I've wanted to be an entrepreneur my whole life. If you've ever seen me speak, you've no doubt heard my story about setbacks, comebacks and waiting periods. Prior to starting my own company, Social Impressions, I worked for other people. I ran the gamut - mostly focused within the social media world. When I was employed by someone else there was always a panging to either make more money or find a way to have more time. Something inside me knew there was a way to have both.
When I left my job roughly 16 months ago to pursue my passion of being my own boss I was prepared for many things. I was mentally prepared for set-backs, I had experienced a lot of that already in life. I was prepared for rejection - I spent years building a successful Amway business in high school and college, so I was comfy with rejection. I was even prepared for financial pressure (as prepared as I could be).
What I was not prepared for when I left the employment world was the amount of hope entrepreneurship brought to my life. I had no idea that following my passion would potentially provide taillights for someone else to follow.
Providing taillights for other people is important. The road between employment and entrepreneurship is usually fraught with fear, confusion, and an awkward first-kiss-like tension. But, every once in a while a new entrepreneur or wantrepreneur can look up and see someone else's taillights who made the decision and for a fleeting moment that person realizes, "I can do this. It may not be right now, but I know I can do this."
The person leading the way often times looks confident, cool, and collected - as if they're on the road to success all by their lonesome. We never know that this person is simply following someone else's taillights. I am certain that the many sets of taillights ahead of me never even knew the amount of inspiration and hope they provided while I was midway in the decision-making process.
No one ever told me that being an entrepreneur could bring hope to other people even though so many entrepreneurs before me had infused my life with hope and inspiration.
So, what does this have to do with you? Potentially nothing. Or, perhaps, you're a wantrepreneur waiting for your chance to launch into double-lane highway of entrepreneurship. You know deep inside of you there is a passion for a specific service, topic, or business and one day you will follow it. To that I say, you will and you must.
Too many times I hear well-meaning entrepreneurs tell people to simply jump and the net will appear or that the universe will provide somehow. What I have found is that the "universe" or "God" or whatever you want to call it isn't really waiting for us to jump. Something gave you this passion you have, something birthed a tension between your location and your destination and when you are ready, and the time is mostly right you will begin your journey.
Behind you will be millions of wantrepreneurs watching you leave the parking lot for the last time. A few of them jealous, a few of them scared, and a few of them inspired. Soon as your journey progresses you will see more taillights ahead, rest areas where cars have pulled over for other great opportunities, and in some sad cases, cars broken down.
What you don't know is that miles behind you on that very same road is someone just leaving the parking lot, just paying their tolls and just beginning to learn the lesson that you have learned by pursuing your passion.
There is an everlasting hope found in being a dreamer and, by pursuing what you imagined your taillights provide guidance and direction for those behind you, beside you, and those soon to pass you.