Grace Draper



What It's Like to Start a Business in Your 20's Part 1: The Idea

Happy Monday! This week it's all about getting personal. I don't really like to talk about things that are close to me with many people, and my business is extremely close to me so I have kept what I share to a very professional, surface level. This has been one of my biggest challenges as a business owner: the business and I are one in the same now, and that means opening up more when I am marketing. In honor of Aging with Grace's 3 Month Anniversary, I want to share with you what my experience has been like so far. 

Despite how breezy I have made it sound, starting a business is not an easy venture. Yes, you can get an LLC in an instant (thanks, internet!) and applying for zoning/licensing within the city only takes a few days... But rewind to the weeks and years leading up to that and there are a lot of decisions to make before you can apply for the paperwork. 

What a lot of people may not know is that I have had this business idea bubbling for a little over a year now. I've mentioned before that I worked in a memory care community for two years, and throughout that time I attended conferences where I learned about aging and options for care.

About a year ago,  I attended a seminar about "Aging in Place" and instantly connected with the idea that someone can stay at home independently with some modifications and in-home assistance. Many times I felt guilty trying to sell someone on our community when I knew it would mean they had to leave their family home, or be separated from their spouse of 50 years. I knew they needed some sort of solution though and wished I could have offered them other options. After learning about some of those options, I left the seminar knowing that helping people age in place was exactly what I wanted to do.

The name  "Aging with Grace" is a play on "Aging in Place". I came up with it offhand when I was first telling a friend about the seminar. Using my name felt silly at first; I used to think my name Grace was too adult and boring, so I went by Gracie to sound young and *cool*. Once I graduated college I decided I needed the adult edge and dropped the "i" to become Grace again. Little did I know, that seemingly insignificant change would help me "re-brand" myself in the years leading up to Aging with Grace.

Over the past year I kept a running list of thoughts in a journal, "for when I turn 30 and become a real adult who can run their own business". I started noting challenges I saw day to day while working with families, and how Aging with Grace could potentially solve them. The opportunity presented itself sooner than I expected (read all about it on tomorrow's blog) and by that time I had a solid list of ideas to get me started.

Tomorrow I'll be talking about how I knew it was time to take the leap, but I still have three more days to fill with the personal side of business! What else would you like to know?