For most founders, the dream you follow, is the idea that some day people will see what you see; you are fulfilling a need, a problem, a possible epidemic, that needs a person like you. In my case, my business, fulfills the need of elevating female voices about their film experience. My business is Cinema Femme Magazine, a platform for women to tell their stories through personal essays and interviews, accompanied by illustration and design. It was important for me to start the magazine because of the lack of diverse female voices heard on screen and off screen. I’m not a film critic, I’m not a woman working in film (well I guess I am in a way), but I am a passionate film lover, that soaks up all the film voices around me. When I don’t hear or see many diverse female voices lifted up, it makes me sad, and angry. These diverse female voices that are not being seen and heard on screen or heard off screen, influences the moviegoer’s choices in what they see in the theatre. These voices also influence the production companies choices of the films they produce.
For most founders, the dream you follow, is the idea that some day people will see what you see; you are fulfilling a need, a problem, a possible epidemic, that needs a person like you.
I could give you the facts and figures to underline the needs of female voices in film culture, which you can find at the end of the essay, but now I just want to be real for a minute. As much as I’m happy pursuing my dream with my body, mind, and soul, I’m currently struggling, but I’m also learning. I think as founders, especially women founders, we should allow ourselves to be vulnerable, and open up about our struggles. When we do this there will not be a glossy world painted of what happens when you follow your dream, and there will not be the expectation that your struggle has a time cap on it, like it shows in films, through the montage struggle that leads to the happy ending. By opening up about our struggles, we will give each other a better understanding of what it takes to follow your dream, and most importantly to not feel alone.
By opening up about our struggles, we will give each other a better understanding of what it takes to follow your dream, and most importantly to not feel alone.
When I had my 9–5 I had built a fortress around myself, putting a nice face on for others when I was in public, and when I was surrounded by family, friends, clients, and co-workers. It was like I breathed air in my fortress, rebooted, but when I was with groups of people, I had a limit of time that I could breathe before I was choked out of oxygen. Then I’d return to hibernate in my fortress to breathe again. In my fortress I was content, not needing anyone to support me, or love me, watching my netflix, working on some creative projects, and organizing my movie watching, being with my cat. But when you return to your fortress everytime you lose your breath, you forget to fully breathe. When I started my business, I had no idea how I would be forced to extend my breath, and to adjust to a new kind of breathing, the kind to not just put on a “face”, but just be.
But when you return to your fortress everytime you lose your breath, you forget to fully breathe.
Since I’ve started my business, I’ve come to speed bumps, where I’ve had to rely on people in a way that I hadn’t since I was in my early twenties (I’m in my mid-thirties now). But now I find myself in that uncomfortable place again where I have to show my vulnerability and need help from other people. For the past few months, I’ve been taking care of other people in my business (as I should) paying my writers, my designer, my illustrator, my editor, my publishing cost, and marketing. I’m happy to do this, but when you’re not bringing in a lot of money, there is a struggle.
As a founder, a dream follower, you do need to take care of yourself too, because if you don’t, you may lose everything that you’ve worked so hard for. Which means you have to allow yourself to be helped by others, and you’d be surprised who those people are that step in to that role, not the people you’d expect. And I’m grateful for these people, as uncomfortable as it is for me to allow myself to be helped. I long for the comfortable fortress I built for myself, but I know that I cannot go back to that place, at least for a little while. So I have to open up to being comfortable with the uncomfortable. This all makes me a stronger person, and more of a genuine and fully dimensional person. I am now becoming a person that I had forgotten about, a person who can breathe in public, and allow myself help when needed. You’re a much stronger person when you allow others to lift you up. Sometimes to get to that place of security, and balance, and new beginnings, you have to appreciate the journey to get there. The dream is real, and pursuing this dream brings the gritty reality that brings helping hands along the way.
The dream is real, and pursuing this dream brings the gritty reality that brings helping hands along the way.