NO. 17: HOW DID THE LOSS OF YOUR PARENT LEAD YOU INTO ENTREPRENEURSHIP?
SAVOYIA HENDERSON (@SAVVYONE) ANSWERS
LOCATION: LOS ANGELES
My mom died in April 2015 and that was the first wake up call. I was like, ‘Okay life is short.’ From there, I wrote out a [list] of people that I knew had small businesses that needed marketing or business consulting.
But then in September my step-mom died and it was another reminder. And that time I couldn’t ignore it. I didn’t leave immediately, but I did start making progressive steps. In October, I placed my letter of resignation and I started over.
I already had a marketing consulting company for over 10 years, but I only said something to certain people. After those two incidents, I began to tell people, ‘I’m going to move out on my own and I’m going to take freelance work. I’m going to be available to help you propel your business to the next level. Whatever that is for you.’
One of the things about taking chances when you are young is it’s the perfect [time] to mess up.
I had to ask myself, ‘But what if it works? What do I have to lose?’
Bills are always going to be there so they’ll follow you. You can always find somewhere else to live. You can always get another car. You can always get another job. But you can’t always live. Because when you die that’s it.
So I just live because I know that life is precious. And every opportunity, every mistake, failure, success, I take the beauty and the life of it.
The challenges of entrepreneurship
I am the master of my day but there are challenges with entrepreneurship and a lot of those things revolve around…it can be unstable. So one way I combat that is, I get my clients to sign up for a retainer and that way I have a monthly income from them consistently.
The other thing is I’m the only one doing everything. So I can’t say, ‘Hey Susie can you get this done for me? I have something else to do.’ No, I stay up way later than I did working for someone else, making sure that the job is done. I have to constantly deliver. And that’s okay. I’m perfectly fine with that.
When I first left I didn’t have any structure. I was like, I can go to the beach today. And you can go to the beach, but if you don’t have a plan, then you’re probably not going to do that well. So for the first month or two, I had to realize, you still need structure.
Some days clients may be late on their payment and I would rather have that than get a check…and not be happy with my situation. So I enjoy it and I take the bad with the good.
On drowning out the opinions of others to put her dreams first…
When I’m making a decision about taking a really big risk and my family doesn’t agree, I think the biggest part is [asking myself] ‘How does that [decision] fall into my plan?’
Does what dad say fall into my plan? At the end of the day, I have to remember that he’s lived his life. And I have to live mine. He’s made mistakes and he’s learned from those and I should do the same.
There were many things he told me not to do that I didn’t do. But I missed those experiences because I listened to that. Some of those I was protected. Some of those not necessarily. They were just protection for him so he wouldn’t get hurt by me getting hurt.
Even like moving to Denver. That was really a big one. It was a great experience because if I hadn’t gone, I wouldn’t have moved to Los Angeles. I would still be in Houston, probably married with five kids.
I would still probably be settled in that lifestyle. And that’s just not who I am. I appreciate being able to move somewhere and get a new life experience and then move somewhere else again and get a different life experience.
But I think when people try to talk you out of it, they’re not comfortable with it for their lives and that’s why they reflect it on you. And you can’t let their reflection of themselves dictate how you live your life.