Today is Valentine’s Day in the United States, a day of flowers and chalky candy hearts and romantic dinners. It’s a day for writing long, heart-felt love letters and celebrating the person (or people) without whom our lives would be very different.
I hope you are out celebrating the people that are important to you, just as I will be doing this weekend. But in the meantime, I wanted to take this moment to celebrate a very important part of my life, a part that is usually never mentioned on Valentine’s Day: my business.
It is impossible to say what these last 2.5 years would have been like without my business. Much like a loved one, my business has opened me to new opportunities, new experiences, and new ways of looking at the world. It supported me when I left my office peon job and gave me opportunities to learn new things (perhaps maybe a few more opportunities than I really wanted).
Through my work, I continue to meet new wonderful people who are making their own mark upon the world. It’s exactly like a partner who keeps introducing you to new friends from the office. I get to help them achieve their dreams, teach them skills they thought were “scary,” and watch as they blossom (or expand) into an even more awesome version of themselves.
But running my own business hasn’t always been a pure coming up roses endeavor. Even though I was always a little unconventional, I wasn’t prepared at all for the life of running my own business. I had no idea how to find clients, how to close a deal, and I’d never even seen a Tweet until 2 years ago. 🙂
And yet, we stuck together, my business and I.
We’ve changed, certainly, from those early days. Then, I thought I wanted to be a copywriter. Today, I know that my passion lies in helping other cubicle escapees build a business that changes their world, and the lives of the people around them.
It has certainly been a love-hate relationship, and we’ve had our share of fights. There are still days when I want nothing more than to read romance novels all day and forget that the world of business even exists. And there are days when my attention span is only 15 minutes long, and nothing seems easy.
But there are also days when clients are learning, expanding, growing their horizons. Days when I can – and do – get things done, and am excited about the possibilities that are in store for my business and me.
The best part of being an entrepreneur, though are the days when my non-entrepreneur friends will complain about their jobs, their bosses, or the lack of direction in their lives. I just smile, because my business and I share a secret: we will never be that person.
No matter where we go on life’s path together, or whether we part ways, I will always carry the lessons of independence, self-reliance, and the think-outside-the-boxness of this business experience wherever I go.
They say that the original St. Valentine was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. I like to think that he would approve of this love letter to my business. After all, I’m doing something that I never dreamed was possible, just like St. Valentine.
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