Over the past year my mom closed her 30+ year old business. It was very difficult for her to do. She struggled to keep her business going and had placed much hard work and dedication into her business. Her journey into entrepreneurship piqued my interest in how, why and when did my mom start her business.
You see we live in a small rural town in South Carolina. There are not many chain businesses and those that are in town are franchised by locals. The good paying jobs have dwindled like other towns and cities in the US. So with a decline in jobs and my mom being in retirement age I wanted to know how did she get started? So I asked her and these are my mom’s responses with my take-a-ways:
- Why? God sent my mom a message and she responded to it. God told
my mom to teach the children in the community. See my mom started teaching in the South Carolina public school system in 1969 but stopped around 1977 and started working at H&R Block. This is a huge difference in career paths right? She started her business AND worked there to have cash to run the business. Her office was 12 miles away from her business and my mom didn’t learn to drive until 1991 which is 10 years after she started her business. In rural towns, if you don’t know how to drive you will have “limited” opportunities. Take-A-Way #1: If there is a barrier, you find a way to overcome it.
- How? My grandmother gave my mom $1000 seed money, my uncles/aunts bought items and drove the items 90 miles one way. A young neighbor helped my mom for free in cleaning the building she housed her daycare. My mom bought the building she housed her daycare in directly from the owner without a loan from a bank. My dad’s cousin was a social worker and told my mom the licensing process. Take-A-Way #2: Your support can come from several places when you are an entrepreneur. Use your network as you will have more supporters than you may realize.
- When? The time was when God spoke to her. My mom worked 7 days a week, still had to keep house (my dad worked full time doing 12 hour shifts, drove 1.5 hours to work one-way and worked side jobs), worked tax season for extra income, raised 5 kids and ran her business. Was it easy? No but God gave her direction and there was no other options.Take-A-Way #3: When you have NO OTHER options then the time is now!
- Bonus: My mom had no experience or process to start or operate a business. Yet she did it anyway. Whatever fears or doubts she had didn’t matter because her vision and purpose were CLEAR. Nothing else mattered. Take-A-Way #4: The time is NOW. Don’t delay.
Take the time to ask questions to the leaders, business owners, educators, long time residents and legends in your area. I am sure there will be nuggets of information you can gather, share, learn from and grow.