Clothes for a cause – ending Human Trafficking

Insight 2: Reality Check

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Proverbs By Efua makes work clothes for a cause – ending Human Trafficking. It’s a brand that’s meant to inspire and make the world a better place.

I’ve learned 12 key things so far while trying to launch Proverbs By Efua. Every Wednesday, I’ll expand on each insight.

Insight 2: Reality Check

Many times, those uninvolved with starting a business assume that once someone has an idea, it is that very idea that is launched to market. I don’t know too many businesses that have gone from idea to conception with no iterations. If you know one, message me. I’d be super curious to learn about it. For me, it was no different. The essence of the idea remained unchanged, but the specifics changed from day to day, hour to hour, and minute to minute. The frequency of change is slowing down as I approach my launch date (which hopefully will be in the next couple of weeks).

On a side note, this is probably one of the biggest indicators as to whether entrepreneurship is for you: Can you flow with the constant change?

What has been my Proverbs By Efua journey so far?

It was in September of 2011 when my life was going in the absolute opposite direction of what I had envisioned. So I prayed a rather ridiculous prayer asking God for something more than what lay before me. All I can say is be careful what you pray for.

My life’s woes made the last couple of months of my MBA program extremely challenging but I made it through. As I sat through the graduation ceremony in December 2011, though I cannot for the life of me remember what the keynote speaker was saying (I’m sure it was something inspiring), I felt he was speaking to me. This was my reality check. I thought about my life to that point and wondered for the umpteenth time,

“If I died today, would people remember me for something other than my smile?”

It took a lot of soul searching, but I eventually decided to take the plunge as I discussed in my first insight. Am I saying that starting your own business is the only way to make an impact? ABSOLUTELY NOT!! You are uniquely called to do whatever God has laid on your heart to do. It’s not a comparison game. The question is, in your area of life, how are you making a difference?

As I mentioned, there were several iterations. Proverbs By Efua started with a huge desire to make a difference in the world. The method to achieve this is what has changed drastically from iteration to iteration. I wanted to make a BIG positive impact, solve a BIG human problem. But what? I had many ideas but they all culminated in one. Drum roll please… Human trafficking.

This topic has been one that has touched my heart deeply and one that I have hoped would just go away. I just wanted to live in denial with the fact that this is a crazy world we live in.

When I first heard the term “human trafficking” I was living in Dallas, TX and Gary Haugen, CEO of International Justice Mission(IJM) and University of Chicago JD Alum (Go UChicago! Had to throw that in there 😀 ) came to speak at my church. Prior to that, I thought that human trafficking was some problem happening somewhere out there, but not possibly over here, in my back yard (Houston Chronicle Article). Unfortunately, I was very wrong. When I learned about the number of girls trafficked to and from the United States, I was floored. In other words, when girls are lured from the lives they know, some find themselves in the United States, living in hell, in a country that represents living ones dreams (FBI Article). This reality is pretty scary and quite frankly, a little too much for me to digest. This is why it was just better for me to live in denial. But it just seemed like no matter where I turned, there was some sort of awareness event, party, poster, book, flyer, drawing, bracelet, you-name-it, on human trafficking. I couldn’t escape it. It just would not go away.

“So you want to make a big difference Efua? Here you go. This is how.”

“Noooo. This is toooo big and not warm and fuzzy. What about something else?” I thought.

But the more I tried to fight it, the more obvious it became that this is what I was supposed to support. Of course, this is not even close to where I started, but I’m glad I’m here.

The journey, to get here has been quite the adventure to put it mildly, but without it, I wouldn’t be here striving to make a difference.

So you want to start your own business but, you feel like the road travelled has been too all over the place. No problem! That doesn’t disqualify you. Refocus and define your vision and goals and roll and tumble with the ever-changing details. The questions for you as you roll and tumble are do you feel you are making a difference in your area of life? Do you need a reality check?

Please feel free to leave comments.

Stay tuned next Wednesday for Insight 3: Where do I start?

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