Guest post:: Kim Cook, RN, CHES is the founder of Teen World Confidential. TWC is an online resource for parents that offers support and advice about talking to kids about sex and relationships. She has published a book for parents as a quick resource as well: Teen World Confidential: Five-Minute Topics to Open Conversation About Sex and Relationships. Here, she writes about what it is to be an entrepreneur, the importance of persevering through the entrepreneurial journey, and finding a support system to help brighten your path.
If someone had told me that one day I would become an entrepreneur, I’d have laughed.
Me? Wander outside the safe career path of nurse and educator? What would inspire me to jump into the entrepreneurial world of wild success and wealth?
Clearly, I had a very misguided idea of what it is to be an entrepreneur.
My entrepreneurial journey most certainly surprised me. I am a former elementary school nurse who, after several years, decided to shake up my routine. What better way to do that than to attend college full-time again at age 45 while being a mom to three teenaged daughters? (No, that’s not stressful.)
The Birth of Teen World Confidential
Four years later, I emerged from the haze of insanity with a degree in health education, ready to impart my wisdom to eager middle and high school students. I was hired for a couple of long-term substitute teacher positions, but a full-time job was elusive.
During my teaching experience – much to my chagrin – abstinence-based education was taught. Many parents shied away from talking to their kids about sex and relationships. I thought to myself, “This has to change!” Young people deserve to know how to keep themselves healthy, and sexual health is a huge part of the equation. Ignoring sexuality won’t make it go away. In fact, not talking about these issues can be quite harmful to young people.
I recognized the need for an open, honest, non-judgmental parent resource. This inspired the birth of Teen World Confidential. It started merely as a blog where parents could access information to empower them to start ‘the’ conversation. However, over the last four years, it has evolved and grown. I have even published a book, Teen World Confidential: Five-Minute Topics to Open Conversation About Sex and Relationships.
As a teacher and nurse, I had zero business know-how, and that has been my greatest challenge. I’ve made some huge financial mistakes, but I have also learned to dust myself off, wipe away tears of frustration (usually), and find new people to be a part of a supportive tribe, like The Founding Moms Community.
What It Is To Be An Entrepreneur
As entrepreneurs, we see a void or a need that is not being fully met. The proverbial lightbulb flickers, and before we know it, we are congratulating ourselves for imagining the most brilliant idea ever! We eagerly plug ourselves into any and all outlets that will charge and recharge our filaments. However, we quickly learn that black-outs, brown-outs, and sizzling flickers of light dominate the illumination – at least sometimes.
Some days, like a light at the end of the tunnel, we find others who help us to flip the switch to inspire new illuminating ideas or just brighten the ones we already have. And to me, that’s the best part about being an entrepreneur: Facing challenges, finding solutions, engaging with people outside our everyday world. And maybe, just maybe, we will see our business to success… however that success is defined.
“The harder I work, the luckier I get.” – Thomas Jefferson
The entrepreneurial journey is not easy, not at all.
In fact, many days I question my wisdom in following this path. Others have defined what I do as a “hobby”. (Seriously? If I wanted to fill my time with a hobby I’d be reading books and hiking every day.)
But as I step back and evaluate my passion, my mission, and my work, I honestly do not have a choice. This is where I am supposed to be. And I would venture a guess that other entrepreneurs feel exactly the same way. Stay the course: one day we will get lucky if we haven’t already.