Standing On Your Own Two Feet

Written by:  April Vargo

 

I was sitting here with a million ideas of what I wanted this week's blog to be centered around.  It's been a while since I've had the opportunity to get back into weekly blog posts, and I feel like I've got a bazillion ideas that I need to get out all at once.  

The idea of individuality and creativity really resonated with me today.  I was just teaching a "How To Be An Entrepreneur" class yesterday and had students with great new visions of what their new businesses are going to look like.  Some at the age of 14 / 15 are already operating a business, and others already have material but just need to get up and running.  

This is a thing now, kids and teens who are getting out there and starting their own business - while making money.  

I don't remember people talking about the idea of being an entrepreneur when I was growing up.  I feel like everyone talked about a career path, 9-5 job, and how to enter the workforce.  The idea of going out on your own wasn't mentioned or encouraged.  If you had an idea of being independent, it was kind of squelched, in a way, saying that being independent is too hard and you won't succeed.....stay with what's proven. 

Fast forward many years, and it's a somewhat viable path.  One that's still met with great hesitation, for good reason, it is very difficult.  However, it's being talked about and taught. 

Kids have the best chance of exploring because they're fearless, they have nothing to lose.  They aren't supporting their families, or potentially making a job change that could result in failure.  They are coming up with ideas, making those ideas come to life, promoting themselves on social media, and growing.  

In class we talk about the reality of the business world, how to harness your ideas and make them feasible, and how to grow in a way that is both financially successful as well as personally successful. 

When I started out over two years ago, it was definitely a scary jump.  I had a secure job with insurance and benefits, paid time off, all with a close proximity to home.  That was all gone the minute that I opened my own business.  At first many people were weary of this idea of a completely online school, and many people in the education field scoffed that it wouldn't work.  (This definitely doesn't help to build confidence.)

However, I saw a niche, a problem that I knew I could solve, and the drive to do so.  It was incredibly slow growing.  The first year, I spent a lot of time trying to educate people on exactly what it is I did and what I offered.  I tried many different ideas, some that were successful and some not so successful.  After about a year, I started seeing success.  By two years I was in every US state and various international countries.   

Now instead of hesitation, I am met with oh my goodness how cool, let's do this.  The more you get involved in your business the more like minded individuals you meet.  You start to realize that there is a whole community of people who have gone out on their own, who are building different businesses, and who will root for your success - just as you root for theirs.  

The initial fear you go in with quickly leaves as you realize that those things you thought were so important really don't matter in the long run.  Your business does provide security, you do have health insurance, and start to provide your own benefits.  While you don't necessarily get paid for your time off, you can schedule time whenever you want.  I will schedule ahead of time, let me clients know, make sure that I have everyone set up for when I get back.  When vacation is over, I hit the ground running, not having to build anything back up again, but instead, just continuing where I left off. 

To get to work with a younger generation who is already so eager to get their feet wet is inspiring.  I think about how successful some of them will be, especially at a young age.  They will go to college with a resume, continue to make money, have a definite path, and continue to grow. 

Realizing that there's a world of opportunity out there just waiting to be discovered is exciting!  It takes a lot of determination, hard work, and perseverance.  In the end it's all worth it when you're standing on your own two feet, living the dream that you've created.   

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