A scary thing happened today.
It didn’t happen to me, though kinda in a connected way it did because it happened to my hubby.
He works outside the house (insert grumble from this entrepreneur) in a large corporate retail store. He’s a supervisor. He’s been there over 10 years – and more than that if you count his previous stint with this company before this specific location.
It’s not an easy place to work, mostly because of its rigidity and because corporations are corporations – and they don’t really care for the lowest level hourly employees trying to improve things. Anything outside the box, even when it improves the bottom line, is seen as aggression.
Ok. Aggression is a harsh word, but it’s met with the kind of resistance and pushback you’d expect when someone is defending themselves.
And my sweet, brilliant, gentle but assertive, sarcastic and funny, hard-working hubby was shaken deeply today.
Today he was written up, but not just a preliminary warning type write-up. Straight to his final meaning one more infraction at all could be used as cause to fire him. Despite no history of write-ups or any “time and again” issues related to anything – spotless record, this was classified as worthy of a final. And he’s worked for this company for 15 years.
Mind you, this is not who he is. He’s the guy who wants to hold people accountable. He’s the guy that gives it 150% every day even though he is rarely appreciated for good work, always doing more, and comping in sales (beating the previous year PLUS the increased sales projections) in his department – whichever one he’s given to supervise, quarter over quarter, year over year.
He’s that guy with a good work ethic who gets rewarded with having to do more work.
He’s that guy.
Without going into the specifics of WHY he was written up and the antagonistic history with upper management and the company, all you need to know is that this shook him to his core. He carries our health insurance. His j.o.b. (Just Over Broke, for those who aren’t yet fully into entrepreneur speak) is what allows me to move and pivot in my business without worry.
He’s also a bit of a just-keep-it-like-it-is kind of guy, even when “just like it is” really sucks.
I’ve been dreaming of the day that he no longer works outside the home and that we have a co-creative business together because he KNOWS his stuff when it comes to electrical, woodwork, and structural stuff. He has a civil engineering degree and has been the secret weapon in my kitchen for the gravity-defying cakes I make and the ultra-cool cake boards.
We’ve talked many times that I need a bit more time and ability to leverage and do exactly what I want with my biz to bring him home from the j.o.b. forever and live freely doing what we both love: making.
He says he would love that.
But change scares the human brain – no matter how needed or good the change is. (Freaking evolution, amiright?)
So when he came home today visibly shaken and worried, riddled with anxiety for having to tell me what happened, I knew I had to keep my cool. But not the kind of cool you might think…
I was fucking excited!
He was worried I would be mad or blame him or think less of him or something.
Hi, Nick. I’m Kara. Apparently we haven’t met.
I try to contain my optimism, seeing signs, knowing that this is the shove from the universe that we’ve been waiting for since one of us (cough-cough) has been hesitant to take a big leap. I didn’t want to invalidate what he was experiencing and that it really was just a matter of ego and having to be humble from now on. I wanted to be his other half and absorb some of what he was feeling and let him know he’s not in this alone – that I’m the other half, and I can take on a bit more than half right now for him.
But DAMN, if it wasn’t like an overstuffed Tupperware bowl that was put in the microwave on high with the lid fully clicked on…
This is when it’s tough to be an entrepreneur because the world and all of its challenges appear very different to us. And we don’t want to see it the way most do.
This is opportunity.
This is possibility.
This is the… “Kick in the ass from the universe that we’ve needed.”
I was just about to say those exact words to hubby when he said them to me.
OMG HE GETS IT!!!
Years passed, I would quickly jump to share my optimism and the fact that I see an amazing journey ahead when big, seemingly awful things happened to us. And it didn’t do us any good. In fact, I think he thought I was nuts like I was somehow completely removed from reality and not to be trusted with anything logical.
That couldn’t be any less true.
The real truth is that I see things the way I do because I’m a creative and a creative thinker and problem solver, but more so because I’m an entrepreneur. When I know I can rise to a challenge (and there isn’t a challenge I haven’t felt that way about), I can’t stop the “Lemme at it!” energy and excitement.
Getting to creatively tackle a new problem with all I know? Hell yeah!
Solve this problem right here by making more besoms, clay sculptures, photography, cake, coaching, and marketing? YES!!! Let’s do it!
Let me show the world I’ve got the chops to answer this challenge that was dropped in our lap and do it preemptively. I’ve sharpened my creative and business teeth constantly over the last 15 years…
Bring. It. On.
And for this ability to see a situation very different from 99.99999% of the world, I look like I’m out of my mind when I see more clearly than the rest.
And while I’m so SO glad that Hubby had that thought independent of me saying anything this time, I realized how lonely it feels to see things that way. Better than anxiety by a long shot – but it’s isolating when you can’t share this with family because they see being excited about the only “working” (read: gets a paper check from an outside employer) spouse becoming unemployed as terrifying and the imminent death of all of us: doom and gloom.
And I’m over here on cloud nine wondering what is ACTUALLY in store for us with this curveball that has been lobbed at us.
I’m glad he dipped a toe into my entrepreneurial sea of opportunity. And I’m glad that I have a circle of entrepreneurs and creatives that GET what it’s like to see the world this way and who know that we’re the sane ones!
All of this to say that if you’re the kind of person that gets excited about the old being forced away from you and requires you to be a creative problem solver in life, you might be an entrepreneur.
If you love being challenged to bring value to the world in new ways (sometimes just so you can pay the bills), then you might be an entrepreneur.
If you know that you can rise to the occasion to innovate your way into a better life or way of being, you are probably an entrepreneur.
I’ve done this numerous times since 2009, reinvent what life and income look like partially out of need (hey, everyone needs money) but more so out of an unquenchable desire to be in charge of how I experience life and my own contributions to the world. I’ve created ridiculously cool and unordinary products for my audience, beginning with cake decorating and morphing through many levels of training, mentoring, teaching, entertaining, coaching, luxury event curating, and moving into a new medium(ia) to satisfy my creator’s soul. The opportunities and experiences over the first 12+ years of my journey are more than most will experience in a lifetime, and I know that I’m in control of how much more I invite into my world.
And I will never stop because it’s in my blood – I’m an entrepreneur, maybe even before I’m a creative.
And I’m here to say you are not alone. Yes, creative entrepreneur friend, you are weird compared to the rest of the world, but you’re with me, so at least there’s an enthusiastic herd of two of us now. We ARE weird and proudly so.
To me, that’s a death sentence. I’ve done that and learned more than enough never to need to go back to it ever again.
And heavens help me I’ll do my damnedest to set free any art’preneur or craft’preneur who wants to have genuine creative and life freedom.
Hubby is just now figuring out that THAT is who he is. And it’s so beautiful to watch.
(He’s gonna give me dirty looks if he finds out I shared this with you – he’s a kind of shy and reserved guy. However, this is a genuine struggle for entrepreneurs, and if even one person feels less weird or alone because I shared a tiny snippet of our story, he’ll forgive me. Just send me a quick note so I can say, “SEE??? It was worth it! ‘So-and-So’ said this!” Help a girl out here. 🙂 )
I’m glad you’re here. You’re a creative entrepreneur and weirdo like me and that’s glorious!