Hey beautiful friends! Welcome to a solo episode with me, your host, Kat. I’m so excited to talk to you about something I’ve been reflecting on during my recent sabbatical: my journey as an artist and entrepreneur. If you listened to my solo episode a few weeks ago, I shared about taking a break to heal from burnout. Today, I want to dive deeper into the reasons why I chose this path and how it’s shaped my life.

Follow me at @katerinaspopova

The Unexpected Path to Entrepreneurship

I never intended to be a business owner. I didn’t think I had a business bone in my body. Like many of you, I felt lost when it came to the idea of running a business. No one in my family or circle of friends was an entrepreneur. I grew up in post-Soviet Russia, where starting a business wasn’t even an option. But life had other plans for me, and I discovered that we all have so much potential and the ability to learn new things.

Now, I’m celebrating my eighth year of being self-employed. It’s been a journey filled with challenges, growth, and incredible experiences. Here are ten reasons why I became an entrepreneur and why I continue to love this path:

1. Not Fitting In

No matter how many jobs I applied for or circles I tried to fit into, it just wasn’t happening. It felt like rejection at first, but I realized that it was actually redirection. My last job at a Capital One call center had supportive management who believed in my passion for art, which helped me transition into self-employment.

2. Valuing Freedom

I value freedom immensely—time freedom, freedom of schedule, and the freedom to choose my projects. It was hard to balance painting and a day job, but I fantasized about having all day to create. Now, I can take time off, go grocery shopping when it’s not busy, and enjoy my life more fully.

3. Inspired by Trailblazers

Early on, I was inspired by art blogs like Colossal and The Jealous Curator. I also drew inspiration from non-art influences like Nicki Minaj’s entrepreneurial spirit. These trailblazers showed me that creating my own path was possible.

4. The Thrill of Creating

I’m a manifestation generator, constantly moving through projects and ideas. Being an entrepreneur allows me to pull the trigger on my projects and bring them to completion. I’ve been able to create so much over the past eight years, and I’m grateful for that freedom.

5. The Adrenaline Rush

There’s definitely an element of fight or flight in entrepreneurship. The uncertainty can be stressful, but solving problems and overcoming challenges gives me an adrenaline rush. It’s like a roller coaster, but I’ve learned to embrace it and trust in my ability to figure things out.

6. Choosing Peace

Peace is a huge reason I love being self-employed. I can wake up, spend hours reading, writing, and meditating, and say no to projects that drain me. Learning to pause and think about my commitments has been crucial for maintaining my well-being.

7. Building Relationships

Through my membership in Art Queens and other entrepreneurial connections, I’ve built incredible friendships and a supportive community. It’s been a gift to connect with like-minded creatives and entrepreneurs who understand the journey.

8. New Opportunities

Every day is a new canvas and a new opportunity. I get to set my schedule and decide what’s important. I’ve learned to focus on a few key tasks each day, which has helped me make the most of my time without feeling overwhelmed.

9. Lifelong Learning

As a business owner, there’s always something to learn. Whether it’s a new technique, a business skill, or a creative project, I love the continuous growth and learning that comes with entrepreneurship.

10. Making an Impact

I hope to leave the world a little better than I found it. Through my work, I aim to support and inspire other artists and create opportunities for them. Whether it’s through my magazine, coaching, or personal stories, I want to contribute positively to our community.

Final Thoughts

If you’re considering self-employment or entrepreneurship, I hope these reflections encourage you. It’s a journey filled with ups and downs, but the rewards are immense. Treating this path as a big puzzle to figure out rather than something to fix can make it more fun and fulfilling.

Thank you for joining me on this journey. If you’d like to read more about my experiences and daily musings, follow me on Substack: https://artandcocktails.substack.com.

For my favorite books and resources, visit my Amazon Shop: https://www.amazon.com/shop/katerinaspopova.

Stay connected with me and explore more at Create! Magazine and Art Queens.

Thank you for your support and for being part of this journey!

With love,