I started HarpersLove on a total whim because I wanted to keep my mind going while staying home with my young kids. I was 37. My professional experience until that point was not in fashion or technology or marketing or e-commerce. It was in Financial Services, working for some of the top companies in that sector. I learned the mechanics of running an operations and important qualities of transforming internal organizations. I learned to question and think with passion. Unfortunately those qualities do not really help you politically in large organizations. However, it is those two qualities that led me to being this. "The Entrepreneur". Or better yet, how I currently feel, the wanna - be entrepreneur.
You see, I am trying really hard to not give up. Looking back at the first 3 years of my business idea, I realize I was learning and testing and figuring things out. I took a good long break from HarpersLove, 2 years because we moved to a Naples. FL from NJ (NYC suburbs). These are two different worlds. A year ago, I said to myself, I am going to try this. However, I can not do it alone so you must start figuring out who you can speak with and where you can go.
This fall, I started showing up at The Naples Accelerator, which is different than most others in that it is funded by government and requires very little from their inhabitants other than a monthly fee. For $100 a month, I sit in the cafeteria which is adjoined to the ping pong table area (to make it feel like Silicon Valley but who plays ping pong?). I liken this to going to Starbucks and paying for a daily latte. On a decent week, I go 3 days, sitting for 4-5 hours. I still teach 3 fitness classes a week, volunteer at school (too much probably) and take care of the house (I am the maid, chef, decorator). When the kids get out of school, I become the teacher, motivator, Uber driver and their social coordinator. This has been my last 9 months summed up.
Why I am writing this all down? Well, launching a business is a long journey. It takes time and energy to figure out all the new worlds that you must now become well traveled in. It is not about long hours, it is about digging deep and keeping the ball rolling. I have been asking myself why do I choose to keep at this? While some progress has been made these last 9 months, am I really able to cross this line and make this idea happen? Can I actually do it? This week has been a doozy.
I really hate to say this, but the Female Entrepreneur has to deal with something her male counterpart does not. PMS. I know. It is not an excuse for failure but it stinks, ok! The thing is all entrepreneurs must deal with the emotional stages of their businesses. PMS for me changes each month and this one happens to be the one where I am really down on myself. Feeling a loss of motivation. Feeling a loss of being able to dig deep. It is such an annoying feeling to deal with.
Well the light is shining through today because of Instagram. While everyone shouts about why Instagram is so great for marketing, I have noticed that it is other jewelers and industry folks who actual follow or like my posts. I started looking at their pages and this morning, a light bulb went off. So .....
I shall keep chugging along. Push the idea further. Be on the hunt for people who get it and can help me build HarpersLove.
My purpose for today is to share my real entrepreneur experience with others. The truth is I am in my 40's, have a great life and I am healthy, surrounded by lots of real love. I have no complaints but I feel like this is my major challenge. I know that there are others like me out there.
I am hoping to sit down monthly and write about what I am going through, emotional, logistical and share my questions as well as any insights I have uncovered.
Summer Goal: My professional next steps involved finding a kick-ass technology guru and advisors in fashion-tech.
My advice to you:
1.) Write your feeling down
2). Plot the big goal for your next steps
3.) Take a walk and breathe
Until next time,
CEO & Founder at HarpersLove