By Cathy Brown
My journey as an entrepreneur began in the late summer of 2012. I had been working as a RN, telephonically managing patients who were at risk for readmission to the hospital. It was not a stressful job and I absolutely loved my co-workers! Besides that, it was exciting, because my department was charting new territory in the health profession by combining medical health and behavioral health. But everything changed abruptly when I came off of the most relaxing vacation I’d ever known…a tent camping trip all the way from Texas to the Smokey Mountains and back.
You see, I’d gotten a taste of what being free actually felt like! For 6 days, my husband and I had traveled, staying at a different camp site every night. The days stretched out luxuriously, with nothing to do except to embrace the fullness of each moment. There was no rush, no responsibilities, no deadlines…just the lure of the open road and all the beauty of nature to spur us on.
I never saw my revolt coming! As I prepared for my first day back at work, out of the blue, I suddenly felt the full impact of all the long hours I was spending commuting back and forth to work, the time I was missing with my kids and grandkids, the unhealthy meals I had been consuming, and the lack of exercise I had been getting, just sitting behind a desk all day long. While I dressed for the day, this thought abruptly seemed to come out of nowhere, hitting me right between the eyes, like a sledge hammer…”NO! NO!... I AM NOT GOING BACK!” This “light bulb moment” was so unexpected and so dramatic that I had to wonder if God had something to do with it.
Over the next 3 weeks, I could not shake that overwhelming conviction that I was no longer in the right place for me…that there was something else out there. So, I submitted my resignation, giving two weeks’ notice, determined to find something that would leave more time to do other things. I could never have imagined what that would be!
While I was waiting for the right part-time job to come along, my mother suggested that I make use of my budding creative writing skills. Over the next 2 years, that challenge evolved into the publication of four books…all about stress management in some form or other. Some of them are now in global publication and available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
But, I found authoring a book is just the beginning. Some of the hardest work is learning how to turn a writing hobby into a business. And it is not for the faint of heart! So, by early 2015, I became the busy owner of a stress management training center. I hired an intellectual property lawyer to set up my LLC. And I researched and then purchased liability insurance for the business. It required learning to build my own website, managing email marketing, seriously maneuvering around in social media, etc. It meant finding business mentors and filing Sales and Use Taxes every quarter. And I learned how to use Excel in order to keep track of inventory. The list of tasks done sitting at my desktop computer seemed endless! Meanwhile, outside of the office, I made public appearances at places like a book festival, a health fair, a book club, hosted open houses and adult coloring socials, and even lead a stress workshop. I now had more control over my time, but the hours of the day felt just as full as in a 9-to-5 job!
As I look back on my company’s first two years, it is plain to see that they were immensely important as a training period. They gave me time to sample the market and learn the ropes in the world of both marketing and business. Even more valuable, I learned the importance of patience, resilience and fearlessness that can follow me no matter what I do or where I go!
By early 2018, my writing/publishing “project” had evolved into something tremendously larger than my original intent. I was now busy expanding my business to offer a variety of stress management products/services to help meet the needs of individuals, the community and the business world. That included becoming involved with organizations and service ministries as a way to reach those who most needed my expertise. I was stretching my vision, being open to new avenues, and excited to see what could develop. At the time of this writing, more than ever, I view my life as an entrepreneur, to be a great adventure. And I have learned to see the value of living each day in the moment, not waiting to be happy until my hopes and goals are accomplished. After all, life is more about the journey, not the destination!
Dilly, dilly to light bulb moments! I often hear stories of traveling changing perspectives and priorities. Thank you for sharing @UNKINKEDcb18. I would say "well written" but that would be like commenting that a race car driver went fast?
roy darling *my posts seem a lot shorter in my head
Terrific Journey, very inspiring! We've got a terrific group of entrepreneurs here, so glad you're willing to share @UNKINKEDcb18
Thanks for sharing your wonderful story! The journey is a wonderful, wild adventure. My wife and I decided shortly after getting married in 1991 that we wanted to do life together, not go our separate ways each day. We were able to work ourselves out of our jobs by 1995, and this crazy entrepreneur adventure has taken us places we never dreamed of going.
I was working in a warehouse during the day and playing rock-n-roll with 2 bands nights and weekends. My wife was a tradeshow coordinator and was writing poetry and short stories. We got involved with a network marketing business, and did some mystery shopping for a few restaurant chains to try and build some side income (and free meals). We learned so much from our network marketing experience and absolutely loved the team we were building. We worked ourselves out of our jobs, but unfortunately a couple years later things with our network marketing business went a direction we didn't want to go, and both bands decided to call it quits after 10 fun years. We had learned skills and developed confidence we hadn't had years earlier, so instead of going job hunting, we decided to build websites and help companies with their marketing. Websites were a new thing, and we didn't yet own a computer, but we believed we could learn. Years later with a thriving web design and marketing company, we decided to leave the Chicago area, and with the help of a college friend, learned how to run a vacation rental management company on the beautiful beaches of NW Florida. After 6 wonderful years, the economy went sour, the oil spill happened, and my health fell apart. We felt the urge to stop doing everything we were doing and move to Colorado Springs. While in Colorado my health continued to deteriorate until wife learned of an exciting cellular health technology and got me on it. My health turned around in such amazing ways, I got my second wind for life, and we started thinking about what could be next. I took advantage of Lynda.com, started learning new web design skills, and we started picking up new clients. The cellular health technology that helped me get my life back was not sold to big pharma and was instead brought to market via network marketing. We decided we needed to move back to the beautiful beaches of Florida. So here we are - enjoying the beach life, helping companies with their marketing and websites, building a network marketing business with a life-changing product line, playing music when I get the chance, and encouraging everyone I meet to thrive in life.