On Getting Divorced and Becoming an Entrepreneur

On Getting Divorced and Becoming an Entrepreneur

by Betsy Smith


images (1)When I got divorced about 14 years ago I had no idea the wild ride I would take to find my way and to find myself.  It turns out that hard times can teach.  It may not seem like that when you are in the middle of the muck.  But I do know that for the most part people who are comfortable rarely stretch themselves.

In the midst of the divorce I started on a path of personal development.  I did the Landmark Forum and just about all the other programs they had to offer.  Some say it’s cultish but I spent about a year and took a lot from the courses and left behind what did not serve me.  I learned some invaluable lessons.  One that sticks with me today is that things happen.  And we make up drama about them.  Usually we make up drama that is disempowering.  But we can as easily make up something empowering.

For example, someone walks by you in the store and does not say hi.  It is easy to start wondering if your friend is mad at you, doesn’t like you, thinks you snubbed her at that last event, etc.  Why not just think that perhaps she has something on her mind and didn’t see you or is worried about something important and not paying attention to her surroundings.  We make up drama all the time about everything and yet a simple change of thought about it can change your perspective.

I took a class called What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?  Again, I looked at who I was, how I had gotten to where I am, what my likes and dislikes were, what I thought I was good at.  I was really trying to find my passion.  I had never really spent time thinking about it.  I was an English major because I liked reading and writing and wrote some poetry, but I cannot say it was a passion.  I took up tennis late in life and LOVE it but it was more of a hobby and fun thing to do, not a passion.

I read self help books, thought about becoming a life coach or therapist, took some tests like the Myers Briggs and others in an effort to find myself.  It was a journey.  I also had to start making some money.  Again, I wanted to do something I loved and also I wanted flexibility to be a mom too.  I tried a lot of things.  I networked and kept stumbling into opportunities.   None were exactly right, but I learned something from everything I did.  Some just taught me what I didn’t want.  But that was ok too.

I learned that I love networking.  I love to meet and work with new people.  I love connecting people.  I love to learn new things.  I love stretching myself.  I love being pushed to do more and pushing myself to do more.  I even learned that I like to talk in front of a room.  That was shocking because when I was young that was my biggest fear!

Along my path I discovered relationship marketing.  The industry is a level playing field.  Anyone can be successful.  Also, anyone can fail.  I was determined to succeed.  I saw it as my ticket to freedom and the kind of money that would be hard to earn in a traditional job.  I jumped in and I was teachable.  I searched out those who had succeeded and asked for their mentorship.  I did what I was told, and did it over and over and over.   And successes happened and as time went on they happened more and more frequently.  My confidence grew.  My checks grew.  As I now look back I see how much I grew.

Not everyone has what it takes to be in business for themselves; to be an entrepreneur.  It takes stamina and persistence and patience.  It does not happen overnight.  It takes time and I had to learn to accept the failures along with the successes.  I had to learn to focus on the successes and not let the failures get to me.  I had to learn that if I did the daily activity, day after day after day, I could succeed.

And the benefits are that I have that freedom, both in time and financial.  I can live wherever I want.  I spend summers in Michigan, am in Virginia for this year with a plan to move out west in a year.  And I have made some of my best friends as we all have joined hands and lifted each other up when we needed it.  I found my passion; the joy of helping others succeed and see in themselves what they may not have seen.  And along the way I found myself.


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