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Authenticity: A Journey as a 22-Year-Old Female Business Owner
When I decided to open my own brick-and-mortar yoga studio at the age of 20, and my media management business at the age of 21, I knew I was embarking on a difficult journey. The dream was prominent, and the drive was there, but the confidence was something to be built on. There were so many decisions to be made; what kinds of services to offer, what to price them at, and how to market, manage, and expand, to name a few. Turning to those around me for inspiration and advice was invaluable for the decisions I had to make along the way for my business.
However, this began to shed some doubt onto my outlook, as many had been building their businesses for years and had large networks, extensive education, and business experience. Looking back, it is clear how this journey would become a testament to the importance of embracing who I am, a now 22-year-old, female business owner with a lets-do-it attitude.
Being a young entrepreneur came with its fair share of challenges aside from the ones I cast upon myself. There were some that doubted my abilities and questioned whether I had the experience or knowledge to succeed in the competitive world of business. It was disheartening to face skepticism solely because of my age, and I went as far as hiding or avoiding the subject altogether, or even creating a ‘phantom business owner’ that would ‘get back to you soon’ in some circumstances.
My main drive behind any project has always been the human connection. Expanding my network, meeting others, and genuinely connecting with authenticity is what I thrive off of. Except, this is hard to do when you feel you have to hide your authentic self. I had somehow created this constant internal battle for what the best practices should be for establishing myself in my field and having my businesses recognized as legitimate and respected entities.
I finally made the conscious decision to start showing up as my authentic self. I realized that my age and unique perspective were strengths rather than weaknesses. Instead of trying to conform to traditional norms or mimic the approaches of older entrepreneurs, I focused on leveraging my passion, enthusiasm, and fresh ideas to set my yoga studio and media management business apart.
The work that it took to physically build, run, and staff my businesses is the same level of work that I put into them every day. It requires unwavering dedication and a commitment to consistent hard work. There were moments when doubts crept back in when it would have been tempting to let my age become an excuse or a barrier. However, I refused to let that define me. I knew that my passions and my desire for improvement as well as human connection is stronger than any self-doubt.
As I poured my heart and soul into my businesses, the authenticity I brought to my work started to resonate with others. Clients were drawn to the genuine experiences I offered, and their support and loyalty began to build.
It was not just clients who took notice. Along the way, I met other incredible entrepreneurs and earned partnerships with brands such as lululemon and Pressed Juice. Local business owners and well-established brands within the industry began to recognize the value of what I was doing. They saw the dedication, the consistent hard work, and the impact I was making. Age gradually became irrelevant as my expertise and passion spoke for themselves.
This journey has shown me that age should never be a deterrent to pursuing our dreams. When we wholeheartedly embrace who we are, regardless of our age, we bring something unique and valuable to the table. If you find yourself in a similar position, whether you are in your twenties, fifties, or beyond, remember that your voice and perspective matter. Trust your instincts, believe in your abilities, and let your originality shine through.
Don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo or bring fresh ideas to the forefront. Success knows no age, and through your own determination, you can let your work earn the respect and recognition that you deserve.
So, to all the young entrepreneurs, dreamers, and planners, I encourage you to become the do-ers of your community. Start taking the steps towards making your passion into your livelihood today. Embrace who you are and let your authenticity be your superpower. Work tirelessly at your passions, and watch as you pave the way for your own fulfilling journey.
About the Author
Name: Katrina Marsh
Professional Title: Entrepreneur
Bio: Katrina Marsh is the Founder of Busy Bee Yoga and Co-Founder of Maganda Media Management. She was recently announced as a co-author for the Women Thrive Book Vol. 2.
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