Deep down inside, we all have an inkling feeling that there is more to the life that we are currently living. For some of us, we have wasted our time and energy working for companies that do not serve us or that doesn’t enable us to live out our purpose. Somehow year after year, we end up continuing this toxic cycle of “living” and continue to work unfulfilling jobs mainly because of fear. We are fearful of being rejected and living out of our comfort zone, so instead we shrink ourselves, limit our potential, and stay “stuck” in a role that does not serve us or the world.
Often times we try to blame our lives on other people or the situations that we are in, but honestly, the only person that is holding you back is you. In a recent talk with Serial Entrepreneur & Cincinnati native Morgan A. Owens, the biggest lesson that I learned was that we are the ones that stand in our own way of accomplishing our goals. We have to have enough of courage to take a chance on ourselves, and to invest in ourselves in every aspect of our life.
For Morgan, she dealt with self-love and self-esteem issues throughout grade school, throughout college, and leading into her twenties. Finally at the age of 27 she told herself that enough was enough. As Morgan told me, “I was in a relationship that was changing who I was and I wasn’t happy with me. I decided to love myself no matter what, and I said people are going to either deal with it or not. You get to a certain point and you have to ask yourself are you living for other people or living for yourself?”
Around this time, Morgan’s weight was a major thing that she wasn’t happy with so she decided to do something about it. At the job that she was working at, they had a weight watchers challenge. She joined that, experienced success, and later became a Zumba instructor (during the weight watchers challenge, Zumba was one of her workout styles of choice). As a Zumba instructor, Morgan taught her classes with her own unique twist. Her boss at the recreation center where she taught Zumba then gave her the idea to do her own thing because she knew Morgan had something special to contribute to the fitness industry. From there, Morgan started Curvy Cardio – a fitness brand empowering women to love themselves inside and out through fitness.
Once Curvy Cardio grew, people noticed and wanted to know how Morgan built this brand so she started having business workshops. From there, Morgan eventually launched her own personal brand, Morgan A. Owens, and through this, she curates workshops, conferences, and products to help women connect, network, and learn how to build a business.
For Morgan, having Curvy Cardio and launching her own personal brand was something she never thought would be possible. In her younger years, she had no idea she would start a business, let alone have two. As Morgan told me ” I went to college, expected to graduate with a job, work up the corporate ladder, get married, have babies, and be a stay at home mom – that was my prime goal trajectory. No shade to anyone that wants that life but I didn’t really have the self esteem to think that I was capable of doing anything else.”
Since launching her personal brand, Morgan has left her corporate America job (her last day was in April of 2018). By taking this leap of faith, having grit, and working her ass off, she has sold out her first conference, written a book (that sold out after the release), became a National columnist for Black Press USA , doubled her revenue, and has spoken nationwide.
If you are a budding entrepreneur and are tired of not living up to your purpose, here are top things you should know first, according to Morgan.
Don’t leave your 9-5 without an exit strategy
“I wanted to make sure I was financially set before leaving because you can’t really focus on growing a business if you’re trying to focus on paying essential bills. I had a set goal to save a certain amount of money and if I didn’t hit the goal, I would stay longer,” Morgan said.
Morgan also made a lot lifestyle sacrifices and that’s important for someone going into entrepreneurship. “For me I loved going to happy hours, I loved to shop, go out to eat, and get my hair and nails done often but I knew I had to cut back on this. I stopped going out to happy hour all the time, and instead I was at home working – and honestly I lost friends along the way. I used to be the girl that people would text “what’s popping tonight” and I was always down for a good time. Eventually I started responding back with “at home, working” and it wasn’t well received.”
Entrepreneurship will feel isolated at times
Getting support in her entrepreneurial journey was a major challenge that Morgan endured. Alot of times you have people that don’t have businesses and they’ll tell you to not leave your corporate job and to just do both (work 9-5 and side hustle). As Morgan told me, “Any entrepreneur that has gone full-time will tell you that in your heart you cannot give your all to your business until you do it full-time, because you are still worried about keeping up your performance at your corporate world.” Taking the leap into a journey that will not be as comfortable as your 9-5 will be hard for others to understand, and to encourage you on your way. No matter what, you have to be your biggest cheerleader. In our chat, Morgan also encouraged entrepreneurs to, “Insert yourself immediately into places and with people who are where you want to be – who have the same mindset.” Doing this will be critical – especially in a world where entrepreneurship can be lonely.
Stop letting fear hold you back
In order to start living out your purpose, Morgan says that you have to “Be honest with yourself! If you want to do it, you’ll do it. You have to push through the fear because how would you feel if someone with your same vision goes with it and runs with it – you’re going to be kicking yourself.”
Opportunities do not wait on anybody – you’re never going to get the same exact chance to go for it, so just do it now.