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Entrepreneurial Analogy

“It’s like driving at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”

-E.L.Doctorow


Imagine we are driving on a winding back country road. It’s dark and there are no street lights or other vehicles. We have to make it home and our headlights only light the way 30 feet ahead of us as we drive. We can’t see the whole road home as the road twists and turns and yet we are able to make it safely to our destination. Home sweet home!


I love this analogy and find it akin to being an entrepreneur in many ways. There is no set guidebook to success when we step into the world of entrepreneurship. There is no guarantee that things will work out. We operate in a world that is inherently full of risk (and at the same time- reward!). We grow and see new possibilities that only appear through time and experience. We continue forward and trust that we will find the answers as we go. This is what it means to be an entrepreneur. 


If I have learned anything over the last four years of being a small business owner it is the importance of focus and trust. As a single mother to three young children (10,9, 5) I juggle many roles. Cook, cleaner, chauffeur, planner, entertainer, gardener, seamstress, bedtime snuggler, and all the roles that I can’t even name that fall under the umbrella category of mom (a title I hold with so much joy and pride). Alongside this all encompassing role, I am also part owner of Cumberland Cleaning Co., a business my best friend and I have created. Needless to say, I have learned the importance of focus. Focus, dedication, passion, and drive. To build on what is there and to choose to return to the building of our business time and time again even when I feel like I want to call it quits. To choose to pour my creativity into its evolution. In return, it has grown me. 


No one prepared me for how growing our own business would help me grow through challenges in my life. It has helped me move through aspects of my sense of self worth where I was stuck. It has given me confidence. It has taught me patience and resilience and more that I am not able to verbalize yet.


When I was 20 years old I knew I wanted to be a business owner, though at the time I imagined owning a business in tourism. Perhaps, a kayak adventure company! Time and chance has had a way of shifting my perspective and showing me a new path. When we started Cumberland Cleaning Co. it was the beginning of the pandemic, I had lost my other jobs, and Amber and I found ourselves home with children for 6 months due to an “extended” spring break. At that time my daughter was just one year old and I was newly transitioning out of being a stay at home mom (a role I had held for six years at the time). One night while chatting and brainstorming with Amber about what we could do to support ourselves an idea was sparked. And since then it has grown and changed shape countless times and has become something in which we hope our values and morals have been emulated. 


I could go on and on but it’s already mid March so I’ll take pause for now. For 2024, here is to dreaming of dynamic change, to experiencing slow & sustainable growth, to moving through interesting challenges, and to experiencing more learning opportunities. Because at the end of the day we get to trust that the path will reveal itself as we go.


Hannah

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