Ten years ago, if you’d told me I would one day be an entrepreneur or a business woman, I would’ve cringed. Either term sparked mild revulsion in me, even when applied to someone else. I never thought I’d one day claim both labels, and do so with pride.
I’m an accidental entrepreneur. As a child, I never had a clear picture of exactly what I wanted to do for work or where, but having a “cool job” has always been one of my two lifelong dreams. I started working when I was 16 and I’ve had some very cool jobs besides the ones on my resume: selling clothes at the mall, providing night security, driving passenger vans, dancing with a band in Mexico and desert farming. My favorite jobs rocked because of the dynamite combination of awesome people plus interesting tasks. One standout was a temp job in my twenties where I spent my days transcribing cassettes of school psychologists’ notes and ROFLMAO at my two coworkers’ silly antics involving latex gloves and motorized toys.
Inevitably, either the tasks stopped being interesting (when I’d learned all I could and there was no room to grow) or the people stopped being awesome. They stopped being awesome by leaving or changing – especially my bosses. It took me years to understand that my eventual clashes with most of my bosses weren’t because I was wrong or a bad employee, but because most people in power are uncomfortable supervising people smarter than them – especially if those people are more loyal to their own integrity than their boss or the organization.
Five years ago this month, one such clash motivated me to leave my last traditional position and relaunch my business. I’d started it in Mexico 14 years earlier, but hadn’t been full time in ten. Like the last time I went full time, I relaunched with a “let’s see how this goes” attitude, thinking maybe it would be temporary, or a bridge to some as-yet undiscovered “cool job.” But I’m still here, and I just hit a major milestone this month: Year Five. First-and second-year success rates of new businesses range between 20-80% depending on industry and structure. However, the consensus is that only half of new businesses make it to five years. Half! Read the rest on Huff Post!