Experts say years five to eight have the highest risk rate in marriage (a.k.a. highest divorce period). Some of that risk is associated to getting the seven-year itch. It made me almost chuckle looking at Powerhouse as we approach our seven-year anniversary. Being an entrepreneur is tough. I’ve seen many of my milspouse CEO peers close up shop because it got too tough to hang with their dreams. And trust me—I, too, have battled with the thought of what an 8-5 job would look like to have again.
Here are some pieces of the tough:
• I have been cussed out by a client who was having a bad day. (No worries, the individual later apologized profusely.)
• I have had to buy myself out of contracts because I no longer felt the partnership was healthy.
• I have chosen not to recontract freelancers because they weren’t an ideal fit to the morale of our team.
• I’m the CEO, CFO, and COO.
• At one point, I went over a year without a paycheck.
• I extreme couponed for two years when I started my company to help the overall finances for our family.
• I started a dog boarding business to fund the startup costs of my company.
• I have to deal routinely with thousands of dollars of payments still outstanding. (Note: My team always gets paid and rarely knows that clients haven’t paid.)
• I have to keep my team motivated 24/7.
• I’ve had to clean up messes on my team that I played no part in other than hiring the wrong person.
• I have dealt with jealousy from other milspouses who couldn’t find joy in my company successes.
• I’ve solo-parented for half of my time while building Powerhouse over the past seven years (due to my husband’s sea time)
• On average, I give clients 15-25% more of my time than their contracts pay me.
• I’ve had a company take the basics of our business model (after I disclosed in a meeting how we’re structured) and make their company larger in numbers and revenue than we have.
Those are some of the key, tough moments. Those were battles that made me question entrepreneurship.
BUT…on the flip side, here are the “whys” that my entrepreneur roots are planted and that I’m committed to many years ahead:
• Powerhouse has remained true to giving back 10% each month to people and organizations in need.
• We’ve grown 100% by word of mouth and doubled our revenue most years.
• Powerhouse has not wavered from what I believe are the moral and ethical standards a company should have.
• We’ve provided over 100 people with careers that have supplied stable paychecks.
• Powerhouse has provided over half a million dollars’ worth of jobs over the past five years.
• Our team members have been able to be present with their children, and I’ve remained committed to my children personally as well.
• We have a corporate environment that supports (and encourages) work/life balance.
• Powerhouse aims to foster a team that has the opportunity to be a legit team, just virtually.
• We truly do only create dynamic deliverables…like dreamy goodness that’s hard to find these days.
Moments have been hard, but the victories make the tough parts fade and the good experiences shine.
I am an entrepreneur, and I’m proud of the Powerhouse we’ve become!