I’ve always loved design. From the time I was a little girl, I’d cut out and arrange magazine clippings, spend hours flipping through coffee table design books, draw up my own concepts for anything from play houses to ways to make the world prettier.
But design wasn’t the only thing I gravitated toward. I started entrepreneuring early, selling glow-in-the-dark bead lizard keychains from my mom’s table at early childhood development conferences (yeah, you can laugh), assembling felt manipulative kits for a friend of the family (paid per kit, of course), always trying to think of things I could make or do for people to buy.
When I became a mom, I forgot about most of these things–my husband worked, so I didn’t need to, and my kids were my world, so I didn’t think those old passions really mattered anymore. For a few years, this concept worked–we had a happy family, and were living the “American dream,” despite the struggles any young family faces.
Then, on a whim, I started a blog. I made my first $10 with a sponsored post, and I started to feel like I was really doing something for me again. Time passed, and I started to design again. A little here, a little there–mostly for other bloggers–until I decided I should probably put up a portfolio, and maybe come up with some real prices. I had no idea how much potential either of these “whims” had, but I was having fun, and still home with my family.
My husband lost his job in 2013, and we debated whether or not he should go for another one. We both picked up some freelance here and there, then ultimately decided this was our time to make a break for it. Our life together started out with travel, and we had talked for a long time about bringing our kids along for the ride, but didn’t have a clear opportunity until then.
So we did it. We sold everything, I learned everything I could about design & development, and we started traveling. In the first year abroad, between blogging and design, I doubled my income. I learned more, and launched new business concepts, and my income continued to rise. I realized, this is working–the more I learn, the more I earn.
Though I received an excellent foundation in design and development through my arts school education in 10th-12th grade, I attribute the majority of my success thus far to continued education. This has taken on many forms, but the point is that it continues. I have not stopped learning, nor do I plan to. What is it they say? Knowledge is power.
I’m not the only entrepreneur who thinks so, either. There’s nothing like living your dream because you’ve empowered yourself with education. So wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, start small and learn something to make your future brighter today.