As we slowly move toward Q4 amidst challenging times and economic uncertainty, I’d like to share a heartfelt story about the hard truth of entrepreneurship. As more and more are exploring entrepreneurship as a career alternative for a multitude of reasons, I feel compelled to share this story as I believe it truly outlines the efforts and emotional toll of today’s entrepreneur.
I met Amy Martinez through a local group of restaurant owners and managers. This group was started to enable restaurant operators to exchange ideas, discuss difficulties they may be facing, and as one might imagine, just to vent. I’ve been honored to have presented to the group several times and often interact with members as the need arises.
Approximately a year or so before COVID raised its ugly head, I started interacting with Amy on Facebook as she was building her brand, Grazeables. It was essentially a side-business whose products were described as artisan-created grazing boxes, boards & tablescapes. You see, Amy was a full-time nurse and a single mother of four. So, it truly was a side-business.
As many know, I am extremely interested in seeing an entrepreneurial quest unfold. Amy’s quest was one that was a textbook example. Amy would often share absolutely magnificent photos each weekend on Facebook of extraordinary tablescapes for clients’ events — birthdays, anniversaries, family get-togethers and the like.
Each beautiful tablescape included magnificent arrays of mouth-watering food, all exquisitely displayed. They were true masterpieces with absolute attention to detail. This was not your typical restaurant catering off to the side for the sole purpose of providing food for that evening’s guests. Instead, Amy’s work — a work of art — was the centerpiece of the event. It was also a conversation piece as evident by the detailed positive reviews after the event.
There was no doubt Amy was committed to excellence. She truly exemplified the delivery of positively memorable experiences — all the time. However, it certainly wasn’t easy as she wore so many hats. Yet, wore them exceptionally well — at least so it appeared to everyone looking in from the outside.
Well, it’s not my story to tell as to what Amy endured as she juggled work, family and business. One day, I’m sure there will be a book that will share Amy’s story. But what I do recall was Amy openly sharing her struggles. Although, it was never about the hard work or the long hours, nor the difficulties of being a single parent. It was about the struggle between her job as a nurse helping others and being able to dedicate full-time to her brand and business.
Today, I’m proud to share what Amy posted this past weekend on Facebook. I don’t know what prompted her to do so. Although as many entrepreneurs do, or should do is to share her thoughts and frustrations, and maybe even vent a bit. But more so, that as an entrepreneur or not she is also a person and as such, has emotions and feelings just like everyone else. She may appear to be Super Woman by her drive and commitment, but she is still human and should always be respected as such.
The Truth of Entrepreneurship by Amy Martinez — Creator of Grazeables
The majority of people with side hustles or small businesses are hobbyists, not entrepreneurs. There’s a HUGE difference, and I’ll tell you why.
Walking the tightrope of Entrepreneurship is HARD and SCARY AF!!! It’s quitting your secure job and selling everything you have to lay yourself and your creativity out there… naked… to take a chance with no safety net. It’s the nauseating churn that forces you to work 3 days straight without sleeping because if you don’t sell, your kids don’t eat. It’s the painful loss of relationships along the way because effort & focus are never evenly divided.
We spend MONTHS, years even… researching, building, and scraping every penny just to pour it all out over a dream while we hold our breath and pray that it works. We jump the hoops with exhausted legs, we sign our security away on the dotted line, and we navigate our communities in the dark with the hope of discovering that one missing piece we can fill with our work.
The creative process is an IMMENSE amount of effort… but it’s NOTHING compared to the magnitude of work it takes to scale that process into a profitable business. Then, just when it all starts to come into focus, you learn how completely unprepared you are for the toll it takes on your spirit while you fight like hell to protect it.
This enormous, beautiful, soul-aching, brilliant work that we do… I guess I just wish that more people respected and understood the gravity of the accomplishment for those of us that have succeeded… ESPECIALLY as women!
When you marvel at the originality and uniqueness of someone’s work, please also take the time to notice & appreciate the efforts behind its publication.
Profitable businesses require years of strenuous and consistent effort, high risk, deep investment, and personal sacrifice. If you aren’t willing to put in the required amount of work & education it takes to lay the foundation from the beginning, you will spin your wheels on the very short road to failure.
Please also understand the occasional frustration from those of us that try like hell to mentor others along the way. We offer tons of wisdom and experience, but none of us can do the work for you, nor will we reveal the proprietary information that gives us the distinct, however minute, edge over our competition and its the essence of who we are. Our brand is our baby, and we protect it al all costs.
Those in the trenches get it. Everyone else? Well, they never will.
Very well said, Amy. Your words are truly from the heart and soul of an entrepreneur. You are amazing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts as I’m sure they will resonate with many, as they have to me.
Have a great day. Make it happen. Make it count!