First Year of Entrepreneurship
On the night Willow Oak launched, a couple of my closest friends came over, we popped a bottle of champagne and pressed, *post*. That was it. Months of dreaming, branding, website-building and talking myself into this being a good idea all came up to one moment. The moment it went live.
To be honest, I had no idea what Willow Oak was going to bring me. I actually went in thinking I’d make very little in the first couple years. Money was never much of a factor for me. The only rule I had was, “If I wasn’t making enough to provide for my family in the first two years then I’d have to reconsider”.
I had NO idea that in the first 12 months, I’d have 2 team members and be making more money than my corporate job. By month 10, I made my first five figure month and by the end of the 13th month I made 6 figures and started making a monthly income that would be near double what I made at my corporate job.
Aside from the numbers, Willow Oak has brought me so much joy. Creating a business from nothing has been so exciting. It allowed me to use my creative side, learn new things, push myself to new levels and take on something bigger than myself.
Looking back from where I am now, however, I can’t deny that the first year was a humbling experience filled with new emotions and learning curves.
The first couple months were low key and slow, signing a couple clients and continuing contractor work at my previous job.
Once the launch excitement cooled down, it honestly started to feel a bit lonely. I wasn’t used to not having a team or a boss to run things by, and sitting at my computer by myself was definitely something to get used to. On top of that, to be completely honest, it also felt like people around me didn’t understand. I’d always get comments about having so much time now or that I was so lucky to have my own schedule. Yes, entrepreneurship is definitely more flexible but as flexible as it can be it’s also 24/7, especially in the first year when you’re getting started. I felt like I was working harder and longer than I ever had, but it seemed as though some thought I was just relaxing at home.
As hard as it was, I can honestly say I won’t ever look back. It’s been a roller coaster. There are times when things are going super smooth, and then there are times where I feel lost. But even in the hard, I have the desire to make Willow Oak something special. It gives me the possibility to do what I love, to spend more time at home and with my kids. It brings me the opportunity to use my knowledge to support others who are creating their own beauty. That’s what I believe my life purpose is.
I truly feel that I am meant to support and give back in this life I live and I believe Willow Oak can help me do just that.
To all the entrepreneurs out there, you’re doing a kick-ass job! I see you and I love watching all of you succeed if we work together, we can all move mountains