April 30, 2017

A Mother’s Journey [Part 43]: The road less traveled

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Editor’s note: Since September 2015, Worcester Sun has chronicled the trials and triumphs of Sun contributor Giselle Rivera-Flores as she explores ways to help her daughter and other Worcester families find affordable educational support and assistance. We used to describe her as an aspiring business owner; now, she’s an inspiring one. During her journey to establish and grow her nonprofit tutoring collaborative she has, you could say, stepped beyond the walls of her dream.

Giselle Rivera-Flores

Entrepreneurs can be viewed as larger-than-life characters. Always fighting against the preconceived notions of society and breaking the confining molds of the status quo.

While entrepreneurs may seem to be a group of outliers with hard-to-duplicate qualities, the truth is, entrepreneurs embody the same traits as the rest of the world. We just put them to use.

Creativity. Imagination. Risk-taking. Vision. These are traits we are all born with.

As children, we thrive on imagination and creating worlds of our own, and we succeed as novice risk-takers because our vision and goals are clear.

Children tend to live simply. No over-complications. Our dreams are big, our passions are pure and our ideas are innovative. But something happens between childhood and adulthood that changes our view of what we consider possible.

That world of possibility is the underlying motivator for entrepreneurs.

It is the silent reminder that all things are possible. “All things are within reach, if you are willing to work for it,” can be the staple slogan for entrepreneurship, but these ideas don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Working hard, using creativity and taking risk for the sake of our own personal improvement must be a model implemented in all walks of life and not only on the path of entrepreneurship.

Read Giselle’s previous chapter, The accidental perspective, or scroll down to explore more of her story.

The entrepreneurial animal thrives on questioning the way things are now. That inquisitiveness is critical in our day-to-day lives. Asking “Why?” is essential. If life hasn’t unraveled in your favor, then stop and ask why. Wonder how your life can be better. Ask “Why?” again.

Imagining an alternative life is how entrepreneurs find their way in the business world.

We spend our days considering techniques, products, services and brands that solve problems. We look at established businesses and wonder about their success, their failures and their goals, then we dedicate ourselves to finding something better — an alternative product, an alternative service or an alternative method of conducting business.

We are constantly “under construction,” and that’s OK.

Life doesn’t have to be black and white. It can exist in the shadowy areas of grey and even thrive in the unknown. Our biggest failure as adults is our tendency to follow the structure of life suggested by society and those who came before us. We follow a timeline that has been in place for decades, and too easily fall into a path of comfort.

Too many of us strip ourselves of the very traits that make us unique — scoffing at creativity, ignoring imagination and rarely taking risks. We favor stability over possibility. We rid ourselves of the passion we once had and instead learn to fit the mold.

This isn’t how life is meant to be lived.

Life should be seen through the lens of the entrepreneurial spirit, giving everyone a peek into the alternatives. Life should be a journey of exploration, a constant state of “under construction,” an exercise in discovering what could be.

Adding our innate entrepreneurial traits back into our daily lives can create a whirlwind of positivity and happiness.

It can eliminate the dreadfulness of the dead-end job, the overwhelming feeling of failure against a rising tide of daily challenges — that sense that nothing is good enough. Trust me, when we can be who we were meant to be, life seems easier. Self-investment is not to be feared — why do we forget that once we grow up?

When we are going against the current, it takes effort and hard work, and that often scares people away from being happy, both personally and professionally.

Life is what we put into it. Understanding the importance of entrepreneurship — and more importantly the principles behind it — has helped me and my business-building friends embrace the qualities in our personal lives we never want to outgrow.

Follow Giselle’s inspiring story from the beginning:

Part 1 — The Brooklyn trip

Part 2 — The playbook

Part 3 — The space race

Part 4 — The unsettling score

Part 5 — The point of no return

Part 6 — The poetry of motion

Part 7 — The keys to success

Part 8 — The stumbling block

Part 9 — The Learning Hubby

Part 10 — The next breath

Part 11 — The imperfect storm

Part 12 — The defining moment

Part 13 — The balancing act

Part 14 — The right turn on Pleasant?

Part 15 — The exploration within

Part 16 — The long way home

Part 17 — The road to empowerment

Part 18 — The new direction

Part 19 — The social club

Part 20 — The way forward

Part 21 — The momentum conundrum

Part 22 — The Pleasant Street exit

Part 23 — The stemming of the tide

Part 24 — The starting line, finally

Part 25 — The full head of steam

Part 26 — The kernels of wisdom

Part 27 — The Book of Hub

Part 28 — The great debate

Part 29 The girls are all right

Part 30 — The movement keeps moving

Part 31 — The picture of serenity?

Part 32 — The network effect

Part 33 — The original Woopreneur

Part 34 — The gift of reflection

Part 35 — The resolution revolution

Part 36 — The model students

Part 37 — The growing pains

Part 38 — The time trials

Part 39 — The parent trap

Part 40 — The stress test

Part 41 — The place to start

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