• Jessica Tyson

Starting a Business During a Pandemic

It's no secret that entrepreneurs are on the rise in the current state of the world. Millennials and Generation Z have encompassed an ability to be able to take a bad situation and create growth and new meaning from it. Am I a part of this?

During my last semester at the University of Central Florida, Spring 2020, my initial thought process was to develop my resume, portfolio, and to start applying for design jobs so that I could have security right out of graduation. That was what everyone seemed to be doing. It's kind of how the timeline of school played out. Study, develop, then BOOM; job. Right?

After my class broke off for Spring Break, none of us realized it would be the last time we all saw each other. The news of classes being completely remote and no return to campus hit us the last day of our Spring Break week. It was shocking. It didn't feel real and everything came to a halt. I had to finish my classes back at home, say my 'goodbyes' and celebrate my graduation with my family back home in North Carolina. My graduation was rather different. I saw my name flash by on a Youtube Live Stream of our ceremony. Although it wasn't what I was excepting my graduation to look like, my family could not have made it any more special and wonderful. We celebrated in style.

I did what I thought I was still supposed to in those last few weeks leading up to my graduation; finalized my portfolio, set up my resume, and started applying to design jobs. It didn't feel as exciting as I had thought it would, though. After the first 6-7 applications I sent out, I figured I would be excited. My heart would be racing at the thought of even just one of these employers getting back to me and setting up a ZOOM Interview. But it wasn't. So I started to think; I can do this on my own. What if I can make my own business? Have my own clients? Questions upon questions started entering my mind, and then I was excited.

Since the world was pretty much shut down and everyone was in quarantine, I had time to develop a plan and set forth on a business venture. I created my website, Facebook page, Instagram, everything you should have as a business. The business bank account, registering my LLC, everything. What I was then stuck on was how to market myself. Marketing looks different now; I can't in person sell myself to a potential client as previously I would have been able to. Even if I get the chance to go in person now, my smile and ability to sell my skill and personalty have greatly become hindered by a mask and the inability to shake hands. However, this has greatly challenged me in more ways. I now have to come up with other strategies to market and to gain clients. How to develop a timeline of what my 'Work from Home' schedule looks like. How to impress a potential lead with just a few seconds of an online interaction.

I'm still learning as I go. I have made mistakes, and I am sure I will make many more. But during these hard times in the world, I have been able to showcase my abilities, talents, and passions with the world. What seems hard and difficult to overcome now, will only better my abilities to solve problems and obstacles in the future. We are a generation who is not afraid of failure. We are a generation who will not let a global pandemic get in the way of our future and helping the world to keep moving.

We are business owners.

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