I am a chronic-prenuer. I like to start businesses! To date, I have started a staging company, a real estate agency, an investment agency, and three dance businesses. The ones that took off were the dancing businesses, ironically. I did spend 15 year of my early adult life as a professional dancer- God, that was fun.
When I ventured out of the arts, I really had no idea what I was doing. I thought I would figure it out along the way. But most of my efforts didn’t get very far, though each time I got a bit wiser and little further ahead. Finally one started to get traction! In 2020, I had a real estate education startup that I worked my assets off to build throughout the pandemic, while starting Sherlock’s Homes I may add. Had the venture panned out the way it was projected to, I would have had courses that the kids in our home would have been able to take, been able to not only pay myself, and my talented staff that had rallied around the endeavor. But somethings don’t go according to plan. That venture folded early this year.
This time the failure was different. I felt that I had really built something, that I had a real team and we had a shared vision of growing together- but I was wrong, yet again. All that effort disappeared seemingly overnight. I wasn’t prepared for the emotional pain and embarrassment I felt from having a startup publicly fail. I had no one with whom I could really share that internal struggle. I had invested everything into this- time, emotion and money. The failure had a huge impact on my life- including spending the rest of the year fighting homelessness myself AND with a few kids in my care. How foolish? How stupid? What was I thinking? Why had I been so quick to trust others? Ashamed, confused, scared, I hid to protect myself and heal.
At the time, I felt that this was necessary. It gave me space to reflect and see what lessons I was to take from this experience. A year later, I am glad I did. The kids were able to move into places on their own, and I have slowly and painfully rebuilt myself, yet again.
I will say that 2021 was the year that taught me about real friendship- the kind that sees you for who you are and loves you for your flaws. The kind that laughs with you when that is the only thing you can really do to help. The kind that helps you with your pets, answers your calls when you break down and cry, and strokes your hair and says “You’re so pretty,” to put a smile on your face. No one made me feel bad for trying to take on something so daring. No one called me stupid (at least to my face), and no one called me a failure. They just kept watching, waiting for me to make my next move, to cheer me on as I stood back on my shaky feet.
Now that I am able to stand again, I am going back to my dance training: Stand in first position, the starting position. From here, any move is possible.
May this coming year be filled with ever brighter possibilities for us all. Happy New Year!