My first blog post. Little bit of a ramble, but it also includes my honest feelings about being a solo entrepreneur.
I’ve thought about this for a while. Maybe even before I would have called it a blog. Of course the intrusive thoughts that cause doubt and hesitation put a roadblock in my progress. I often envisioned myself sitting down with a rough journal, a cup of coffee, and just spilling my guts out onto paper. It became this distant fantasy. In reality, I’m sitting on my couch, typing on my laptop because I think faster than I can write. Some jazz music is playing on the TV via YouTube that’s a wee bit too loud, but I don’t want to get up and disturb the comforting, orange cat that rests on my right leg. I may have used too many commas in those last couple sentences, but hey, here’s a couple more.
I’ve been a solo entrepreneur for almost three years now. This is either how it’s supposed to have gone or a complete mess. There’s success stories all over the place of people starting projects or businesses “in their garage” and now they’re making millions. First of all, I never had a garage to start a business in, and I don’t plan on making millions. I honestly don’t think I need that much money in this lifetime. Some may call that a poverty mindset, yet, when I’ve been living at the poverty line for seven years, can you blame me?
How It Started
I’ve maintained my business working from my bedroom. Well, many bedrooms. I’ve lived in Washington State for seven years and moved fourteen times. When I started my business part-time in June of 2019, I was living in my tenth home. So I’ve operated and moved my business four times since then, and yeah, you could say it’s affected the business. Well, it’s affected me, and I am the business, technically. Sometimes I can’t stand that. Actually, lately I really can’t stand it. I feel burnt out. I feel lost. I feel like a complete amateur who’s trying to come off like an expert – spinning my tires in the mud but keeping my chin up so the mud doesn’t splash up at me.
I am a creator of all kinds. It’s hard to pick just one to give my all to. If you asked me back when I was sixteen what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would tell you I wanted to be a musician. “But you will be a starving artist!” That line right there steered me away. I leaned towards photography and videography, “because that’s the only way I can be artistic and make money.” You know what’s really funny about all of that? I’m still a starving artist. You might call me a professional starving artist. I’m finally recording my first album, so music hasn’t left my life. It’s entertaining to notice the similarities between owning a media business and building your reputation as a musician. They both involve heavy social media use, branding, marketing, and putting myself out there. As a Leo, you’d think I’d be all over this. I actually have a hard time being in the spotlight. It doesn't completely fulfill me. Why should it be all about me when there’s so many other people out there who have stories and experiences to share? So that ties me back to media and how I love sharing others’ stories. I love learning through my craft and exposing myself to different perspectives.
For a while I've struggled with feeling like MY perspective and MY story were worth sharing – so much so that I’ve spent a lot of time on other people and re-triggering a vicious cycle of people-pleasing and abandoning myself. Then I became really lost. I still struggle to answer the question: “What do you want/need?” And a part of me knows this permeates into other arenas of my life. I’m finally opening up to the idea that maybe someone, somewhere will relate to what I share. And maybe that’s worth it right there.
I started my media business because I couldn’t get hired anywhere after graduating college. Go figure. It’s funny - that’s the EXACT thing folks were worried about when I spontaneously left Penn State to fly across the country and go to the liberal arts college called Evergreen. After 2.5 years of experience in my business, I finally applied to a full-time Content Producer position with a media company. I contracted with them for five weeks and helped them edit videos. It was amazing. They loved me, and I loved them, and I didn’t get the job. So here I am again. My business stares me in the face with its arms crossed – tapping its foot, smirking. And it says to me, “So here we are again. What are we going to do?” And I slouch in my office chair and reply, “I don’t know. I’m burnt out.”
The next chapter is going to involve my new business partner, Michael. He and I are going to try and join forces as a media team and see where it leads us. I’ve reached a point of really becoming better at letting go. When you keep getting the same result, you have to let go, because holding onto the same things yields the same results. So even though this is my first blog post for my media business, it’s also the start of a new chapter in my life that has an unknown destination. I guess moving across the country has really desensitized me from fearing new things. I can be stubborn though. I like when things feel under control. But what am I controlling, really, other than myself? And even THAT feels out of my control sometimes.
Here’s to what’s next. Here’s to learning how to not completely starve as an artist. Here’s to taking risks and chances and choosing to create no matter how mediocre I am. Stepping stones help us move along. And no, I am not in control of what happens next. I can only influence it with my actions, thoughts, and reactions. I’m embracing this new level of emotional intelligence I've finally achieved. It didn’t happen without loss. Some things had to be ripped away from me for me to really wake up. One of these things only happened two months ago.
I’m learning, I promise. Keep moving forward.
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