On Friday I'm flying to San Diego to attend the Boss Mom Retreat - full of inspiring entrepreneurs who are, you guessed, it, moms. I've never been to a conference before or attended any sort of meet up full of other entrepreneurs. But this one felt different and having connected with many of the women who will be there already has made it feel like a safe space I can join.
When you're an entrepreneur, it's not just the business part that is really hard. Relationships are really tough, too, because unless you've started your own business, you most likely won't understand what we're going through. I can talk to my husband all day long about how hard it is and what it's like but at the end of the day, he still won't really get it. I've seen time and again women talking about not having the support of their friends and family in their journey and it kills me. I can't imagine not having the support of the people who love you most.
Most people don't understand entrepreneurs and why we're so passionate about this one particular thing. But, you see, it's not just a fun hobby for us. No one would put themselves through the entrepreneurial journey unless they really wanted it. The disappointing sales, the hours of unpaid work, the sleepless nights wondering if you said or did the right thing, the time missed with family. It's hard. And yet we do it. Following these passions often doesn't feel like a choice to an entrepreneur. It's just something that we can't imagine NOT doing.
In the past when times have been hard with Holl & Lane, I've been asked "why don't you just quit?" It seems so simple, that question. Something feels impossible, so why not just give up on it. But for me, it's simply not an option. At this point in my life it feels like this magazine is what I was meant to do. I'm meant to help people by sharing their stories. And to think of stopping that, no matter how hard a day is, is agonizing.
There have been many days where I've broken down crying, thinking that I'm never going to get to where I want or need to be to make this magazine successful. And each time my husband asks me "how would you feel tomorrow if you quit?" My answer is always the same - miserable. More miserable than whatever the particular hardship is that day. Because at the end of the day, I've started something that I believe in with my whole soul. I've found that thing that makes me feel alive and that has me looking forward to working on it. Even the things I don't like about running a magazine are ten times more fun than any other job I've had. This magazine is in my bones.
So when we, as entrepreneurs, find a tribe of other women (and men) who understand, we cling to them. They become our second family, our counselors, and our friends. Together we can have those moments where we scream "I JUST WANT TO QUIT", and for them to give us a reassuring nod of the head, knowing that we won't actually quit but that maybe we just need a step back and a listening ear. Because, they've been there, too. They get it. They know.
To those of you who are out there doing it on your own - I get it. I understand. Find your tribe. Join the meetups, or the Facebook groups. Seek out those who will know what you're going through day in and day out. The entrepreneurial journey will feel a little bit easier.