Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. When I say WHY, I don’t mean to make money — that’s a result. By WHY I mean what is your purpose, cause or belief? WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care? -Simon Sinek, “Stark with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action”
I never planned to be a business woman, and, if we’re honest, it still feels unnatural to refer to myself that way. For the first two decades of my life, I resisted the “normalcy” of business as a career. I was a performer, theatrical, destined to use my creative talents to wow the crowds of New York City…or any theater that would take me! I did my best to ignore my love for learning and type-A personality, but the tides eventually turned, and as you might have it, my passions evolved into something I never anticipated.
So, hello! My name is Griffin, and I’m a 24-year-old entrepreneur. I own a Pure Barre fitness franchise in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and work as a teacher trainer for Pure Barre Corporate. My days are full of accounting, team management, marketing plans, and lately, taxes (yuck). Almost all of my employees are older than me, considering I signed my franchise agreement the night before my 22nd birthday and moved across the country to open the studio later that year. It all sounds a little bit crazy because owning a business is crazy, but I am truly thankful, even in the days when I want to throw my studio off of a cliff and get a normal job.
If you’re reading this, I assume you like business or wonder if you could ever own your own business. Our generation has become obsessed with the idea of “creating your own career.” We long for flexible schedules, jobs that have built in adventure, and the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes along with doing work that you love. However, as more people catch on to the idea of being their own boss, I can’t help but feel that we are losing the why behind it all.
There is no “one type” of person that is cut out to be an entrepreneur, though certain skills are most definitely required. Anyone can decide to create their career in today’s world. Build a free website, write a blog, pick up photography, and suddenly, you are in business! Invest your own money or invest someone else’s money, create an LLC, and boom – you’re an entrepreneur. Maybe you’re profitable, maybe you aren’t, but you feel that you have achieved the American dream, nonetheless. Hear me when I say that none of these things are inherently bad. In fact, if you are passionate about being an entrepreneur, I hope you find every way to make it work and make money doing it. But, in the midst of trying to create your dream career, it’s easy to lose sight of how to live the dream.
I believe the dream career is twofold: it’s the ability to financially support yourself and your family doing something you love, but it also allows you the space to breathe, create, give, and ultimately, make an impact. My husband and I both own our own companies, and we often talk about what success looks like in our ventures. Ultimately, we both feel that being an entrepreneur is not about creating your own career, but it is about creating your own story, rooted in your unique “why.” Your career is one piece of your story, so it can’t control the entire plot. Before you drop everything to go into business for yourself, figure out what you need to do to make the greatest impact with your life. It might not mean leaving your day job, and it might not mean finding conventional success in your 20’s. But, creating your own story will always mean pursuing a path where the journey is more important than the final outcome.