Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Charleston Edwards, Founder of Own Your 5 to 9, located in Charles Town, WV, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Own Your 5 to 9 is an organization that helps working parents overcome the burnout of the 9-5 to protect the values that matter most! In a world that has completely shifted since March of 2020, the future of work is putting the focus on valued-based lifestyles. To further amplify the work-life current we are experiencing globally, the stark reality is that a lot of working parents typically hits the crossroads of a mid-life identity crisis due to the competing forces of growing in a career and growing a family. The pandemic amplified this particular dynamic. Own Your 5 to 9 supports those stuck in this particular crossroads by providing strategic planning tools for the family, but also planning tools to overcome the fear of leaping out of corporate into a family-driven entrepreneurial endeavor. Our customers truly find the freedom to live when their ability to identify their mission in life and also missions for their families.
Tell us about yourself
I first landed in the world of entrepreneurship in 2007, with a focus on event planning and production for large-scale conferences. I went back into being an FTE for approximately ten years and returned back to entrepreneurship in 2021 with a new passion for advocating for the family and living a life of intentionality. My passion is based on my own experience of experiencing burnout both professionally, physically, and emotionally while also co-parenting, raising, and homeschooling three young kids. As I looked around at the millions of stories of the Great Resignation, I was not alone. Being a person of deep faith, I leaned on God to help me identify how to navigate a transition to a lifestyle that was more harmonious with who I was as a person. This was the birth of Own Your 5 to 9! Not to tell people to quit their day job but to give a voice and living example to workers to live a life of purpose, on a mission, and leaning into their natural talents.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I've spent the last two years writing and researching this space. The first of a 4 part writing series (called "Running Home") will be hitting the bookstore shelves this May, which is an affordable DIY workbook for families to redesign their culture, habits, and schedules. The second part of this series will also be a DIY planner for individuals who are feeling called to start their own entrepreneurial journey.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The biggest difference between working as an employee vs. entrepreneurship is scheduled income. If you can overcome the discomfort of not knowing your take-home pay during the initial stages, then the likelihood of survival is promising. Discipline is the key to getting through this discomfort by finding inspiration on a daily basis (remembering your "why"), building boundaries to protect the experiences that bring you energy, and remaining consistent for the tasks that bring value to others. All of this requires extreme self-awareness and remaining true to who you are. Keep giving value out for free to the world and listen to the response to help refine the most viable product you're selling to the world.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
My three tips for any aspiring business owner are first, don't haphazardly quit your day job. Create a one or 2-year runway with your current day job while strategizing new endeavors behind the scenes. I would even recommend setting up a framework that allows your transition to turning your employer into your future client. Secondly, choose wisely what you want to do. This requires making your personal mission statement for how you want to show up in this world. Being an entrepreneur is like a roller coaster, and you'll want to make sure you are in it for the right reasons. In the process of choosing wisely, you'll want to unpack lost passions and natural gifts that have sparked joy since childhood and even where that fulfillment has hit you during your professional advancement. Make a Venn diagram of what fills you, where there is a need, and what you're naturally good at. Find mentors that can help you in your journey...you don't want to do any of this in a silo. Lastly, keep your business model insanely simple out of the gates. You don't want to recreate a prison that you're already trying to escape from. Freedom, autonomy, and a purpose greater than you are benefits of being a business owner...these should not be taken for granted. Remember that all work is a form of love, a gift back to this world. When that is the primary goal, the mindset through adversity will be strengthened.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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