The Inadvertent Entrepreneur
I've been thinking about writing this post for a while now... Especially when I look at my life and ask, "How In the World Did I Get Here?"
In this case, I'm not referring to how I ended up living in Ghana. That's a different story. This blog post is about how I ended up as a woman in business when I never had any desire to be in business for myself.
I am truly what can be considered an Inadvertent Entrepreneur because I backed my way into being a business owner with no real plan to pursue this path. For most of my professional life, I worked for county and state government, as a school teacher, a program administrator, a technical writer and technical trainer. Oddly enough, the teaching/training and writing theme have always been a part of my journey and that's the path that led me to becoming an entrepreneur.
The journey to entrepreneurship began when I decided to teach relationship classes from a biblical perspective. Added to this journey was the deep desire to write books that represented all the things I wanted to read about:
Godly relationships, like the ones I've seen in my life. Positive, uplifting novels that reflect the good lives that people actually live and not all the trauma and drama. Stories about strong families and strong, present, supportive men, like the one I grew up around. Books with culturally relevant characters who represent African Americans in a more balanced way (not all pimps, prostitutes and angry black women). More realistic expressions of my faith that accurately depict the struggles as well as the victories of the Christian walk.
These desires led me to write the books I could not find and that tapped my writing gift in a way that took me to another level. That new level brought about some tough realities about breaking into the literary community. It didn't take long for me to realize that the journey to becoming a professionally published author could be long, complex and illusive. Once this became clear, I decided to explore being an indie author and publisher to produce my own works. I came to this conclusion for several reasons:
I wasn't getting any younger and I didn't want to spend years and years waiting, hoping and praying for a publisher to find me and give me a contract. I had real dreams and something of substance to say. I didn't want to waste too much time, looking for the approval of others when I had my own and I had God's. That was enough for me. I knew there are seven billion people on the planet and there had to someone out there who would want to read my books and benefit from the wisdom I had to share. So, I had no need to wait. I needed to figure out what I needed to learn, educate myself and begin to act.
As my dad always taught us, I had to plan my work then work my plan and get busy using my gifts to produce something good.
Thankfully, there are so many self-publishing options to available that I didn't have to sit back and wait for a "chance" to be heard. Right then and there, I became an entrepreneur without ever speaking that word. It happened organically as I started to master my writing craft, learn the self-publishing business and build a team to help me do what I didn't have the skills to do with the excellence I demanded of myself. I wrote, researched, partnered with others and published my books, marketing and selling them on my website.
As far as being a teacher/trainer, over the past ten years, I developed those relationship classes into ManFast Ministries International, which is now allows me to be a Relationship and Marriage Mentor. I now mentor and coach women, single and married, who desire to experience the kind of marriage that God envisions and designed for His children. I now teach a series of three classes that help Christian women learn to partner with God as He prepares and positions them to experience a marriage steeped in Godly purpose.
This ministry has grown over the last ten years and we're at the point of releasing books, training materials and recording teachings, all from an inspired idea that God gave me while I was sitting in my bedroom back in 2009. At the time, I didn't see it as a business. I saw it as a way to help women come out of sexual sin and to get healed from the trauma and drama of bad relationships. When I started ManFast as a Facebook page, never did I realize that I'd end up running ManFast as an internationally renowned ministry/business, that's actually bringing in a monthly revenue. I honestly never saw that coming.
Yet, here I am... An Inadvertent Entrepreneur, who had to find her own way, to do the work that matters most and make sure it's done the best way possible. I started where I was, using what I had to work with and I stayed consistent, learning as I went, until I began to see results. And now, there's no turning back! This is my life and I'm loving it!
As I wrap this up, I'm reminded and inspired by the words of the living success story, Tyler Perry at the 2019 BET Awards:
"While everybody was fighting for a seat at the table, I was down in Atlanta building my own table. Because if I can just build this table God would prepare it for me in the presence of my enemies. Rather then being an Icon I wanna be an Inspiration. Every dreamer in this room, There are people who's lives are tied into your dream. Own your stuff, own your Business, own your way."
And I felt that.... Moving Up and Forward!