Updated: Aug 16, 2018
Growing up I never thought: “I want own my own business”. My aspirations at a young age were to be a Veterinarian or a Marine Biologist. I was into animals but didn’t realize how much math and science those fields require which were not my forte. Ha!
Even in college the idea of being entrepreneur only crossed my mind for fleeting moments. When I originally started college I wanted to be a wedding photographer, but even then I never thought too much about having my own studio or business. Then, ultimately, as an advertising major the goal was to always land a job with an agency.
But here I am, a few years out of college and I own two businesses.
First and foremost, I own Collectively Colleen. This blog. Which you might be thinking, “A blog isn’t a business!” But you couldn’t be more wrong. I went into the blogosphere with the intention to make connections and expand my creative abilities. What I didn’t know was how much work it was to run a blog. It literally is like another job. While yes, more fun than most jobs, it definitely still has the tedious tasks like paperwork and taxes.
My second business, while co-owned, is Nardo Agency, a Baltimore-Based Ad Agency that I co-own with my fiance, Peter. Out of college Peter had a tough time trying to find a job. He would apply to agencies and have interviews but ultimately they would hire someone for an “entry-level” job who already had 3-5 years experience. So he started to do freelance design work. Eventually those odd jobs here and there turned into monthly retainer clients and so Nardo Agency came to be. As you can imagine, it became hard for him to run it completely on his own so I decided to step up to the plate. Not saying that I hadn’t been helping most of the time! Together we had created the name and look for the brand.
As you can imagine, owning two businesses doesn’t allow for a lot of downtime. But if you know me, you know that I can’t sit still and I CAN’T STOP MOVING. If I have a weekend free, I always try to fill it with things. I’m always being driven to create and to grow. Which luckily, Peter is the same way. It’s probably how we are so perfect for each other. Unlike most people who say that you have to date someone opposite from you, Peter and I work so well because we’re one in the same. We feed off each other and when we’re excited about a project we motivate one another. He helps me with Collectively Colleen and I help him with Nardo Agency.
Being a business owner and an entrepreneur was definitely not what I had in mind when I thought about my future. I planned to just work hard and keep my head down. But destiny had another idea for me and I wouldn’t change it. This life has become so rewarding and has allowed me to step so far outside of my comfort zone and allow me to meet other incredible individuals. So I’m thankful to be an entrepreneur and a business owner and a creative.