I wanted to share this super personal post today as a therapeutic process for myself. I also want to share because I know there are so many people out there who can relate to my story. This story talks mainly about my struggle as a small business owner, entrepreneur, and a 23 year old trying to get on her own feet. You may have gone through some of the same things, or are even going through it now. Whether your difficulties may be financial, career, or family related, there is always a light at the end. These “low” moments in our life are nothing to be ashamed of and they often allow us to find what we really want out of ourselves, other people, and our lives in general. At 23 years old, this story I’m sharing today has to be the lowest point in my life. I am and always have been an extremely positive person no matter what happened in my life, and this period really tested that.
This period began in May of 2015 when my boyfriend and I had to move out of our home. To give you some perspective, we are an entrepreneurial couple who expected to have some financial struggle while reaching our goals and dreams. Derek had began his handmade business AllOut Adventure Supply and that had become our main source of income as a couple. We both worked on this small business daily and I had nail jobs randomly as well. We were “getting by” on what we were making until my nail jobs ran dry and Derek had began struggling with severe anxiety and depression. The emotional state took a toll on the business and we were no longer able to keep it going. We were renting a large house at the time and were no longer able to afford our rent and bills. My mom had extra space and welcomed us to move in with her until we could get ourselves together. This moment alone, was a huge blow to us for obvious reasons as 20 somethings. We were still trying to keep the business alive at the time, so we moved our equipment into the only space we had, which was Derek’s mom’s basement. We both tried our hardest to keep that dream alive at the time, but it fell through.
Throughout the next 6 months (much longer than I’d planned), we bounced from my family’s to his family’s homes. In this time, my car messed up and we had no means of getting it fixed. So we made the decision to sell it and pocket the money towards moving out again. I also worked nonstop online and was able to gather blogging and social media marketing clients. This was a huge blessing because I was able to work from home and gather a (small) steady income. The impact of not having our own vehicle was another blow to our morale. I wasn’t able to keep up the little relationships I did have with friends. I wasn’t able to travel to them because of no car, couldn’t go out because of no money, and I was falling into a slight depression myself, which I had NEVER experienced before. Besides my mom, I felt that I had no help and no one to turn to to vent about my situation. I had let one of my long time friends in on my situation somewhat, but she was concerned with her own situation to realize my struggle.
Because of our erratic home situation, Derek especially never felt like he belonged anywhere. Not having our own home, or own space to be alone was hurting his depression even more so. He also had physical ailments that prevent him from working “typical” jobs, so working at a mill or fast food joint to “get by” wasn’t an option for him. We were broke, and couldn’t afford our own groceries most of the time. This resulted in both of us losing a lot of weight. This was alarming because if you know us personally, you know that we are both naturally very skinny. We both struggled with our clothes not fitting us anymore, and having to wear belts with everything to hold our pants up. It was a terrible time for us both, but I tried to be the voice of optimization through it all. I kept a hopeful heart and reminded him daily that everything in life is temporary, the good and the bad times.
This period lasted until December 2015 when I had saved almost $1,000 to move out and supplement income until I found a steady job. I secured an apartment for myself and Derek and moved in despite everyone around me telling me it wasn’t a good idea. I was going nuts not being in my own home and I was craving routine again. I put SO much faith in myself and I was sure that I would find a way to make it work again. I had huge support from my mom who lent me a car to use, and I began odd jobs on top of my online work to afford my rent and bills. A huge tip I have for anyone looking for another (small) stream of income is research remote jobs often. I STAYED online looking for work and was able to secure a job with a company as a blogger (paid per post published), a client whom I did social media and content marketing for (paid weekly), and micro jobs online which paid weekly.
Once I realized that I could make a living from home, I swore to myself that I would never let myself fall into such a bad situation again. I have been in my new apartment for 4 months now and I am in a better position every day. I still haven’t bought my own car, nor am I in the position I want to be yet, but I am progressing each day. I have great health, an amazing and loving family, and super supportive mom, the man I love, intelligence to work for myself, and all of my amazing blog supporters online. I am very grateful for all that I have and I’m grateful that I went through that point in my life. Yes, I am grateful for it. Those months allowed me to get a reality check about entrepreneurial life. It made me realize that I wasn’t working hard enough on my hustle. I wasn’t putting enough time and attention on working for myself, and it never would have been successful at the rate I was going. Once I fell to the “bottom”, I was able to get perspective and kick my butt in gear!
I hope you gained some inspiration of some kind from reading my personal experience. As a young 20 something, I know I’m not alone in the struggle. Sure, there are numerous young adults who haven’t experienced this because they chose different routes. They’ve chosen blue collar work, 9 to 5 jobs, and secure careers. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with those choices, but I chose to work for myself and this is my story. I know that this period in my life will be a great story to tell one day, once I’ve reached my great level of success. It’s only up from here!
Thank you guys so much for reading. I would love to hear your stories or give you any advice you might need. Feel free to shoot me an email if you’d like to chat further! I hope your day is amazing; love and light! :)
YouTube Channel: Polished by Amy