Let's face it, being an entrepreneur can be lonely
From Co-Founder, Jette Virdi
I’ve been an entrepreneur all my life. No, I never sold lemonade on the corner when I was 5 but ever since I’ve left uni I realized that I preferred it to be my way than listening to someone wanting me to do it their way. I can admit it now, yep, I’m a bit of a control freak. I have a vision for things and can see things before they unfold so it’s hard for me to let that go and just be told what to do, you know?
And with that control freak, doing it by myself can come loneliness. It’s hard graft being an entrepreneur, doing it by yourself. Now I’m not talking to those guys who are getting 50million in seed funding, I’m taking about the little guy, me, maybe you, that’s doing it all by themselves because their budget is so tight that right now they just can’t afford to pay a part timer, that you can see the vision and can see it working and that you are solving a problem for people but just need to lift it off the ground a little.
I’ve had several businesses in my life. A hotel in Mexico that was one of the loneliest things I’ve ever done. At 25 I was close to depression with the weight of responsibility and doing it all by myself. At 30 I realized life wasn’t worth it and left it all behind. At 31 I started working as a food stylist and at 33 I launched my own homeware range, all three were amazing in their own odd way.
Early on arriving in Ireland I landed myself a mentor who was supportive as she was tough and she shared her knowledge. Her name was Sharon and I’m sure she doesn’t realize what an impact she had on me. She inspired me to work harder, be better, get more creative but most of all, she taught me the real motherload: that we are better together through sharing knowledge, teaching those our skills and supporting each other, than we are apart.
I guess that’s what has been in the back of my head the last 3 years. That I need a community of supportive, knowledge sharing control freaks who want to be together but don’t quite know how and a pint down the pub just isn’t enough. And if I need it, surely other people need it to?
The Collective, my latest business with my two friends, Tom and Anique, is our vision to help other entrepreneurs, who like me, may not be the most confident, may not have found their mentor, may not have the courage to ask for help and may not even have figured out what they want to do. The Collective is a place for you as an introverted or extroverted entrepreneur to join in the conversation, learn from others and be inspired. I’ve found that being around other creatives is hard because most people are afraid of competition but I’ve learnt quite early on that I don’t fear that. What I fear is not being around people who live their life like I do. I fear not having people I can send a text to and say ‘what the hell am I doing? Do you have any advice?’ If you feel like this is something that you need too, The Collective is the place for you. Knowing first hand how important and constructive it is to have a community of like minded people who go through the same issues, highs, lows and confidence is really really important and that’s what we’ve created. I can’t wait to see how we can help entrepreneurs and creatives reach their potential, be their support and cheerleader, promote them and help them be the best they can be.