By Troy Headrick
I’m one complex dude. For example, I’m basically a shy person, but I like to openly write about very private experiences I’ve had and ruminate on what they’ve taught me. Also, I’m not really into money, but I’ve long been a bit of an entrepreneur.
I married a woman who has a similar entrepreneurial bent. When I first met her about a decade ago, during the time I was living in Egypt and teaching at the American University in Cairo, she ran a one-woman catering operation out of her home and did very well.
Today, in San Antonio, Texas, USA, my wife is a master baker and creates Mediterranean-style breads and desserts which she hawks at a really high-end farmer’s market in the nearby community of Boerne, Texas, a picturesque town located about a half-hour drive away from our home. Many of the townspeople have extraordinarily deep pockets and German-sounding surnames. Lots of them also telephone in orders, which my wife prepares, packages, and delivers.
I normally help my wife on Saturdays, market days. Because I have no kitchen skills whatsoever, my sole contribution is to provide help that can best be described as “manual labor.” In other words, I’m the flunky. I’m fair at loading and unloading things into our truck. I carry heavy objects from one location to another. I pitch our canopy and drive tent stakes into the ground. That sort of thing.
Last Saturday, I asked for the day off, and my boss, being occasionally lenient, honored my request, so I stayed home.
A surge of inspiration rushed through me almost as soon as she’d backed out of our driveway on her way to Boerne, and I found myself running over to my computer table. Once I’d arrived at my laptop, I turned it on and immediately began building the website I’d long been thinking about.
For months now, I’ve been toying with the idea of doing my own little startup. If you read my blogs regularly, you obviously know that I write, but you might not be aware that I once freelanced as an editor, back when I was a starving university student, and ended up making really good money in the process. Plus, editing of one kind or another is something I do as part of my regular job as an educationalist and writing center director. In fact, I spend a large portion of every workday creating and editing documents.
This is a hellaciously long-winded way to say that I just decided to carpe diem and create a webpage that would allow me to get started with my editing side hustle. Troy Edits and Writes is the result.
As soon as I finished and put it online, I started thinking about how frightening it is to start a business. Such fear has nothing to do with losing money or anything like that. Launching an enterprise, no matter how puny, is putting yourself out there, in the most public way possible. It’s making a declaration that goes something like this—Hello, this is who I am, and this is what I do.
Most of us try to hide lots about who we really are. But being a small business owner is the opposite of hiding.
I want to end on a shameless note. If you need editing or writing services, you might want to reach out (or not).