Updated: Apr 16, 2021
“It was an accident, I wasn’t looking for it, I wasn’t on the make.”
Hank Moody, of course, is referring to the night he met the love of his life, Karen. However, this also seems applicable to my journey as an accidental entrepreneur or how I dub myself on Instagram, “creative entrepreneur.”
I vividly remember staring blankly at my computer screen entering accounts payables when it dawned on me, “Am I just crunching numbers until I meet my husband, get married, move to the suburbs, and repeat my childhood?”
It was an epiphany on a random day that altered the course of my life. I devised a plan. Within a week, I developed a company name. (I literally thought of it in the ladies room washing my hands at work. You’re lying if your best ideas don’t come from the bathroom.) The following week, I established an LLC, logo, and website. I was, after all, a ghostwriter. The copy for my website took me all of ten minutes. (That is another service I provide. #shamelessplug.)
I sent one email, made a few posts, crafted some snazzy business cards on Vistaprint, and considered that my launch. Consult Courtney was officially live. I wouldn’t say business was exactly booming by any stretch of the imagination. To this day, my father is the best pro bono PR in the world. He’s a salesman through and through. And I quote, “A good salesman always carries a pen.” (Hence, why I also made promo pens.)
You can either spend your life waiting for it to happen how you planned or you can just live it. Six months after I formed my company, I walked into my father’s office and told him I was grateful for the last ten years, but I needed to do something on my own. He respected my wishes and so I quit my job to pursue my passion full-time. That and I despised commuting two-plus hours every day. It’s life-sucking, satellite radio or not.
I took some time off. Experienced a different coast. (Californication. Get it?) Wrote a book. Tapped into my real life goals, dreams, and vulnerabilities. Quite frankly, if I hadn’t taken this giant risk, at this very minute, I’d be late picking up my kids from school because I found something amazing at Target.
I’m from the Midwest. If you’re not married by thirty, it’s like the diaspora to find a husband. As for myself, I prefer to go against the grain. I don’t like doing or having what everyone else does. It’s never been who I am. I knew I’d find the right person for me, but I needed time to get to know me first.
And the me at 36 wouldn’t know the me at 26. I wouldn’t say I was raised to be this “career woman.” And I don’t fault my parents. Sometimes you’re just a product of your environment. You can choose whether or not you break the mold. Sure, it was important I obtain a college degree. Major? Anything.
It’s funny, looking back I probably would have thrived in the business school. My boyfriend thinks I’m a legit programmer since I update my website, create original memes, and operate all my social media. (Pet peeve: I loathe paying people for things I can do or learn myself.)
While I’m not married or chasing after the four or five kids as I’d imagined, I’d likely be happy because that’s one side of the coin. But the other side is something really beautiful too.
It’s taught me that I’m actually not only smart, but extremely capable. Yes, I’ve failed. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve trusted people I shouldn’t have. I’ve lost money. I’ve lost time. I’ve doubted myself. But if you’re not taking away any lessons in business, then you’re learning absolutely nothing.
Here I am now. One book published. Two fiction novels awaiting release. A product line in the works. And an empire left to build.
Like my pal Hank said, “As a writer, I’m a sucker for happy endings.”
I got mine. Even if I had to write it.