Entrepreneurial Fever

I have a sticky note on my ultrawide monitor that says, “the possibilities are endless.” I have always believed that; ever since I was a kid, I have had some kind of business.
At one point, it was a ‘bakery.’ I piled my Girl Scout cookies on trays and sold them to the neighbors for a penny a piece.

When Girl Scout cookies retired for the season, I switched to something new. This time, I created an art gallery. My brother and I drew about 50 chalk and oil pastel drawings. This time, I think the neighbors bid a quarter a piece.

When I got tired of that, I decided to become a playwright. My friend Hannah and I created dramatic representations of stories we wrote. We designed our own tickets and performed for our parents.

When the novelty of writing plays wore off, I became a little more sophisticated. It was 1994, and I was ten years old. My dad bought an uber Mac notepad, complete with 6 megabytes of RAM, that had Microsoft Word on it. I was in heaven. I remember being amazed at the colors on the monitor. The only computers I had ever seen previously had black screens and either orange or green text. I designed a newsletter every month for about a year and sent it to everyone on my mom’s Christmas card list. (I often wonder at what point I really started to annoy the neighbors.) I don’t really remember what was in my newsletter much, but I do remember my friend Lauren and I writing articles about our dogs. For a ten year old, it was all the rage. (Side note: our ‘debut’ as reporters on the neighborhood pets actually started something; Lauren ended up being a very successful PR agent, and I went on to become a professional writer and designer.)

In highschool, thought back on my previous entrepreneurial efforts and groaned in embarrassment. However, it didn’t stop me from moving forward. I was then in honors English and wrote for the school newspapers. I also had my own newsletter on the side that my fellow honors friends, Rachel and Rachel, were columnists for. (As I look back on it, I am pretty sure they had more interesting things to write about than their dogs.) At the time, I wanted to be a news reporter, but I soon realized that I was falling head over heels in love with the design of the papers as much as the writing. When I was accepted in to the honors English program and University of Akron, I took an entrepreneurial break. But even though I wasn’t actively operating a business on the surface, the wheels in my head never stopped turning.

I transferred to a smaller school after my first year at Akron and chose to major in Technical Communication. It was a perfect blend of design and writing- my first love. As I made my way through the rigorous four year program, I learned a lot that my professors probably never intended for me to learn. Technical Communication dovetailed beautifully with my entrepreneurial ambitions, and I filled notebooks with the ways that it could apply to my business. The entrepreneurship bug had bitten me hard, and I definitely had the fever. I stored copies of my business plans on a flash drive that had exponentially more storage than my old Mac notepad.

On one hand, I was a starry-eyed dreamer who had no shortage of vision. On the other hand, what I desperately lacked was not ambition, but clarity. How would I possibly be able to execute all my business ideas? How would I blend them in a cohesive organization? How would I get startup capital?

Six months into my first job after my college graduation, sitting in my depressingly dark, windowless office, I decided that it was now or never. “Take the plunge and do it,” I said to myself. The very next day I contacted Traci Long, President of ThreeDM Communications and CEO of Ladies Who Launch, and she spent the next year reading my business concepts and consulting me over the phone. What struck me the most about Traci was her ability to bring everything into clarity. “This is all very doable,” she would say, “Let’s create a timeline and an execution plan so you can knock out all your ambitions in sequence.”

And then the concept of Terra Verde was born. What it is today is only a small rest stop on the way to somewhere huge. Every day, Terra Verde is growing and moving forward, and I hope that it encourages others who have the entrepreneurial fever to reach for their dreams and live their best life. After all, the possibilities are endless.