About sixteen months ago, a new branch on my tree budded. This isn’t the only branch on my tree, mind you. There are a few sturdy branches where I collected some degrees. A couple of core branches where my husband, son and twins emerged. There are umpteen branches as scattered as each duty station where the military has sent us. Schools and students, vacations and travels, book clubs, jobs, adventures…they are all represented. And of course, each branch has sprouted numerous leaves with all of the people in our lives. This time around I decided to do something completely out of my comfort zone–so different, that I’m pretty sure this branch was grafted. I decided to start a business.
Now people start businesses everyday. So why is it such a big deal for me? I’ve lived my life with a pretty narrow viewpoint of income because I wanted financial stability. To me financial stability meant receiving a steady paycheck with enough money to cover the bills. When I looked at professions, teaching fit that. With a union-negotiated pay scale and yearly steps, it was straight-forward and reliable. Shortly after I got married, I wanted to add to my income and create some flexibility as we moved, so I became an online university instructor. I accepted contracts based upon my availability and got paid the set rate. Notice a theme here?
What I didn’t realize in my 20s was that financial stability DOES NOT come from a steady paycheck. There are so many other factors that create stability–like living within your means, building an emergency fund, long-term savings, investments, etc.
Now, as a financially stable woman, I realize that having my own business has increased my security. Instead of viewing entrepreneurship as an unacceptable risk, I see the value in having multiple streams of income.
My new branch has become such a core part of my tree. Starting a business has reignited a spark of determination and vigor, that I thought I had lost forever. It’s been amazing to see the difference in me personally and in the confidence of contributing to our family’s financial future. I can’t wait to see how this branch of my life flourishes in the next year.
Stay tuned friends.