There is a strong entrepreneurial streak in me stemming from my mom’s side of the family. I grew up just down the road from my grandmother. I spent a lot of time pulling on her apron strings over the years. That’s how I remember her best. In the kitchen with a pretty apron on. And she smelled like Oil of Olay and pound cake.
When I was really little, both grandparents had stalls at the historic Montgomery Curb market. I remember granddaddy walking me around and introducing me to all their friends and fellow farmers. Granddaddy sold his homegrown produce. Grandmother sold her locally famous cakes of all kinds. As I got a little older, I spent the summers of my adolescence helping grandmother cater country weddings and picking whatever was in season for granddaddy’s back porch produce stand. They taught me early it was good to have work to do.
In the late 80’s, my mother also struck out on her own as an artist. She’d been an artist all of her life, but up to that point she’d only worked for other people. When she found woodcarving, she found a passion that made her let go of the 9-5 world and strike out on her own. She has become a leader in her art form, and it has taken her all over the country teaching her skill. I went to work early. Once I was old enough to get a “regular job,” I left the work with my grandmother to some of the younger cousins, and I went on to get my very first retail job as soon as I turned 16.
Minimum wage was a whopping $3.88 back in 1989.
That job led to a very long, two decades of working behind someone else’s counter. While I was in the middle of those two decades, I missed a lot of Christmas gatherings, and I worked an insane amount of hours.
About seven years ago, I reached a point where I’d had enough. Ironically it was a scheduling conflict involving Mother’s Day that finally led me to let go and stay home with my kids. I left retail intending never to go back.
Never say never.
About two years ago, we found ourselves in need of a little more income. I struggled with the idea of going back into a retail job. I drew up a resume, and I began reluctantly applying for part-time jobs.
But in the meantime, I’d begun selling jellies and handmade crafts at the local farmer’s market to bring in a little income. It helped. Within a year it was helping enough I didn’t need that part-time job.
Two years later it is bringing in nearly as much as a full-time job.
So here is where I find myself now.
Somehow I became a bonafide entrepreneur in the last two years with a business license and everything. This year, I’m daring to take the next steps. Steps that kind of scare me to death. It’s time to get a commercial food license. It’s time to look for an investor. I need to make real budgets and business plans and all manner of other adult things. It’s time to do things I like to say I’m not good at in order to justify not having to do them.
Things that confuse me. Things that I tend to avoid having to do because I’m afraid of messing them up, or because it takes an extra level of concentration and focus that is difficult for me.We all have limitations ... don't let them become an excuse to keep you from your best thing.Click To Tweet
This year I’m daring to say that I can do hard things. I’m daring to face the fact I’ve allowed things like fear to burrow down and form a root inside of me. I’m going to call my own bluff.
The bluff that I’m not smart enough or that I can’t do the things I need to do to get where I need to be.
My little business is called True Vine Gifts. All of my products, from my jellies to my jewelry, are somehow wine related. One of the verses that spoke to me as I was formulating this little cottage venture was straight out of Proverbs 31.
She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. Proverbs 31:16
I kind of feel like my grandmother and mother, by investing in their own entrepreneurial spirit, planted a vineyard in me. It’s an awesome thing to be taught to think outside of the box when times are tough. They didn’t let fear stop them. My foremothers (and fathers) didn’t wait to find just the right job for them. They created it.
Through that example they have raised a generation of self-starters with a wicked work ethic.
My hope is that I’ll plant the next vineyard in my own offspring.
What daring things are you doing this year? Is it time to call out fear in your own life?