For my blog today I'm going to talk about something very entrepreneurial. Simply put, it is a lesson that I am learning on an almost daily basis with my business. I don't lead the business, the business leads me.
Allow me to elaborate. When I first founded disability positive consulting, I had a certain plan in mind as to how I was going to make my business profitable and the audiences in which I felt I would be most successful. While the core values of my business have not changed, I am now proud to say that that initial plan has been entirely thrown out the window. In nine months of operations I have learned things about myself, and about my potential markets, that have helped me to reshape exactly what it is that I'm doing.
Part of this, I will confess, is about going where the money is. There is not millions of dollars floating around the disability landscape, and if I want to capitalize on the money that does exist, I have to tailor my business accordingly. The social activist side of me has struggled to come to terms with this reality, since I believe that all of the missions that I set out to achieve (even the ones with very low earning potential) are important. The business side of me, however, has thanked the market for showing me where to focus my efforts. The fact remains I want to make a living at this and to do that a smart entrepreneur will follow the cash.
But there is another piece about being adaptable that entrepreneurship has taught me in a big way. Running your own business forces you to constantly reflect on your own priorities and how your message is going to set you apart. My initial message and intent to focus upon sex positivity and disability is still incredibly important to me, but I have also learned that there are other areas equally as important to me such as the huge gap in employment for people with disabilities. It is starting to become clearer to me where my message is the most valued. The fact that this clarity is leaving me away from my initial vision is not, in my view, a bad thing; it is, instead, the truth about being an entrepreneur.
I have no doubt that the focus of my business will change many more times during its lifespan until that wonderful moment when I sell it for millions of dollars and retired to a cruise ship in the Atlantic (a guy can dream, right?). I am learning to let change come to me and to enjoy the ride!