13 Weeks of Inspiration from Charlotte Entrepreneurs

Our next series is coming….

Meet Corri, Owner BW

Entrepreneur: a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.

We’re in a day and age where owning your own business has become totally accessible through social media, digital, blogging, technology, and media, specifically in the realm of services where overhead is low (when you need a laptop, wifi and to make enough to feed your cat). Fitness brands, life coaches, influencer agencies, you name it… Entirely new business models and types have been created. Because it’s seemingly available to all, owning one’s own business has further been sensationalized through books like “The Four Hour Workweek” and other publications that make it sound “easy,” but no matter what… it’s just not.

I (Corri, BW owner) want to share with you a little bit about why it’s harder than it looks… During any given hour of the day my mind splashes around in the following puddle…

Sure, I get to “make my own schedule,” but it’s not necessarily “more flexible” than a 9-5; in fact I worked 17 hour days every day last week and 8 hours Saturday and 5 on Sunday. Outsiders will consistently comment, “maybe you’re taking on too much work,” or “you’re not managing your time properly,” others would say, “you can’t say no to work,” and some will say, “you need to grow your team” or “you need to work on your work/life balance,” or “say yes to everything,” while in practice, none of these people have a clue what’s going on within my business and many of these people offering advice work in a corporate structure under 10 layers of bosses OR they are a stay at home mom who doesn’t work at all OR they are a client looking out for their own interests as it relates to the work I provide for them. Lots of times, regardless of the advice, the answer to all of these tips is YEA, I KNOW. It’s a constant conundrum of which adventure to choose and I better make a decision now because here comes another problem to solve.

Depending on how I get paid, sometimes I wait months for (tens of) thousands of dollars. And I really need to spend some time figuring out how to be more assertive so THAT won’t happen again. Sometimes people will plain and simply not pay you. And, oh wait, I need that tax form and should have filed it when? My accountant just screwed me by not filing my taxes, so I guess I need a new one and to find the extra $2500 I have to pay now. And where’s the intern? Did I pay the wifi bill and/or why is it slow? I constantly juggle meetings and hustle for the people who are paying me and then have to send kind replies to the people who want to pick my brain because, “an hour of your time is worth a cup of coffee, right?” I want to help everyone but physically can’t; how can I manage my natural desire to be a helper but to realize I am only one person?

Everyday is 52-card pickup. I plan everything out and by the time I get to the office, most of the day has fallen apart/been reorganized. *Shout out to the Waggle Company for coming to my daily rescue and helping with my dogs multiple times a week.* And we need to plan our next 13 week series and build out a new website so people can truly see what BW is all about and plan for how BW will stay on the cutting edge. And what about that “personal life”? I literally have to put a calendar invite together to plan a trip off the island to spend time with other human beings (many of said humans are also business owners so you can guess how this plays out… how’s January?).

Oh and I totally left out anything about the ACTUAL WORK WE DO (haha). You can take a peek at our “about page” but in short: we get to think creatively, design marketing and PR programming and strategies and execute cool stuff for other businesses. So on top of the stuff I blabbed on above (5% of each day), 93% of everyday is about doing awesome stuff for our clients.

The other 2% now goes into a new coffee shop and retail store (–>come by and pick up some magick) I have created with my best friend. Talk about throwing a wrench into everything I’ve ever known, my morning routine and average daily stress level. I am exploring an entirely new space: having a business partner, a brick and mortar with a new staff, hyper-specific industry that requires intense skill that I don’t innately own, inventory, hours, customers, parking, etc.

ALL THAT SAID. Owning my own business(es) is truly the most rewarding and positive choice I HAVE EVER MADE. I always dreamed of doing this and here it is in all of its stellar and bloody glory. It’s a rollercoaster where one minute a client is offering you the most epic compliment of all time and 5 minutes later your debit card got hacked and you may be out $3,583. Literally. 5 minutes later. The highs and lows MUST to be similar to drugs and I can totally see how people get addicted because here I am, at the office, most days by 7:30 am to see what new/old/amazing/terrifying things I’ll feel and learn and do. It’s all on me. There’s no one who can help me (yes, I could hire a coach or people to manage x/y/z things) but you know what I mean. At the end of the day, it’s just me…

Knowing how crazy I myself am by choosing this path, I am always open to learning. I am open to advice and feedback because that’s all I can do to keep moving forward. I have to grow and I have to stay uncomfortable because if I don’t the work will stop coming. That fear is real. The best way I can think of staying ahead and consistently growing is to look to other crazies who have gone out on a limb too. The best ones offer inspiration, lessons, advice, tales of “this is how I did it,” or “this is how I failed,” and I will glean any education I can.

And so our next 13-week series was formed: #CLTInspreneurs. It’s about the entrepreneurs who, regardless their business/model/type, have built something from scratch and are CRUSHING IT in Charlotte. This is about the people BW looks up to, not only because they’re doing amazing stuff, but because we know (to some extent) what goes on behind the scenes of it all. And they’re doing it… flawlessly.

Each Wednesday of the campaign, we’ll introduce you to an entrepreneur/duo we admire for his/her/their great work in our city. Follow along, won’t you?

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