In 1999, I entered into the world of entrepreneurship for the first time. Little did I know what I was really in for.
As a recent Master's degree graduate, I started on my quest to change lives and impact the world in Health Care. I was a health coach for specialty populations that included women, seniors and children. I loved giving people hope and sharing the possibility of a better quality of life. Some grabbed on to faith and hope showed up and some stayed put, safe and comfortable with their fear.
Then, almost seamlessly, my journey turned towards supporting mommies, by helping them understand the influence they have been given with their children. Through a Mommy in Training conference, and the labor of many people who believed in family, we shared the message of mommy privilege and the call on a mother's life to parent with love, guidance and intention. God showed up in ways that to this day, still make me say, "Wow!"
A few years later, my journey took another turn and I started working with couples preparing for marriage. I was positioned to help them know what to expect after, "I do!" We would share the good, the bad and the real deal about marriage, while preparing couples to withstand the storms. To this day, many couples had no idea the storms could be so violent.
Then after being on my journey for a decade, God shifted my entrepreneurial path again to encourage married couples in crisis. I equip couples to fight for their marriage, by walking closely with them during times of heart brokenness, despair and great discouragement.
There have been many twists and turns, ups and downs, ins and outs in my journey and there are many things I have learned and grown from along the way.
I have learned that entrepreneurship is a long journey, it is a major process. It's often a vehicle used by God to show you your true identity. I have come to realize that not everyone understands or will understand YOUR personal journey, nor are they meant to. I have come to know that even your family and closest friends will doubt you, judge you and not support you. From the people I trusted the most, I experienced the most judgement.
"You have your hands in too many things."
"I never know what you're doing."
"You're all over the place, you need to focus!"
"What now? Make up your mind."
Not only do I hear their judgement, but I feel the jab in my heart and soul, and it hurts; it stings. It makes me want to shut down and immediately revoke their VIP access card to my heart. But, somehow, I always still share, open up or trust them, even when they respond the same way over and over.
As a former people-pleaser, overcoming my response to the judgment from family and friends has been a steep climb along my journey, but it has made me stronger, wiser and keenly aware. I have learned to embrace my personal journey and stop needing validation for it.
While some people may judge it, critique it or criticize it, I am on my path; I am on my journey. I have realized that it tends to be very easy to criticize and judge while watching from the grass on the side of the road. But, it's not until you have walked along a similar road can you truly appreciate, respect and bear witness to another person's hills and valleys along their journey. Other entrepreneurs have given me great support, mutual respect, encouragement and insight. From many coaches along my journey, I have been poured into, stretched and held accountable to walking in my gifts, something never to be taken lightly.
Many do not or can ever understand that the journey of an entrepreneur includes discovering your divine identity and peeling back the layers to reveal what's really at your core. The journey of an entrepreneur is a constant evolution, a process, a never ending commitment to always showing up at your best; giving 100% and going all out!
For those of you who have gotten tired, weary or discouraged along your journey, keep evolving, keep trying new things, keep taking new risks and keep saying YES! to new adventures. Keep walking through new doors of opportunity and keep climbing. Sometimes, the journey can be lonely, but remember you are never alone. Greatness is within you, so don't let others define how great you are. And enjoy your journey, it is YOURS! It is only when you are moving forward, that you are moving closer to truly living as God created you to be!