Ever since I could remember, I loved clothes. There are multiple pictures of me at various ages strutting myself around in whatever heels I could find. There is even one of me in some ridiculous pink getup and a microphone. I thought the entry way of my childhood home was my stage. I mean, the acoustics in that space! I'm sure my parents loved it. Every minute of it.
BUT, I also loved the sciences. So, somewhere my love for fashion got lost in all things "nerdy." I still loved to dress up, but I traded in those things for a more "stable" job in Dental Hygiene and left the fashion for the weekends.
Years passed and I was too wrapped up in my career to even think about my other dream. I was too busy and by the end of the day, too exhausted to really do anything else. Hygiene is a very physical job and I never expected it to take such a toll on my body as well as my mind. I got into a serious relationship, got married, and settled down into what I thought was the rest of my life.
Then something funny happened. My dream of starting a boutique started to re-emerge right around the time a disc in my neck was beginning to bulge. I had no idea about the bulge, I just thought my increasing age wasn't being very kind to me. Funny how God works these things out. He always does!
An MRI, a specialist, physical therapy, and lots of Ibuprofen (sorry liver) later...I began to heal. I'm better now, but I have come to the realization that hygiene is not forever for me. I tear down my body with every working day and some day, I will break. I do hope that day is a very long time from now.
I LOVE my job. I mean I really love it. Yes, scaling mounds of calculus and plaque off teeth really revs my engine. It's weird and absolutely the most gratifying thing I can imagine. I can take a mouth that smells horribly and looks even worse and turn it into something healthy, functioning, and something to be proud of. I've seen people walk into my room ashamed of themselves and then leave smiling and proud. What else would anyone want to do with their life? I was called and appointed to be a Dental Hygienist, and for that, I will never ever regret the past eight years.
For six months now, I've hustled my heart away before work, during lunch breaks, and after. Well into the wee hours of the morning sometimes. But, before any of this started, I researched during those same hours, too. It's mind blowing the amount of hours I put into scouring the web, picking my poor brother's brain, and listening to business podcasts. I come from a family of entrepreneurs..shouldn't I have just known like second nature what to do?
Um, not quite. I was lost. FREAKING lost. I'm sorry, but you can research all you want and still navigate through this entrepreneur world like you are trekking through mud. I think that anything that could go wrong in this space, for me, has. Example from the start: when I went to apply for my business license-the guy literally told me that I had to jump through every unimaginable loop to get it. Doesn't everyone get the same opportunity to chase their dreams? What's the worst that could've happened to him by sending in my application-I paid the fee to apply, got the license and then failed? Seriously. I left crying until my brother pep-talked me and said, NO-you go in there and tell him you're getting a business license TODAY! And guess what-I got it! If you want to know where my "women-power" spirit came from, it was literally in the moment when I said, I'm not leaving here until you put through my application. I still get chills. Where did that part of me come from? I definitely wasn't born with it. It was instilled in me through massive support, multiple pep-talks, Jesus, God, and God.
I should have known then, that was all just the beginning. I laugh about it now that I've began to cope with the daily chest-tightening, sleep-lacking, caffiene-addicted life that I live now. But, wow..it's been hard!
When I made my first non-friend/family sale, I called my mom unable to speak. My mom, a woman who never uses foul language, had a few choice words for me after that. She thought something horrible had happened to me, but-nope, just crying my eyes out because someone wanted something I was offering them. SOMEONE BOUGHT SOMETHING FROM ME. From me. The moment I literally, LITERALLY..dreamt of. The saying, 'When you buy from a small business owner, an actual person does a happy dance.' is totally true. I was in my car when I saw the sale, but I was still booty-shaking. It gave me life.
It's no walk in the park, it's no bed of roses.. but the growing pains, the self-realization and the return on hard work, has 1000% been worth every tear, every near panic attack, and every single moment where I thought I couldn't do it another second.
Do I fear failure? Oh my gosh, yes. But, do I trust my Savior to know that He has a plan for my life? Even more oh my gosh, yessssss. He has walked with me, guided me every step, and made me so brave when I am innately not. I can't do it without Him and I won't.
This whole journey reminds me of my marathoning days. Mile 20 was always when the tears came. In fact, I would tell whoever wanted to come see me, to meet me at the 20 mile marker so I could get a boost of encouragement and maybe I could make it to the end! It was mile 20-26.2 that I honestly just had to concentrate on each step at a time, one foot in front of the other. Then amazingly, I got to look back and see how far I had come! With every step, my life changed.
I write all this to vent, but also to inspire. If you're sitting back wondering when the "right time" will be, you will know. Part of me wishes I had started earlier, but the other part of me knows that this was the plan all along. God's perfectly orchestrated plan for my life. He has one for you, too.
However, I do encourage you to begin your baby steps. Just start somewhere! And if you don't start somewhere, you will never start. Start with a little research every night. Utilize every resource you have-people (but don't drive them crazy), google, podcasts, YouTube, magazines, books galore. We live in an age where you have access to so much at the tip of your fingertips from people who figured it out the hard way. You can do it all from the comfort of you own home in your underwear, if you'd like. There are a lot of free online consulting services, too. Feel free to email me if you would like their information.
I write all this from a start-up business perspective, but this goes for anyone! Don't listen to anyone who tells you that you can't. Don't worry about what people will think. Just start chasing your dreams and blazing your own trail. You will make mistakes, you might look like an idiot sometimes, but it will make for a good story someday to tell your grandchildren.
Oh, and one more thing.. don't quit your day job!
If you or anyone you know is in need of IT work or help, I know a guy! Shameless plug for my hustler of a brother-Jared Barnes with CyberHelix Technical Solutions. Shoot him an email today for any questions about his services or for a quote. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (866) 284-3549.