My entrepreneurial journey started by accident. I didn’t set out to be an entrepreneur–it just happened.
After years of enduring morning fights with my three daughters to brush their unruly manes, I was near my wit’s end. I spent thousands of dollars trying various detangling potions and hairbrushes to no avail. Pulling from everything I learned about the proper way to detangle hair without pulling and breaking it, I decided to create my own detangling brush known today as Knot Genie.
Knot Genie worked well and my morning hair brushing battles were a thing of the past. I was confident I was sitting atop a product that millions of other moms could benefit from too.
Meanwhile, life was good. I was happy with my career at a major insurance company. I loved my job and the people I worked with. I was good at what I was doing.
For these reasons, I struggled with whether or not I wanted to exchange something I knew made me happy for something unknown. Unlike most people who say they can’t wait to quit their corporate job in order to run their own business, I was reluctant.
That said, Knot Genie had become a lifesaver to our family and we enjoyed years of knot-free hair and peace at home. I knew others needed this brush and that I wasn’t the only one enduring daily hair brushing battles with my kids.
In 2010, I decided I would bring Knot Genie to others – but only by starting small. I developed a website and thought I would have an online-only business. Fate had other things in store for me. A friend of a friend used my brush and she was an independent rep for children’s salons. She loved my product so much that she asked if she could reach out to her current customers. While I treated my business as a hobby at first, it was obvious things were about to change.
Knot Genie started to take off. One business deal led to the next and it became more than I could handle on my own. I hired someone to run my business for me so I could continue to work at my corporate job, and still give Knot Genie the attention it needed. That arrangement lasted only seven months because at the end of the day, it was my business.
I needed to run my business myself. It was silly to work full-time just to make enough to pay someone else to run a business I created. I knew in my heart I should be the one running my business and my stubbornness to leave my corporate job was getting in the way of my own success.
Within two years of starting Knot Genie, it was inevitable that I needed to be the company’s front woman. I made the difficult decision to quit my job and dedicate myself to being a full-time entrepreneur almost two years from the day I started Knot Genie.
I share my story with you because it is unlike most entrepreneurs who long to quit their jobs so they can run their own businesses. I was a reluctant entrepreneur. I spent many long nights worrying if I’d be a good entrepreneur, if this was the right decision for me and my family, and if I’d hurt the people I worked with at my current job who believed in me so much and trusted me with an important role.
As someone who started out reluctant but achieved incredible success, I have found the following 4 tips invaluable.
Business Tips from a Reluctant Entrepreneur
1. Seek Support from Other Entrepreneurs.
Surrounding yourself with other entrepreneurs can help you learn from one another as well as have an extended support system you may not have realized existed. Entrepreneurship can be scary lonely, but only if you isolate yourself from the entrepreneurial support communities that exist everywhere.
2. Don’t Rush Entrepreneurship.
I think too often the advice given to entrepreneurs is to dive head first into something. I don’t think that is wise given the number of small businesses that never make it past the first year. Go at your own pace so you can decide if it’s right for you. It took me hiring someone else to run my business to finally realize I was ready for the job myself.
3. Don’t Let Your Fear Compromise Your Success.
My fear of the unknown kept me from moving more confidently into the entrepreneurial world. I hired someone else to do the job because I wasn’t sure I could do it – but if I had only trusted myself I could have saved myself a lot of money and headaches. Remember, it’s important to have confidence in yourself and know that your life skills will serve as a guiding light through your entrepreneurial journey.
4. Give Yourself Permission to Change.
I thought I’d never leave my corporate job – and I realize now that you should never say “never.” My feelings towards entrepreneurship changed as my company changed, and by giving myself permission to change my mind when I realized things weren’t working as hoped, I was able to enter my new role without reluctance and with more confidence in tow.
For the past two years I have been working hard to grow Knot Genie and help moms around the world delete hair-brushing drama from their lives. My reluctance is a thing of the past, but I carry the lessons with me each and every day.
About the Author:
Reluctant Entrepreneur, Rikki Mor, is the founder and CEO of Knot Genie, the popular detangling hairbrush beloved by hundreds of thousands of families around the world. Rikki invented Knot Genie after enduring years of daily hair brushing battles with her three daughters. Knot Genie is available at www.KnotGenie.com or at 3,500+ salons and boutiques worldwide.