There is a new Barbie Doll on the market - don't worry I don't sell her! - Entrepreneur Barbie. According the Barbie website: She "is ready to make a bold business move and strike out on her own to achieve her career dreams! Entering the entrepreneurial world, this independent professional is ready for the next big pitch. Barbie Entrepreneur doll wears a sophisticated dress in signature pink that features modern color blocking and a sleek silhouette. Her “smartphone,” tablet and briefcase are always by her side. And luxe details, like a glam necklace, cool clutch and elegant hairstyle, add professional style statements for a smart, stylish professional. Includes Barbie doll wearing career fashion and accessories, clutch, briefcase, tablet and smartphone. Doll cannot stand alone."
It is amazing how easy Entrepreneur Barbie makes it seem. I wish being an "entrepreneur" meant having as glamorous as lifestyle as this Barbie. It all seems simple, come up with a great idea, put it online and you'll live a life of luxury. Not! As an Entrepreneur, most of the time, I couldn't look more unlike Entrepreneur Barbie. It is true that I have brown hair, not blonde, and I'd never wear a "sophisticated dress in signature pink" (maybe that is the problem), but seriously, most of the time, I'm running out of the door with 3 kids, hoping that I remembered everything I needed for the day - the packages to mail, the new items to drop-off at the store, the custom order someone at school asked me for, the cheques to bring to the other vendors and meanwhile all that is running through my mind is the most efficient way to get it all done in a day, the ten emails I still need to respond to, the blog post that should have been written and the Facebook posts that should have been scheduled, etc.. As an entrepreneur, there is a never ending list of things to do.
I definitely don't look very glamorous, having slept only a few hours a night for weeks trying to get everything done. Forget the "glam necklace" and "cool clutch" there is no way they would make it out the door with me in the morning rush, even if I did own them (which I don't). Half the time I'm on my way to a business meeting (running late as usual, wishing that somehow I could be on time, for once) and I'm putting on a bracelet, or lipstick or mascara (yes even mascara) in the car. There have even been times that I've glued the soles on shoes, tried to cover up rips in pants and stains on shirts, etc.. so I could pull off the business glam look and appear like I've got this entrepreneur thing down. Who are we all kidding? Very few of us can pull of entrepreneur glam and we shouldn't have to!
Really, the only part about Entrepreneur Barbie that has anything to do with being an entrepreneur is that she can't "stand alone." It is true - no entrepreneur can do it alone. We depend on so many other people to feel even slightly successful. We need people to love our business, we need people to love our product enough to spend money on it, we need people to love us and want to buy into our dream, we need people to read our blog posts, like our Facebook status, like our Instagram posts and retweet our Twitter tweets, etc... As a entrepreneur, you are constantly dependent on other people for your success. Entrepreneurs definitely don't stand alone. We depend on the support of so many other people and while many of them are not cheerleaders (like my husband) they are holding us up and keeping us together so that we can keep going day after day, putting as much as we can into our business in an attempt to be successful.
All of us entrepreneurs work hard, we work really hard, and most of us don't look anything like Entrepreneur Barbie doing it. There is a quote that "entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week for themselves in order to avoid working 40 hours a week for someone else." I laugh every time I read it, as it is true. Being an entrepreneur is nothing to romanticize and glamourize. It is hard work and many of us work for ourselves AND work for someone else in order to keep pushing for our dreams. I work 25 hours a week as a Program Director and I do it because that is the reliable income my family depends on in order to live in gorgeous, but expensive, Vancouver. I also do it because I love it and when days are tough owning my own business, I get to appreciate working for someone else.
I think it is important to follow your dreams but sometimes dreams take planning, patience and time. Most importantly, dreams take very hard work. Hard work that often doesn't often involve glam necklaces, cool clutches and colour block pink dresses. My kids won't be playing with Entrepreneur Barbie any time soon unless they want to help her learn to stand.