Hello! Happy weekend!
As you can tell by the title, I wanted to talk about entrepreneurship. And the first thing I learned about becoming an entrepreneur is that you need to be able to spell entrepreneur! Haha I was corrected on that far too much.
All jokes aside, I hope you read this before starting a company of your own, to know if you are REALLY ready.
I have been getting the same question 100+ times in the past couple months. “How’s your business going?” “Are you still running your business?” . Not going to lie, it’s hard to keep saying no. So to answer every one’s question: I closed down my business because I’ve come to realization that it’s the wrong time. I did not close it because it was failing by any means…I mean, who doesn’t want to buy clothes!? There will always be a market for that.
I became an established LLC when I was 19. So young, I know. I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs. I am the youngest of 4, and to be honest, I feel like I had 5 parents rather than 2 and 3 siblings. Most people that know me, know that I have felt pressure to grow up faster than most kids in my generation. Good or bad thing? Not sure yet. I opened my business because I saw my family all doing what they love, and being successful at it, and I wanted to feel the same way.
I wouldn’t call opening my business a mistake. I would call it a learning experience and a bonus for my résumé. Most of my family kept nailing it in my head that I wasn’t running my business for the right reasons. They said I wanted to be “cool”. While I guess they are partially right, I did get pleasure out of handing out business cards at the bar(for networking reasons of course…) they are also wrong. (Sorry to you guys, since I’m sure you’ll read this…Love you !)
Since I was young, I had to learn to just accept being wrong most of the time. I’ve learned that with my family, it’s so much easier to say they’re right and I agree, even if I don’t. I have a perfect sister(though she’d disagree, but trust me she is…that’s a compliment Nikki!), my brother Joe is one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, and he doesn’t need a degree to show it(trust me, he could get into a debate about everything and anything), and my brother Jim opened an AMAZING restaurant when he was 22 and worked over 100 hours a week for a long time. You can see why I feel belittled, right!?
I grew up lying all of the time just to try to make myself sound better around them, so of course I became the little girl who cried wolf. But listen to me when I cry and say I did not open my business to be cool! I opened it because I wanted to make money and be noticed for young success. If this is you too, you ARE doing it for the wrong reasons. You should do it because you have time, passion, and money.
I took out a small business loan from the only credit union that would take a 19 year old entrepreneur seriously around here. Now I’m 21 and still paying it off…How do you think that is!? Not fun. I have tried to talk some sense into a few people trying to open a small business by telling them my mistakes.
Now, I don’t want you to read this and think I’m not telling you to open a business at a young age. I think you should really think to yourself: “Do I have the time to commit to an extra full time job 24-7?”, “Do I have enough money to put into this investment or am I ready to be paying off a loan for a couple years even if it doesn’t workout?”, or “Could I make this business idea better in a couple years with more time to save up capital and plan out a better strategy?”.
I know we don’t all have older siblings to guide us through the best path, but this is why I wanted to dedicate a whole post on what I’ve learned about trying to get a head start. It’s not always the best idea.
Now I’m just working on branding myself as a fashionista while I finish school. I tweet fashion advice on Twitter @JennaLeeAnnLLC and I blog here in my free time. Which is the right move for me at this time.
Remember, dreams don’t work unless you do, but you fail many times before you succeed. Take your time, and make it the best you can be, I promise you’ll regret it if you don’t.
Much love to all of my fellow entrepreneurs. Especially the young ones ready to make the commitment to adult-life.