Who doesn't love a great story of selfless giving? This article, published on the American Express Open Forum, is an amazing story that reminds us that sometimes its important to dig deeper to discover our inner passion. Catherine Hoke, founder of Defy Ventures talks with Open Forum about her New York based nonprofit that helps formally incarcerated individuals transform negative into positive by participating in a 9 month long training process that helps them become entrepreneurs. Read about her story here: https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/building-empire-catherine-hoke-defy-ventures/
It's easy to allow fear of the unknown to drive your decision making when it comes to making huge career changes. Depending on the specific industry in which you are entering, the success rate for new businesses can be a huge deterrent for new entrepreneurs. But sitting around letting good ideas go to waste doesn't get you anywhere. Its time to stop thinking about all the things you MIGHT want to do. There is never the "perfect time", and the cards won't necessarily line up in perfect order. The lack of perfect timing does not mean that you cannot begin pushing your ideas into the forefront and launching your new entrepreneurial endeavors. When you are a natural creative, it is almost impossible to escape the propensity to think outside the box. Some people simply have a natural urge to lead the life of an entrepreneur. I recently read 'The Path Redefined' by Lauren Maillian Bias. An invigorating and inspirational read, Bias talks about her life as a serial entrepreneur. She started as a young child by selling lemonade in her upscale NYC neighborhood, and earned more money than some college kids would earn in their first years of working a summer job. She took her fearless nature, her customer base, and her desire to top own success record, and went on to open several successful businesses. The multi-talented businesswoman was one of the youngest vineyard owners in the US, and one of few African-American women vineyard owners. Although the odds were stacked against her, her passion for a new business endeavors outweighed her fears.
If running a full-fledged brick and mortar business is not a match for you, perhaps running a business online or creating a custom "made to order" retail business is the way to go. I can't tell you how many times I let an idea slip by only to see that someone else grabbed the bull by the horns and successfully launched the idea. Start small by turning your part time hobby into a business in your spare time. Keeping a small portfolio of clients is a great way to ensure that you are able to perfect your product and bring about the desired results. It also allows you to gain valuable feedback for when you decide to launch your business full time. Cultivate your ideas when they come to you, and tweak it for improvement as you go along. You will have room to make mistakes and still recover in time to recreate your perfect scenario. Sitting around waiting only ensures that someone else will come up with the very idea that you have been mulling over. There is someone else out there who will launch a similar product, or someone within an organization that will take advantage of the latest board seat or promotion. So stop contemplating and start doing. Your new goals may be closer to completion than you realized.
I recently came across a brilliant article on a website called Live in The Grey. It's a great site that challenges people to step outside the box and embrace their dreams. An article posted by author Courtney Velek truly resonated with me as she discussed a struggle that many of us face; Does being a parent prevent you from being able to live freely and take chances in your career? How do you balance the two without sacrificing or jeopardizing either one? Check out what Velek had to say in this post: How to Take Risks as a Parent
As a parent, the idea of disrupting corporate America, pursuing passion and living in the grey is so exciting. I feel such pride that our generation is fundamentally changing the way our kids will work.
At the same time, I’ve reflected a lot on whether being a parent impacts your ability to take big risks. Naturally, the stakes for parents are higher. It’s not just a personal money issue. The well-being of your family might be on the line.
All of this was running through my mind last year when [Read More...]
Courtney Velek is a purpose-driven entrepreneur and co-founder of TC3 Marketing. She believes in doing what you love, finding your balance, forever learning, and living in the grey. You can follow Courtney on her blog at www.thesmallwins.com.
As entrepreneurs it is easy to lose focus, get frustrated, and want to throw in the towel. Although it is our talent, background, and skills that bring us to new heights in our careers, sometimes we need a simple word of encouragement to get us through. Don't Quit
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, When the road you're trudging seems all uphill, When funds are low and the debts are high, And you want to smile but you have to sigh.
When care is pressing you down a bit, Rest if you must, but don't you quit. Life is queer with its twists and turns, As every one of us sometimes learns, And many a failure turns about, When he might have won if he'd stuck it out.
Don't give up, though the pace seems slow - You may succeed with another blow. Often the goal is nearer than It seems to a faint and faltering man; Often the struggler has given up When he might have captured the victor's cup.
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down, How close he was to the golden crown. Success is failure turned inside out - The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you never can tell how close you are - It may be near when it seems afar; So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit - It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit. - Author Unknown