I started my company in 2009. I had just graduated from Johnson & Wales University and got hired in the height of the recession at my not-so-dream job. I was grateful to have a job, but knew I needed something else to put energy into. So, I started a business with my friend Alex*.
Alex and I had known each other for years- we worked together at the same non-profit and shared a love of Martha Stewart, organizing and anything cute. A business made sense- we could take on some fun projects, earn some extra money and maybe even turn it into a full-time gig down the road.
Over the next two years, we did have a few clients and projects, even planned a wedding, but never made the jump to go full-time. I felt that Alex lacked passion and drive and it was like pulling teeth to get her to meet after work for a strategy meeting. Her boyfriend also wasn’t helping, he was out of work for over a year and Alex supported him financially. Her boyfriend didn’t believe in her and wasn’t supportive.
In the summer of 2011, Alex and her boyfriend moved to New Hampshire. They were only there for about six months and wanted to move back to Rhode Island. I helped her get a job at a local coffee shop where she could get back on her feet and let Alex and her boyfriend stay at my apartment for a few weeks. Alex was depressed, deflated and uninspired. I felt like working on the business would help get her back on her feet, but she kept saying she needed to do a number of things (like get an apartment and a full-time job) before focusing on the company. I tried to understand.
*Names were changed