Just last week, I had a meeting with a fellow creative who joined our Monument Women’s Creative Alliance group early on and connected with me at one of our events. She is where I was circa 2011, still in a full-time career, but looking to make a go of becoming a business owner, going out on her own.
As I sat with her and told her my story, I realized how much I valued the wisdom I took from the people I looked to when Drio was in the beginning stages. I am so thankful for what they provided to me and the patience they had with me as I was getting to know people in the design/marketing world in Baltimore.
It’s because of all of those wonderful people and my experiences along the way that I always look forward to meeting with people I can advise and encourage to take the plunge to become a business owner. I enjoy being a resource as they take on clients and make relationships and may need advice or help along the way.
When I was speaking with this one woman in particular, one of her major reservations was whether or not she was going down this path toward becoming a business owner for the right reasons. She wanted validity that her “why” was enough. She has a passion for graphic design and really wants that to be what defines her. Was it enough, she wondered? My answer was, “YES!! That is definitely enough.” I believe you must be self-motivated and be following a true passion in order to go out on your own.
Even though I was wholeheartedly encouraging her, I didn’t want to sugar-coat the hard work that’s involved in running a business. The truth is, you absolutely have to be in it for the long-haul and know that there will be bumps along the way.
I shared my story with her. I was able to begin my business while maintaining my full-time job, so I could have some stability and security, while exploring the viability of my business. I also took that time to join local organizations and networking groups. I got as involved as possible so that I could meet people in the industry and seek help and advice as I got started.
As I look back at the beginning of my career, I’m so grateful that Hazel and I were able to start Monument Women’s Creative Alliance. We are honored to be a resource for local creative women who are looking for advice, networking, education and community in our hometown of Baltimore.