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Face The Fear, Ladies

Okay, I'll begin by telling you that I've been divorced for about 5 years, have an amazing family and by anyone's standards, I have a wonderful life.

I worked in the film industry for almost 9 years for my ex-husband's company. But when we split, I had the dire task of figuring out just what else I was supposed to do, having worked in that industry for his company for the duration of our relationship, here I was, having to think about finding a job. A what? I was totally clueless. Where would I start? I'm the first to admit that I'm probably not going to receive 'employee of the month' honors anytime soon, and the thought of actually having a boss makes me cringe (I'm definitely the "I only have two hands, do it yourself" type of employee).

Considering all of these things, I realized that it was probably best that I start thinking about starting my own business. But what kind of business was I going to start? What did I know about running a business? What did I know how to do? Granted, I could fold laundry, and change a mean diaper, but who was going to pay me for doing that? I was terrified. What was I going to do? What if what I did was a flop? Worse yet, what if this endeavor was a success?

Anyway, one day I returned from a shopping trip with a black handbag amongst my treasures. When I took it out of the shopping bag, my daughter looked at me and said, "Another black handbag? What's up with all of the black handbags?" Okay. I'm a self-confessed handbag junkie, but when I was shopping for a handbag, all I could find were black bags and I had more black handbags than I cared to admit to. I told my daughter that what I'm looking for essentially is a really unique handbag. Something that people will stop me on the street to ask, "Where did you get that handbag?", but I can't find it. To which she replied (and she was 10 at the time), "If someone doesn't already make it, why don't you make it?" My thought was, "Me? Make a handbag?" Can I do that?"

I thought about my daughter's suggestion for about a month. After which time, I decided to go ahead and start my company designing and manufacturing handbags. I studied fashion design when I was younger, and I couldn't think of any reason that a handbag would be more difficult to make than a dress. Decision made!

I started my first company in November, and by February, I had 23 stores who were carrying my product. I designed and drafted the pattern, found the fabric, manufactured the products, and I did it all alone. I work at home for the bulk of the time and it's a ton of work, but I'm happy with it.

Looking back now, I can't figure out exactly what it was that I was so afraid of. I just knew that I was terrified, but decided to go ahead and do it anyway. Turns out, it was a wonderful decision. I'm my own boss, I'm running the show. I enjoy it so much, that I've started another company doing something else that I love. Yes, most of the time life is hectic, but I absolutely love it.

Debbie Burgin has been divorced for 5 years. She discovered upon the exit of her ex-husband, that her divorce was actually for the best. She's discovered that post-divorce, she and her children are happier, and more relaxed in their lives. She runs two of her own businesses,, and, and counsels other divorced women to "Face the fear! Get out there, and live life!"

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