Arrow Fat Left Icon Arrow Fat Right Icon Arrow Right Icon Cart Icon Close Circle Icon Expand Arrows Icon Facebook Icon Instagram Icon Pinterest Icon Hamburger Icon Information Icon Down Arrow Icon Mail Icon Mini Cart Icon Person Icon Ruler Icon Search Icon Shirt Icon Triangle Icon Bag Icon Play Video

my journal

The One Thing I Think All Business Owners Should Invest In

The One Thing I Think All Business Owners Should Invest In

Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. In this week's journal entry, I'm sharing the one thing I would invest in if I were launching a new business right now. A lot of you are aspiring business owners, and maybe you've even started to work on your business website! If so, you might be overwhelmed at all there is to do and what it costs. Which things are worth the money? Which things can you cut corners on? What do you really need now, and what can wait? Looking back, here's the one thing I would prioritize that I don't see a lot of entrepreneurs prioritizing these days.

I've been in the entrepreneur world for about 5 years now and I've met a lot of business owners during that time. Both online and in real life. When you're just starting out, you tend to do a lot of networking! I also did a lot of pop up shops before I had the pleasure of opening my own brick and mortar store, and I met a lot of other business owners at those pop ups. And these days you exchange Instagram handles more than you exchange business cards, right? So I've seen a lot of social media accounts and websites from small business owners. And there's one one thing I noticed a lot. And there's one thing new business owners complain about a lot. And that's professional photography and the cost of it.

If there's one thing I can persuade you to invest in, it would be professional photography. And listen, you don't need to go for the gold and hire someone expensive. No, no. Not necessary. You can upgrade to better photography as your business grows and makes more revenue (in fact, I've just hired a new more experienced photographer to upgrade my website photos in 2022!). But starting out, I highly, highly, highly suggest you get yourself some professional photos. If you have a website (well, you better! That goes without saying!) it needs to look professional and polished. If you're selling online, people cannot touch and see the product for themselves. You have to convey how beautiful and amazing it is in photos. That can't be done with crappy iPhone photos taken by someone who doesn't know how to edit photos. And if you're selling services (such as coaching or consulting) you are the product. So you need to look polish and trustworthy and professional in your photos, or potential clients are going to have a hard time trusting you with their dollars. Bottom line - your photos are your language. It's how you communicate with people. Most people don't read words these days. For real! For example, Instagram captions are kind of a dead thing, right? If you don't capture their attention with a photo, they definitely aren't going to read the words under it. Heck, even if they like the photo, they still might not read the words. It's all about instant impact with visuals.

Despite this, so many business owners complain about hiring a professional and claim they don't have the money. Well, I'm sorry to break this obvious news to you, but if YOU won't invest in your business, don't expect others to! Right? Right. If you truly are unable to invest in some photos, see if you can hire a photography major from a nearby college. These students often have to build up a portfolio, so they might work for a very low rate or entirely free. Think outside the box! You might even be able to barter - if you sell jewelry and you need jewelry photos, perhaps you can agree to give the photographer 5 free pieces if she does this work for you. Or maybe you have a friend who is really, really good with iPhone photos. There are so many editing apps out there to make photos look polished and professional and maybe you have a friend or two who can navigate those. Get creative! After all, coming up with creative solutions to problems is one major job of an entrepreneur.  

So when you're making your budget for your new business, leave some room for professional photos. You won't regret it! You have one opportunity to grab a stranger's attention. 

I hope you're able to learn something valuable from my own business journey and experiences! If you'd like my Weekly Journal sent straight to your inbox every week, click here to subscribe. 

P.S. Are you on Pinterest? I'm in the process of creating a Weekly Journal board on Pinterest so you can easily navigate all of my journal entries. You can view and follow the board by clicking here. I've written so much about quitting my lawyer job to start g+h over the past couple years and I want to make it easier for you to access and read the entries that resonate most!


xoxo,
Stacy

Continue reading

Getting Honest with Yourself About Small Business Ownership (PART FIVE)

Getting Honest with Yourself About Small Business Ownership (PART FIVE)

Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. This is the final entry in a five-part series where I'm sharing what it's really like to be a small business owner and if that path is right for you. So many of you want to start your own business someday and it's important that you have a realistic picture of what that entails. In today's entry, I'm sharing what it's like to have no "boss" at work. Sounds great, doesn't it? It is if you're independent-minded! But the lack of a boss and the lack of a clear "to do list" at work certainly isn't for everyone. 

Starting a new business doesn't come with a checklist, a manual, or a guide and what you do day-to-day can vary greatly. This is quite unlike any other position, where your job duties are clearly spelled out in your job description and your goals or benchmarks are clearly set forth in your performance reviews. If you want a promotion to the next level, you can go to your boss or the human resources department and they'll usually be able to give you a piece of paper with the requisite years of experience and other required skills for a promotion. A lot of aspiring business owners grow up in this corporate environment and so they ask me where they can find the manual on starting a business. They want a checklist with 100 "to do list" items and they want to know that if they check off all 100 items, they'll have a successful business. Oh my friend, you need to leave that corporate mentality behind! Even if there was a checklist with 100 items, and even if you tackled all 100 items with gumption, there is zero guarantee you'll have a successful business waiting for you at the end. That can be daunting for someone who is very accustomed to having clearly spelled out expectations, goals, and functions.

Here's the thing - while people often complain about their bosses, most people actually need a boss. They flail if no one tells them what projects need to be worked on. They stumble if there's no one above them to turn to for advice and guidance when stuck on a project. They get overwhelmed on how to prioritize tasks if no one is there to prioritize things for them. When you have no boss, you need to make all of the decisions yourself. You need to come up with the projects. You need to prioritize what's important and what can wait. And you won't have a more experienced boss to turn to when you're stuck (side note: but you can find mentors and other entrepreneurs to network with who can identify with you). 

So get honest with yourself and how you function at work. Maybe being boss-less is actually not as appealing as it sounds. Maybe it's actually kind of nice to have someone sitting on the sidelines telling you what to do everyday. Maybe? Think about it and be honest with yourself because running a business is hard and it's totally okay if you don't think you are cut out for it. It's better to know that now (and save yourself a lot of time, money, and heartache) then to discover it later on.

I hope this real talk has been helpful. If you haven't read the other entries in this series, check them out! It's so important to get clear on this stuff before you invest a lot of time and money into your business idea. 

If you'd like my Weekly Journal sent straight to your inbox every week, click here to subscribe. 

P.S. Are you on Pinterest? I'm in the process of creating a Weekly Journal board on Pinterest so you can easily navigate all of my journal entries. You can view and follow the board by clicking here. I've written so much about quitting my lawyer job to start g+h over the past couple years and I want to make it easier for you to access and read the entries that resonate most!

xoxo,
Stacy

Continue reading

Getting Honest with Yourself About Small Business Ownership (PART FOUR)

Getting Honest with Yourself About Small Business Ownership (PART FOUR)

Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. This is part four in a series where I'm sharing what it's really like to be a small business owner and if that path is right for you. So many of you want to start your own business someday and it's important that you have a realistic picture of what that entails. Today we're talking a little about the criticism you're bound to receive from some family and friends as you begin your business ownership journey. 

For me, the nuts and bolts of starting a business were relatively easy compared to constantly battling this idea that I was somehow wrong for wanting to follow my heart and create a good life for myself that has meaning, depth, and joy. Many of my friends, co-workers, and family members questioned me and talked down to me in the beginning. And if some of the closest people in your life don't believe in you, how are you supposed to believe in you? It can certainly throw you for a loop.

I can still remember all the judgments I endured when I quit my lawyer job. The comments I still remember are:

  • You really think you can make enough money selling jewelry?
  • How are you going to pay for your living expenses?
  • You're just going to waste your law degree like that?
  • Have you ever thought about trying a different field of law instead? (Oh my gosh, this was my pet peeve. You really think I haven't thoroughly examined this idea!?)
  • What business experience do you have to run your own business? (Said in a very derogatory tone)
  • So, like, when are you going to go back to being a lawyer? (Again, said in a very derogatory tone)

When you start your business, you are going to receive similar comments. Trust me. So how do you navigate through them without losing your confidence? Well, at the end of the day, always remember these comments say more about the person making them than they do about you. That's it. That's the key. Remember that these comments are coming from people who have bought the "traditional life path" model hook, line, and sinker. You know how it goes - work at a job you don't particularly like, wish for the weekends, save in a 401(k), and hope to really start "living" at age 65 when you retire. These types of people get really uncomfortable when they see someone challenging that traditional path. You know why? Because they have to face the possibility that maybe there is another way. And, boy oh boy, these types of people don't like to be wrong about the way they've approached things. Trust me, I've met lots and lots of them in the legal profession. These people tend to think that everyone should be on the straight and narrow path and anyone who veers outside of that is crazy, naive, weird, strange, etc. Don't let them deter you. Don't let them steer you off course. Remember that you have a bigger life vision than them, that's all. And you'll be the one living the good life in a few years, while they stay trapped until retirement. 

After a couple years, when your business has become more stable, they'll be the ones asking you for advice! Trust me. I've experienced this too. It's great fun for me to talk to the people who previously judged me! Some of them can hardly believe that I never went back to law. And they become so curious as to how you did it. To say the least, it's pretty gratifying to say "I told you so" (in my mind and never out loud of course!)

I hope this real talk is helpful. I'll be back next week with the fifth and final installment in this series. It's so important to get clear on this stuff before you invest a lot of time and money into your business idea. 

If you'd like my Weekly Journal sent straight to your inbox every week, click here to subscribe. 

P.S. Are you on Pinterest? I'm in the process of creating a Weekly Journal board on Pinterest so you can easily navigate all of my journal entries. You can view and follow the board by clicking here. I've written so much about quitting my lawyer job to start g+h over the past couple years and I want to make it easier for you to access and read the entries that resonate most!

xoxo,
Stacy

Continue reading

Getting Honest With Yourself About Small Business Ownership (PART THREE)

Getting Honest With Yourself About Small Business Ownership (PART THREE)

Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. This is part three in a series where I'm sharing what it's really like to be a small business owner and if that path is right for you. So many of you want to start your own business someday and it's important that you have a realistic picture of what that entails. Today we're talking a little about money and what you need to think about before you quit your day job and start your business. 

First and foremost, I think a lot of people believe they have a viable business the minute they set up a business Instagram account and create a free website. You know the whole "if you build it they will come" idea from the movie Field of Dreams. They plan on quitting their job on a Monday and starting their business on Tuesday with cash starting to flow by Friday. But that couldn't be further from the truth. It takes time to build a legitimate, profitable business. No one can buy from you if they don't know about you - this is why we engage in marketing, which is building awareness of your brand - and unfortunately marketing doesn't work instantly. It takes time. Some people say that no one will buy from you until you've built the know, like, and trust factor. They know you and your business exist, they grow to like you and what you sell through various interactions with you and your business, and then they grow to trust you enough to buy what you sell. If you're selling something that costs $5, the know, like, and trust factor can be established quite quickly. But if you're selling something that's $100, it's going to take more time. You feel me? Before they shell out $100, they're going to need a little more from you in order to feel confident about their purchase. In short, this is why you shouldn't believe anyone who tells you that a business can be built overnight. Sure, there are "overnight successes" but they are usually fast and fleeting. A one hit wonder. They don't make it for the long haul. 

So, what does this mean for you? Well, you need to get realistic about money. You need to accept that you aren't going to quit your job on Monday and start your new business on Tuesday with cash flowing on Friday. Instead, it's going to be more of a process. And you're going to need to have an alternate source of income or a large savings account for the meantime. Preferably, you'll stay at your current day job and work on your business at night and on weekends. So many people grumble at this idea, but listen - if you aren't willing to do this, you probably aren't cut out to be an entrepreneur anyways. Building a business takes a lot of hard work and dedication and it's going to require long hours at times. If you aren't willing to do that in the beginning - when your excitement about your new business is arguably at its highest - then you probably aren't going to be willing to do that 2 years in, when excitement is waning and you're wondering if it's all worth it. 

Ugh...so when can I quit my job, you ask? The answer is different for everyone. It varies from living situation to living situation and from business to business. Perhaps you have a husband and you can go on his health insurance and rely on him to pay the mortgage. Or perhaps you're single and all of your living expenses are your responsibility. Perhaps your business is a service-based business like career coaching that doesn't require a lot of monetary investment in products and inventory, compared to the woman who wants to start a high-end clothing boutique which requires a lot of costly inventory to start. You see what I mean? There isn't a one-size-fits-all answer. As your business grows, you'll know exactly when you have enough business revenue to support the business and pay your bills, and only then should you quit your day job. Remember you can always go part-time too when your business starts to earn revenue but not quite enough to support 100% of your expenses.

I always get this question too, so I'll answer it here: "What if my current job is too stressful and too demanding? I don't even have time to wash my hair let alone start working on my business website." Well then, perhaps you can get another full-time job with less pressure so that you do have time and energy to work on your business during nights and weekends. Listen, if you want what you've never had, you need to do things you've never done. I know all of this can be scary, but it's not rocket science. The answers to these questions are quite plain and simple. We make it complicated. We make up excuses as to why it's not feasible, when in reality that's our fear talking. So get real with yourself - do you really, really, really want to start your own business? If the answer is a whole-hearted yes, then look at your situation creatively and make the decisions and the moves that need to be made. It's temporary. If all goes well, you'll be quitting your day job and working full-time on your dream in about 2 years. 2 years! That's nothing. (side note: where did I get 2 years from? The average business takes about 2 years to start seeing consistent profit.) 

I hope this real talk is helpful. I'll be back next week with more ways to think realistically and practically about potential business ownership. It's so important to get clear on that stuff before you invest a lot of time and money into your business idea. If there's a topic or subject you want me to address in this series, leave a note in the comments!

If you'd like my Weekly Journal sent straight to your inbox every week, click here to subscribe. 

P.S. Are you on Pinterest? I'm in the process of creating a Weekly Journal board on Pinterest so you can easily navigate all of my journal entries. You can view and follow the board by clicking here. I've written so much about quitting my lawyer job to start g+h over the past couple years and I want to make it easier for you to access and read the entries that resonate most!

xoxo,
Stacy

Continue reading

Getting Honest With Yourself About Small Business Ownership (PART TWO)

Getting Honest With Yourself About Small Business Ownership (PART TWO)

Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. This is part two in a series where I'm sharing what it's really like to be a small business owner. So many of you want to start your own business someday and it's important that you have a realistic picture of what that entails. Today we're talking a little about state of mind. Are you an anxious person by nature? Or are you calm and steady most of the time? This is an important factor to consider when evaluating whether or not you are cut out for small business ownership. Here's why.

If you know anything about small business ownership, you know it can be unpredictable and a little risky, especially in the beginning stages. It is vastly different from collecting a regular paycheck every two weeks from an employer. Giving up a steady paycheck is probably the thing that holds most people back from making the big leap. And rightly so! This is especially true if no one has taught you how to manage money and handle your personal finances with wisdom and care. Even after your business has taken off, there can be unpredictable times. For example, if you sell toys you are most definitely going to experience a slow sales period in January each year. Everyone just bought toys for Christmas and January is going to be a slower sales month so you need to plan for that. You see what I mean? If you currently collect a regular paycheck, chances are you never worry about it. You never doubt that the money is going to show up in your account every other Friday. If, on the other hand, you own a business, you DO have to worry about whether the funds will be there to pay you and your employees. If the money is not there, then YOU need to do something to generate it. Sound stressful? It can be, especially in the first few years.

There are many things about small business ownership that can cause anxiety, but money is definitely number one on the list. And if you're an anxious person by nature, the highs and lows and unpredictability of small business ownership can be all too much to handle. Most likely, that anxiety will outweigh the joy that business ownership brings. That's just the truth. And the potential for anxiety never goes away... in fact, some might say it increases as your business becomes more successful because now you have employees, and those employees depend on YOU for their paycheck, and what if something happens and there's not enough? Or what if there's a global pandemic in the 12th year of your business when you're rolling along thinking everything's great? It does get easier over time, yes, but you're never going to feel 100% "safe" and "comfortable" and some people just need those things to thrive.

On the other side of the spectrum is the person who is calm and steady by nature and has a "can do" attitude about virtually anything. Instead of thinking, "I have employees who depend on me and what if I can't pay them because something unexpected happens?", the calm and steady person thinks, "I can navigate whatever happens in my business. If something unexpected happens, that's when my personality really kicks in. I actually really love solving problems. It makes me feel useful and powerful." When the storm is raging outside, he or she is the one calming the troops. In fact, some might say this person actually thrives under pressure. You see the difference between the two personality types? 

So, which one are you? Get honest with yourself. The key is being honest about where you fall on the spectrum so that you're making an educated decision about your future. Who wants to own a business if it means being strung out on anxiety all the time? That's not going to be fun. It's going to be painful and the anxiety might even wreck your health over time. Understand yourself and be willing to acknowledge that you thrive best under well-known, predictable circumstances. You'll find more peace and joy staying employed with a regular paycheck. And that's 100% completely fine. It doesn't make you "weak" or a bad person if you don't think you can handle it and - more importantly - enjoy it. If, on the other hand, you tend to be a calm and steady leader who thrives most when presented with a problem, small business ownership will likely be very enjoyable for you. You'll likely grow a lot under the challenging circumstances that small ownership presents to you. In other words, if you're feeling stifled at your current regular job, you might finally feel the freedom to realize your full potential through the experience of small business ownership.

If you noticed the title of this week's journal entry, this is part two. Part three is coming next week! So look forward to more ways to think realistically and practically about potential business ownership. It's so important to get clear on that stuff before you invest a lot of time and money into your business idea. If there's a topic or subject you want me to address in this series, leave a note in the comments!

If you'd like my Weekly Journal sent straight to your inbox every week, click here to subscribe. 

P.S. Are you on Pinterest? I'm in the process of creating a Weekly Journal board on Pinterest so you can easily navigate all of my journal entries. You can view and follow the board by clicking here. I've written so much about quitting my lawyer job to start g+h over the past couple years and I want to make it easier for you to access and read the entries that resonate most!

xoxo,
Stacy

Continue reading

Getting Honest With Yourself About Small Business Ownership (Part One)

Getting Honest With Yourself About Small Business Ownership (Part One)

Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. In this week's journal entry, I want you to get a better idea of what it means to be a small business owner. So many of you want to start your own business someday and it's important that you have a realistic picture of what that entails. Show of hands... how many of you think I spend 8 hours per day in my shop in Charleston making jewelry next to my sweet dog, Cooper? You might be surprised at how little of my schedule is actually devoted to jewelry making. Read on to see what I mean.

I think one of the problems aspiring small business owners encounter is that they don't know what the actual day-to-day entails. You can actually say this about any career, right? Take my former career as a lawyer for example. So many people think I spent most of my days in court. That's not the case at all - most lawyers spend most of their days alone, researching and writing the documents that need to be submitted to the court. And, many times, the court doesn't even ask you to show up! Instead, they make a decision from the documents you spent so many hours writing and researching alone in your office until the wee hours of the morning. Well, the same can be said of small business ownership. Take my business for instance. I bet some of you think I spend most of my time making jewelry. That couldn't be further from the truth. In an average week, perhaps 30% of my time is spent making jewelry. The rest of the time is spent on business activities, such as marketing and advertising, inventory, planning, and so on. For me, I personally love that. Again, I used to be a lawyer and so that part of me loves to strategize marketing ideas, plan about inventory numbers, and nerd out behind my computer categorizing business expenses. If my job entailed making jewelry 8 hours per day, I would have quit a long time ago. I need that mental, intellectual stimulation every day and I'm so glad about 70% of my time is spent doing things that give me that. The creative side of me is very happy spending 30% of my week making jewelry and doesn't want or need more than that.

If you go into business ownership not knowing these things, you might hate it! You've got to be honest with yourself. If you love to make beautiful handmade soaps at home, for example, and you're thinking of starting your own business but you hate the idea of marketing and advertising, managing higher levels of inventory, maintaining a website, hiring and managing a team, processing payroll, and all the countless things that business ownership entails, don't do it! Start an Etsy shop and leave it at that. I call that a glorified hobby. That's not meant to be derogatory, it's just calling a spade, a spade and getting clear on what you're doing. And by glorified hobby I mean this: you love to make soap so much that you have run out of friends and co-workers and family members to give your creations to. So you start a little shop and sell a bit of it to strangers on Etsy with no real pressure to run and scale a business. That's totally fine! You can make a little extra cash from your talent and never worry about whether you'll have enough money to pay your employees, or whether you'll hit this month's revenue goals, or whether you should hire a marketing coach to help you run a successful advertising campaign on social media.

Now, for others of you, you are lit up by the business side of things. You want to learn how to scale a profitable business, you love taking online courses on business (such as a social media advertising course), you might even like the idea of business tax planning and inventory/supply chain management. Once you get clear on which side of the aisle you fall on, you can either pursue that business with gumption or you can pursue that small Etsy shop with gratitude. You get out of this zone of uncertainty, where you are continuously debating whether or not you want to start that e-commerce website. You feel me? There is no shame in having a little side hustle that remains a side hustle. There is no shame in saying, you know, I love clothes, but I'm not good at business and so I'm going to be honest with myself and not start that online clothing boutique. That is being mature. And you know what else being honest with yourself does? It stops wasting your time and energy! You can free up that space in your brain that was constantly hemming and hawing over whether you want to start an online boutique. You know what I mean? Being unclear about what you want to do takes up a LOT of brain space, time, and energy. Once you get clear, you can either push full steam ahead or admit it's not the right fit and focus your energy elsewhere.

This week, take some time to get clear. Realistically, do you think you'll love running a business? Or would you rather keep your love of soaps, or jewelry, or art, or clothes a fun, happy hobby? Because I'll leave you with this food for thought - I've known people who've tried to turn their passion into a business and it entirely killed their love for that thing. For example, I knew a yoga teacher who opened a yoga studio and it basically killed her love of yoga. All the business things (such as annoying and troublesome clients) really ruined yoga for her and that's a sad thing. You see what I'm saying? You owe it to yourself (and you owe it to your passion!) to be realistic about business ownership. Otherwise, you might find yourself hating the very thing that used to bring you so much joy.

If you noticed the title of this week's journal entry, this is part one. Part two is coming next week! So look forward to more ways to think realistically and practically about potential business ownership. It's so important to get clear on that stuff before you invest a lot of time and money into your business idea.

I hope you're able to learn something valuable from my own journey and experiences. My wish is for everyone to know the feeling of doing work that brings them joy. It truly is an unbelievable gift to not dread Mondays and hope for Friday's fast arrival. If you'd like my Weekly Journal sent straight to your inbox every week, click here to subscribe. 

P.S. Are you on Pinterest? I'm in the process of creating a Weekly Journal board on Pinterest so you can easily navigate all of my journal entries. You can view and follow the board by clicking here. I've written so much about quitting my lawyer job to start g+h over the past couple years and I want to make it easier for you to access and read the entries that resonate most!

xoxo,
Stacy

Continue reading

Embrace The Idea That Your Current Job Is Temporary

Embrace The Idea That Your Current Job Is Temporary

Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. In this week's journal entry, I'm talking about this big, amazing shift I see in people who want to start their own business and consciously embrace the idea that their current job and career are temporary. Let's dive in because this is a good one and might really serve you in your day-to-day life moving forward.

Let's face it, most people (not all) want to start their own business because they don't like something about their current job situation. So they complain and complain about their current job, and while they might have a really well thought out business idea, they are scared to take the leap. Does that sound like you? It was me for a while. But there can be this big, huge shift that happens when you embrace the idea that your current job is merely temporary. That it's a means to an end. That it can actually "fund" your business idea. This shift is so powerful because it takes you from this place of complaining and moves you into this place of gratitude. All of a sudden, you can appreciate your job because you can use some of your paycheck to fund your new business expenses. And you know what else happens? You will probably stop taking your job so seriously because you realize it's temporary. Sure, you'll still show up every day and do your best, but you realize you won't be there forever and that provides a wonderful sense of freedom. You don't get so hung up on all the office politics. You almost emotionally disassociate from all the office drama.

Doing this frees up so much mental and emotional energy and space. I often hear a certain complaint from aspiring entrepreneurs and it's this: "I work a lot so I have no time to work on my business idea or make it a side hustle." Believe me, I can identify. When I was a lawyer, I barely had the energy to walk my dog after work let alone work on a business idea in front of my computer. But when you embrace the idea that it's all temporary, a lot of mental and emotional energy frees up. It's amazing! And you might find you have enough energy to work on your business plan for an hour after work.

So if you're stuck in a job or career you don't like and you want to start your own business, try embracing the idea that your current situation is temporary. At first, you might have to repeat that phrase to yourself under your breath all day long - "This is only temporary. This is only temporary. This is only temporary." But after a few weeks, you might notice that you really begin to believe it. You might notice that you don't feel as drained. You might notice that you do have the energy to work on a business idea after work, even if it's only for 30 minutes in the beginning. You may notice that you have more mental space to think about your business idea because that space is no longer occupied by office politics and office drama. Give it a try! I bet you'll notice some, or all, of these things.  

I hope you're able to learn something valuable from my own journey and experiences. My wish is for everyone to know the feeling of doing work that brings them joy. It truly is an unbelievable gift to not dread Mondays and hope for Friday's fast arrival. If you'd like my Weekly Journal sent straight to your inbox every week, click here to subscribe. 

P.S. Are you on Pinterest? I'm in the process of creating a Weekly Journal board on Pinterest so you can easily navigate all of my journal entries. You can view and follow the board by clicking here. I've written so much about quitting my lawyer job to start g+h over the past couple years and I want to make it easier for you to access and read the entries that resonate most!

xoxo,
Stacy

 

Continue reading

Surround Yourself With Powerful Examples

Surround Yourself With Powerful Examples

Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. In this week's journal entry, I'm talking about the importance of surrounding yourself with people who are doing what you want to be doing with your career. If you've been working for a little while, you've probably heard the expression, "If you don't want your boss' job someday, you might want to think about a different career path." It's true. Why would you work so hard if you don't want to progress on the path you're on? That sounds kinda silly, doesn't it? But what else could you do? A lot of people have identified that they don't like their current career path, but a lot of people haven't figured out what's next. So they stay stuck. And stuck is often an unhappy place to be. What's a girl to do if she finds herself in this position? I was there for a long time, so let me help you.

A few years ago, I was a lawyer living an unhappy life, struggling with the prospect of making a career change. I was highly educated - with degrees from both Cornell University and Emory Law School - yet I felt my career options were limited. WHAT?! Yes, it's true. And I bet you can relate no matter your career or education level. We get pigeon-holed into a certain career and we think there's no other options available to us. WRONG! Let me be the first to tell you that the skills you've acquired in your current job can translate nicely into another career field. I promise you. This is true no matter your career level. There are, for example, transferrable skills from working entry level positions at Starbucks or The Gap (that was my first job in high school!). Customer service, team work, organization skills, and in the case of Starbucks - reporting to work at an incredibly early hour shows a huge level of dedication, discipline, and hard work. All important character traits to have for any job. So the first key to getting out of your "stuckness" is identifying the skills and character traits that you possess and listing them all out on a piece of paper. Be as general as possible. For example, instead of saying that you're proficient in a certain computer program that only lawyers use, write on your list that you successfully learned how to use a unique and complex software program and became quite proficient at it. Do you get where I'm going with this? Start generalizing your skills. If you learned that lawyer software program, you can probably learn the software program at a doctor's office or in a big corporate office, you feel me? When you start generalizing your skills, you'll see that they aren't only suited to your current career field.

After you've done this, my next recommendation is that you get outside your little career bubble. You see, when I was a lawyer, I often spent 70+ hours a week devoted to work and my (very little) free time was spent running errands and, you know, just keeping my life together by paying bills, walking my dog, grocery shopping, and going to a yoga class or two. When you find yourself in this position, your exposure to other people is pretty limited. In other words, it was hard for me to see beyond my little career field, beyond my little bubble. There are millions of people out there performing millions of jobs, but I was so trapped in the legal profession that - when I wanted to look for other career options - my mind went blank. Maybe you can relate. Maybe you're a nurse or a teacher or in the IT field - whatever your field, it's easy to get a little stuck there. It's easy to become pigeon-holed. We often make friends at work, so perhaps many of our friends do the same jobs as us, too. We get so comfortable in this little world (even if we don't particularly like it) and it becomes difficult to see beyond it. I know so many lawyers that dislike their jobs, but they all say to me, "I just don't know what else I'd do with this degree." WHAT?! There are literally thousands if not millions of jobs they'd be qualified for. Lawyers have so many transferrable skills. Just to name a few, most lawyers are great writers, amazing researchers, and very skilled at analyzing data, negotiating, and critical thinking. And, these days, most lawyers need to be pretty good at technology too. A lot of digital documents and emails need to be analyzed before going to trial and there are a lot of complex IT concepts involved with that process.

So how do you get outside this little bubble? It can be as easy as Google! Do some searching. I bet you'll find articles and maybe even podcasts and interviews. For example, if you get on Google and search "former lawyer," you'll actually find a podcast with tons of interviews of former lawyers who are now doing something else (click here to listen to mine!). If you listen to one of these podcasts per day, in just a couple of weeks you will have expanded your mind from "I don't know what else I can do with this degree" to "there are so many other possibilities for me." That's pretty powerful stuff. There is huge power in surrounding yourself with examples of people who have already done it. That's why I named this journal entry "surround yourself with powerful examples." When you're in this state of possibility, good things start to happen. Opportunities start to arise. That good energy of "I can do this" and "there are options" and "I don't need to stay stuck here" really can propel you forward. It replaces the negative energy of "I'm stuck here" and "I don't have options" and "I'll never be able to do something else." If you've been following my journal entries for any length of time, you know I'm always emphasizing mindset. This is no different. Expand your mind. Find proof that there are lawyers {or insert your current job} doing other things with their lives. There is TONS of it. You just have to look for it. And then this proof will naturally expand your mind as to what's possible for YOU. 

Let's talk about some other examples, just to get your mind going. Did you know a nurse can work in the legal profession? Yep! Nurses are needed in medical malpractice cases. So maybe you don't like the day-to-day work of being a nurse, but maybe you'd like lending your expertise in a legal case. Or maybe you're a teacher. Did you ever dream of starting your own business one day? How about creating an online course in something you're proficient at? There are tons of people teaching all sorts of things online and you, my friend, are leaps and bounds ahead of them because you already have some real life teaching experience. Plus, online courses have exploded during the past year or two and it's an awesome business to start as a side hustle. 

I hope you're able to learn something valuable from my own experiences. My wish is for everyone to know the feeling of doing work that brings them joy. It truly is an unbelievable gift to not dread Mondays and hope for Friday's fast arrival. If you'd like my Weekly Journal sent straight to your inbox every week, click here to subscribe. 

P.S. Are you on Pinterest? I'm in the process of creating a Weekly Journal board on Pinterest so you can easily navigate all of my journal entries. You can view and follow the board by clicking here. I've written so much about quitting my lawyer job to start g+h over the past couple years and I want to make it easier for you to access and read the entries that resonate most!

xoxo,
Stacy

Continue reading

When You Want A Big Dream But Your Mind Says "Yeah that sounds nice, but..."

When You Want A Big Dream But Your Mind Says

Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. In this week's journal entry, I'm addressing that little voice in your head that says, "Yeah, that big dream of yours sounds nice and all, but here are all the reasons why it can't happen..."

Let's start by doing a little experiment. Think about that big thing you're wishing for - is it starting your own business? Switching careers? Being in a serious romantic relationship? Getting married? Having a child? Take a moment to picture it in your mind. Now, what does your mind say when you do that? Does it say "yeah, but..." and then list reasons why it can never happen? If you said yes, please read on. This journal entry is for you.

When we have a big dream but our mind says "yeah, but..." that means we don't believe it can be ours. We might say we want this or that, but deep down we don't believe it can actually happen. There is a disconnect. It can be painful to be in this stage because we're out of alignment and often don't know why. We might be hustling to make that dream happen, but we're encountering a lot of struggle and frustration in return. We can do "all the right things" but still not see it come to pass. So let me propose a new idea, a new storyline, for you to consider. Could it be that your dream is not coming to pass because your desires and beliefs do not match up? You know that quote, "You'll see it when you believe it?" That's kind of what I'm talking about here.

Now, you might be saying to yourself, "BUT I DO BELIEVE IT'S POSSIBLE. I REALLY DO!" If that's you, I ask you to get silent for a few moments. Lay down on your back with one hand on your heart and one hand on your stomach. Think about the dream you so badly want to see come to pass. Get still and silent as you think about that dream. Gently ask yourself the question, "Why hasn't this happened for me yet?" Be still and let some answers gently flow to you. Listen carefully to what comes up. There may be some hidden beliefs lurking in the background that have been holding you back. If the tears start to flow, let them come out. 

You might be thinking to yourself, I don't meditate, I don't "manifest", and this is "woo woo" kind of stuff. I respectfully disagree and I ask you to consider a different story. One need not look any further than the Bible to see evidence of this principle, this universal law - and I'm sure you don't think the Bible is "woo woo", right? Mark 11:24 says, "I give you my word, if you are ready to believe that you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer, it shall be done for you." It goes on to say, "Whoever says to this mountain, be lifted up and thrown into the sea, and has no inner doubts but believes that what he says will happen, shall have it done for him." I love this passage so much because it hints at another really important principle -- the ability to receive. Women in particular sometimes have a hard time receiving. Underneath that is often a feeling of unworthiness - we don't believe that we are entitled to receive the dream, we don't believe we're worthy of it. Or sometimes we think it's more important to be selfless and care for others more than we care for ourselves, and this can block our ability to receive too. There was a point in my business where I really had to work on my ability to receive. I was doing everything "right" and working hard at my dream, but still something was off. I wasn't seeing the abundance I desired and believed I deserved to receive. And voila! One day it clicked. My desires and beliefs were in alignment, but my ability to receive was out of whack. I needed to examine my self-worth and do some work around that. Sure enough, a short time later I had cleared some blocks around receiving and abundance started to flow more easily. For example, one of the blocks to receiving I had to clear was, "Who am I to make money doing something I love while the rest of the world struggles in jobs they hate?" I replaced that with "I deserve to do work I love and money can flow to me easily when I use the gifts and talents God gave me."

If you find yourself today in a place of frustration because you're working hard at a dream but it's not coming to pass (or you haven't even started working on it because you believe it's impossible or you're not worthy of it), I highly recommend you think about the ideas I've written about today. Even though you say you want your dream so badly, your inner beliefs might be doubting it. No amount of hustle is going to fix that. Rather, some internal work needs to be done.

I hope you're able to learn something from my own experience. If you'd like my Weekly Journal sent straight to your inbox every week, click here to subscribe. 

P.S. Are you on Pinterest? I'm in the process of creating a Weekly Journal board on Pinterest so you can easily navigate all of my journal entries. You can view and follow the board by clicking here. I've written so much about quitting my lawyer job to start g+h over the past couple years and I want to make it easier for you to access and read the entries that resonate most!

xoxo,
Stacy

Continue reading

People Want To Change Their Circumstances While They Remain The Same

People Want To Change Their Circumstances While They Remain The Same

Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. In this week's journal entry, I'm writing about a simple yet profound sentence I heard the other day: "People want to change their world while they remain the same." It was said by one of my favorite authors and teachers, Michael Bernard Beckwith. If you read and follow my journal entries because you dislike your current career path and want to do something different, I encourage you to really think about and digest this sentence. It is not easy to make a big career change and many people give up before they've even started. You know why? I believe the answer lies in this very sentence.

I can tell you from first-hand experience that making a big, massive change requires a different, higher version of yourself. In fact, you have to first change things on the inside before you'll ever see real lasting change on the outside. Many of you already know that I quit my lawyer job after 11 years so let me ask you this. How do you think it happened? Do you think I got up one morning, said "I had enough of this!!!" and quit? Do you think I thought about it for a few weeks or a few months before I tendered my resignation? Well, from my perspective, I "started" to make my big career change when I enrolled in therapy in the second year of my legal career. That's when I really admitted to myself that my path was not sustainable. That I needed to make a change. My career was really out of alignment with my values and priorities, I was always sick with a mild cold or mild stomach ache (it's amazing what stress can do to you), and I just knew that I could not do this career much longer. But after investing about $150,000 in my law degree, I sought out the help of a therapist to talk things out. I wanted to make a solid decision, given the time and money I had spent to enter the legal profession. I didn't want to do anything I'd regret later. 

Well, those therapy sessions really set me on a path of self-discovery and self-awareness that I was not expecting! I was led to books and lectures and podcasts and all sorts of things over the following years. All of these things helped me become aware of the issues holding me back and the areas I had to work on. Everything from seeking the approval of my father through high achievement, to people-pleasing, to perfectionism, to victim mentality, and a few things in between. 

When I cleared some of these blocks (which took years) and became more in alignment with myself, things on the outside really started to change. Long story short, some old friendships left and new friendships entered, I quit my lawyer job, started my own business, moved from Chicago to the beach in South Carolina, went from single to in a serious relationship... and on and on the changes came. And what I can tell you from this journey is that Michael Bernard Beckwith is 100% accurate. You're not going to see your circumstances change unless YOU are willing to change.

Change is scary. Trust me, I know. But it's a necessary part of creating the life you want. I see it all the time - people want SO badly to change careers or some other aspect of their life, but they give up the second they realize it's going to be difficult or uncomfortable. They don't want to give anything up. They don't want to change their patterns or their routine. They don't want to change the way they think about career or money. Think about it this way - your current beliefs, your current way of being in the world, your current choices, got you to where you are today. Right? If you don't like where you are today, you've got to change some of those things, right? You've got to make new choices and perhaps change your beliefs around career and what you deserve in terms of a job, and the way you think about money, and you need to show up differently in the world in order to have something different. Does that make sense? It's so simple, yet so profound. 

If you want to make a big change, chances are you want to see that change ASAP. In that case, I highly recommend you work on the internal blockages and obstacles holding you back more than you work on your resume or new website. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. Because here's the deal - if you are able to force and hustle your way into that big change without first fixing the internal "stuff" it's probably not going to last long. It's not going to have staying power. The world is pretty predictable like that - your inside and outside need to line up. Your inner world and your outer circumstances need to be in alignment and, if they're not, your world will self-correct. The thing will usually be taken away. Think of it this way - you know how many people win the lottery and end up bankrupt two years later? It's the same principle. You can't hand $4 million to someone who isn't in alignment with it - to someone who has all of these issues and negative beliefs around money and their being worthy of wealth. You see how that works? It's pretty amazing how our inner beliefs really do dictate our reality and our experience of the world.

I hope you're able to learn something from my own experience. If you'd like my Weekly Journal sent straight to your inbox every week, click here to subscribe. 

P.S. Are you on Pinterest? I'm in the process of creating a Weekly Journal board on Pinterest so you can easily navigate all of my journal entries. You can view and follow the board by clicking here. I've written so much about quitting my lawyer job to start g+h over the past couple years and I want to make it easier for you to access and read the entries that resonate most!

xoxo,
Stacy

Continue reading