Face The Fear, Ladies


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Okay, I’ll begin by telling you that I’ve been divorced for about 5 years, have an amazing family and by anyone’s standards, I have a wonderful life.

I worked in the film industry for almost 9 years for my ex-husband’s company. But when we split, I had the dire task of figuring out just what else I was supposed to do, having worked in that industry for his company for the duration of our relationship, here I was, having to think about finding a job. A what? I was totally clueless. Where would I start? I’m the first to admit that I’m probably not going to receive ‘employee of the month’ honors anytime soon, and the thought of actually having a boss makes me cringe (I’m definitely the “I only have two hands, do it yourself” type of employee).

Considering all of these things, I realized that it was probably best that I start thinking about starting my own business. But what kind of business was I going to start? What did I know about running a business? What did I know how to do? Granted, I could fold laundry, and change a mean diaper, but who was going to pay me for doing that? I was terrified. What was I going to do? What if what I did was a flop? Worse yet, what if this endeavor was a success?

Anyway, one day I returned from a shopping trip with a black handbag amongst my treasures. When I took it out of the shopping bag, my daughter looked at me and said, “Another black handbag? What’s up with all of the black handbags?” Okay. I’m a self-confessed handbag junkie, but when I was shopping for a handbag, all I could find were black bags and I had more black handbags than I cared to admit to. I told my daughter that what I’m looking for essentially is a really unique handbag. Something that people will stop me on the street to ask, “Where did you get that handbag?”, but I can’t find it. To which she replied (and she was 10 at the time), “If someone doesn’t already make it, why don’t you make it?” My thought was, “Me? Make a handbag?” Can I do that?”

I thought about my daughter’s suggestion for about a month. After which time, I decided to go ahead and start my company designing and manufacturing handbags. I studied fashion design when I was younger, and I couldn’t think of any reason that a handbag would be more difficult to make than a dress. Decision made!

I started my first company in November, and by February, I had 23 stores who were carrying my product. I designed and drafted the pattern, found the fabric, manufactured the products, and I did it all alone. I work at home for the bulk of the time and it’s a ton of work, but I’m happy with it.

Looking back now, I can’t figure out exactly what it was that I was so afraid of. I just knew that I was terrified, but decided to go ahead and do it anyway. Turns out, it was a wonderful decision. I’m my own boss, I’m running the show. I enjoy it so much, that I’ve started another company doing something else that I love. Yes, most of the time life is hectic, but I absolutely love it.

Debbie Burgin has been divorced for 5 years. She discovered upon the exit of her ex-husband, that her divorce was actually for the best. She's discovered that post-divorce, she and her children are happier, and more relaxed in their lives. She runs two of her own businesses, http://www.warnerdigitalmedia.com , and http://www.debbieburgin.com , and counsels other divorced women to “Face the fear! Get out there, and live life!"


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