Adapt or Die – By Madison Paige

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on reddit

As the oldest of four children born into a military family, I learned the definition of responsibility at an early age. 

 

At fourteen I started working my first job in order to pay for my cell phone bill, something my parents made clear was my responsibility. 

 

At seventeen, just before graduating high school, I moved out of my parents’ home and began renting my first apartment which I paid for by working one full-time job and two part-time jobs. 

 

At twenty, after realizing the insurmountable cost of putting myself through college, I enlisted in the military. It was, at the very least, something that was familiar.

 

From June 2011 to May 2016, I served in the Air Force as a Cryptologic Language Analyst, where I provided the National Security Agency with intelligence reporting, analytics, and Chinese translation. I completed one overseas OEF tour to Bagram Afghanistan where I supported the Special Operations Joint Task Force signals intelligence mission. 

______

BadA**

.

In 2016, I fell in love with a Navy sailor who I married. This relationship prompted me to change my career path from Active Duty Air Force to serve part-time in the Maine Air National Guard. At the time, I believed I wanted to become an EMT Firefighter, so I chose to train as a Medical Technician and EMT in the National Guard. 

 

In 2017, I became pregnant with my son. By this time, I realized that not only did I not want to continue my career in the military, I also knew without question that I no longer wanted to work in intelligence, as a translator or as an EMT.

.

______

 

| Back to square one.|

______

.

 

In 2017 I found myself newly a civilian for the first time in six years, as well as newly married, and by January 2018, a new mom. And all of this was going on as I was following my then-husband around the country for his Navy career. This is the moment I decided it was time to go back to school. After landing in San Jose in July of 2017, I enrolled at SJSU, first part-time, then full-time by Fall 2018. Due to my GI Bill veteran benefit, I receive money each month I am enrolled in school full-time to help pay for my cost of living. I also receive a small amount of disability each month for minor injuries inflicted during my service. While I was a part of a dual-income household, this was all quite enough money.

______

 

In November 2018, my husband and I separated, and I suddenly found myself in the new worlds of single motherhood and unemployed student veteran.

.

.

.

This is where I first began to discover my potential for entrepreneurship. I was lucky enough to be invited by a friend to a business conference in Miami in February 2019. I had contacted my friend after my separation because I knew they were a successful business owner who could probably give me some good advice on creating income for myself and my then one-year-old son. My goal was to earn income without having to exchange large amounts of precious time with my young son. What I learned at the business conference I went to that year provided me with the opportunity to do just that. 

|

_.But it didn’t come without some risk._

|

The minute I returned to San Jose from the conference in Miami, I began my training and research. I had purchased a $60 training course from one of the speakers at the conference, Tai Lopez. The course: How to Start a Home Share Management Company. Then, I began what I call the ‘beginner phase’ of entrepreneurship, and the part most people get stuck in, learning and research. I watched all the training videos, took notes, and researched downtown San Jose’s home share demand. I collected data on everything. From average price per night of short-term rentals to occupancy rates across seasons. I even created my own professional template to present to homeowners, my potential clients, during my sales pitch. 

>>>

All of this only took me about two weeks to accomplish, which was fantastic since money was running low and I now had the opportunity to make my first sale.

<<<

 But it was also terrifying because all my research told me San Jose was a perfect place to manage short term rentals which meant it was now time to go out and make my first sale. Not to mention that at this time I had only $5,000.00 left in my savings and if I were to even find a homeowner willing to work with me, the rest of that money would need to be invested in start-up costs with only the hope that my numbers were right and my rental would be profitable. The ‘gauntlet phase’ of entrepreneurship, assuming the risk and taking action.

~

.

I jumped in. Looking back on it, I have tried to pinpoint why and how I went after it all so apparently fearlessly and confidently. I say apparently because there was plenty of fear, I guess in some way I felt I had no choice but to walk in the face of it. 

.

.

.

The fear of what could happen to the life and well-being of myself and my son was far greater to me than the fear of pitching my idea to a homeowner and being rejected. Which I was, multiple times, to my face too. This type of proposal is not commonplace and generally works best when delivered face to face. 

>>>

But, for the four no’s I got, I got one yes. 

<<<

Then, another and then another. 

______
.

My static $5,000 quickly turned into monthly cash flow. At first $1,000. Then $2,000. Then, by the summer I reached my peak gross of $3,500 in one month. 

That’s after expenses!

 I couldn’t believe it.

 I felt like I had uncovered some secret to money. 

>

______

 

 | That it can just be created. |

______

 

<

 That you don’t have to exchange your most valuable asset, TIME, simply to put food on your table. That was the real blessing of all this. My rental units are all automated. My calendars can be managed from my phone, and I have contracted cleaners who are synced up to them. If I were to add up any time I’ve had to sacrifice with my son to sustain operations I would estimate around one total day, and that’s since March 2019.

______

.

 

 My love for my son and my desire for freedom of time with him has driven me to take on these risks.

 

| Now, I am an entrepreneur. |

.

 

"there was plenty of fear, I guess in some way I felt I had no choice but to walk in the face of it.

Madison Paige 

Madison is a veteran, CEO, mother, and bilingual empowering women! Her business Citizen Here  allows homeowners to rent out their homes without any property management fees or concerns. She is also Quarter-Finalist for Maxim Cover Girl 2020! 

How can we empower young women around the globe to walk in the face of fear? #Adapt

In The Name of the Moon

Our ideas, stories, and voices become part and parcel to the way we move through the world. Become an author on Wildest Moon. Let's empower women together!
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on reddit

I am Psychic

The spirit in a body found herself atop the  Trumpeting Ganesha. Her breasts bare, her body naked Her mind silent. Joy resonated through her every

Read More »

Want Stories in Your Box?

Get a weekly dose of inspirational stories, ideas and empowerment delivered to your inbox.