Ladypreneur League x Forté Foundation: How I Got Here

“Never get comfortable living someone else’s dream.”

I wrote that phrase in my journal the month I turned 25. I was working part-time as a marketing coordinator at a handmade and vintage boutique in Dallas, Texas and dying to jump out to do my own thing. I’d graduated from college a few short years before and was already feeling feisty with my current career situation. I was ready to take an entrepreneurial leap.

Don’t get me wrong, my job was great. My boss was progressive and a savvy ladypreneur. I honed my rudimentary graphic design skills (acquired from that one class I had to take to receive my News-Editorial Journalism degree) at work because Adobe Creative Suite just happened to be on the computer I used there. I was an amateur photographer in charge of capturing the merch I uploaded to our e-commerce website and wrote copy descriptions about. I coordinated store events (this is the time in my life I discovered that cupcakes and champagne were a thing…also it was 2010, so cupcakes and anything were a thing), maintained the store’s social media avenues, pitched Dallas press about store happenings, and really, without realizing it, cultivated my love of all things women-owned. I was inspired by the lady makers whose goods we sold at the boutique who were running their own shows.

I liked it, but it wasn’t enough. I craved change. I wanted to do exactly what I was doing, but for clients that I’d selected.

Looking back, it’d have behooved me to seek way more business guidance before I leapt into entrepreneurship. Waaay more. It’s almost comical, now seven years into working for myself in some capacity, that in the beginning I knew nothing. I mean, no business acumen whatsoever! I was a marketing girl who had a nice set of creative skills and tumbleweeds blowing through her bank account, but I had a dream to be my own boss. I didn’t seek mentors and assumed that mostly men and definitely only super smart people applied for MBAs. I was just going to wing it.

The journey was a long one, but in short, I could’ve saved myself some financial debt, a failed business partnership, and a cross-country move to D.C. (then back to Texas because epic fails) had I truly sought resources to help me navigate what I was trying to do. In D.C., my then-partner and I toyed with the idea of attending a workshop or two for women in business hosted by some government office in the city, but we always managed to be very busy running the online magazine we were launching at the time.

And despite being a pretty internet-savvy woman, until this year, I’d never stumbled across the wealth of career and business resources for college-aged to professional women that exist online at Forté Foundation.

Imagine if in the beginning of all this craziness I call my “ladypreneur life,” I’d have taken a skill-developing webinar and learned how to *properly* build my brand? I could have attended meaningful events in D.C. and networked with like-minded, career-focused women instead of the fashion events and trunk shows we frequented that did nothing for our business minds, but was everything for our social lives! And when I finally accepted that D.C was out my price range, I wanted out of my business, and needed to call the parents and beg for a life-line/one-way ticket to Houston, it’d have been to nice to savor the advice of the professional women profiled on the Business 360° Blog to realize I wasn’t alone.

These are the reasons I started Ladypreneur League. I wanted to be the resource I needed in D.C. when I was (erratically) driving the car as I built it. And since we at Ladypreneur League jump at the chance to introduce you all to Ladypreneur-approved opportunities that can help further your careers, once you’ve moseyed away from our site, see what Forté Foundation can do for you.

This post is in collaboration with our gal pals at Forté Foundation.

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