Celebrating Your Purpose & Your Entrepreneurial Spirit

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Happy 2013! Five years ago today, I did what every Entrepreneur dreams of. I made the decision to quit my job & to believe in myself enough to launch my own business full-time. Can you see how happy I was at that moment?

Linda Schenk - NYE 2007

Starting off 2008, ready to go full-time in my own business. Photo by Jill Meyers Photography – www.jmyersphoto.com

When the clock struck 12 o’clock on January 1, 2008, I was celebrating the start of my new life. I was lucky enough to be surrounded by friends, champagne in hand, to toast the idea of finally being my own boss. I knew that I wanted to spend my days doing more than what my current job description was. I was READY. What a rush.

This was a contrast to how my Entrepreneurial career had been up to this point…it was from necessity. Mergers, layoffs, government contracts, freelancing, partnerships, part-time jobs and more. Seriously, you name it, I’ve been through it it. I’ll save the details for another blog post.

Before 2008, there was no magical moment to celebrate my Entrepreneurial Spirit. I learned early on that if I was to stay in the corporate world, I’d have to adapt. I had been doing freelance work on the side since the start of my career. I ALWAYS wanted to learn more and stay one step ahead of the curve “just in case” something happened to my full time job. The extra income was nice, but a lot of the time it was on top of a steady paycheck. My job was my safety net, which also prevented me from fully stepping into my PURPOSE.

What has your path to being an Entrepreneur been like? Was it as twisted of a path as mine? I had a few years of freelance before 2008 combined with a part-time job. It was totally out of necessity post-dot-com layoff in San Francisco with 8 months of unemployment…a move back to Maryland, and trying to shift back after my dream life of working in Silicon Valley ended. I had decided in 2005 to look for a full-time job again because I “needed” the security of a steady paycheck. Looking back, it was the right choice at the time, but I realized I wasn’t yet ready to do whatever it took to “make it” on my own. However, like most Entrepreneurs, I finally realized that my PURPOSE was not to “just” be my job description… I wanted more.

My first day after I left my job, my friend sent me an email with magical words:

I had that as a note on my computer monitor for many years. That sums up life as an Entrepreneur. That’s my New Year’s wish for your business. EVERY DAY, not just New Year’s Day, can mark the start of that change. Every day is the start of your new life.

Does this sound familiar?

There were many times in the last 5 years that I forgot this positive mindset. While moving my office, the note on my computer was taken down. This photo of me never got posted to Facebook and it was stored on an old backup drive, the shoeboxes of our modern times. I have bottles of champagne leftover from my wedding that I never think to chill and pop open to celebrate accomplishments in my business.

The exact plan I had when I quit my job didn’t last long, and I had to continue to adapt. I had some other big projects as a sub-contractor—I was the lead designer for style.mtv.com, and the web designer for an Army benefits site.  I had a pitch to Esquire Magazine (a highlight of year, seeing my work and logo in Hearst Office Building overlooking Central Park), and a trip to LA for a project with Eonline (a twist that got me started using WordPress, which is how I build websites exclusively now). The market crashed in October 2008 and as we all know, times got “tough”. That was all in the first year or so…on top of learning how to network, staying on top of new technology, and learning how to actually run a profitable business. Since I have a wide skill set, I had a huge variety of projects…whatever would pay the bills.

Celebrating Your Purpose & Your Entrepreneurial SpiritAt some point I stopped thinking project to project and more about “what’s my dream business going to be”? I realized that I had to reconnect my Entrepreneurial Spirit with my PURPOSE (my talent, my passion and my business plan). In 2013, I’m officially announcing the rebrand of my business to be AMPLIFY Your Purpose with Virtuallinda. It better captures where I am today, which is thanks to the twisted path I took to get here. (2017 NOTE: I adapted again to The Brand Builder Toolbox!)

I remembered that feeling I had in 2008, and I hope you can remember your Entrepreneurial Spirit, too. I hope you can shift your business into truly fulfilling your PURPOSE and celebrate the path you’ve taken to get here. You are you more than a job description that someone else thought up for you… you are an Entrepreneur.

Embrace it with joy, intention, and PURPOSE.

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