This (very) personal note was not something I expected to write you today, and at the risk of sounding overly emotional or sentimental, I will admit to you that my eyes are welled up in tears as I write this. Today, this special day, is one that means the world to me…
1.the power or right to act, speak, [do business] or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
Today happens to be the day that most people celebrate as Independence Day in the US. Yes, it’s meant to mark the holiday in the United States commemorating the declaration of independence from the United Kingdom. And yes, there are the requisite barbeques, fireworks and the red, white and blue everywhere (you should actually see how my house is decorated, inside and out! I’ll post pictures today on Facebook, for you to see…)
But for me this is a very personal holiday, one that brings tears to my eyes because it’s so meaningful.
You see, back in 1999, the week of the 4th of July was when I walked away from Corporate America for good, from collecting a paycheck from someone else, from doing mindless things I didn’t like doing and that weren’t actually making a difference, from being someone other than who I really was and from apparent “security.”
It was the week that I took the great leap of faith, against the advice of many people who loved me and wanted the “best” for me. It was the week that I started my own business, a nutrition business out of my 300 square foot apartment in midtown Manhattan, even though I knew nothing about being self-employed.
It may have been hot and muggy that week in the city, I may have had some doubts before making my decision, but I now felt light as air, giddy from the all-encompassing sense of freedom that came from drawing a line in the sand and declaring my own independence. It felt like I’d been released from a prison sentence.
Yes, I went through some turbulent times in the beginning. Naively, I started my own business not knowing how to market or get clients. I didn’t realize that doing marketing and sales in corporate is soooooo completely different from selling yourself, and that you actually need to follow a proven system. And yes, I felt lost, without a plan, and I had to figure out my own The Leveraged Business System without anyone’s help. Yes, I went about it through blood, sweat and tears. Sadly, The Leveraged Business Business School™ didn’t exist back then…
But through hell and high water, alone and clueless, I made it. Yes, the gamble and the sleepless nights paid off after all. And you know what?
I wouldn’t give it up for the world.
Yes, entrepreneurship IS a full contact sport. Yes, it’s not for the faint at heart.
It’s for people with a big heart, a big vision and for those who want to make a difference and who are willing to do whatever it takes.
Entrepreneurship is a private club that I am incredibly proud to belong to, one that I will never, ever leave.
I realize now that I’m completely unemployable (and unapologetic about it.)
I am a passionate rebel who is proud to shake up the status quo and be of service to other entrepreneurs around the world, with all the gifts that were divinely given to me.
And because I get to change lives every day, and no amount of “security” from an outside job could ever give me that feeling of being here on purpose, for a purpose, with a purpose.
I am proud, immensely proud, to call myself an entrepreneur, because I know in every cell of my body that entrepreneurs are some of the most courageous people on the planet, with the biggest hearts, the most determination and ultimately, are the ones who change the world.
And that means you too.
Whether or not we’ve ever met in person, please know that I champion you, I respect you, I admire you for bucking the status quo and doing your own thing, and I love you from afar.
Wherever you may be in the world, and whatever your own “independence day” was from working for someone else, even if that day is still ahead of you – TODAY, I celebrate your courage, your passion and your stick-to-it-ness.
Thank you for being on this journey with me.
Here’s to our freedom…
With love (and wiping tears from my cheeks),
p.s. Would you please take a moment to add a comment below? I’d like to hear from you about this. 1) Tell me what it means to YOU to be an entrepreneur, and 2) Why did you start your own business? I started my own business because I wanted to be free and to make a bigger difference in people’s lives than what I was doing in corporate. What about you? (I’d love to know!)