I definitely received my entrepreneurship education from my business partner and husband Chris. Nothing in my life seemed to have destined me to become an entrepreneur except the fortuitous event of meeting him sixteen years ago at a network marketing event.
Chris was the proverbial “college dropout who hired the A student.” Seeing the three letters behind my name on my business card, he promptly decided I would be a great addition to the staff of the publishing company he was running at the time.
As we started working together, concurrent with my training as an editor, I became immersed in the network marketing space and discovered a whole new world compared to what I knew.
During my formal education I had spontaneously stayed away from any subjects having to do with business. In my brief career as a teacher, I never had to think about money, and whether I did a poor or excellent job didn’t directly affect my paycheck.
For years I enjoyed this kind of carefree detachment from the business side of life, and it became my comfort zone. Even when I married Chris, we made the tacit agreement that I would do my job and take care of the kids and our home while he would take responsibility for the business.
But the kids grew up, life happened, our vision expanded, and we cofounded Networking Times. In addition to being the editor, I became a business owner with all the responsibilities, risks, and challenges. I learned more about myself, about people, and about life in those first years alone than in my entire academic career.
I share this story because perhaps you can identify with being catapulted into the world of entrepreneurship by circumstance. Instead of getting married, perhaps you got divorced or became a single parent; or you lost your job or became disenchanted with it.
Even if you are a born entrepreneur like Chris, know that many of your current or potential business partners are in the thick of major transition. Leaving the perceived security of economically depending on a government, an institution, or a corporation, they are entering a state of financial autonomy, self-sufficiency, and radical accountability.
In fact, the entire world is undergoing a trend towards rising entrepreneurship. Although this transitional season can bring inclement weather, we intuitively know it is slowly but surely moving us in the direction of greater freedom, more equitable partnerships, and higher sustainability.
Becoming an entrepreneur is not easy; most of us feel unprepared. Thankfully, in our business we are never alone. Those who have gone before us are more than willing to show us the way.
Rather than me choosing the business, the business chose me. Some days I still resist wearing all the entrepreneur’s hats, but most of the time I’m grateful for the unparalleled learning experience that comes with being fully in charge of my life.
DR. JOSEPHINE GROSS is cofounder and editor in chief of Networking Times.