I was having my coffee, checking all my accounts and bios, and then I got to one that I read differently than I intended to write it. We've all done it. You reread something and you're like, "What the heck was I saying?" There may have been a conflicting message that I think needs to be addressed. We love a good "accidental success" story. We love the "I didn't plan on being a bad ass business woman" headline. Parts of my journey as an entrepreneur almost seem that way, but I want to correct something.
When I started Peapods + Birdnests in 2011, all I wanted was a hobby. Like for real. Something to fill the afternoon while my 2 year old napped and I rested my 9 months pregnant body. When I waddled myself into the craft store I wasn't thinking, "You are about to change everything". But some inspiration from the internet and a few "ugly" mess ups later, I was "creating". The part that fell into my lap was the response to what I was making. There was interest in what I had done. I didn't expect that part and hesitated to pursue it. Not everyone turns a hobby into a passion. Not every hobby should be monetized.
A lot of stories I read begin with "I wasn't looking for this" or "It just so happened that..." Yes, girl, I understand that journey. Trust me, chick, I get it. Things happen that we never saw coming, and they are incredible blessings. However, things can fall in your lap by the buckets; what you do with them- that's the magic. You had to take that direction and work it. You had to take the idea and run with it. Fate could drop a desirable business opportunity on your head, but you still have to pick it up. You see what I'm sayin? I wasn't looking to start the business that turned into the beginning of my entrepreneurial career. That might have been fate, the universe, or luck. The idea could very well have been a happy accident, but the business was very intentional.
While I love the "I wasn't looking to get into business" happy stroke of luck stories as much as the next babe, I want to shine some light on the people whose beginning was meticulously and statically planned. Not everyone has an "ah-ha" moment. Some people work really hard, conceptualizing a need, solving a problem, or working a plan. I kind of wish I knew going into the craft store that day that it was day 1 of a six figure business, but guess what? I didn't. It was just an afternoon. I was bored, swollen, starving, and VERY pregnant. I admire the planning. Knowing in advance what you're building and pursing that vision. My vision was realized over time and never as a fully constructed concept until almost a year in. A lot of growth and refinement had to happen once things were rolling.
Here's what I'm getting at: you can build both ways. When you are starting out, I almost feel like there is pressure to say "this opportunity fell in my lap" or "I never saw this coming." We want to romanticize the story. It's almost more attractive when it's serendipitous, isn't it? But give yourself some credit! 'Thought out and planned' or 'happy accidents' still require grit and determination. A truckload of good ideas can dumped over a room of women and only a handful have the motivation and perseverance to see them through. Very few people can commit to intentionally making something happen.
Ideas might be accidents.
Opportunities might be strokes of fate.
But success is never an accident.
You earned that shit.