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my journal

What To Do When Someone Tells You To "Get Real" About Your Plan To Chase a Dream

What To Do When Someone Tells You To

Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share a bit about jewelry, and a lot about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. In this week's journal entry, I wanted to talk about how you should react when you get the dreaded response of "get real" when you tell a friend or family member about your plan to start your own business or make a big career change. We've all been there, right? We have a wild or maybe even a not-so-wild dream in our heart and when we tell a family member or friend about it, they chuckle and say, "in your dreams" or "come on, get real." We walk away defeated and wonder if we're crazy to want to chase our dream. If we're being foolish. If it's silly to think that it's possible to do work you really enjoy and get paid for it too.  

Here's the thing - chasing your dreams is not the norm in our culture. What's the norm? Having a job you don't like (or, if you're lucky, you kinda sorta like it), counting down the days until the weekend, and planning to retire at age 65 and start living life then. If you try to go against the norm, many people aren't going to understand and be supportive.They'll think you're foolish or crazy for trying. They'll tell you to come down out of the clouds and "get real." Why? I think there are two reasons for this.

First, if these statements are coming from someone who truly loves and cares about you like a parent or spouse, I do believe this type of reaction is often coming from a place of love. Although it can be hurtful to hear this type of reaction, they probably want to protect you. Make sure you don't fall on your face. They don't want you to give up your stable current job to pursue something that involves risk and isn't guaranteed to work out. Sometimes we just have to smile and nod and know they mean well. 

Second, you might hear someone tell you to "get real" because your plan to pursue a dream is threatening to them and their belief system. If you break the mold, they might be forced to think about why they've stayed stuck in the norm. That's scary. It might force them to question the decisions they've made, the position they're in, and whether they need to make a change. Change is scary and most people would rather put a paper bag over their head and avoid it. In other words, these statements reflect more about them and less about you. I was reading a book last week and the author said that when you tell someone about your dream or goal and they respond with "get real" what they really mean is "get small." I absolutely love that. The next time this happens to you, I want you to take it as a compliment. Seriously. When someone tells you to "get real" say "thank you" to yourself in your head (not out loud) because it means that you have the courage to think big. You have the courage to believe that you deserve a better life. You have the self-esteem to realize that you are entitled to a great life, not a mediocre one. These are such critical ingredients to making big, positive change in your life. In my opinion, without the courage and self-esteem to think big, believe you deserve better, and go after the big life we all deserve, I believe you can't reach your dreams and goals. In fact, I know this to be true from personal experience. I quit my lawyer job not once, but twice, to open a jewelry business and the first time I failed. This was back in 2010. After much reflection, I concluded that it was because I didn't believe I deserved a big life, a better life. This time, 10 years later, I know I'm succeeding because my mindset has completely changed. I DO believe I'm entitled to a great life. I DO believe I deserve better than spending the majority of my waking hours in a job I hate. I DO believe that it's possible to earn money doing work I love.   

Let me leave you with this quote from Author Marianne Williamson. She wrote one of my favorite books called A Return To Love. It helped me change the way I see the world and how I think about myself and the world around me. I highly recommend it. In short, she writes about how most of us perceive ourselves and the world around us through the lens of fear (and fear includes things like anger, doubt, frustration, and other negative emotions) and how it's possible to change our perspective and perceive ourselves and the world through the lens of love (which includes all the positive emotions). The passage that is most quoted from her book is below. Whenever I get caught in the trap of "feeling small" I often pull out this quote to remind myself that I can choose differently. 

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.* Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

*Marianne Williamson tells you to feel free to replace the word "God" with whatever higher power you believe in - the Universe, the divine power that runs the world, etc.

Cheers to living the big, amazing life we all deserve!

xoxo,

Stacy   

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Money Talk: How The Fear of Losing Our Comforts Can Hold Us Back

Money Talk: How The Fear of Losing Our Comforts Can Hold Us Back

Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share a bit about jewelry, and a lot about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. In this week's journal entry, I wanted to talk again about the taboo topic of money. I think it's so important to talk more about this topic because there's so much shame and fear around it, and it is for sure the number one reason why people (a) stay stuck in jobs they don't like and (b) refuse to pursue the career or business dreams in their hearts. I went to a goal setting networking event last week and the leader of the discussion mentioned that one of the top 3 fears that holds people back from going after their dreams and goals is the fear of losing their comforts. Our comforts include major things like our homes and our cars, but also more luxurious things like wine, online shopping, vacations, and the latest and greatest running shoes. I think we should protect the major comforts we are fortunate to have like our homes and cars, but are we holding ourselves back from going after our goals and dreams for fear of losing the minor comforts of life for a little while? And I stress, "for a little while"? This was something I had to ask myself before I quit my lawyer job in 2017 to start grace + hudson. I was a lawyer for 11 years and became used to a six-figure income. I had to decide whether to prioritize (a) the comfort of a nice paycheck and all that brought with it or (b) my dream of owning a jewelry business which would require me to forgo some of my comforts for a little while. I obviously chose (b) but it definitely took some courage, faith, and trust.

Let's talk about the big comforts of life first - my apartment, my car, that sorta thing. At the end of the day, I knew that I wouldn't end up homeless, broke, at rock bottom. I trusted myself enough to know that I WOULD NEVER LET THAT HAPPEN. And I have a feeling that's true for you, too. Worst come to worst, I knew that if my ability to pay my rent or make my car payment was threatened, I could get a side hustle or even go back to being a lawyer full-time. Truth be told, the first time I tried to quit my lawyer job in 2010 to start a jewelry business, I did in fact have to go back to being a lawyer full-time. Yep that's right - about 6 months into running my brick + mortar jewelry store, I ran out of money (starting a store is expensive!) so I took a full-time lawyer position, hired some part-time employees to be in the store while I was at the office, and managed to do both for a while until I realized the store was not sustainable in the long-term. I think it's this first experience of failure that gave me the courage to try starting my own jewelry business a second time in 2017 - I knew that I wasn't going to die if it didn't work out. All kidding aside, I feel like people think a big decision like quitting your job to start a business or changing careers is life or death, and it just isn't! If it doesn't work out, chances are you'll just go back to what you were doing before.

Now for the small comforts of life - you know, the monthly massage, the gym membership, the stops at Nordstrom for new shoes, the weekend getaways. The truth is, yes, I had to give up some of these things and put the money I would've spent on them towards my business. But I am here to tell you that it was 100% worth it. You know what I learned in the process? I was buying some of those things - like the new shoes - and I "needed" some of those things - like the monthly massages - because of the stress that my lawyer job caused me. When I started my business and started to do work I enjoyed, I no longer had these internal "holes" that needed filling with new shoes, and massages, and weekend getaways. In other words, saving money and being careful with how I spent my money was much easier than I expected. All of a sudden, I had this new business I wanted to nurture and grow, and it felt silly to spend money on yet another black sweater to add to my collection, for example. Sure, there were more difficult sacrifices that had to be made like less frequent trips to beachy destinations (my soul just craves trips to the beach), but I completely understood that it was temporary. Temporary sacrifices for long-term gain. And - side note - two years into my post-lawyer life as a jewelry business owner, I actually moved to a beachy destination so it all evened out in the end!

So what I'm trying to tell you is this: starting your own business or making that big career change that entails a pay cut for a little while is going to require you to get a little uncomfortable. You're going to have to give up some of your comforts for a little while and re-prioritize how you spend money. It might be a little painful at times, but it's not as bad as you might expect. Please, I beg you, do not let the comforts stop you. Do not let the comforts hold you back. Going after that dream you have - whether it works out in the end or not - is so much more fulfilling than buying another pair of shoes or going on a vacation. Trust me, I can speak from experience. If it does work out, that temporary period of making sacrifices is going to eventually end and you're going to reach a place where you can again afford the expensive shoes and vacation. And if it doesn't work out, that temporary period of making sacrifices is going to end too - you'll get another job (probably like the one you had before) and you'll again eventually be able to afford all the comforts of life you missed. In either case, you're going to find out that you were enriched by the experience of pursuing the goal or the dream in ways that money simply can't buy. And you know what else? I bet you're going to respect your money a whole lot more too because you'll understand it's worth a little more. It's a win-win all around. 

Cheers to getting a little uncomfortable in 2020! 

P.S. If you want to make a career change or start your own business but money is the biggest thing holding you back, I invite you to join my Virtual Book Club which kicks off in February. The first book we're going to be reading together deals with money because, let's face it, it's usually the thing that holds us back. You can read more about my Virtual Book Club and sign up for it here.

xoxo,

Stacy

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Now Introducing: My Mentoring Program!

Now Introducing: My Mentoring Program!

Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share a bit about jewelry, and a lot about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. In this week's journal entry, I am so excited to announce my new Mentoring Program! Thinking about making a big career change or starting your own business? Or maybe you’ve already made the leap and need a little guidance from someone who’s further along on the path? Work with me! If I did it, you can do it too and I would be more than happy to guide you down a similar path. It gives me great joy to see people leave unfulfilling or even toxic jobs to pursue the dreams they can’t stop thinking about. My mentoring program is offered in 4 tiers which mirror the pathway I traveled to move from lawyer to business owner. Tier 1 is all about collecting knowledge, Tier 2 is about collecting research, Tier 3 is designed to help you take action, and Tier 4 is making big change. You can jump right into Tier 4 if you want to go full-steam ahead, or you can start with Tier 1 and slowly progress at your own pace. Read further for details about each Tier and please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you’d like to discuss which Tier would be best for you. Cheers to making 2020 one to remember!

Tier 1: Collect Knowledge through my Virtual Book Club

This is a great place to start if you’re thinking about making a big career change or starting your own business but aren’t quite ready or don’t know where to start. You don’t want to be in the same place this time next year, so start collecting knowledge and exploring possibilities. Truth be told, this is how my journey started. I devoured book after book, hungry for guidance and ideas and inspiration to make the big change from lawyer to owning my own business. I'd love to read these key books again with you and share how I applied the knowledge I gained from them in my virtual book club. You’ll receive a very manageable reading assignment each week and we’ll discuss it within my private Facebook group. Many, if not all, of these books deal with mindset and/or money, which are the two major obstacles that hold us back from making the big changes we desire. My hope is that the key books that helped me on my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner will be instrumental in your journey too. 

Benefits:

  • Begin to uncover some of the issues that might be holding you back from making the career changes you desire
  • Begin to work on mindset shifts that’ll help you get closer to your career/business goals
  • Connect with other like-minded people within the group. You’re not alone and there is power in knowing that. There are other people who feel the same way you do and are working towards similar goals. I’ll also encourage members of the book club who are in the same geographic location to connect in person.

Investment: $29/month introductory price

Commitment: The intention is to make this group a small but regular commitment in your weekly routine. We’ll read approximately one chapter per week (depending on the size and length of the book) and I’ll lead an active discussion within the group. You can participate as little or as much as you’d like and at times that are convenient for you. The ideal time commitment is at least 1 hour per week, which includes reading the book and engaging in the Facebook group.

Tier 2: Collect Research through my Business Resource Group

*Note: This is for business owners or aspiring business owners only (if your desired career change doesn’t involve starting a business, jump to tier 3). 

If you’re ready to start your own business or already have a business and need some guidance and support, join my private Facebook Business Resource group. The intention is for you to have a mentor to turn to when business questions arise - someone who’s further along the path than you are and can relate to the issues you’re working through. Need to design a logo or a website, but you’re confused by the options? Need advice on how to manage all the doubtful thoughts in your head or on how to handle your mother who isn’t supportive of the career changes you’re making? I've learned a lot along my business journey from first-hand experience and I’ve also done a lot of research, taken a lot of courses, and met a lot of other business owners. You’ll never be able to entirely short-circuit going through this process yourself, but the next best thing is being able to ask a mentor who has experienced the things you’re currently working through. I’m a wealth of knowledge at this point and you can rest assured that if I personally don’t know the answer to your question, I know where you can go to find it!

Benefits:

  • Includes membership to my Virtual Book Club described in Tier 1
  • Membership in my private Facebook Business Resources Group
  • Get answers to your business questions - everything from technical questions to questions related to mindset, motivation, and your personal life (such as how to handle unsupportive friends or family members)
  • Connect with other like-minded people within the group. Meet other business owners who are in the same phase of the process as you. It helps to know that other people are experiencing the same things! I’ll also encourage members of this group who are in the same geographic location to connect in person.

Investment: $49/month introductory price

Commitment: Think of this as your “on-call” resource to get your business questions answered. Participate as little or as much as you’d like and at times that are convenient for you. 

Tier 3: Take action through my Small Group Mentoring Services

If you’re serious about making a big career change or starting your own business, or already have, and you’d like both personalized attention from a mentor and the ability to closely connect with others who are going through the same things as you, small group coaching is for you. The small group will consist of between 4 and 8 people and you will be matched with people who are generally on a similar path and in a similar phase as you. No topic is off limits and we’ll discuss everything from technical career/business questions to emotional issues (such as lack of support from family and friends). The members of the group will help shape the focus of the coaching calls and you’ll be asked to voice the topics and questions you’re struggling with (chances are, others have the same struggles). Besides being a great resource to turn to for help, being a part of this group will help you not feel so alone on your journey. Closely connecting with people going through the same phase as you can be so empowering! Small group coaching is also a cost-effective alternative to one-on-one coaching if that’s out of your price range right now. 

Benefits:

  • Includes membership to my Virtual Book Club described in Tier 1
  • Includes membership to my Business Resource Group described in Tier 2
  • People interested in this program will be given a written survey and asked for a short phone interview to help identify goals and needs. You’ll then be matched with people who are on a similar path and working on similar issues. 
  • Live weekly coaching calls with me and your small group (4 per month; each call will last up to 2 hours)
  • Complete “to do list” items that are suggested on the coaching calls  
  • Closely connect with a small group of other people working through some of the same issues as you. You’ll be added to a private Facebook group comprised of only the members in your small group so that you can connect with each other as often as you’d like. I’ll also encourage members of this group who are in the same geographic location to connect in person.

Investment: $149/month introductory price

Commitment: Live coaching calls once per week (4 per month). You’re also highly encouraged to connect regularly and often with the other people in your small group via the private Facebook group that will be limited to your other small group members. On the calls and in the group, you will be highly encouraged to ask questions about the issues you’re working through, raise topics that have come up on your path, and both give and receive support from others within the group who are in the same boat. You’ll also receive action items to work on independently after the calls to help you make strides towards your goals. At a minimum, I suggest a commitment of 5 hours per week to realize the benefits of small group coaching.

Tier 4: Make big change through my One-on-One Mentoring Services

You’re on the fast-track to starting or growing a business, or making a big career change. You want to see major progress this year with the help of a mentor who can work with you one-on-one and give you tailored advice on the issues that have you stuck. Maybe there are some issues around money that are holding you back and you need pointed advice on how to clear them up and start thriving financially in your business or career. Or maybe you just feel stuck in your current career and unable to move forward, and you need one-on-one help to develop an action plan. The topics and issues we'll discuss on the one-on-one coaching calls will be shaped entirely by your needs and we’ll schedule these calls as often as you’d like. You’ll be given “to do” list items to complete before the next coaching call so that no time is wasted. Work deadlines and accountability are important in this process so that procrastination doesn’t hold you back. 

Benefits:

  • One-on-one coaching calls with Stacy Mikulik scheduled as often as you’d like in blocks of 50 minutes each
  • Complete “to do list” items that are suggested on the coaching calls  

Investment: Purchase individual calls or a coaching call package. Options are as follows:

  • Single 50-minute call: $65
  • 5 pack of 50-minute calls: $290 ($58 per call)
  • 10 pack of 50-minute calls: $520 ($52 per call)
  • 20 pack of 50-minute calls: $980 ($49 per call)

*Note: Packages expire on December 31, 2020 and all calls in the package must be scheduled and completed before that date or they are forfeited.

Commitment: Coaching calls are scheduled as often as you’d like and you’ll receive action items to work on independently before the next call. You’re also highly encouraged to participate regularly in the Facebook private groups (Virtual Book Club and Business Resource Group) because connecting with other people who are on a similar path can be very empowering. At a minimum, I suggest a commitment of 4 to 5 hours per week to realize the benefits of coaching.

I hope one of these options suits your needs and budget. Sign-up details are coming this week! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you’d like to discuss which Tier would be best for you. I'm so happy to help talk through it!

xoxo,

Stacy

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The Power Of One (And Why Mentors Are Awesome)

The Power Of One (And Why Mentors Are Awesome)

Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share a bit about jewelry, and a lot about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. In this week's journal entry, I want to talk about the power of having one example, one mentor, one person you can point to and say, "Look, she did it, so why can't I?" I'm talking about making BIG change - namely, starting your own business and leaving behind a job in Corporate America - but you can apply these principles to any big change. If you know just one person who's already made the big change you're dreaming about, you will be much more confident in your decision to go for it. I didn't have a mentor when I made the leap from lawyer to jewelry business owner. But I was given a very stubborn, persistent, determined personality. That's what pushed me to say, "I'm quitting being a lawyer and I'm going to try opening a jewelry store, and I don't really care what anyone has to say about it." I do wonder if I could've made the leap much sooner if I had a mentor (side note: I wasted 11 years practicing law even though I knew I hated it from the very start). But that's neither here nor there, it all worked out for me in the end. If you are at the beginning of a similar journey, however, I would highly encourage you to find a mentor because that person will be your anchor when things get rough (and, trust me, they will) and he or she will be able to support you in ways that your significant other, family members, and friends cannot.

I remember when I still lived in Chicago and grace + hudson was only about one year old. I lived downtown and each morning when I walked my dog, I saw droves and droves of people dressed in their business casual attire sprinting towards office buildings. On days when I felt doubtful about the future of grace + hudson (and that happens a lot in the beginning), I remember seeing these people and thinking to myself, "Am I crazy?! It seems like everyone in this city is going to the office right now. Are they right and I'm wrong? Am I the one who's crazy to think I can be different?" It messes with your head, it really does. But thankfully that persistent nature of mine kicked in, I knocked those doubts out of my head, and I went home and had a productive work day, because now grace + hudson is making more money than many of those office workers. So here's the point: if you are surrounded by people who are NOT doing what you want to be doing, please find at least ONE person who is because it's really hard to go against the tide. And if you don't have a persistent and stubborn personality like mine, it'll be even harder. Believe me, there will be tons of times where you'll want to quit, but having just one mentor to look to can make all the difference. A big change requires a big break with conventional ideas and expectations and, frankly, the norms of society. Most of us were taught that we get an office job, we work it until we're 65 whether we like it or not, and then we retire and start living our dreams then. And chances are that your family and your friends were taught that too. When you try to depart from that very ingrained storyline, people will look at you like you're crazy. When you have your first difficult day as a business owner, they will tell you, "It's ok, just go back to your office job." They will think you're "playing jewelry" until you prove in hard numbers that your "jewelry hobby" is making more money than they do at work. They'll be secretly wondering not if but when you'll crawl back to you office and ask for your old job back. They don't mean this in a negative way of course, but they don't know any other way. Unlike you, their minds aren't open to the possibility of a different way of life. How did I deal with this in my own life? A lot of smiling and nodding. A lot of "in one ear and out the other." A lot of looking the other way. (This could be the topic of an entire journal entry! I promise I'll address dealing with the support, or lack thereof, from significant others, family members and friends in an entry soon.)

So what is it that you want to do? Do you know someone who's vaguely done a similar thing? Maybe you want to quit being a lawyer and start designing jewelry like me, or maybe you want to quit being a teacher and start a bakery, or maybe you want to quit your graphic design job at a big company and start your own graphic design company. Whatever it is, do you know anyone who's gone down a similar route? It doesn't have to be someone with exactly the same dream. Maybe you have an awesome family friend who owns a small pizzeria. That works! You just need someone who can identify with your new path as a small business owner. If you leave it up to time and chance, you'll definitely meet many small business owners along your pathway (heck, I hardly have any attorney friends left!). But the problem with this is - you won't know them in the beginning and the beginning is the hardest part. The beginning is full of doubt and confusion, but you'll overcome that phase if you have a mentor who once stood where you're standing, knows exactly how you feel, and not only lived to tell about it but is a thriving example of where you'd like to be someday. 

And here's where I come in! I've been wanting to serve as a business mentor for some time now. I already talk about my journey ALL the time (you know this...) and I've wanted to offer help in a more formal way than these journal entries and my Instagram posts allow. Dare I say it, I actually like talking about career change and start-up businesses more than I even like making jewelry! This week I'll be announcing my new mentorship program and there will be different options and tiers to choose from at different price points, so hopefully there's something for everyone. I'm also launching a virtual book club! There were definitely some key books on my journey and I'd love to read them again with you and share how I applied the knowledge I gained from them. I hope that whether you need a little or a lot of support and encouragement in 2020, you'll connect with me through my mentorship program. And when things get shaky, and you know they will, you'll have someone to contact, someone who knows exactly how you're feeling, someone you can point to and say, "Heck, she did it! So why can't I?" And you'll be able to stick with it, move beyond the doubts, and see your dreams and goals through to the very end.

Watch out for the sign-up details this week!

xoxo,

Stacy

 

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The 5 Most Important Things That Helped Me Become the Owner of a Six-Figure Business

The 5 Most Important Things That Helped Me Become the Owner of a Six-Figure Business

Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share a bit about jewelry, and a lot about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. In this week's journal entry, I want to share the 5 key things that contributed to my success as a business owner. I opened grace + hudson in June 2017 and at the close of 2019 we're officially a six-figure business! I feel like I've earned the right to speak a little about what it takes to succeed, especially because it's all so recent and fresh on my mind. There are so many people out there claiming to be "business coaches", preaching all day long about what it takes to succeed, but did you know very few of them have built an actual business outside of their coaching business? As someone who quit her day job almost 3 years ago and built a six-figure jewelry business in that time frame, I want to chime in with what I think it takes to succeed. And let me tell you straight out of the gate, if you've been listening to those run-of-the-mill business coaches on Instagram, this list of 5 things is not going to be what you expect! Here it goes...

1. You have got to identify the stories that are controlling your life. The ones that got you here, where you are today. Because if you aren't where you want to be, chances are you have some nagging negative stories and beliefs that are holding you back. Know you can choose differently. 
If you've been following along with these Weekly Journal entries, you've heard me talk about this before. Here are some examples of negative thought patterns that were sabotaging me back when I was a lawyer: (a) I must hustle to succeed, even to the detriment of my personal and social life, (b) I need to succeed because it proves my worth to the world, and I feel the need to prove myself, (c) everyone else has a job they hate, so why should I think I’m entitled to anything different?, (d) I must work hard at a job I don’t like until I can retire and then I can do what I want. Do any of these sound familiar to you? Do any of them resonate? If you felt a twinge of pain when you read any of them, that's a sign! Know you can choose differently. When you change the way you think about things, the things around you start to change (which is an awesome paraphrased quote from author Wayne Dyer).


2. You have got to find a way to quiet your mind chatter because you're missing out on a ton of creative, innovative, exciting ideas if you don't. 
We're all human which means we all have a non-stop mix tape of thoughts running through our heads all day long. And as a follow-up to #1, I would bet that mix tape contains at least a few negative songs. You may not even be aware of them! So you have got to find a way to quiet your mind and quiet those negative thoughts. I'm telling you - the BEST BUSINESS IDEAS COME IN TIMES OF STILLNESS. You know why some people get their best ideas in the shower? It might be the only "quiet time" they have all day. It's no coincidence. You don't need to learn how to meditate if you don't want to learn how to meditate. But what you do need to do is find something that allows you to relax your thoughts. If you're into sports, it can be shooting hoops on the basketball court for 10 minutes. If you love coffee or tea, it can be sitting on your patio for 10 minutes with that warm mug and no background noise. Or maybe for you, those 10 minutes in the shower are golden. Find out what works for you and do it every single day. Research says that even 5 to 10 minutes per day can do the trick. Once you get into the habit, you'll begin to access more of your creative thoughts -- you know, all of those ideas that I believe are gifted to us. Where do all those creative ideas come from by the way? I believe it's from God or the Universe (or whatever word you like to use to refer to your intuition, to your guidance system, to your higher power). I also believe that we cannot access that higher power if we never take the time to be still and listen. 

3. You have got to trust the process and have faith that, no matter what happens, you'll end up exactly where you're meant to be. 
To make the leap from a typical job to owning a business, you must trust in the process and have faith that, no matter what happens, it's all going to work out in the end exactly the way it's supposed to. There is never, ever going to be a moment where you'll know with 100% certainty that your leap from corporate America to jewelry business owner, for example, is going to succeed from a financial perspective. Never. But what you can be 100% certain of is that you're going to learn a lot along the way, grow and evolve as a person, and meet a lot of different people along the pathway of business ownership. Maybe your business will fail, but you'll meet the owner of another business and become her partner down the road. Or maybe, like me, your first jewelry business won't make enough money to survive but you learn so much from this "failure" that you open a second jewelry business several years later and that one succeeds quickly. You just never know how things are going to work out, but somehow all the dots will connect in the end. They always do.  


4. You have got to allow success.
This sounds silly, right? But so many of us have become so used to mediocrity that it's difficult to accept the awesome gift of success. For example, guilt and doubt will creep in when your business starts to take off. The voice in your head will say, "Who are you to earn good money from work you love, when the rest of the world is living the TGIF culture?" You might even feel like a fraud at times. You may even sabotage the whole thing (subconsciously of course). So you have got to hone your ability to claim success. Otherwise, doubts and guilt will destroy anything you manage to build. We are so good at feeling anger, pain, and frustration; we need to get better at feeling joy, success, and pride. One of my personal mantras is "receive it" - I have to continually remind myself to receive all the goodness coming my way otherwise I often fall back into the old default mode of pushing it away. It's something I've gotten much better at with a little work, so I know you can too.

5. Patience is key. Success takes time - we're talking years, not months.
Starting your own business is a marathon, not a sprint. There's no such thing as an overnight success (trust me, if something succeeds that quickly, it's also going to disappear just as quickly). You've got to be in it for the long haul. An average business doesn't start to generate real money until year two. But when it does, what an awesome return on your initial investment of time and money! Think of it liking investing in property - you're building something that'll generate increasing amounts of wealth for you as the years go by. Unlike a typical office job where there's usually a defined ceiling on how much you can earn even at the highest level, the amount you can earn from your own business is almost limitless. But, just like real estate, it doesn't happen overnight or even over a few months. It usually takes a couple years, at least. If you get bored quickly, if you don't have patience, or if you aren't great at sticking with things, then owning a business might not be for you (or it might be just the thing you need to develop patience and stick-with-it-ness). Along the same lines, you need to accept that if you want to own your own business, you will probably need to keep your day job for a while until you get it off the ground. This is not a bad thing. It takes a lot of the pressure off so that you can make decisions that are good for the business, not just your paycheck. Just think how far along you'd be today if you had started working on your business idea two years ago - even if just for a few hours per week on the weekends.

There you have it - my view of the 5 most important things that contributed to my success as a business owner. As you can see, they ALL have to do with mindset. Some of you may grumble at that but my response to that is: your mindset is 100% within your control. There's not much within our control these days, but what goes on in our minds is entirely up to us. It takes practice, but new mental habits are definitely within reach if you're willing to put in the work. It's just like physical exercise - no overnight results but with daily dedication, all of a sudden the pounds will start to drop off. 

Now for an exciting announcement! I've hinted at this over the past few months, but it's all come together: I'm going to be offering mentor and coaching services in 2020! This has been a long time coming. I've spoken to so many of you about career change, how to start a business, and how I quit my lawyer job, and I've wanted to offer help and assistance in a more formal way than these Weekly Journal entries allow. Stay tuned for all the details! They'll be announced over the course of the next week, and there will be various mentoring options available. I look forward to connecting with you in a more substantial and helpful way, especially if your background is similar to mine and you've been stuck in a job you don't like for way too long.

Cheers to making big strides towards big dreams in 2020!

xoxo,

Stacy  

 

 

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Seven Ways To Improve Your Money Mindset

Seven Ways To Improve Your Money Mindset

Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share a bit about jewelry, and a lot about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. In this week's journal entry, I'm again talking about money. Why money? Because it's the #1 block to pursuing your passions! If you have big goals for 2020 and they either (a) require money or (b) involve making money, working on your mindset around money will be time well spent (pun intended). Money mindset is something I've personally struggled with and am working hard to overcome. I just had a lot of negative stories and beliefs around money that weren't true or accurate. I've made some strides (for example, I now earn money from a jewelry business that brings me joy instead of a lawyer job that brought me anxiety) and I love sharing what I've been able to learn. In this week's journal entry, I'd like to share 7 different practical tools for reshaping your money mindset so that we head into 2020 with more abundance and a more grateful heart.

In some ways, improving our money mindset is similar to exercising to feel healthier or lose weight. It requires daily work. It takes practice and it gets easier the more you do it. You'll start to see little results and then those will motivate you to strive for bigger results. You'll fall off the wagon when things get busy and then you'll need to get back on. And even when your money mindset improves, you'll still need to keep up a daily practice to "maintain." When you look at improving your frame of mind in this light, it takes a little of the pressure off. It's a daily habit that will eventually become part of your routine, but in the beginning it's going to be a little tough. So here are some tools that I've used to help steer my money mindset into a more positive direction. I've read a lot of books and articles on the topic, and these are the ones that have worked for me:

1. Educate yourself! You don't go into the weight lifting section of the gym and just start pumping iron. You need to understand what the machines do, learn proper form, and most importantly identify the exercises that are going to help you with your weak spots. It's the same here. A daily practice of trying to improve your money mindset isn't going to work if you don't understand your weak spots. What stories about money are holding you back? Maybe you overspend, maybe you're frugal to the point that it's a real problem. Maybe you earn a lot of money in your current job but you hate the work you do. Or maybe you love your job but you know you aren't getting paid what you're worth. Maybe your parents gave you everything on a silver platter and you don't know how to manage money now, or maybe your parents did not make enough money and now you hoard every dollar you are able to earn. We all have different backgrounds, experiences, and viewpoints around money. I identified some common money stories in my original journal entry on money mindset here and you can see if any of those resonate with you. I also highly recommend reading the book called You are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero (you can find it here on Amazon). It's a funny read with TONS of valuable information regarding the money stories we all tell ourselves.

2. Keep a daily log of all the forms of money that come to you. Track the in-flow of money for a few weeks. Don't worry about the out-flow of cash for purposes of this exercise. This log should include not only your regular paycheck from work, but also things like the dollar bill you found on the street, the free flu shot you received at work (value $40), the $5 you saved on your lunch bill because you used a customer loyalty coupon, the coffee your co-worker treated you to ($2 value), the $2.50 you saved because the meter spot you pulled into already had enough time left in it for you to run your errand. Include everything and I mean EVERYTHING. The purpose of this exercise is for you to realize how abundant you already are. Sure, you might not have a million dollars in the bank, but that's not required to feel abundant. We are all FAR more wealthy than we recognize, especially in comparison to certain parts of the world. This log will help you become a little more grateful for all the ways abundance comes into your life, and we all know what happens when you're grateful -- you become a magnet for more abundance! (This exercise comes from an author named Denise Duffield-Thomas).

3. Say thank you every time you use your debit or even your credit card. Every time you run your debit or credit card through the machine at the checkout line, say "thank you." It doesn't need to be out loud, just say it in your head. The "thank you" is a grateful statement to the Universe or God (or whatever power you believe in) that you have the funds to pay for your everyday needs. Even if you're putting your dinner on a credit card, you are in the position to even HAVE credit and that's something to be grateful for. (I learned this exercise from author Gabby Bernstein).

4. Say thank you every time you pay a bill. Similar to #3, every time you pay a bill or pay your rent, say "thank you." You received housing, water, electricity, etc in return for the charges on that bill. Don't groan, be thankful! We tend to overlook such everyday conveniences, when we really should be grateful for them. This will transform the negative energy you have around paying bills to one of gratitude. The Universe or God responds to a grateful heart! If you aren't appreciating what you have now, why should the Universe give you more?

5. Have a mantra and read it before you sit down to pay your bills. Whenever I sit down to pay my bills, I first take out this little sheet of paper on which I've written a powerful statement. It says something like, "Thank you Universe for reshaping my relationship to money. I release my fears around money and I welcome new abundant thoughts. I am abundant." Instead of groaning while I pay my bills (negative energy), this mantra helps me get into a grateful spirit (positive energy). This little practice can really kickstart a money mindset transformation! (I believe I also learned this exercise from Gabby Bernstein).

6. Respect your money. As a former lawyer, this one was a little challenging for me. I used to make 6 figures with no kids and no house, so I didn't really need to worry about how I spent my money. Don't get me wrong, I didn't just walk around throwing money at people. I wasn't an over-spender and I've never been a fan of designer labels, but I still didn't respect my money as much as I should have back then. If I had, I would have a lot more in savings today. For example, I spent close to $500/month on workout classes when I lived in Chicago (recovering SoulCycle addict here!). I probably should have cut way back on my workout budget and used that extra money towards my student loan debt instead. But, hey, hindsight is 20/20 and that brings me to point number 7.

7. Forgive yourself. It is really easy to beat yourself up for the things you have and haven't done when it comes to money. But those mistakes are in the past and when you know better, you will do better. The vast majority of us did not grow up with parents who taught us how to have a good relationship with money, or even how to manage money. But you can teach yourself now. It is never too late. So forgive yourself for the mistakes you've made, the debt you've acquired, and the low amount in your savings account. Forgiveness will create a more positive energy around money as you move forward and create a healthier relationship with money. So, every time you catch yourself with negative thoughts around money, say "I forgive myself. I am working towards a healthier relationship with money and that is something to be proud of."

I hope these little exercises are easy enough to incorporate into your everyday life. And I hope you start to see tiny shifts in your relationship to money. I sure did! And then those shifts will become larger, until you have a healthy, thriving, abundant relationship to money. 

Cheers to abundance in 2020!

xo,

Stacy

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Career Change: Be Motivated Not By Money, But By Growth and Evolvement

Career Change: Be Motivated Not By Money, But By Growth and Evolvement

Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share a bit about jewelry, and a lot about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. Because I made the leap from lawyer to jewelry business owner, I get a lot of questions about career change. If one of your goals for 2020 is to leave behind a job you dislike and find happiness at work through a career change or by starting your own business, this post is for you!

Career change is a topic that fascinates me and I think about it a lot. I often ponder the American work culture, too - for instance, have you ever thought about the slogan TGIF? It was invented because the vast majority of people do not like their work life and can't wait until it's Friday. That's so sad when you stop to think about it! But it's the way our society has trained us to think about work. It's no wonder that if you want to quit your corporate job to pursue something you love, you're going to feel uncomfortable, fearful, and crazy at times. This is because such a decision requires you to go against societal norms.

I think the root cause of the rampant career dissatisfaction in our country is that we're taught to be motivated by money. Ask people why they're working at a job they don't like and I guarantee you that they'll all give you an answer relating to money: "I can't afford to quit" or "I can't make this kind of money elsewhere" or "I'll never make money doing what I love." We all know that "money doesn't buy happiness" but many of us live as though that were true. So, if one of your goals for 2020 is to change jobs or start your own business, my biggest piece of advice for you is this: be driven not by money, but by what will grow and evolve you into a better version of yourself.

Let me address one of your main objections to this idea straight out of the gate, because I know a lot of you probably said, "Yeah, that's a nice idea, but I've got bills to pay." Paying bills is important. Obviously. But when did financial security become the only goal that matters? It's like, we think if we have financial security, all of a sudden we'll be happy and our life will be perfect. Spoiler alert: that's not true. I had financial security in my job as a lawyer and I was a hot mess. You wouldn't even recognize "old Stacy" as I like to call her. So I'm telling you - if the only thing that's driving your career decisions is money, you are in for a big disappointment. Even if you make all the money and get all the promotions, you are going to feel pretty empty at the finish line. And then what will you do?!

Sure, financial considerations matter. If you are struggling to pay your bills, then by all means, now's not the time to take a career risk. You need to honor the season you're in. But for those of you who aren't struggling to pay bills and are unhappy in your career, 2020 is a fresh new opportunity. Money is going to be a factor in the career decisions you make, but let it be just that: one single factor in the overall decision-making process. Let me encourage you to be driven less by money and more by what is going to grow you and evolve you into the next highest version of yourself. It's great if the career change you want to make will lead to both more money and personal growth. But when you're given a choice between the two, choose growth. Think of it as a long-term investment. When you become a better version of yourself, the money follows. It won't be immediate, but if you stick with it, it comes. It really, really does. And earning money from something you enjoy even feels a lot better than money earned from doing something you don't particularly like. It's temporary sacrifice for long-term gain.

Cheers to career change in 2020!

xo,

Stacy  

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The Resources That Helped Me The Most When I Started My Business

The Resources That Helped Me The Most When I Started My Business

Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share a bit about jewelry, and a lot about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. Over the past two years, I've had a lot of aspiring business owners ask me what resources I found helpful in launching my business. You know, things like courses, books, and podcasts. In my opinion, taking a few select online courses are the single best thing you could do before you launch your business, and refusing to shell out a few hundred dollars to learn from others is the most costly mistake you could make. You don't need to recreate the wheel! Invest in some online courses and learn from people who've already made the mistakes, who've already tested all the methods, and who've already succeeded using the tools they'll teach you. Online education is incredibly affordable these days, and there are usually a ton of free webinars out there too. If you insist on doing everything yourself, you're going to waste many, many months and your business will fail before it even gets off the ground. Time is money, and this is especially true in the start-up phase of a business. 

Let me give you an example to back-up what I'm saying here. Let's say you're starting a wedding-related business. Almost every bride turns to Pinterest to plan her wedding. Therefore, Pinterest marketing is going to be important to your success. Now, if you could pay a Pinterest expert $250 to teach you (via an online course) everything they know about Pinterest marketing, wouldn't you? If you try to recreate the wheel and learn Pinterest marketing all on your own, you are going to waste at least 6 to 12 months making all the (costly) errors that this Pinterest expert could have saved you from. Perhaps you saved up only 6 to 12 months' worth of savings to live on - which means your business is doomed before it even gets off the ground. Trust me, paying $250 for a 6-week comprehensive course is one of the best investments you can make in the long-term.

Someday I'll try to make a list of all the valuable webinars, courses, books and podcasts I've encountered during my business journey, but for now I can tell you the top 3 that helped shape my business:

1. Marie Forleo's B-School Course

Hands down, this course was the most important step on my journey. The jewelry business I was planning to start before this course and after this course looked completely different. Marie is a powerful female personality in the online business space - she has a best-selling book and she's been on Oprah as a modern day thought leader. While the course is not cheap (it was about $2000 or so) it is worth every single penny and I highly recommend you save up for it. In addition to offering extremely practical advice on how to start a business, Marie also teaches how to create a business with soul - one that aligns with your values, purpose, and dreams. This course is also great for helping you to develop not just a business but a brand. Brand is so important in an over-saturated online marketplace. The course is about 12 weeks long if I remember correctly, and there is a lot of homework (do it all!). Marie also offers a lot of free resources online. You can see what she's about at https://www.marieforleo.com/

2. Brilliant Business Moms Pinterest Marketing Course and Facebook Ads Intensive Course

If no one knows about your business, no one can buy from your business. So if you don't like marketing, you might want to reconsider opening your own business! If you invest in just one course, make it an online marketing course. I am not a mom but I took a few free online marketing webinars from Beth Anne, the owner of Brilliant Business Moms, and I found her very compelling. She's built a hugely successful online business selling yearly planners, and then started teaching others how to sell online using marketing tools like Facebook, Pinterest, and email lists. I took her online Pinterest course and it was about $200 if I remember correctly. It had at least 20 different modules (with videos, homework, and case studies). It was so detailed I barely could finish it! I found it so valuable that I took her Facebook Advertising Intensive course too, which teaches advanced advertising on Facebook and Instagram. This course was about $400, but you will absolutely make that money back in sales. The reason I like Beth Anne so much is that she shows you her own Pinterest and Facebook analytics - she is so transparent about how her tools have worked (or not worked) and shows you the data to back it up. She's very credible and also very relatable. She's kind of just this mom from Pennsylvania who's figured out how to build a hugely successful online business - and she made me believe that I can too. Here's her website: https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/

3. Gabrielle Bernstein's May Cause Miracles (a 40-day guidebook) 

While this isn't practical business advice or data-driven coursework, this book literally changed the game for me. The courses I listed above were the practical knowledge I needed to start grace + hudson, but Gabrielle Bernstein's 40-day practice in May Cause Miracles was the mindset shift I needed to be successful. You can have all the practical knowledge in the world, but if your mindset isn't right, you are going to have a hard time finding success. Through this audiobook, I developed a habit of eliminating self-defeating thoughts. Let me tell you something - if you start a business, you are going to be inundated with doubts and fearful thoughts on a daily basis, the most benign of which will be, "Everyone is going to their 9-to-5 office job - am I absolutely crazy to be trying a different route?!" and "There's no way that I am going to make enough money to live off of this business." Facing self-doubt and the doubts of your family and friends is probably the most challenging part of starting your own business. It will make you want to give up. If you aren't prepared for this, you will crack under this mental pressure. This is what happened to me in my first business in 2010 - I had it for just one year before I closed the doors and I can honestly say that self-doubt (which was fed by the doubts of others) is the reason why it failed. The major difference between now and then is my mindset. I highly recommend you buy this as an audiobook. I listened to each day of the 40-day course while I brushed my teeth and washed my face in the morning, then I replayed it later in the day if I needed to. I think it's a lot easier to keep up with the 40 days if you have it on Audible, as opposed to a paper copy. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/May-Cause-Miracles-Guidebook-Unlimited/dp/B00A2ZJ65I/ref=tmm_aud_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

While these were my top 3 most influential courses, yours might look different! We all bring different strengths and weaknesses to the table. But regardless, if you're a business owner, you're going to need to resolve problems and come up with creative solutions every single day. Don't do it alone. You'll find amazing resources on the Internet with just a click in Google. Nearly all online courses that cost money will offer a free webinar - try those out! You'll learn a few things plus you can "try out" the teacher before you invest any money. See if you like his or her teaching style and, most importantly, see if you find him or her credible. You might get overwhelmed with all the online resources at first, but remember this: it is an incredible time to start a business! It wasn't always this way! I can't even imagine how difficult it must have been to start a business in the pre-Internet era. 

Continue to educate yourself after you've started your business, too. The business world is rapidly changing, especially in the online advertising space. It is so incredibly important to learn, educate yourself, and do online research when you encounter a problem in your business. It'll save you so much time (and money).

Last but not least, if you don't invest in yourself and in your business, how can you reasonably expect others to? It's an important thing to keep in mind.

xo,

Stacy

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There Are No Guarantees, But You Should Go For It Anyway

There Are No Guarantees, But You Should Go For It Anyway

Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share a bit about jewelry, and a lot about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. In my last few journal entries I've been talking a lot about perspective. Perspective is everything! This week, I want to address a pervasive thought that holds a lot of people back from starting their own business because a change in perspective will do the trick. It goes a little something like this: I want to start my own business, but I'm waiting for the engraved invitation to show up in the mail. Pardon the sarcasm as I'm originally from northern New Jersey ;) but you've probably heard this expression before and it is so apropos here. It's like we're waiting for a rock solid guarantee to show up in the mail or drop down from heaven that says, "Yes, Stacy, if you start this jewelry business, it is going to make oodles of money and you'll never have to go back to a job in corporate America again." And so we wait and we wait, we hem and we haw, we don't do the work because we don't know if it's going to pay off. Well, just like anything else in life, there are no guarantees that your business is going to succeed or make money. Heck, there are no guarantees that any one of us is going to wake up tomorrow! At some point in time, you are going to have to take a risk and decide to go for it (or not). But here's what I want to tell you. Here's the perspective shifter. It's not about whether the business succeeds or makes money. It's about what you learn along the way and how you grow and develop as a person as a result of the life-changing experience of trying to build your very own company. You've heard me say it before and I'll continue to say it again. It's about the journey not the end result.

Here's how I know this to be 100% true. If you've been reading along, you know I quit my job as an attorney not once but twice! The first time I quit, it was 2010 and I opened a brick + mortar jewelry store in a cute town in New Jersey. I had the shop for one year. Although this would be marked a failure to the untrained eye, something really important happened when I owned that shop. Brides-to-be consistently stopped by the shop looking for bridesmaid jewelry. They all said the same exact thing: "I want to buy jewelry to match my bridesmaids' dresses but the pretty jewelry I'm finding is at Nordstrom and I can't afford to purchase $200 necklaces for each of my 8 bridesmaids. The only other colorful jewelry to match my wedding that I've been able to find is at Kohl's and is just too cheap looking." I'm not joking, if I had a dollar for every time I heard this exact spiel, I'd have been rich. 

So what's my point? That first store led me to open grace + hudson 9 years later. When I opened g+ h, I knew there was a huge gap in the market between expensive and cheap bridesmaid jewelry gifts. But I never would have known the ins-and-outs of this need in the marketplace if I hadn't owned this jewelry store in 2010 which "failed." It was a critical stepping stone on my journey. I wouldn't be standing here now if I hadn't had that store. 

And your journey is no different. I'm sure if you think about your own life right now, you can see areas where the dots all connected. 

So stop waiting for the engraved invitation to show up in the mail, inviting you to make the leap to start your own business. Listen to your intuition. If it's screaming at you to start a business and you just know that it's the next step on your path, go for it. Accept the risk and go after your dream with an open heart, knowing that everything you learn along the way is going to make you stronger and better. Trust that all the dots are going to connect in the end. Be smart about it, but know that it necessarily is going to involve some degree of risk.

This idea can be applied to virtually every area where you've got to make a big decision. For example, recently my mother has been thinking of moving from New Jersey to the south to be closer to me and my sister. She's never lived outside of New Jersey and the idea of such a big move is a little intimidating. I told her the same thing - at some point, you're going to have to take a risk and follow your heart. There is no guarantee that if you move, you're going to love it in your new home. At some point, you're just going to need to take the chance. Or you're going to need to accept that you're staying in New Jersey and stop talking about moving. You're going to need to decide and get out of a seemingly endless loop of debating the pros and cons.

Cheers to recognizing areas where you're stuck - areas where maybe you're waiting for a guarantee before you make a big decision or a big change. Evaluate the risks, listen to your heart, know there are no guarantees in life, and move forward.

xo,

Stacy

 

 

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A Brand New Way To Look At Your Goals

A Brand New Way To Look At Your Goals

Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share a bit about jewelry, and a lot about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. With 2020 just a few weeks away, it's almost time to reflect on your goals for 2019 and how much you accomplished (or not!). Before you do that, I want to share a new way to look at goals that's been life-changing for me. It's not about whether or not you accomplished the goal - it's about who you've become along the way. How much did you grow? Did you become a better person? Did you acquire new skills? Did you learn new things? Did you meet new people? Did you learn more about yourself? Those are the important questions. When we become too focused on the outcome - the end game - we miss out on a huge part of the journey. In our American culture and particularly because of social media, many people want instantaneous results. They don't want to try unless the outcome is guaranteed. For example, I know a lot of people want to start their own business, but they want a guarantee that it's going to be successful before they'll even try. Not only is that unrealistic, it entirely ignores the learning, growth, and development that'll happen during the process. And that's where the true value is! 

I feel particularly qualified to talk about this topic because I had a business in 2010 that "failed." It was a brick and mortar jewelry store and I had to shut the doors after just one year. While one could label that an utter failure, I choose to look at it differently. I learned so much during that process and I met so many amazing people - business owners, customers, and even someone who turned into one of my very best friends. I am also 100% convinced that grace + hudson is thriving because of the knowledge and experience I gained from running that store. I constantly draw on the knowledge I gained there. This first jewelry store was an important step on my journey. Without it, there would be no grace + hudson.

We can apply this perspective to all aspects of our life, no matter whether our goal has to do with career, relationships, fitness, even weight loss. For example, say you'd like to lose 50 pounds. Sure, you'll focus on the number along the way, but losing that amount of weight is going to require you to love yourself more, treat yourself better, and value your health more. In other words, the journey to losing 50 pounds is most likely going to transform your relationship to yourself and increase your self-esteem. I'd argue that this is much more valuable than the 50 pounds, wouldn't you? What's more is that increased self-esteem and self-love is a lifelong gift you'll carry for many years to come and I bet it'll lead to transformations in other areas of your life, too. As another example, take the area of relationships - perhaps you got divorced this year and you have a child. Would you consider your marriage an utter failure? I'd say absolutely not - you created a life together - a child. And you undoubtedly grew and evolved as a person during the marriage. Does that sound like an utter failure? I sure hope not. 

When you look at your accomplishments in this new light, it takes a lot of the pressure off and you can give yourself a lot more credit for how far you've come. It's not about the end goal. Sure, that's great if it happens. But it's really about the journey. 

xo,

Stacy

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