Puberty. Just the word makes me want to close my eyes and forget every association I have with it.
Awkward, nervous, curious and an insatiable thirst for validation and acceptance. It didn't matter if you were the flat chested freckly girl or like me, the first to sprout tatas and tower over all the boys -- it didn't matter, we were all still asking ourselves the same questions.
Will I be successful?
Will I ever fall in love?
What the hell is sex and how do you do it?
Why can't I look like so and so? Why GOD WHY!?
As a relatively young entrepreneur (it still feels weird calling myself that), I can vouch for the same feelings I had during puberty occurring right now in my business. Just like my tween counterpart, I don't even want to admit that I'm young, comparatively inexperienced and well, learning as I go along. My thirst for knowledge is as it was then, seemingly endless, seeking out experiences just to have a taste of what they can show me.
I want to be done with this phase, just as I was ready to be a freaking adult when I moved in with my boyfriend at 16.
But what I learned when I did that, was that I had a lot to learn. It was okay. In the end, I needed those lessons. I needed to see that providing for yourself was difficult, making all your own decisions wasn't all it was cracked up to be and living with a man was not the vision of paradise I had been expecting.
It's the same with running your own business. When the delusions of grandeur and freedom break down, it sets in that this is work. It's devotion; it's the pinnacle of responsibility, and there is NO such thing as instant gratification.
The questions all remain the same, minus the sex, though I guess it depends on what your business is!
Will I be successful?
Am I even doing this right?
When will I outgrow this awkward phase?
Will people love what I'm doing?
Just like we outgrow physical puberty, so too shall we outgrow our business puberty. As we go along, learning, maturing, trying different things, a whole new skill set emerges. One that proves to us that we are constantly growing and evolving. Growing pains hurt. It's not easy finding your groove, figuring out who you are both figuratively and who you are as a brand.
But as my mother would've said to my 13-year-old self, this too shall pass.