I KNEW THAT IF I FAILED I WOULDN'T REGRET THAT, BUT I KNEW THE ONE THING I MIGHT REGRET IS NOT TRYING.
- JEFF BEZOS, AMAZON FOUNDER AND CEO
The dictionary defines an entrepreneur as "one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise". It sounds relatively straightforward, right? Think of an idea, take a risk, and hopefully in the end you're doing what you love and earning a living while doing it. Well, nothing is ever as easy as it sounds. I know, no breaking news here. For me, what started as a "oh my God I'm in the last year of my 20s, it's now or never" moment in 2014 to now, Dunlovely has transformed from a dream, to a hobby, to a side hustle, to a full blown business. The evolution of Dunlovely has been nothing short of complicated, but what I can say without a doubt is I couldn't be happier where I find myself and my business today. It took me a while to consider myself a true entrepreneur. As you may or may not know, I earned my Bachelor's Degree in Human Services and Rehabilitation with a concentration in Speech-Language Pathology and a Minor in Spanish. Immediately following graduation, I began a Master's Program and two years later earned my Master of Science Degree in Speech-Language Pathology. My entire higher educational career was comprised of mostly science courses and for the past (almost) eight years, my role as a speech-language pathologist requires the implementation of evidence based practice on a daily basis. So, had you told my 22-year old self I would one day be a creative business owner, my jaw would've hit the ground. Yet fast forward four years and here I am writing about the experiences of my entrepreneurial journey thus far and my, what a journey it has been.
I have learned a lot. I have learned that the entrepreneurial spirit is contagious and there is truly nothing more exhilarating than finding a tribe of like-minded people who support and challenge you. I have learned that this sh*t is crazy hard and the ebbs and flows can feel like mountains and sink holes. You laugh, you cry, you celebrate, you mourn, you succeed, you fail, you grow, you dream, you trust, you regret, you sacrifice and the list goes on. It feels like a non-stop roller coaster of emotions. Add on a full-time job, and I often feel like I am riding the crazy train direct to the last stop (this is a story for another day). However, I have also learned that the support and encouragement from loved ones keeps me going. And as Jeff Bezos so perfectly summed up above, I would have always wondered, "what if?". What if I had never taken this risk? Have I experienced failures? Absolutely. Extreme disappointments? Unquestionably. Will I experience more? Definitely. Has it been worth it? 1000%. Because above all else, I have learned that I am stronger than I ever knew and that is something I will never regret.
If you are dreaming of pursuing something, do it. Life is too short for regrets and as someone once told me, embrace Operation 94. And what is Operation 94 you may ask? Well, when you imagine yourself at age 94 sitting in a rocking chair reflecting on your life, what are the memories and accomplishments you will cherish most? Only you possess the answer to that question, but for me it will be the time spent with loved ones and knowing I took a risk to pursue my passion and stayed true to myself while doing it.
Thank you for following the Dunlovely journey. I can't wait to continue to share an inside, raw look into entrepreneurship and of course all things floral!
Cheers to love, life, and Operation 94.