I’ve just read an article in the New York Times called “Kids these days” on twenty something entrepreneurs that left me both inspired and gobsmacked. Being “an entrepreneur” myself (aren’t we the new rockstars), articles like these are my fuel. Books and tips and tweets and quotes from people that have jumped in the deep end before me, because I don’t really have colleagues to talk things over with and brainstorm. It’s just me, my mom and our business. And we each have our own turf.
Most of the time I’m pretty content with what we do. I love my job, and sometimes I’m actually kind of a loner, so I don’t mind working on my own. In the 2,5 years Lily and the Lady exists, we’ve grown a ton and turned it into an actual business with actual customers. There’s nothing nicer than receiving that happy e-mail after someone received a package. You know you made them feel good about themselves, and you know you’ve made a difference on some level.
Being your own boss means always being a little scared. You can’t ever turn it off. It means sleepless nights and stomach problems. I figured out pretty quickly that I’m always scared no matter what I do, and I might as well just go for it all the way. Owning a business is rough and scary and fulfilling and all the other clichés about entrepreneurship. But most of all it makes me happy. And I can’t imagine living my life any other way anymore.
Then there’s days like these where I read that Instagram Co-founder Mike Krieger is only 26 years old and I think ”I’ll never get to be like him”. And unless something crazy happens before October 28th of this year, I probably won’t. There’s moments that I think I’m behind on schedule, even though I work hard (and play hard) and try to do my best to keep motivated and get back up after falling down. It’s all I’ve seen when I was growing up in a family full of entrepreneurs ranging from contractors to shopowners. So maybe it’s the only thing I can do: march to the beat of my own drum and create my own life. Because, no, I’m not that wunderkind, but I can try to be the next best thing: succesful.
Pictures 1,2 and 3 by Phebe Van Wijk.