We get asked a lot - I'm not a business owner, can I still join The B Hive Academy or enroll in Digital Masterhive? And each and every time we say yes. We'd yell it from the mountain tops if we could - working with women who are trying level up their careers, accomplish big things in their personal life is a huge part of what The Business Hive Academy and Digital MasterHive are all about.
Because it connects deeply with us - because it IS us.
For those of you who don't know - we both have full time jobs in addition to running The B Hive Apiary and The Business Hive Academy. We're also starting a third project (more coming on that soon!) Not to mention, we each coach outside of The Business Hive Academy. We're what we like to call...incredibly motivated and multi-passionate people, with undeniable devotion to making the lives of the women around us infinitely better through friendship and development.
It's a lot of work. So much so that we have to schedule in time to just be friends and do something fun. And its 100% worth it to us. But it wasn't always this way!
Erica has always had that entrepreneurial drive. The desire to do something on her own with the freedom to travel and do life exactly the way she wants. I, however, have not. I grew up in a family business and saw the struggle, the desperation and sometimes the poverty that was a result of it. And growing up I had vowed not to ever be in that place.
I'm going to give you a little bit of my background, so you can see how I got to where I am and how I still absolutely love the work I do in my career!
Watching my parents sometimes struggle to put food on the table or to get help from family and friends at the expense of their pride was never easy to watch - it wasn't always easy to experience either. It came as a part of the industry they were in and the throws of the financial market unfortunately. As a kid, I never wanted to be poor as an adult. I didn't want to struggle to buy food or to buy the nice clothes I always wanted. Owning a business has its extreme ups and its extreme downs and we experienced them all. I wanted to be rich and famous, and in movies. Looking back on it now - I'm so glad my journey brought me to where I am now because being famous can be just as difficult as being an average Joe, with the public eye constantly watching everything you do.
Throughout college, I worked in restaurants and bars. I was exactly what I didn't want to be - broke. There were times were I could barely afford to feed myself. So towards the end of 2012, I decided I needed to get out of the service industry and into something stable, consistent with the ability for me to create a financial plan. My body also was just not having being on my feet for 10-16 hours a day any more so it was a nice break. Within three months, I was able to land a job that was salaried, 40 hours a week and still had the opportunity for me to earn some hourly overtime if I wanted. It was my stepping stone, to get something better. And I did...6 months after that.
If you know me, you know I'm monstrously ambitious. I have high standards in my work place and I'm determined to do what I want and I'll do what it takes to get there. Its part of why I have changed jobs every year or so - because my opportunity for advancement has either remained stagnant or there are ethical issues I can't tolerate. But I LOVE working in Human Resources. Yes, there are things I don't like - you're often the sole HR person or sometimes the staff keeps a distance because you're the rule maker, but I love that every day I have an opportunity to impact an employee's life both at work and at home - through programs, benefits, trainings and paychecks.
When Erica and I started The B Hive Apiary, I had zero desire to start a business. Remember how I said I saw what it was like to run a business and I didn't want to go through that struggle? Yeah, that mentality still remained true. But The B Hive was starting to grow and starting become something so much more than just a book club and we HAD to look at the opportunities that it was presenting us. Not to mention, our members were asking how they could help us because we did so much. We were already doing the work so it made the most logical sense to add the extra steps for us to start making some money, so we could do more.
But here's the thing - if it weren't for The B Hive Apiary, I certainly wouldn't be out there trying to do something all on my own. I have a business partner in Erica and someone who I can rely on, trust and know can pick up the slack if I can't that week.
And it's 100% ok for me to not want to do extra stuff. For the time being, I've focused solely on growing The B Hive Apiary and The Business Hive Academy. As we get them running to the point of expansion and hiring staff then I will maybe consider doing something on my own. But if not, I've got plenty on my plate...because I'm still growing my career in Human Resources. I still want the stability of the job, the salary and the benefits that having a full time job gives me. And because I work in HR I know the costs of health insurance, the benefits of having 401k matching and paid time off! I'm not ready to give that up yet, and it's ok. I still have a lot to learn in the way of Human Resources and I'm still really eager to do so - because when it comes down to it, I can bring all that knowledge with me to The Business Hive Academy and into our next venture.
There's nothing wrong with not wanting to run a business on your own - or even with a partner. Never be afraid to say that you don't want that. For YEARS I was scoffed at because it was just expected that I would want to be like everyone else in my family - an entrepreneur. It wasn't for me at that time, and maybe its not for you at this time, or at all.
For some of you I hope that it's not for you! I really truly do! Not because it's competition or an over saturated market or whatever other reasons you could come up with in your head just now for a woman saying she doesn't want you to start a business (I promise they're not even remotely true). I want you not start a business because I want you to be a bad ass in your career and I want you to break some glass ceilings.
Part of the perk of working in HR is that I get to see the representation of women across a company - whether it be large or small. And let me tell you something - we need more women in leadership. We DESPERATELY need more women in senior level roles at companies. Now that we're finally allowed to have a seat at the table - we need to start occupying those seats and raising our voices.
We need start impacting businesses in the way we know we can - positively and profitably. Did you know, that in a study conducted by University of California, Davis they learned that of the 400 California companies they surveyed, the 25 with the highest percentage of female executives and board members, those companies saw a return of 74% HIGHER on assets and equity. When women are at the helm - we make more money. Check out this article for more statistics and facts about how women are fricken bad ass in the boardroom and how we can really impact the economy when we're leading the way at companies. (FORBES).
So as you can see, we still need career women because the more YOU do well in your career - the more women who will be able to follow in your foot steps, and the more women who are business owners will be able to achieve more success. We'll be taken more seriously, we will be given more funding, we will be creating a path for future generations to continue to excel in the workplace...not just as business owners.
Because who runs the world? Girls.
If you're interested in accelerating your career or need help starting your next big project, take a look at the Digital MasterHive. Our Mastermind group is for women from all over the globe - who are seeing to improve their lives, their careers, their businesses and grow their purpose and fulfill their dreams. You can complete the application on our website.