This blog post was written by student entrepreneur Kelly Penick from Appalachian State, in Boone, NC
This is a MUST READ entrepreneurial-training 101 break-through-moment post! Congrats Kelly!!
Picture of: Kelly Penick, Student Entrepreneur
Owner of: All About Beauty by Kelly
Unfortunately I am not opening this entry to talk about an extensive and necessarily financially rewarding marketing campaign. My last post put forth some detail on my first marketing campaign for All About Beauty by Kelly, and how I, Kelly Penick, was to go about that process. I did have some responses to the $35 facials, and was able to make some extra money, but I found a richness of mind and experience far outweighing my experiences from the marketing campaign.
I am glad to say that I have experienced a very rich December by the fact that I was rewarded with deep reflection and personal awareness. I want to share with you what has personally occupied my feelings the last month, and how those emotions tended to govern my behavior and outlook. My behavior and thoughts about the spa were greatly impacted by feelings of anxiety and through these feelings I did learn a lot about myself, and what I was presently doing and feeling in the spa.
If I could take one word to describe December, I would claim the word â€œinsecurityâ€ as most appropriate. As I move forward with some of my career goals, I feel it is only natural to feel anxiety and uncertainty because the actual progression forward brings about new obstacles and the way you deal with these barriers is what defines where you are going and what you ultimately accomplish.
I have moved forward in many ways in the year 2008. I feel a huge hurtle was in getting my license to be an Esthetician in North Carolina. Once I had this certification, I sought out a spa facility in which to perform my services. There were many emotions associated with this search for a facility because my original hopes were to own a day spa and work in the spa as well as run it. Over the summer as I pursued this, I was faced with opposition from the present owner of this particular spa, and was emotionally upset at how she reacted to my proposing to buy the spa from her. It was concern on her part that I am too young to own a spa at this time because I am still in school full-time, the fact that I have not owned a spa before, and I just received my Estheticianâ€™s license.
I didnâ€™t look at this experience negatively though. While it certainly wasnâ€™t fun to go through, it taught me more about myself, and what I am going to face as a young female trying to own a business and still be in school. I want to own a spa badly and have had this dream for four years now. The ownerâ€™s reaction only fueled the fire in terms of increasing my determination to pursue having a business of my own. I realized after that day I met her, that I was still going to embrace the value of my license and ability to fulfill my dreams even though I was pushed up against a barrier of bitterness when dealing with this owner.
Happily, I settled into a day spa where I could rent space to perform my services and still learn how to run my own business. This set-up allowed flexibility for me because I do still have a college major that I am fulfilling and my time needs desperately to be based between the commitments I have to Appalachian State University and the commitments I have to myself to support my business concerning the spa. Now, I find it very easy to type what I just did about balancing some of the significant priorities I have in my life right now, that being my education and the business, but 90% of the time it is easier said than done. I feel that this balance is of great importance to me now and will always be as I take on more responsibilities and initiatives to be a successful entrepreneur.
With this position where I rent a room from a day spa owner, I have the opportunity to bring in my own clients and choose the times in which I am available to work at the spa. I struggled once again to maintain balance as to when I could govern my time in the spa. This struggle was due to my expectations of how I initially thought I was going to be present in the spa just as I had planned it on my agenda, and the reality of my scheduling couldnâ€™t be fulfilled as much as I had thought.
My commitments to Appalachian through the hours I spent in class, along with homework, proved to be challenging as well as my duty to lead a student organization. By missing more time in the spa then I had thought, I experienced performance anxiety when I was set to go into the spa for a treatment/treatments. In my mind, if I could not be present frequently and have several appointments in one week, I grew nervous about my ability to produce a quality treatment to a client because I wasnâ€™t experiencing actually performing the services several times a week in order to keep my confidence level where I wanted it to be. It is not that I would have negative responses from clients because they were disappointed in the service or their experience, not the case at all, it was I who felt I was not performing to the best of my ability because I wasnâ€™t fulfilling my original plan of being present and working in the spa as much as I had initially expected.
So, as this anxiety and uncertainty matured, I developed a negative opinion of myself and what I was attempting to do. I was aiming to be experienced as an Esthetician and business owner, and yet my work became less and less appealing and I started avoiding it. I had worked diligently this summer to receive my license as an Esthetician and persistently lined-up a place to operate in as an Esthetician so that I could start a business.
But, my natural response to these feelings was one of often times waking up on the mornings I was to go into the spa, and having a fear of functioning and performing my best as an Esthetician and business-woman. The repetition of this feeling quickly made me lose confidence in what I was doing and even wonder if I had approached obtaining my license and running a business appropriately at all. â€œWas I really too young to pull this off? Could I dedicate the necessary time I needed to, in order to grow this business and experience what I needed to so that I could move onto the spa resort and vineyard?â€
What I mean is, had I not fully prepared myself for a productive lifestyle in which I could juggle a business, school, family, and a personal life? I couldnâ€™t tell you how many times those questions went through my mind. I was very quickly convincing myself to be inadequately playing the role of the Esthetician and business owner. Well, this question doesnâ€™t have a concrete answer I found out because I canâ€™t predict the future and honestly you have to live your life and attempt to do your best as you face new barriers in anything new you attempt to accomplish or learn.
I had realized earlier in this entrepreneurial journey that this anxiety and insecurity was making its way quickly into my thoughts and feelings and yet I had no clue as to how to tackle it. Thankfully, I communicated my feelings of insecurity to my family and friends relatively soon, as a way to find advice and comfort in dealing with the unsettling emotions behind such insecurity. Their advice on what I was going through largely focused on my needing to realize an appreciation for uncertainty in facing new challenges, and yet also finding out how I could work with my feelings of anxiety to move forward and tone it down if and when it shows up again in my thoughts and feelings.
I did embrace what they were saying and what I value the most is how this anxiety and insecurities helped me discover more about Kelly. I now feel there is significant value behind self-awareness. Having that awareness allows you to do a thorough inspection of you as a person. This inspection includes insight into you mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. It is like doing a 180 on what you want, desire, think, and actually do.
Based on this experience and many I know to come, what I take away from all of this is that I will seek to always have a self-awareness about what I am doing, thinking, and feeling so that I extract more value from my every experience.