Now that it has become known that I am launching a business, everyone has naturally become curious about what I am doing. I could not count the number of times I have explicated my business model to someone at this point. I have come to realize that when I attend networking events, or am even out with friends, I dread beginning to explain it. However, my aversion to explaining myself has nothing to do with how “exhausting” it is to give details about the whole thing; rather, it comes from the reactions I receive from people.
There is obviously genuine excitement about the idea, but unfortunately I receive more negative than I care to admit. For the most part, people have looked at me and do not take me seriously. It is insulting to receive shocked expressions when they realize this is not a jewelry or fashion line – as if that is all a young woman, at 22 years of age, could think of doing. What is more painful is when I meet people with who I am trying to build a business relationship and am looked at as a joke. I am not blind to the terrible economy we find ourselves in and realize that the nature of my business is beyond my years; however, I know how much hard work, money, and stress I have put into this and am frankly sick of being looked at as a fragile young woman who has no clue what she is doing. What probably infuriates people even more is that I have not allowed myself to give in to their negativity. If I allow myself to walk around with the scarlet letter of “failure” already written on me, like most people feel I should, will I really have the positive motivation to make sure that does not happen to this idea?
Through all of this, I am lucky to count on an amazing support system. How many countless times have my closest friends received calls where they find themselves patiently listening to me vent while I am attempting to make a decision, or are there for me as I am having a meltdown about something. My amazing boyfriend has pushed me past many of my fears and is there to celebrate my every step-up in the process with so much pride. He gives me kind words in the times that I have felt I made a huge mistake. I would not know where to begin to explain how unbelievable the guidance of my parents has been for me. Like me, their educational background had nothing to do with their company. They have experienced everything I am trying to understand, and do their best to guide me – most importantly – without babying me. Lord knows, they have seen me make decisions they knew would be terrible for me, but recognized I needed to fall down many times in order to become successful. In those times when I feel negativity around me, I remember the faces of each of these people, their opinions are what matter, it is their support that will keep me going, and I ignore everything else. Yes, I know, it is certainly easier said than done.