05.31.11

The Next Career

Posted in Monthly at 5:29 am by Pasha

By Pasha Holiday

Enjoy the moment. Live for today. Carpe Diem!

Sure, it’s all true. Today is what we have and we should seize all the minutes, enjoy them, hold them close and work to live in them. However, tomorrow really is only a day away. Because it is inevitable that the calendar will roll along to another day; Because my five-month-old now gives me enough time to think about myself, I have been thinking, what is next on the agenda for this life?

Each time I have a little down time, I gravitate towards writing, specifically writing the Great American Novel. But alas, I feel uninspired and each time I sit down at the computer to put words together I find myself procrastinating on Facebook or People.com. I do anything but write. For me, the act of writing is less of a tangible product. Somehow the worth of my writing is only measured by me and therefore, cannot possibly be what I do to move laterally up the ladder.

Entrepreneurial blood is coursing through my body. At the crossroads of my life, one kid down and a few careers behind me, I need to find something else that sustains my creativity, that makes me feel productive and that makes me money. After spending 15 years in the workforce, working for other people, and now taking five months away (working part-time from home), I am sure of one thing, and one thing only: I am not going back there. It is unimaginable to me that I will go back to working eight hours away from home while someone else has the luxury of precious moments with my growing child. Sure, I enjoyed those careers in journalism, marketing, bartending and management, but in my current state, those are all unfathomable. There has to be another way!

Since food is one of my greatest passions, I always thought my first business would be something food related. In recent years I have been engrossed in the Food Truck movement and seriously thought that I would be getting my eats fleet started while the little one was still immobile. But as any researcher knows, reassurance changes when you start to realize what the new business will entail. For a food truck, or any food business, that is a lot a start-up costs, high risk and time away from my baby (because realistically, he can’t ride along on the food truck with me … he hates the car!) I had to ask myself, would that be right for my family right now?

So there went that idea; several years of hopes and dreams collapsed into reality. What could I possibly do that engages my passion, my creativity, keeps me with my child and also brings home some bacon? I came back to one of my most beloved hobbies, something I am good at innately and have been doing since I was young: shopping!

Initially, I thought that I could parlay that into a viable business by starting a retail store (upscale second-hand boutique) in Chicago. After scoping properties for rent on a stretch of the high street close to home, where gentrification would be positive for our property value, I decided against an actual store front. Since I spend so much of my life online, and it is where I could reach the largest number of buyers, I have decided that a retail website would be perfect for my next business adventure!

The research has begun. Ten books borrowed from the library, online research and a whole lot of daydreaming, has made this online retail business seem like an actual possibility. The overhead and cost to start the business is relatively low; I have spent more money on spring break in college! I would not consign the clothes to sell, instead I would be the buyer, sourcing from thrift stores, estate sales and yard sales. I think about how many amazing designer clothes I have NOT bought because they were too big or too small for me. I think of how many amazing items I have added to my own closet over the years: Gucci, Pucci, Dolce and Gabanna, Burberry, Seven Jeans, DVF, Salvatore Ferragamo, a constant rotation of wardrobe staples from J Crew, Banana Republic and Gap, for prices so minuscule that style has never been out of reach. I have sold two dollar finds on eBay for hundreds.

The only thing standing between me and this new career, is fear. What if the brand is not exactly right? What if the website is not catchy enough? What if I cannot source enough clothing? What if I come up last on search engines? What if I fail?

I have decided to consider the “What Ifs” and plow right through them. There is only one way to be successful, to make the next move and to have the best life that I can, and that is to just go ahead and take the plunge. Sure, I have much more research to do, details to figure out and *gasp* a name to decided on. I am looking for a launch sometimes towards the end of summer.

The dream, beyond the initial year of losing money, falling and getting up, of struggling to get recognized, is vivid and beautiful. Styling models in clothing to sell online and taking buying trips to the cities I love are all part of that dream. I see the future with more babies, with my own business and with pride and passion for everything that I do. And maybe even one day, the Great American Novel!