Mental Musings: Receiving Validation After Years of Sacrifice

It was worth it

Achieving a dream makes the sacrifices seem small.

Entrepreneurship. That single word carries so much meaning that no two people share the exact same experience. While some aspects of the journey are similar, we all go down the path and make decisions that land us in different places.

I wrote some years ago that I became an accidental entrepreneur. It wasn’t something I really planned out. In fact, I was at a proverbial fork in the road and had to choose between pursuing doctoral studies or starting a business. Making it very clear to God the terms I had set, I allowed Him to have the last word. Almost five years ago, I set out on a journey that has forever altered my course.

It’s true what they say that being a business owner requires sacrifice. In all honesty, the ones who succeed at business make it look way too easy. While we see the celebrations and happy moments, there are probably more valley experiences on the journey that can easily discourage any soul longing to be their own boss. Fellow navigator, entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. Even though the life seems glamorous, it can easily break the one who doesn’t approach it with a plan.

I share about my journey in Defiant! Redefining Singleness at 30+ because I can’t possibly talk about being a single woman without mentioning what has captured a lot of my attention over the last several years: Speak Write Play. I started the company at the suggestion of a friend almost a year after he whispered the thought in my ear. Like many, I have stories about putting money back into the business before treating myself, eating sandwiches and whatever was cheap and affordable instead of going out to nice restaurants like I used to when I had a corporate job, and wearing just about every hat because I couldn’t afford to pay someone to do what I needed done.

After years of working, learning, and spending a lot of money that could have been used to pamper myself, I can finally say that I have arrived. Please don’t misunderstand. This is not said in an attempt to be braggadocios. Rather, I stand proud because my company is now at a place where I am responsible for the livelihood of others. Granted, no one is full-time yet. However, knowing that there are people who count on income from the work they do for me to keep them going gives me a sense of accomplishment. This is the very place I’ve been trying to get to. Now, regardless of whether Speak Write Play becomes a billion-dollar company or not, I am content.

There are some who may not view this as a huge feat, and that is alright. But I know that I have literally built a company by myself from the ground up. There have been countless sleepless nights, conversations with friends and family about how I wanted to quit and go work for someone, and 60+ hour work weeks. This company literally is my baby, and I feel validated. What brought this on? Why am I writing about my business on a blog about singleness? Because I didn’t understand the gravity of where I stood as a business owner until a conversation with a technical support representative. As the man asked me questions about my website to solve the issues I’d called about, he offered his congratulations on my being able to have people work for me. After hanging up, I kept thinking about what he said. To this random stranger on the phone, I had done it. I had gotten to that place of taking what may have started as a hobby and turning it into a company that has paid workers.

This company literally is my baby, and I feel validated.

— Ethleen Sawyerr

Since it is the fifth Wednesday of the month and this is a “mental musings” post, I wanted to share because I desired to encourage you, fellow navigator, in your pursuits. It sometimes takes a total stranger pointing something out to us to make us pause and take stock of how far we’ve come. But that one seemingly meaningless conversation can carry weight beyond measure.

If you were to take a moment and think about all that you’ve done in your single years while waiting for that man, what are you proud of? How have you found validation in yourself? Tell me about it!

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