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It is said that we are influenced greatly by our surroundings. The friends we keep, the places we hang out, but most importantly our home life. We spend so much of our childhood at home watching our parents and siblings. Have you ever heard someone say "you're just like your mother?" That's because we subconsciously pick up their traits and behaviors without even knowing it.
I was brought up in a very close-knit family, my parents were at every sporting event, every school event, and we did almost everything together. So when it came to the age of being ready to work, I followed in their footsteps.
My father was an entrepreneur from the age of 19. He would tell me stories about how he started his business at such an early stage in his life. How he had a drive and true passion for wood working that still burns strong to this day. He took that love and found a way to make a living from it. He was his own boss and it worked. He loved creating pieces of furniture that brought a subtle spark of joy into the homes of his customers.
Many years later my brother came along and before he could talk he was in my father's workshop on the tools. By 12, he had barely started high school and was already registering his first business, handcrafting and making beautiful wooden chopping boards. He started off small, selling his boards at markets but soon enough he was in the paper for being the youngest stall holder and got big orders from customers.
About a year ago when I turned 18, it was my turn. It didn't come as a surprise to anyone that I decided to follow in the footsteps of my family and start my own business. I followed my own passion for the environment and made beeswax wraps out of locally sourced materials. To my surprise, I didn't find it very difficult to start. I was given a contact for a shop that would sell my product and before I knew it they were on the shelves for people to buy.
However, I learnt being my own boss did come with its difficulties. You're your own motivator, your own organizer, and above all your own inspiration. But all this was not very new to me, it's a different mindset having your own business and I was raised in that mindset. The paycheck definitely isn't as stable as a 9 to 5 job working for someone else—in fact, there are some weeks I don't make as much as I would like. However, this is where it gets really interesting because it is my own business. I am in charge of finding new ways to sell my product or become a lot more financially stable. This comes back to having the mindset to motivate yourself as you will only achieve what you set out to do. One thing I learned is that having your own business is a great way to take your passion and turn it into a job that pays the bills and helps you keep a balanced life. There is more risk involved in investing in your own business but just like everything in life you do it in moderation so that every step is a small stepping stone.
As I sit here writing this, I realize that I am still young and have little planned for my future. I can continue to follow in the footsteps of my family and be my own boss for many years to come or I can change career paths and work for someone else. Either one I choose, I'm not too scared for the future as I know there are many opportunities out there. As long as I remember my mind is the most powerful tool I can carry forward with, then anything is possible.
That's something my father taught me.