June 26, 2016

Rachel Strella

Entrepreneurs: In a League of our Own

I’ve had entrepreneurship on the brain lately, as I work to grow #Strella Social Media in our seventh year.  My executive coach said that Entrepreneursome people think that owning a business is a dream come true, but they have no idea how much work is involved. I couldn’t agree more. For businesses trying to grow, it’s even more difficult.

I frequently encounter misconceptions about being an entrepreneur.  It’s not ‘real’ work. We have a lot of money. We can work whenever we feel like it. We are starry-eyed dreamers seeking new thrills. While these stereotypes may fit some businesses, it’s certainly not the case for us.

Here’s the reality: The work is more difficult than anything I’ve ever done. I am chartering unknown territory nearly every day and I’m also wearing a lot of hats. Revenue fluctuates frequently and work/life balance is a constant struggle. There are days that the only starry-eyed dream I have is one where I make it through a day without putting out a fire.

So, why do I do it?

Because I want something MORE. In previous sales and marketing positions for employers, I worked my tail off to bring in leads and develop relationships with prospects. Some of my employers did not care as much as I did about the end goal, and ultimately, I was unmotivated to continue. I wanted to see the job through and I wanted a reason to get up in the morning. Simply collecting a paycheck was not enough.

That’s when I knew I had to run my own show. It was a huge risk and it will continue to be, but I survived. And, despite the setbacks and challenges, I actually want to get up in the morning. I’m excited about it for the simple reason that I have say in the outcome – I am in control of the end result! That level of responsibility is scary to some people, but it’s incredibility exhilarating to me.

If you’re an entrepreneur, does your heart leap when you have an idea, a new project, or a challenge to solve? That is raw passion! I feel it and I enjoy the company of people who share that vision.

However, there are just as many who do not share my passion. Some of them include people that are closest to me. They do not like risks and prefer the comfort of a steady paycheck and a regular schedule. I don’t judge them, because the world needs both types of people. Funny, I am sometimes judged as the nay-sayers of my chosen career path feel compelled to set me straight. But, their challenge is more fuel for my fire. I am doing this for me. It’s what I’m supposed to do and it’s where I am supposed to be. How many people do you know can say that with certainty?

My coach was spot-on when he concluded this about entrepreneurship: People who don’t do it, can’t understand it.

Fellow entrepreneurs: can you relate?

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9 comments on “Entrepreneurs: In a League of our Own”

  1. Rachel,

    Excellent points. However, I might add that people who don't get it, really fear they could not do what you do. Yes, job security and a steady paycheck is good--trust me, I know that. But really what it boils down to, in simple terms, at least to me, is that people are jealous. Jealous that you took a huge leap of faith, believed enough in yourself and your skills, and DID something about it. You didn't just talk the talk, you walked and are walking, the walk.

    You did what they only dream of --because deep down you knew it was the right thing for you.

    If more people believed in themselves and took a risk, just think of what they could accomplish. If you don't try, you never know and you will always wonder about the "what ifs".

    Passion is key and clearly you have that. I do what I do because I know I can affect change in the people's lives that we help--and yes, I like the idea of a steady pay. I have always admired people like you, that forge ahead, take chances and prove to one and all, that you were right. Right in doing what feels the best for you.

    So you go, girl! Keep knocking them over with your passion, your ideas and your drive. You are going to even greater places than you already have been to.

    1. Hi Jeanne -

      You bring up a good point - and one that perhaps I didn't expressively state as I did not want judge others. But, jealousy is certainly an issue. I try not to take that on. Rather, I just re-affirm that I'm in the right place for me.

      I am certain that the risks I take will never have me wondering 'what if?' It's a scary world, but I personally would rather live with the consequences... I choose not to settle.

      That's not for everyone and that is entirely acceptable!

      I love your support and encouragement, Jeanne. Thank you. You're very self-aware and that's something that I admire. You know you're on the right path to your own life and it shows. High five! (Or, as my step-children say, fist-bump)!


  2. Yes! I find that some practitioners/students/men-tees look at where I am now, but don't realize all the YEARS that have gone into this, and all the "behind-the-scenes" HOURS! But I LOVE it- I LOVE the excitement of sharing this bigger/farther/more...of making a real difference in the world, and, as you say, the Blessing of feeling like you're doing what you are here to do in the world!

    1. Exactly, Rickie! I was thinking of you when I wrote this! It's hard to find work/life balance when you truly love what you do! It's a passion and we both went for it! I'm trying to make my life more well-rounded, though, so I'm not always focused on what I do, but 'who' I love, too! 🙂

      1. Yes, it is especially important for me to maintain my own Balance with self-care and sharing with others, so I can be an example of Living Reiki in Integrity. Balance is never static, it is a flow...AND don't forget to PLAY!

    2. "but don’t realize all the YEARS that have gone into this, and all the “behind-the-scenes” HOURS!"

      It's sad/funny because that's where all the rabid anti-capitalists come from too. They just see the end product, you being out there owning a business being successful and "exploiting" the people who work for your business. They don't see (or refuse to acknowledge) the days, months and years of work you put in to get to that point, or the financial risk, or any of that. It's annoying to say the least.

      1. Hi Samantha -

        I realize this is in response to Rickie's comment. And, I can't necessarily speak for the anti-capitalists, but here's my two cents.

        Until you walk a mile in someone else's shoes, no one really knows for sure, regardless of industry, upbringing, or circumstances. That being said, the grass is 'greener on the other side' theory is just as flawed. We all carry our burdens - and our possibilities! My message is to try not to judge others who may or may not understand until they've done it.

  3. Great write up! It is risky and scary but where else do you get to write and act your own script!?

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