Create Change

November 1, 2021

Fall season thoughts from Program Coordinator, Juana Dent

Working at CIC for the past eight (8) months has really opened my eyes to working back in an office setting, with a team that cares about and supports one another and the community. (I worked from home for almost 4 years.) Hundreds have been directly impacted by CIC, including myself, as an Entrepreneur’s Workshop graduate, and now, as an employee. As I get to know the CIC staff and its numerous partners, I see and hear the value, impact, and reliability CIC has on the community. My concern is that I don’t know if everyone knows about CIC. My concern is that I don’t know if everyone knows about him/herself.

One day, looking out of the window, my mind wandered to the busyness of Charlottesville – surrounding businesses, various business and personal vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, joggers, construction workers, police officers, etc. Many people, personalities, ideas, and passions all weaving and bobbing, ducking and dodging each other, going their own separate ways, “minding their own business”. Pun intended. I began to wonder if people really realize they are more than what they do. Are they actually doing what they want, love, desire, and have a passion for? 

I greatly understand having to “work for ends” to provide and have a way of living. I get it – we do what we have to do, especially if we have a family and/or are in debt. I get it; however, even in the busyness of life or just doing our jobs, I wonder if we realize that we have a way of contributing to each other’s lives directly or indirectly? What would happen if we do what we really have a passion for? Would we wake up and still say, “I have to go to work?” Perhaps we’d rather declare, “I’m going to create today,” or “Today is the day to supply a need,” or ask “Who can I help or serve today?”

Let me ask you – if you rather make those types of happy, (notice “happy”, not those of mundane servitude) kick-fire statements and still make money at it, would you do it? If you could use your innate or learned gifts, skills, talents, and knowledge to share your passions with the world, and make money while doing it, would you?

Somewhere in your lifetime someone has said, “You can do or be anything you want.”  Do you believe that? What do you need to make that happen? What kind of entrepreneurial support do you need? Guidance? Resources? Financing? Networking? CIC has programs and resources, such as the Entrepreneur’s Workshop, to help you create the foundation of your business idea or cultivate your business practices. We will tell you that it takes work (ugh – that word), but you will enjoy the fruit of your labor afterward. I challenge you to take a moment to ask yourself and then, honestly answer, “What do I want to do?”

While you ponder the answer, remember CIC is not only “empowering small business for big change”; CIC empowers individuals to create change.

Juana Dent, Program Coordinator