May 24, 2010: Entreprenurial Products

I’m 62.  I left my higher education in 1969 with a BA in Art/ Art History.  I thought college was supposed to prepare me for the ‘world’.  I found out I couldn’t get a job in San Francisco.  None of the galleries wanted my fresh face with no business or accounting experience.  The museum staff was kind, but I expect they chortled at my naiveté’ as I walked  dejectedly out the door.

I received an invitation to join a group that is supposedly encouraging women to be entrepreneurs. (If I can pronounce it and spell it I have my foot in the door!)  The next thing I need to acquaint myself with is the lingo they all seem to toss around so freely on their 20 minute interviews and tips of the day.

I had my pen and paper all ready to see if I could pick the brains of these obviously wealthy and successful ladies.  Hey, I’m tired of not considering myself successful! Or Wealthy.  I’m tired of all the negative discouragement and put offs.  “You just need more experience ,”  just doesn’t cut it anymore.

The jobs I have had since graduation weren’t in my field of interest or education, or even practical skill training.  Temporary help, cashier, pre-school babysitter?  I just took the Post Office job for the money.  Door to door selling Book of Life sets for Zondervan and multilevel retort food pouches with my husband was not even a living. Nothing to get excited about, and nothing stuck.

Now these ladies say you need to find out what is unique about you and see discipline as a self choice to free you to do what makes your heart sing!  Then they ask, what is the product you have in your heart? I heard one say, “What is your ‘brand’?”  Brand?  Product?

Slowly as I listen to the interviews I am coming out of a fog.  I think this was a fog purposely put on women to keep us dependent on a system where women were property.  Yes, we were sent to school, but only to find a husband who we expected to take care of us.  The women who proved they were capable at men’s jobs while the ‘boys’ were away at war had to give them up to the returning soldiers and return to their own ‘place’ in the home to raise babies.

Some women didn’t buy the standard hype.  I did.  I also bought the church teaching of being the meek wife whose trust in God would see all her happiness be fulfilled with trusting prayer. I still believe in trusting God, but only to the kind of prayer that asks, “What ‘miracle’ do you want me to do now?”

I am coming out of my shell in baby steps.  As one lady put it, you are a work of art inside the marble.  Your work is to chip away what isn’t your ‘brand’, what isn’t working to present you as a woman of worth, a woman of inner power.  It was strange to hear these ladies use business terms that I had zoned out before.  After all, what does a stay at home Mom have to do with executive bathrooms?  I stayed home and home-schooled, so I never had the problem of selling myself to the public or having deadlines.

Now that I am 62 I don’t want stress.  If I was given the choice of pouring on the steam to make big bucks, I would probably say, “Not for me.”  These ladies, however seem happy to put their product and brand of their unique gifting into the marketplace and still not worry about the money.  One even shifted her emphasis from high paying corporate life to pursue being a life-coach helping other women who didn’t have much money.  Hmm.

Well, at least these interviews are free and as I listen maybe they have a spark that will ignite this mind that has been on ‘smouldering embers’ long enough.

Hey, I can be a life-coach too.  It seems a 21 minute talk can be seen as a ‘product’.  I can whip up some of those.  I think I’ll call them ‘Blogs’.

Now all I have to figure out is whether I want to go for the umbrella level, the divisional level or the product level.  I’ll let you know as soon as I figure out what that means.

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