My goal was never to become a business owner, I like to say that it happened by accident. 

In 2013, I took the biggest chance of my life by quitting my corporate job and moving out of state without having another job lined up. Now, some people call that stupidity, and at the time I thought so too, but I was too determined to care. Naturally, I had a backup plan in terms of finances although I assumed that things would work out because I had never had trouble finding a job.
Well, all that was about to change. For a year, I went on interviews only to go home and never hear from them again. My phone calls were ignored, my voicemails were not returned, I began to feel disrespected by the very people who had smiled at me and walked me out the door with a handshake and a "you'll hear from us soon." I could not understand what was going on. It hurt. I cried so many times, and my self-esteem took a serious hit. It does not feel good to be rejected.

On one particular interview I will never forget, I was given a grand tour of the office space after meeting with the major decision-makers of the corporation. Why else would they do that if they were not thinking of hiring me? So you can imagine my surprise when the manager walked me to the elevator, shook my hand, and told me she would be in touch in a few days, and I never heard from her again. That particular rejection was a big blow to my confidence because I was so sure that I had the job. The only email response I ever got back was an acknowledgment to the thank you emails I sent after the interview that day. After a few weeks of my attempts to follow up on their decision passed, I knew I was never going to hear from them - not even a courtesy email to say that they had decided to go with someone else. I was devastated, but it was also my wakeup call.

While I was interviewing, I was also working on The Brielle Agency, taking on projects when they became available, and attending networking events. As a matter of fact, I had been editing as a side-hustle even when I held a full-time job; I had just not considered that it was a sustainable business idea. 

Then one day, while I was wallowing in my funk, my husband (fiancé at the time) suggested that I take a break from job searching and focus on turning my editing side-hustle into an actual business. He offered to carry the financial burden alone, and support the process in any way that he could. Let me mention just how important it is to marry someone who supports your dreams. I know I could not have pursued my dreams without the support of my husband. While he got up and went to work every morning, I stayed home, occasionally working in coffee shops, pounding the virtual pavement.

Building a business hasn’t been all peaches and roses, I'll admit that. There have been hard times, months at a time when I had no projects coming in, moments when I've been so frustrated that I considered going back to interviewing for jobs (that alone should tell you how bad it had to be for me to consider going back to that). But every time, my husband was my voice of reason as he reminded me that success does not happen overnight, that no one else can do what I do the way that I do it, and that we will get there someday if we persist. It was what I needed every time to stay focused.

We are not there yet. There have been days of harvest and then dry days for weeks at a time in 2016, but things have greatly improved. In the last four months alone, there has not been a month when I did not have a new contract coming in. And with the inquiries coming in at a rate faster than I can keep up, 2017 is already off to a good start. The month of January is fully booked.

I’m not here to paint a rosy picture, no, I’m simply sharing my journey in the hopes that someone will be encouraged to stay on the journey they have already began. We all know that persistence pays off, and yet many times we are too impatient to persist. We look at the present and allow that to dictate the future, when the truth is that neither you nor I know what is going to happen tomorrow. We seek immediate results, today, this very minute. We lack faith, and so we give up just when things are on their way to getting better. 2017 will be my fourth year in business and things are a lot better than they were four years ago, so I can see success on the horizon. Everything takes time, you will reap the benefits if you put in time and stay the course.


01/04/2017 1:28pm

I have been encouraged, God bless your hustle sister.

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