Tuesday, February 3, 2015

{Part 2} It Takes a Village to Raise a Woman Entrepreneur - Let's Get Gritty

"Success as an entrepreneur involves making and constantly re-committing to the decision to stay the course. It is about an acceptance of success as a process, and not a specific end-result. Of course, results matter in business, but since results can only be influenced, and not guaranteed, entrepreneurs must look to process, not result, as a prime opportunity to align with their desired results." -Akilah S. Richards


I don't know about you, but some days being an entrepreneur can make me long for a subconscious familiar place - my mother's womb. When those did-not-work results rise to the surface of my skin, it's those days that the fetal position consoles me from within. And although physically I cannot return, it helps to allow myself that meditative thought. I emerge with new ideas, repurpose ideas, and the knowing that I've never been afraid to trust the process. I often think that uncertainty of the process is because of the familiarity of what-can-go-wrong. But I progress on my journey with the understanding that I did not have a hand in the process of arriving through the matrix of my mother. Let go and look to the process. 




Saturday Night
This past Saturday night while enjoying my late night with King T., I decided to go online to look into getting some more candles.  I visited the website of a micro-business that I've purchased from before. To my jaw-drop surprise, they closed their virtual doors.  Being a woman-ran business, producing beautifully scented candles, very good branding, and phenomenal customer interaction are the reasons I gave my support to this business. 

I'm sure there are several reasons for the closing (they gave a general statement). When the process starts to become uncertain.... I'm familiar with those reasons.....





Earlier Last Year
I wanted to give more. I wanted more for myself. I wanted more for my children. I put the business expectations aside, decided to continue to live and thrive from my holistic-entrepreneur approach. Decided to be more in what I love. TRUSTING THE PROCESS. More.


Yesterday
I opened this post with words from someone I truly have (Dare I admit it?) an endearment for. I'm not sure if Akilah lives in my headspace, but she always manages to pop up with nourishment for my thoughts. Akilah posted on LinkedIn about The Importance of Tenacity. She shared an inspiring quote from Amelia Earhart, and her personal story about Dr. Lonnie Johnson (also inspiring).  OK, you got me, is what I thought when reading to the end of her post. Akilah reminded me of the places that for the longest I've operated from, and to never forget it.  Yes, Akilah, because I am emotionally invested in my work, things get tough, but my imperfect self cherishes the practice. 

Grab yourself a dose of Akilah-inspired words here


October 2014
So I came back from my annual break. Ready. And as you know, when I make a decision, I trust it. I knew that in order to continue to provide quality products with superior ingredients to my customers and shoppers, I had to do a business shift. I sat down with my husband and spoke the words that I only thought about.  It's amazing the clarity that comes when words are said out loud. I was always hesitant about what I knew I needed to do, what the process was calling me to do, but in that moment of disclosing it to the one I trust the most it all became clear. 

It was time for me to move forward in my business-to-business endeavor with women entrepreneurs everywhere, not just via email (it worked successfully for a time, but it was just within my network). Furthermore, to (continue to) neglect/ignore/not acknowledging the buying patterns of shoppers would be a downfall in business that could've been prevented, jeopardizing our virtual doors being closed (setting back other endeavors on the horizon). 

After the annual sale in November the shift was made. Select products were made available to retail shoppers during certain times of the year.  I articulated my decision to Ivy, a collaboration partner (She's another woman entrepreneur that I am becoming fond of. We have great synergy.), and she reminded me of the buzz term Pop-Up Shop. I like it, because it defines the shift exactly. Thanks, Ivy.  


Today
So just like the grittiness from sand that removes dead skin to allow new skin, it will always take the grit that has made its way into me to endure on this journey of entrepreneurship.  All while being encouraged by other women entrepreneurs, encouraging other women entrepreneurs, and of course looking to the process. 


What does your today look like? Do you have grit like sand? Are you looking to the process?

Thank you for reading. 


Be Whole,
P.S. Online Pop-Up Shop in 2 weeks. Get the deets.

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