I started my own business. I work for me. For myself. After decades of working for someone else, of working for the man, I work for me. I have a DBA certificate and a business bank account and everything! And maybe I got emotional at the bank while I was opening said bank account. A whole account ready for money. Money that I will make for myself. And pay to myself. It was a very big deal for me. And felt really good. Like a rite of passage. And now maybe I’m really finally an adult…?
I decide when I need a day off, or an afternoon nap, or to work 12 hours in one day. I make the decisions. I make the mistakes. I feel both overwhelmingly empowered and terrifyingly exposed. There’s no longer a manager to hide behind. I’m not the anonymous employee behind the scenes following the direction of someone above me in the hierarchy. It’s pretty scary to be so visible. To be so seen. To be so vulnerable.
Taking an idea of a business and then moving it to an actual business is something I hope that everyone can experience. My teacher says that this is the revolution. Women taking matters into their own hands and deciding that it’s their turn to call the shots. Deciding that we have the power and the strength and the creativity and the passion to do it for ourselves. Facing your fears around being seen and being too big, rewriting your stories about money, learning that you don’t have to burn yourself out to be successful and abundant - and that taking care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually through this experience is of the utmost importance.
You have to really get your shit together and spend a lot of time with yourself and all of your fears - and then decide to push past them. Decide to keep going - not because you get over your fear, but because you accept your fear and push ahead anyway. What if it doesn’t work? What if no one likes what I’m offering? Does that mean they don’t like me? What if they don’t like me? What if they think I’m a fraud? Am I a fraud? I don’t know as much as anyone else who’s doing this. I don’t actually know anything. I have no idea what I’m doing.
Yes, those voices are in my head sometimes. And they can be loud at times. But I’m choosing to replace those voices with kinder voices. I do know what I’m doing. I can figure this out. I am figuring this out. I am a grown ass woman. I am a queen. I am doing something I love and putting so much heart and soul into it that of course they will love it. Not everyone, but definitely someone. And as long as I can offer what my heart is passionate about and do that with an authentic drive to serve and do good in the world, then everything will be perfect. In all of its imperfection.
And while I am the driving force behind Jenifer Juniper, Ariel is very much my partner in this business. Which has its challenges. Working and living together. That’s a lot of time with one person. We have found our way through some difficult conversations and figured out the best way for us to make things work (me being less mean, and him being less annoying ;) It’s been interesting to see what he brings to this process of making herbal products, and accepting that he can provide really valuable input and he has better ideas than I do sometimes. Which was not easy for my ego to deal with :) But at the end of the day, we are working together to offer something healing and beautiful to the world and we are having so much fun while we are doing it!
And we did it! All by ourselves! From the website, to the logo design, to the product creation and production, to the pricing analysis and amateur photos in the store. Would things be more perfect, more professional and more slick if we hired help in some of these areas where we are not experts? Sure. And maybe someday we will. But for now, you can see our mark, our personalities, our love every step of the way. And that feels really personal and really special. And really perfect. In all of its imperfection.