It has been my lifelong dream of starting a business. In a prior post, I talked about deciding to work in the corporate world while trying to find an idea for my venture. I finally landed on Dreamwriters, a self-publishing platform for young creative writers and artists, the goal of which is to provide kids of any age with a foundation for lifelong creative fulfillment.
It took me a long time to find an idea that combined both my interests and experiences into a business that I felt was purposeful. With an idea finally in hand, you would think that I got started right away, right? This was not true! It would take me another six years to finally make the jump from corporate life to entrepreneur land. Why was this the case?
- I was worried about my family obligations — By the time my business idea had crystallized, I was pregnant with my first daughter. My family, while always supportive, are also a very practical bunch. They were concerned about the work required to start a business, and whether I could handle the stress with a newborn on the way. The popular “90% of start-ups fail” statistic seeped into my mind and I started to think about whether I could go with no income for a period of time. And so, I let logic win the day and talked myself out of it.
- I wanted to fulfill my personal career goals — I grew up during a time when going to school and getting a full-time job at a company was the lay of the land. The need to climb the corporate ladder was still running thick through my veins. I thought I would hold on longer and continue to move up while trying to enhance my skillsets before making the jump. While I accomplished these goals, there was always something to learn and improve, so it made for a nice excuse not to leave. What started as two years soon became four which then became six.
- I tried to side hustle while working — I tried to hedge my bets by continuing my day job while working on my business at night. This was so that I could keep earning a living while trying to build traction for my start-up. However, my day job was an intense 9am-8pm, and after I got home, I wanted to spend time with my family. By this time, I had given birth to my second daughter who enjoyed feeding at 3am every night, making sleep even more precious. I would work on my business here and there, but I couldn’t muster the willpower to do it consistently. I would tell myself not to worry, that I’d get to it the next day, but days turned into years, and I wasn’t able to accomplish much.
I became increasingly frustrated over the years, because on one hand, my desire to work on Dreamwriters never waned, but on the other hand, I wasn’t really making any progress. Being in limbo was starting to drive me crazy! Never being one to ever half-ass anything, I decided this was enough. I thought if this entrepreneur thing doesn’t work out, I can always go back and find a job. And so, I finally let go of my ego, fear, and excuses and made the transition.
So far, it has been an exhilarating ride, albeit not an easy one. I feel comforted by the fact that I was able to save some money and build-up a strong support network. Sometimes I can’t help but wonder where I’d be if I started earlier, but there is no use looking back — it’s neither helpful nor productive. The only thing I can do is charge forward.
Amy is the Founder of Dreamwriters, a self-publishing platform for young creative writers and artists. The platform is currently under development. Join the community for updates and receive a free picture book, “The Knight’s Friend”, written & illustrated by a pair of talented students from Hong Kong.
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Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com.