Well…what’s really so exciting is that I’m only just getting started. In essence, this is the prequel to my own startup story. Over the past 6 months a few things have changed in my life and instead of hustling to find clients and get my business off the ground I am doing fundraisers to raise money for an 11 month mission trip around the world….Yes, you read that correctly. Starting in January I will be living in a different country each month (China, Philippines, India, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Albania, Romania, Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda). My work will change monthly and may range from teaching English, to meeting hospital patients, to working with women and children involved in human trafficking.
I know this is not a typical start up story but I felt that I needed to tell it because we each have a unique story to tell and mine is entrepreneurship grad student turned missionary turned entrepreneur.
I started my Master’s degree in Entrepreneurship at the University of Florida sure that I would come away with a fantastic business idea ready to take on the world. Although I learned more than I could ever put into words in a blog post…I graduated without a business, with no plan for where I was going to live, and completely unsure of what I wanted to do with my life. However, here I am a year and a half later and while I could feel disappointed that I am learning how to pack my life into a backpack rather than working on my business full-time, I’m not…I say this because IF I had started my business straight out of grad school I probably would not have the opportunity that I have now.
I still have days where I question myself and what I am doing, but at the end of the day I am certain that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
I think that a big part of any startup story is not just the actual startup activities but also the moment of clarity, transformation, or inspiration that leads up to the startup phase. For me, this happened less than a year after I finished grad school. I had already determined that nothing about the corporate world appealed to me. I was working on a certification and was preparing to start seeing clients but the timing just felt off. Although I really wanted to start my business a part of me knew that I really needed to listen to myself and do some other things first.
Although it differs for every person for me those “other things” included postponing my business to do mission work around the world.
As I started to write this I started and stopped myself several times worried that no one would want to read this because it’s so unlike most startup stories. However, maybe you are like me in the sense that your story is a little different and because of that you are afraid to share it? Or maybe you are just starting your story?
P.S. Now that I think about it…being a missionary has a lot in common with being an entrepreneur…Maybe a future blog post?
To receive updates on my journey around the world check out my blog at http://betsyramser.theworldrace.org/
or learn more about me here