I am a feminist entrepreneur

April 2010 - 24 yr old me in NYC shortly after the launch of my first small business. Candid photo cred: Alison Stauver

I don’t care how motivated you are or how talented at any given subject you may be; you don’t become successful (monetarily speaking) in this world without some money. I am referring to an investment. Times have changed and there are no more stories that start with “I came to this country with $1.50 in my pocket and now I own an empire.” Much respect to those who did, but moving forward your offspring/best employees have taken on what you left them… And that’s fine. The rest of us need a small loan of one million dollars to keep up with the economy. For the record, I respect the work, focus, and drive that it took to get there regarding past generations. I just also want to respect the countless hours that went into starting something for the person who didn’t receive an education, who came from an average family, or (in my case) the person who worked multiple jobs while receiving an education having come from an average family… to pay those bills… because 2009 was a terrible time to graduate. #personalnote #mybillsarepaidnow #livinginNYisexpensive

I get tired of hearing these self-promoting stories about how you pulled yourself up from the bootstraps and now you make millions. It’s discouraging, unrealistic, and demotivating. America is the land of opportunity but that doesn’t mean you won’t encounter 20 individuals around every corner willing to sell it to you for an unbeatable price. My hope with this blog is to highlight the ever evolving story of my eventual success and to secure your faith in the promise that I will share the truth behind the journey moving forward. Where do I start? Oh, here:

I married my opportunity. Sorry, that was a bit direct. It's is not a loveless marriage (far from it) and I’ve never believed in anything more than I believe in my love for my husband and the amazing life we will provide for our baby girl… BUT, I never would have started outpast2 without the support of my husband. That’s worth repeating: I never would have started outpast2 without the support of my husband. I’ve started businesses before and it is a struggle and I’ve failed. Macarize was my first but SOMO was my first love. Both failed in my eyes, and with good reason. I will not get into the details at this moment. The point that I want to share here and now is that business is all about trying new things and not being afraid to fail but rather having the knowledge to fail quickly and to learn from those previous attempts. Oh, AND BEING ABLE TO FINANCIALLY RECOVER. Failure is expensive and realistically speaking, most can't afford to make mistakes.

Not once did I pour my life’s savings into a business with such confidence that it would pay me back for the rest of my life in such a way that I would be comfortable. Not once. It's also worth nothing that my life savings wouldn't have ever been enough to start a business. Multiple times I’ve dedicated every spare waking minute to a business with the hope that it would one day pay off enough for me to quit my day job. Multiple times. It's also worth noting that I am fairly responsible with my money. Not a genius, but responsible. Today, I schedule my success based off demand. Thanks, Yvette. WTF does that mean?

That means that I spend my spare time doing behind the scenes work that is manageable around my child’s schedule. That is my life right now and I love it.

That means that my husband goes to work and I am first and foremost a mom who answers emails or bakes during the time that my baby sleeps. That means that I am not dependent on the income my business brings but rather am gifted an opportunity to sell goods at a reasonable and competitive price point with the primary purpose being my own personal happiness and growth; not wealth. That means that for the first time in my short life as an entrepreneur, I am not limited to undervaluing my time because I’m desperate for the sale. That means that once I have a sale promised to me, I complete it by making the time necessary to create the product that I’ve been paid for. That’s the demand I function off of. That means I’m successful in creating a business that brings me joy and is on the right track to being self-sustaining in the long term. That means I am currently operating in the black. That means that I am successful in my own eyes and those of my husband, who has made this possible.

Ultimately, that means that I’ve finally found a balance in my life/work structure thanks to the opportunity that my husband has provided me. To be clear – this makes me no less of a feminist or an entrepreneur. This makes me thankful. This makes me humble. This makes me feel dependent but strong. Like knowing that I can do it, but knowing that I needed help getting started. This makes me feel secure and therefore more confidant; because that’s what my personality type needs. This makes me understand that the risks I’ve taken in the past have been minimal and everything at the same time. This makes me respect those who have put everything on the line for something they believe in. This makes me hungry to try harder and push myself further than I have in the past because now I have someone I can disappoint. This makes me cautious for the young ladies who will potential stumble across this blog. I am not an advocate of marrying for money or personal growth. There’s a term for that and it is lovingly referred to as a “gold-digger”. Ladies, this is not something to aspire towards. But let’s be real for a minute. Remember that I previously tacked on the disclaimer that this blog would be written while drinking…

Being a woman in this world is hard. I know that because I have always aspired to being a wildly independent person who happens to have a vagina. I’m sure there are aspects of being a man that are challenging that I don’t fully understand due to that same fact. That aside, I will speak to what I know… that being a heterosexual female who was born into this role and identifies with it. Yup, nope... This is going to have to wait till the next blog post. I’ve gone too deep down this rabbit hole for the night and it feels like I'm treading on terminology territory that requires more sobriety. My intention is never to offend so Imma stop for the night. You do you. But hey - I wrote a blog.

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