When I think about all the reasons why my husband, Matthew, and I have been able to experience success in business I always go back to the roots of who we are. We are people who like to serve, and we believe serving people first leads to success.
I have asked myself many times what is it that makes us entrepreneurs. He and I are very different but what we have in common is we both were born to good parents. Parents who loved us, regardless of their flaws and shortcomings, and cared for us but they also taught us the basics of what entrepreneurship is about which is about giving and about serving others. Perhaps luck and temperament have been some key ingredients. Matthew is bold and has guts, and he is never afraid to go after things. I have learned over the years we MUST go after things, and we must make moves while everyone else is talking about it. I was one of those who always had an idea and talked about it, but I was missing the most important part, “the action” – We cannot get places or accomplish goals without taking action in business massive action.
While Matthew possessed those, characteristics I had to nurture them, and it was not easy. It was hard work. Some days I had to trick myself and “believe” when I didn’t really believe. But here is what I possessed – I had humility and was willing to accept a lot of things I did not like. The very first few years of being in business we had to turn our home into an office, a walk-in office. We built clientele off-of our living room. I was the primary and many times only caregiver to our daughter. These are just to name a few. Why did I do this? – We were going through the 2008 recession. I didn’t have an education in business, we had just moved to Charlotte and had no connections, but I had the ability to read stuff and understand it. I was good with money and I had never met anyone who was willing to work harder and care the way Matthew does. I knew we could build a business, and I knew we would rise. I didn’t know it would be so difficult and painful, but we got through it with one thing in mind “serve people first” this means put yourself and your family second. This means no vacations together or vacations at all. This means our life revolved around our business and because we both chose to be entrepreneurs; we accepted the life that came with it. In hindsight I realize the high-pain tolerance and resilience we have developed because of being in business is one of life’s greatest gifts.
These are some of the most important lessons I have learned in the last few years: Do something good with your life, help people, own your development, go where people grow, quit bad habits. Your skills are your future equity. Have humility but have courage, and if you decide to become an entrepreneur know that you can do good, so much good through business, but you’ve got to serve people first.