I’ve decided to start blogging. In one part, to put what’s in my head onto paper. The other part, to share a little more of me in my own words rather than having others tell my story. Plus, when I’m stressed and unsure, I find that writing is therapeutic.
These last 3 years of my journey into entrepreneurship hasn’t been an easy one. I often wondered how I got here. What possessed me to “retire” from my career after 18 years to do this? It wasn’t easy walking away from a comfortable career and working for free and very long hours. It’s no wonder why they teach us in business school that it takes 3-5 years for a business to be profitable and that you must be in this for the long haul. It’s also why so many start-ups fold after a year. I know now that being an entrepreneur isn’t for the faint of heart. I was tested. My faith was tested. My self-worth was tested. I had such a steep learning curve, full of emotional beat downs, mistakes, and tears. But all of this humbled me even more and allowed me to empathize for those in the words of Paulo Coelho “pursuing their personal legends.” I’m glad that I was truly naïve in the beginning of my journey. Because if I had known the full scope this would take on me, I may not have walked this path.
I remembered talking to a fellow entrepreneur who inspired me for what she built with her Mexican food business. Her words of advice meant so much to me during many rough and doubtful days, “when times are tough, remember why you started.” Those words guided me during my deepest darkest days when I questioned if I can even do this.
But to understand my why, I must start at the beginning…
Moving from the city of Milwaukee, WI to a small 8 acres farm in Hillsboro, OR (metro Portland, OR) was one of the most emotional decisions I’ve made. On the one hand, I met the love of my life and was eager to start a new chapter. On the other hand, I left what I spent a huge portion of my adult life building. What made it even harder was leaving my adult son, family, friends and network. I know it wasn’t a total good-bye as technology and airplanes can solve it quickly. However, it was difficult to not have the physical presence of all that I hold dear and comfortable in my life.
I never knew how depressed I was and how hard I was hit emotionally by the transition. I should’ve been happy because I secured a “great” job before I arrived in Oregon and I married a wonderful man. However in life where there is positive, there is also negative. I hated the job because I no longer resonated with that career and the toxicity of the place was unbearable. One of the worst I’ve experienced! My husband’s work schedule didn’t help either with his travels and changing hours. We barely saw each other that first year. My mental health was stretch to capacity and I had to do something before things got worst. So, after 9 months at my job and with the love and support of my husband, I quit and walked away. My husband’s schedule went back to normal with no more travels. That gave me the start that I needed. But now I needed to find myself again. Find my purpose. Find my why. What is the next chapter for me here in the PNW? What legacy do I want to leave behind?