How Becoming a Dual Citizen Taught Me to Never Give Up on My Business
A lot of folks have been asking me if I defected to Canada. The answer is, "Nah, y'all. That's crazy, eh?!" I'm now officially a DUAL citizen of the USA and Canada.
Gaining citizenship was an intensive 9-year process. I had never had aspirations to live in Canada, but was invited to visit by a friend 9 years ago when it all fell into my lap — a job offer, work permit, a beautiful rental property on the side of a mountain with a view of the lake, a loving community of like-minded business-people-turned-hippies, and more trees, fresh water, wildlife and healthy living than one could ever consume. So, I said "yes" and packed my bags in New York City to head to the great white north.
This past year was challenging and I even considered giving it all up. At one point I lacked a requirement that I didn't realize was in jeopardy. I went to take my exam, aced it, but was then confronted with the fact that if I left the country I may not be able to get my citizenship. I was disheartened, almost as if spurned by a lover. I had stuck it out for 9 years, flown back and forth and spent hundreds of dollars... what else did they want?! I thought, "Maybe I wasn't meant to have this. What did this place mean to me anyway?"
I was strangely overcome with grief when it hit me. I did not want to lose those ties. It was a surprise to me how deep the feeling went, but the feelings were the guideposts that directed me to keep pushing through. I got to the deeper reasons WHY I cared so much about Canada.
After a few more months of waiting, I simply received a letter saying, "Come to your swearing in ceremony." It was done.
When I think back on this experience, I realize that there are so many parallels to being an entrepreneur and sticking with my business in the tough times. Often I feel tested and challenged by having my own business. In so many ways it would just be easier to go get a j.o.b. and forget the roller coaster ride. Any coach who tells you having your own business is "easy" is just not telling you the whole truth. Sometimes it's hard. Really hard. Sometimes your business feels like it's testing you, turning against you, asking more of you than you think you can give. I put having a business on the same personal growth potential level as committed relationship or raising children, and it's worth it.
So when your business gets you down, find the WHY you're doing it. Let yourself feel the feelings of grief and loss. Learn what it means to you. Find your community of like-minded people who can stand by you, cheerlead you on, and keep going. It's worth it.