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Canvas Rebel: Meet Teju Aluko

Our CXO + Founder Teju Aluko sat down with Canvas Rebel to talk all things Branperience and her journey!

Teju, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today Being a business owner can be really hard sometimes. It’s rewarding, but most business owners we’ve spoken sometimes think about what it would have been like to have had a regular job instead. Have you ever wondered that yourself? Maybe you can talk to us about a time when you felt this way?

I have much more joy as a business owner and I believe that’s a greater state of mind. I’m really big on emotions and feelings in all aspects: home, business, life, all of it; and, although joy does feel better when I’m happy, joy can also share space with other emotions I feel like sadness, fear, anger and unhappiness. Happiness can’t. And in my experience that’s an important concept to understand as a business owner, because sometimes happiness is rooted in circumstance. Some of those circumstances can lead to wondering what it would be like to have a regular job – something that yes, I’ve contemplated before.

The very few times I’ve felt like returning to a regular job was because activating my boundaries was extremely tough for me. It required so much interpersonal work that was long overdue. Business ownership causes you to confront all of your short-comings. Poor personal habits will bleed into your business so it requires a lot of shadow work, accountability, therapy, empathy, and everything else — because business is personal despite the countless times we’ve been told it’s not – it is. The comforting part about regular jobs, to me, is that you can decide if and when you want to continue to grow personally in that realm or not when it pertains to the work – that’s not the case as a business owner. And while I had been able to do some of these things here and there in years past, I would typically retreat back to the old habits because, what they don’t tell you is when you begin to activate the boundaries you set, that won’t go over too well with those who benefited from the lack thereof. I was making all the necessary decisions but that didn’t always feel happy, thus, making me want to return to a regular job to avoid all of it.

But, I committed to the interpersonal work and learned to count them all joy because without becoming a business owner I would’ve never became the woman I am today. The woman who is able to do hard things and still feel happiness as a business owner because I’m committed to my joy. Whether it was strictly enforcing policies + procedures with those who’ve ignored those requests in the past, holding them accountable despite refusal, increasing one area of business and reducing another, terminating long-term contracts, and every thing else that could happen, — I joyfully did the work. It’s taxing at times, but I’ve grown so much – something that I didn’t experience at a regular job.

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