Note: This is a guest post about women entrepreneurship by Shaffondra Matthews . I thought it would be a nice addition to UpgradeReality to have an article from a woman’s point of view about life and business.
It’s been a long time coming. I’m referring to my entrepreneurial journey. It’s been exciting and fun, scary as shit and depressing. It’s been one big cluster f*ck of emotions. But I wouldn’t change it for anything.
I’ve always been entrepreneurial. Figuring out ways to make money. In high school—I was such a nerd. I took copious notes in one of the toughest senior classes—Western Civilization. For the final, I decided I would type (this was before the laptop age) all of my extremely detailed notes, and sell the study guide for $5 a pop.
That same entrepreneurial spirit followed me to college. I didn’t know what the hell I wanted to do. But I knew I wanted to do something with business. At first my major was International Business with a concentration in Spanish. But soon I discovered my calling. My school actually rolled out a brand new concentration program for entrepreneurship. I was hooked.
During college I discovered that I wanted to be my own boss. I didn’t want to work for anyone else. And somehow I sold myself on the idea of becoming a wedding planner. You couldn’t tell me anything different, I wanted my own wedding planning business. And yes I did get the idea from Jennifer Lopez in The Wedding Planner. But after graduating in December 2004, I listened to “sound advice” and went the corporate route instead. I called myself being smart by working at a bridal boutique after college. But stuffing plus sized women in undergarments was not the road to the glamorous life of a wedding planner. So I quit like 3 weeks later.
I went on to become a financial advisor—fully licensed and everything. Of course they lured me with the idea of owning my own practice one day. But I found begging people for their money to be degrading. Plus the fact that I was a 21 year old kid who no one took seriously didn’t help either. I did that for 6 months and signed 7 clients. All family members but 1. Yea that blew too so I quit that job.
Then I found the most stable job of my adult career. Complete switch from sales. I went the super safe route with a desk job at DeVry University Online in April 2006. I worked in the records department. Working on new student files to admit them to the school. Boring as shit but it paid the bills. I found myself trying to tweak and test the processes we used. I always offered suggestions for improvement but 99% of the time they fell on deaf ears. Of course that frustrated me.
Over The Edge
Here’s what gave me that push. I became pregnant with my first son. And the thought of leaving him in someone else’s care just tore me up inside. It actually made me a little sick to my stomach. I grew up with a working mom and I always remembered her having to be at work all the time. She missed activities games (I was a cheerleader). She missed…..a lot. And I DID NOT want that to be the case with my son. Make no mistake I have an AMAZING mother. But she had to go to work—all the time.
I knew that I could create a better life. Something just told me that I didn’t have to live within the confines of a cubicle and miss a great portion of my son’s life. So I began reading and studying. Trying to figure out what the rich knew—you know their secrets to wealth. I picked up Rich Dad Poor Dad, A book on Warren Buffet. One day I was driving and I heard a radio ad for a free seminar. Put on by Robert Kiyosaki’s camp. You can probably guess what happened next. The free seminar led to a 3 day workshop. That 3-day workshop led to a $15,000 education investment. And yes we played the increase your credit line so you can have more money to give us game. That began my lack-luster career in real estate. It was very short lived. I went through several “real estate gurus” and tried many different programs to no avail.
In the midst of the real estate, I joined a network marketing company—Beachbody. I had a lot of baby weight that I needed to lose and I was getting hooked on their products. The idea of becoming a coach really appealed to me. So I did. I had my plan set. At the time, I had a local mentor in real estate who was going to show me how to buy and hold single family homes for cash flow AND a network marketing business. And I had about $3,000 in savings and I got a hold to a $20,000 credit line. In October 2008, I quit my job, moved in with my boyfriend so we could raise our son together. The plan was to rely on his income and my savings until my business(es) got off the ground.
I had NO IDEA what I was getting myself into—business wise. Not a damn clue. All I knew was that I was very passionate about being financially free and living a job-independent lifestyle. Little did I know I was in for a world of hurt. Failing business and no money. I went completely broke. Add on top of that feelings of guilt and shame for the mistakes I made. In the midst of all this, I lost one of my best friends to complications from Lupus. It felt like someone ripped my heart right out of my chest and tap danced on it. I was in so much emotional pain and so numb. My boyfriend and I lost an apartment we were living in at the time. I moved in with my sister for a while. I vegged out on her couch for a half a year. During all that, I became pregnant with my second son. Talk about a whirlwind of stuff going on.
My life was literally falling apart. Everything was crumbling around me. I had no sense of security or peace whatsoever. I was so anxious all the time. I actually feared someone would come to the door and arrest me for all the debts that I owed.
I discovered internet marketing when I was involved with my network marketing business. Late 2009. And I fell in love with it. Didn’t really dig the network marketing aspect. But I was fascinated with being able to earn an income at home from my computer. PERFECT! The only problem was and still is; there are a lot of scammers out there. And there is tons of hype—making it seem WAY easier than it actually is. I struggled online on and off for almost 2 years. I tried several strategies—eBay, building content rich websites, building affiliate websites. But I fell in love with info marketing and product creation.
After failing over and over and over and over again with my countless endeavors, being in debt up to my eyeballs, and experiencing pure misery every single day, I decided to snap out of it. I resolved to turn my situation around. I realized that NO ONE was going to take care of me. Not my family, not a man, not a company or government. No one was going to love and support me the way that I would. I needed to make my own money and create my own financial independence. Especially to take of me and my boys.
After much thought, I decided that I was going to create and release my first information product. But I struggled in the beginning because I didn’t know what the hell to create a product about. I mean I wasn’t an expert in anything. In fact, you could consider me an expert at failing. I had that down REALLY well! With a little guidance from a fellow Internet Marketer, I came up with the idea to interview entrepreneurs—women in particular. Those who were on top of their game. And I reached out to women in a lot of different industries because I bounced around a lot. I wanted the viewer to get and get inside look into what that particular business was like. No fluff, no bullshit.
Women Entrepreneurs Rock aka WeR
From that little seed of idea comes forth my 3rd baby—Women Entrepreneurs Rock: The Life and Business Coaches Edition. It’s been a long time coming. I’m so excited to share it with you for many reasons.
- It represents my ability to actually follow through with something. With limited coaching and limited budget, I said I was going to figure out the process and I did!
- This is my love letter to entrepreneurship. I particularly wanted to serve women with this first product because we experience a lot of things that men may not go through (extremely low self-esteem, raising kids and building a business, and financial dependence on a spouse, partner, family or others)
- It’s time to EMPOWER women. Yea we go through a lot but we’re also capable of a whole lot more than we often give ourselves credit for. WeR strong, WeR smart, WeR courageous, WeR driven, WeR INCREDIBLE! Now is our time to shine baby!
Women Entrepreneurs Rock is a 10-Part Interview Series filled with top women entrepreneurs. I sat each woman entrepreneur down for an exclusive 60 min video chat interview. They share their stories: their peaks and their pits. And they also reveal their business and marketing secrets that are responsible for their success. I also had them throw in top mistakes to avoid. PLUS I have some really great bonuses lined up so you can check all that out at
Women Entrepreneurs Rock.
This is an all out MOVEMENT! I’m calling all women entrepreneurs to STAND UP and STEP IN to their PURPOSE, PASSION and a business that PROFITS!!!