When I launched Entry Envy, I managed a law firm during the day, mostly virtually, because it was still the COVID era. For the five months prior, I ran the law firm all day long, cared for my kids for a few hours in the evening, and then worked from 7 PM until the wee hours of the morning on Entry Envy. I would sleep for a few hours and start again the next day. There really were no distinct days or nights; they all just ran together. You know what I mean if you've ever worked 130 hours a week.
Two weeks before I officially launched Entry Envy, I met with the board of directors of my current employer and told them about what I had been working on in my "spare time." I assured them that I could handle my responsibilities for their office while simultaneously starting a company. I promised them that if Entry Envy became too much and I no longer felt I could effectively manage both companies with the level of integrity I expected of myself, I would be the first to let them know.
On October 1, 2021, I introduced my products to the world; sure enough, people started buying. When I got my first sale from a customer I didn't know, who lived in another state, it was a moment I'll never forget. Someone else believed what I had created was desirable and trusted me to deliver on it. By the end of December 2021, we had 40 customers nationwide. While I was far from replacing my six-figure corporate salary, the business was becoming all-encompassing. I had reached the point where I thought I could only effectively juggle both jobs for a bit longer. I was also concerned about losing whatever sanity I had left at that point. I met a coach who told me, "Don't quit your job when you've replaced your income; quit your job when you know how to replace it because of the level of commitment required to be successful." I needed to give 100% of my effort to my new company if I was going to make it. So, as a single mom with two kids and no outside financial support, I gave my employer my notice on December 30, 2021. That was the second scariest thing I had ever done.
Because of you, I keep going. Being a business owner is more challenging than I could've imagined, and like most things in life, you only appreciate the work once you've done it. I respect all business owners, whether they run large corporations or small businesses. Large companies only became big because the founder(s) put in a ton of work and took considerable risks to grow from a small business.
What I have learned over the past two and a half years is priceless. I've invested tens of thousands of dollars in my education to get us where we are today, and I'm beyond grateful for the hundreds of people who have taken the time to mentor, coach, and help me be successful. My team is incredible—they are loyal, hardworking, love what they do, and love our customers. It's one of the most extraordinary experiences to build a company from the ground up with a small but mighty team and grow it together. I am blessed to have thousands of people cheering me on from the sidelines.
On average, it takes two to five years for a company to turn a profit. We're not there yet, but we keep moving forward and getting closer daily. The economy is slowing, which is scary for all business owners, especially new ones trying to grow a business. It takes grit, resilience, and an unwavering belief that we will be successful to keep going. So what's "my why?" Because those things alone are not enough for 18-hour workdays, sleepless nights, lack of self-care, and sacrificing precious time with my daughters that I will never get back. Lexie will be in high school next year, and Lauryn is just two years behind her.
The reason why I am working as hard as I am is undoubtedly to make a better life for my family. Still, the underlying motivation is to help hundreds of thousands of women in the country gain meaningful employment in trades and manufacturing. The need has never been greater, and there is so much opportunity. To accomplish change at this level will require education and teamwork among the leadership in heavily male-dominated industries, a shift in societal expectations of women's roles, and a redefinition of success post-high school graduation. There is currently movement and momentum in this space that can be amplified. If you are curious about where my passion for all this comes from, here's my first blog and the story of my home renovation.
Someday, Entry Envy will employ hundreds of women making our products and learning skills and self-confidence. Why do men love power tools? Because it makes them feel powerful. Most women have never had the opportunity to use a power tool, and the fire ignited in them when they learn is too bright to put out. Entry Envy will become a model company owned and operated by women for trades and manufacturing. I will gladly "teach the guys" how to attract, hire, and retain women in these industries. Here's the deal: most women don't need to be supervised; set expectations and give them extreme flexibility to "get it all done," and they will.
I extend a heartfelt thank you to all of you for your unwavering love and support over the past two years and a super special shoutout to my mom and Summer, both of whom many of you know and who tirelessly work alongside me every day, turning my dreams into reality. Thank you all for helping me continue to grow Entry Envy and to all of our subscribers who LOVE their monthly refill decor kits! Cheers to two years!
P.S. If you want to support Entry Envy, please share us with your network or become a customer. Use CHEERSTOTWOYEARS at checkout to save $25 off a custom sign through October 4 and don't forget to subscribe to our darling monthly refill decor kits!