness gear, eco-friendly home furnishings, pocket-sized grooming kits, portable pet baths, and food and beverage start-ups. While some of these entrepreneurs took a leap of faith in starting their businesses – leaving comfortable jobs to gain autonomy, freedom, and control over their destiny – others did so out of sheer necessity. Regardless of their businesses’ origins, all of these people have moving stories and provide invaluable insight into the nature of entrepreneurism.
Because there are so great many stories out there, I launched an entrepreneurial-based podcast in 2016 called “SOB: Style of Business The Podcast,” with the hopes of showcasing others’ work as well as different perspectives on what it really takes to launch and manage a business. I’ve had the opportunity to speak with some fantastic entrepreneurs and creators who have managed to launch businesses across various industries, including human resource management, financial services, food and beverages, marketing and advertising, fashion, entertainment, and technology.
During these interviews I try to capture the essence of their motivation in launching their own business and how did they went about doing so. The passion in their voices when discussing their ideas and what it was like for them to implement them reacquaints me with my own original vision. It’s important to get a sense of how unique the journey is for each entrepreneur, since there’s no specific formula for success, no right or wrong. One of the main purposes of “Style of Business” is not only to encourage aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners but also to show that they can carve out their own path.
As I speak with more and more individuals during my podcasts, I find that elements of their stories are quite similar. Many start out by simply reaching out to people with know-how and expertise and a good track record, such as a community figure or a local business group like the Small Business Administration – which is what I hope to do with this book: help you get started. I want to share with you my own experiences, what keeps me motivated and on track, and how you can stay positive throughout the challenges.
Another common theme is that these individuals make the decision to simply start. So if it’s your goal to launch your own company, explore entrepreneurship, or change careers, Courage is a Muscle is for you. My goal with this book is to share my journey and the obstacles I faced not so that you can avoid making mistakes – they’re crucial for learning and adapting – but so that you won’t get discouraged, so that you’ll have some strategies for dealing with the emotional turmoil that comes along with the highs and lows, and so you’ll come to understand that a little discipline and fortitude goes a long way. I’ll provide inspiration and a diversity of perspectives, and I’ll give you tips and solid advice for applying the methods herein, not just general platitudes.
New situations often freak us out, and it’s easy to lose hope when there is no certainty that a venture will succeed. Starting a business is the first step toward a life of independence and freedom, but there were many days when I realized my life would be easier if I was still working for someone else, fulfilling their dream. Then I’d remind myself that there was something bigger for me, and it didn’t include clocking in, Monday through Friday, from nine to five. It wasn’t until I started my entrepreneurial journey that things started to unfold and I learned who I truly am and my purpose here.
I invite you to sit with the idea of what launching a business or being an entrepreneur would look like for you. What goals, talents, or skills are you suppressing out of fear or the belief that you’re incapable of obtaining success? Keep that in mind as you begin this journey with me.
This one’s for you, Grandma.