It can be really challenging to see the good in your past. Growing up in foster care was no cake walk, but my childhood made me an entrepreneur no doubt.
During my childhood I was faced with obstacles beyond my control and had to learn how to maneuver the ways of a new foster home or a foster family. I had to navigate the pain left behind from neglect and abuse and desperately tried to figure out how to fit into a world that often felt so foreign to me.
And it wasn’t until I was in my second year of business that I discovered that growing up in foster care and having had the experiences in my childhood that I realized just how it set me up to be an entrepreneur.
I am not against a job or a career working for another company, I tried it out a few times only to realize it didn’t light me up, it didn’t fuel my passions or left me going to bed fulfilled.
My childhood made me an entrepreneur
As a foster kid, you are always facing the unknown and your boundaries are being pushed. you learn early on that life’s a risk and that being afraid doesn’t do you any good. Some fear is rational while most of the fear we think about is your internal dialogue trying to tell us it’s not safe.
Facing the world, often feeling alone and not sure who to trust and rely on, you begin to strategize. You become an expert problem solver in such that you will have a plan for everything you are facing. It’s survival mode at it’s finest to protect yourself but there are also a tremendous amount of benefits when working towards your dreams + goals.
While for the most part, I wasn’t in charge of where I lived or who was in my life (good or bad), there comes a point where you do take control and charge of your own life. The challenge, however, is recognizing what you can control and what you can’t at any given moment. I can’t control the weather but I can be in charge of my actions and my behavior in response to it.
So how is this serving me now?
When I realized that working for someone else i.e. have a boss, it didn’t challenge me. It didn’t ask me to take risks but instead kept me snug and safe by following the rules within the organization. Stepping out on my own meant I am taking a risk because now I am completely dependent on myself to create the income I need to provide for my family. There’s no safety net that’s going to catch me when I fall.
Which of course means that strategizing my dreams + goals and the actions that need to follow are pretty important. This means, I have to have a good picture about my marketing plan – which often has an alternative plan but when something doesn’t pan out then it’s time to revisit and strategize again until I find something that works. Strategizing is really just problem solving and then having a plan to act on it.
And with that being said, I am in control and lead to a charge of how I want to show up, the kind of person I am and how I can improve on that. I control my day instead of being told when to clock in or when I get to go home. Of course, being an entrepreneur means you may end up working more hours at one point or another – but to me, that’s the beauty of it all. And the control I am talking about is empowering and
You have to take risks – and it’s laying everything on the line because your vision and mission are so much bigger than at times can be fathomed. If you can write that book, or sell a product or service knowing not everyone will buy – but someone out there has a need for what you offer – it’s worth the sweat and tears you’re going to experience.
Learning some new skills and connecting the dots on how to bring your vision into reality. Sometimes that means working backward from the end result while at other times – with practice – you already know what the next step is.
And since you get to be in control that also means you have to acknowledge when you screw up because there’s isn’t anyone else to blame. But instead of getting stuck in guilt and shame you can look at the lessons you learned and grow from there.
This life is a journey and so is your business. It isn’t easy no matter what your past but if you can look at your childhood from a different perspective can make all the difference in the world.
So if you are venturing into being an entrepreneur than perhaps you can reflect on your childhood and see how it’s been a development your entire life.