“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” - Friedrich Nietzsche
Like most things worth having or experiencing, the journey towards entrepreneurial success is not easy, and is literally a never-ending process. Having a clear and consistent understanding of why you’re doing what you are doing will sustain you through the difficult times that are an inevitable part of the entrepreneurial journey.
After surviving four layoffs, three years of $0 pay increases, and 15 years of being completely loyal and driven in helping someone else protect their bottom line, I finally understood that there is no such thing as job security, and that the most valuable professional asset I could possess is financial control. Having complete autonomy over my financial destiny became my most important occupational requirement and my strongest “why,” which consequently, also became my most valuable service offering.
The bigger the WHY, the easier the HOW!
While finding myself literally between a rock and a hard place – the rock being my dead-end-job and the hard place being the tough situation of looking for a job in the midst of longer and harder work days, I decided to throw logic and caution to the wind. Without a backup plan, or even an initial plan, I jumped all in – with my eyes tightly closed – into what has proven to be the sweetest and most rewarding career that I never even tried to imagine.
While landing a great job with a seemingly stable company that offers top of the line benefits may seem like the smartest and most logical career goal. And for many, it is the best strategy. For me, however, the idea of handing over my financial control for a paycheck seemed, at the time, completely irresponsible. Instead, I began my freelance journey and joined forces with two other smart and talented marketing mavens and started Trio, an integrated marketing firm, and began passionately going about the business of helping other aspiring entrepreneurs begin their small business journey and take back their financial control.
Over the past two years, I have become completely vested in this concept of owning your financial destiny – both the good and the bad. In fact, I became so good at finding the right words to help my clients find the peace they needed to weather the storm of small business financial hardships, that I truly believed that their was no other career path that made sense. As a marketing professional of more than 15 years, I understand the value of new marketing techniques and strategies designed specifically to help small business owners compete with big businesses, so I truly believed and knew from experience that starting a small business was, and still is, not only timely, but the smartest way to go.
A strong why makes balance, purpose and peace possible.
It wasn’t until just recently that I had the unwanted privilege of practicing what I had been preaching. While I too was no stranger to small business financial lows, I was completely unprepared to handle the curve ball that life threw at me in late 2015. In fact, the blow was so strong that I began to reminisce about – what felt at that moment – like the good old days when I had a stable paycheck and good benefits, regardless of what was going on in my personal life. For a minute there, while seriously contemplating my return to the corporate workforce, I began feeling like a fraud…after all, it was I who drank the Kool-Aid first. But then I remember Nietzsche’s quote: “He who has a WHY to live for can bear almost any HOW.” It was that message, along with several other familiar and inspiring quotes, that encouraged me to stand firmly on my faith and believe that God will never put more on me than I can bear.
Instead of reverting back into what was easy, I took stock of my new life and realized that my why had evolved into my purpose. Not only did I have the ability to take full responsibility of my current and future financial stability, I was doing work that I loved and believed in, and had the time to serve my family as a better wife and mom. I don’t believe there is a paycheck worth enough for me to hand over my finances, as well as my life.
That is what a strong why can do for you. It can keep you grounded in what matters, and it can help you move your life into a higher purpose. I am certainly not saying that it is going to be easy, but the flexibility, balance and peace gained by owning your own business is truly priceless.
Don’t wait! You can spend the rest of your life planning a comfortable exit plan, but just remember – when working for someone else, you only have a small piece of control. Spend the time that you have left on this earth enjoying what you can control, which includes your personal financial destiny, and just KNOW that everything else will do what it does – work itself out.