There are many days when my boys hear me grunting and moaning and running around, trying to finish a product or email before we leave for baseball practice or games, or whatever, dashing out the door! Yesterday was no different. Carmelo, my youngest who’s 12 now stops and
looks at me with that side-eye thing he does. “Mami, if it’s so stressful, why do you do this?” It’s funny how the simplest, yet most direct inquiry from a 7th grader can stop you dead in your tracks. I looked him square in the eye, as I stood there holding an oversized baseball bag full of blankets and snacks, my purse which I am certain has built in cement it’s so heavy, my cell phone & tablet so I can record for Cristian’s Instagram page, and the giant cooler with all of our drinks and ice for the 5 hours we’d be at the baseball field that day. I stopped and collected my thoughts for a second. Then I looked at him, and said with a sense of recollection, “Because I choose to. And when you get to choose, you must put in the work. Sure, I could go and work for a company; I’d love to work with a start-up and help catapult the business and be a part of that. But who would be here to take you and your brother to practice 4 days a week (times 2) and tournaments that last all weekend long? There would be no way for you to play on two teams, and Cristian couldn’t have a private coach. I’d just be getting off work and stuck in traffic during the times you guys need me the most”.
The difference in everything that matters to me is choice. Freedom. Creating a life that I love and living it on my own f@cking terms. Sure, you always answer to someone in any business; even as an Entrepreneur. Especially as an entrepreneur, in fact! But the ultimate decisions are mine. There are days when I can’t put in the work that my non-stop brain wants me to. So I can plan accordingly, putting in longer days elsewhere.
There is nothing comfortable or easy about being an entrepreneur. The work is tireless, and people don’t care if it’s 2am when they contact you or 2pm. More than that of bigger brand businesses, they expect that response. You have to deal with people constantly bootlegging your designs and stealing your ideas. You always have to be a step ahead. I answer emails in my sleep! Or at least, it feels like I am. I’m composing messages in my head throughout the night, and sometimes I’m not sure if I was or just imagined it!
But as I told Carmelo, I get to choose this life. There is nothing more rewarding than watching something that you create and nurture turn into something good, meaningful, and fruitful!
So, ignore my grunts and moans. Pay me no mind. This is the life I choose. And being an entrepreneur is wonderful for all of the work required. No doubt, tonight as we prepare for the game, no matter how much I think I’ve got everything planned out – from washing baseball uniforms, answering emails, they’re up to date; getting drinks and cooler packed, snacks, seeds, and keys by the door; I will still be running around, packing up the car until the last minute because I wanted to get that last thing done. And it will be okay; because I choose this life, and it is all good.
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