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my journal

My Favorite "Start Your Own Business" Resources

My Favorite

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 am sharing some practical resources, like my favorite podcasts and online teachers, if you want to start your own business someday or grow a business you already have. 

If you've already started down the business ownership pathway, you know that no one can teach you how to do it. There is no manual, guide, or checklist. When someone asks me, "How did you start your own business?" my mind almost goes blank. There is so much involved in answering that question it would probably take me 5 days to write about it! If you've spent 10 years working as a teacher or lawyer or nurse, you'd probably feel the same way if someone asked you, "How did you become a great teacher (or lawyer, or nurse, etc)?" While I can't tell you "how to do it" I can share some really good resources. Everything from books to podcasts to paid courses that I learned from during my business journey. 

Before I list some of my favorite resources can we just take a moment to be thankful for the Internet? I'm sure it was a lot harder to start a business 30 or 40 years ago. Just search "how to start an online business" in Google and you'll be bombarded with ads from teachers offering webinars on the topic. And, honestly, that's how I initially found all the helpful courses, podcasts, articles, etc that guided me on my business journey. You've got to weed through all the teachers and offerings out there to find what resonates with you, but it doesn't cost a dime to do that type of research and you'll learn a lot along the way. Then, when you find one or two or three teachers that resonate with you, you can consider taking one of their paid online courses. Do this if there's a topic you need to become more advanced in. For me, it was Facebook and Instagram Ads. That is truly how I've grown my business into a multi six-figure business, but you can't just jump into Instagram and start running ads. I took a 12-week intensive course on ads and I would highly recommend you do the same before wasting any money on social media ads (it WILL be a waste of money if you don't know what you're doing). Maybe social media ads will be what you invest in too - or maybe there's a different area that you will need to master to become successful. Every business is different and needs to decide that for themselves.

Ok, so here it goes. Here are some of my favorite business resources in no particular order:

B-School by Marie Forleo
My business ideas/plan looked VERY different before I took Marie Forleo's B-School course, which wasn't cheap but the hands-down best investment I ever made in myself and my business. But before you consider investing in her course too, check out all of her free content. It's probably easiest to start with her video series on YouTube. She has a podcast too (which I think is the video content turned into audio). Her website is https://www.marieforleo.com/


Jenna Kutcher
She offers a ton of great content online, in both video, podcast, and blog format. She also offers paid courses. I took her Pinterest for Business course and I thought it was well done. Her website is https://jennakutcher.com/


Amy Porterfield
Amy is one of the original "online business" teachers. I've never taken any of her paid courses, but I've listened to some of her free webinars, courses, and podcasts. She is great at teaching you how to build an email list (and why that is so important). Her website is https://www.amyporterfield.com/

Beth Anne of Brilliant Business Moms
I'm not a mom and you might not be either, but don't let it deter you from checking out the offerings of Brilliant Business Moms. The owner, Beth Anne, is far more practical than any other teacher I've come across. She knows what it is like to run a small business because she runs one herself. (Side note: yes, yes, believe it or not, there are teachers out there who have NEVER tried to run their own small business but profess they can teach you how to do it. Watch out for these types!!!!) 

I took Beth Anne's Facebook Ads Intensive course and I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to scale their business using Facebook and Instagram ads. Just be aware that this is an intense program, just like the title says, so if you aren't committed to learning this topic, do not sign up. Here is her website: https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/


Kaity Griffin
Kaity is a Google Ads teacher and she knows what she's talking about because she too once had her own successful online store. She presents information in a quick and easy way. She can boil down hard topics into digestable bites. I enrolled in her Google Ads course. Here is her website: https://kaitygriffin.com/


Podcasts:
Marie Forleo's podcast

Jenna Kutcher's podcast called Goal Digger

Amy Porterfield's podcast called Online Marketing Made Easy

Rick Mulready's podcast called The Art of Online Business (don't start here first - this is more advanced)

Chill and Prosper with Denise Duffield-Thomas (a good podcast for any woman business owner)

Next Level Facebook Ads with Phil Graham

Ben Heath on YouTube (he shares information on Facebook and Instagram Ads and recently started teaching about Google Ads)

Allie Bloyd on YouTube (also teaches about Facebook and Instagram Ads)

How I Built This with Guy Raz (unlike the above, you won't learn practical advice here, but you'll learn how other businesses started and grew which is very helpful and inspirational too)

There you have it! Start with this smaller list and you'll naturally stumble upon so many other teachers and resources. 

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 have a Weekly Journal board on Pinterest so you can easily navigate 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 few years and I want to make it easier for you to access and read the entries that resonate most!

xoxo,
Stacy

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You Must Change Your Thoughts In Order To Have Something Different

You Must Change Your Thoughts In Order To Have Something Different

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 to talk about the power of thinking differently. If you want to make a massive change like I did - going from lawyer to jewelry business owner - you have got to think differently about career, life, money, and the stories we tell ourselves. The stories we tell ourselves around these topics shape our reality, our experience. If you believe you are destined to struggle with finances in a low-paying job, you will. If you believe you are destined to do more than that, you will. It's really that simple. It's us who complicates it. Your thoughts form your beliefs and if you start there, at the root of the issue, you'll empower yourself to make real, massive changes with more ease.

Let me start by saying it is HARD to train yourself to think differently. I hear you on that. Our brains have these little pathways, almost like roads, and we gravitate towards the ones that are well-traveled. That's why we often have the same repetitive thoughts and the same repetitive responses and behaviors over and over again. Let me give you an example. Many people are inadvertently taught to believe that we're supposed to work hard at a job we don't particularly like that offers a good salary and good health benefits until we're 65 when we can retire and finally start to enjoy life. Most people operate from this perspective, right? Even if that "story" or "brain pathway" is not clearly evident to you, it's operating in your subconscious when you make decisions. That's why your brain goes, "Wow!" when you see someone who's "broken the mold" and chosen to believe in a different path and has had great success. That's also why you jump from job to job, hoping the next one will be different, only to find that it is not. You have to change the story, you have to change the beliefs, and then and only then will you see something different show up in your reality. Until that time, you're going to see the same story play out over and over again. In this example I just mentioned, once you start to believe that work can and should be enjoyable and you can experience joy in your day-to-day (even on Monday!), and that life isn't meant to "begin" at age 65 but rather to be lived every day, you'll be open to finding a job that jives with that mentality and it won't be long before you find one. But here's the thing. The brain can't be fooled. You can't merely say that you believe work should be fun and expect to find a fun job, you have to believe it. The brain knows when your words and your beliefs are not in synch.

This takes practice. A lot of practice. In fact, I would argue that it is a moment by moment decision. We'll get better and better at it as we grow and age but - no matter how great we get at it - it's still going to be a conscious choice we need to make. For that reason, I call it a lifelong practice. It's almost like working out, right? You can't just workout for a few months or even a couple years and expect to be set for the rest of your life. Physical fitness is a lifelong habit that requires daily dedication. And although it will become easier with practice, you might still fall off the wagon from time to time. I've always wondered why our culture places so much emphasis on working out the physical body, and places so little emphasis on training the mind, but that's a conversation for another day.

If this topic is resonating with you, let me leave you with two resources. Check these out and I bet they'll spark your motivation to work on changing your thoughts. The first resource is a book by author Jen Sincero. It's called "You are a Badass at Making Money." I know, I know, this book is about money. But there is so much goodness in this book that can be applied to ANY area of your life whether it be career, relationships, health, or finances. You see, it's all about mindset, so whether we're talking about mindset in the area of money or in the area of relationships, it's all the same. Side note: that's why when you intentionally work on mindset in one area of your life - so for me it was career and money - other areas of your life also improve - and for me that was relationships. Let me share my favorite passage from Jen's book, in hopes it will motivate you to go buy it or listen to it on Audible. And p.s., if you couldn't already tell from the title of the book, she talks about this topic in a very light-hearted, funny manner. You'll laugh quite a bit! 

"Your beliefs are driving the bus. They take you where you’re going whether you’re paying attention or not. Your thoughts are the tour guide. The person up front with the microphone and the clip board. She can lean over and yank the wheel, slam on the breaks, step on the gas, flip the bus. She can do whatever, whenever she wants. She usually works in harmony with your beliefs, but she has all the veto power. Your words are the assistant to your thoughts and beliefs. Your words back them up, voice their opinions, anchor in their message, keep it real. Your emotions are the fuel. They are ignited by your thoughts, and can change your beliefs and the direction of your life. Without emotions, you're going nowhere new and exciting. Your actions build the road. They pave the path for your beliefs, but will reroute should thoughts and emotions make a change of plans and decide they want to stop at Dairy Queen or something... All members of team mindset must be on the field bringing their A game, yet it's your thoughts - and I hate to play favorites here - that are the biggest badasses of them all."

- from Chapter 2 (and this is at minute 26 in Chapter 2 if listening on Audible)

Oh this book is so, so good at explaining how the aspects of our brains function together in funny, easy-to-understand language. Jen has another book that's simply called, "You Are a Badass" which I would recommend as well. It shares some of the same principles and ideas applied in a more generic manner (not tied to money). Here is a link to both books on Amazon.

The second resource I want to share with you is a YouTube video from one of my favorite teachers, Iyanla Vanzant. You can view it here and the part I want to direct you to starts around minute 27 and goes through minute 36. She gives so many great examples of how you can turn your thoughts around. I've listed some of them below - you can fill in the blanks with the things that are most challenging to you right now:

Instead of saying "This is so hard" say "I am up for the challenge of {fill in the blank}"

Instead of saying "I can't {fill in the blank}" say "I am learning to ____"

Instead of saying "I am trying to lose weight" say "I am releasing excess weight"

Instead of saying "I don't have ____" say "I am calling in ____"

Instead of saying "I need ____" say "I am open to receive ____"

Instead of saying "I don't know how to ____" say "I am learning to ____"

Instead of saying, "I am fearful of ____" say "I am learning to trust that ____"

I absolutely love how Iyanla teaches us to turn around negative thought patterns. She does it like no one else. I find her so powerful, and yet so easy to understand. If you listened to this video segment every day for 30 days, I guarantee that you will start to recognize the ways you can turn your own repetitive, negative thoughts around to be more productive and positive. And when you look at the world in a more productive, positive way, the world around you begins to change.

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 have a Weekly Journal board on Pinterest so you can easily navigate 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 few years and I want to make it easier for you to access and read the entries that resonate most!

xoxo,
Stacy

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The Life Checklist

The Life Checklist

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 to talk about the "life checklist" that so many people chase and why it's so important to chart your own course and live intentionally if you want to find true joy and peace in your career and in your life.

What's this "life checklist," you ask? You know it well, I'm sure. It goes something like this: go to college, go to grad school, get the best paying job you can, get married, buy a house, get a dog, have 2 kids... or something very similar. So many people chase this path or some version of it, thinking that happiness is waiting for them at the end. They can finally be happy, having achieved all of these things. The problem is, happiness is not waiting at the end of this checklist.

Before I went to law school, I spent one year after college working at a big, big law firm in New York City. It was in Times Square on the 42nd floor of a big fancy building. This was one of the best law firms in the world and they therefore attracted graduates of law schools like Harvard, Columbia, etc. They paid even the youngest attorneys very, very well. One thing I noticed about these attorneys, especially the young ones, is that they seemed to "have it all" but they were miserable. I was only 22 years old at the time, but this observation made a huge impression on me. I thought to myself, these people are only like 30 years old, with huge salaries, a husband or wife with just as good of a job, a recently purchased beautiful new condo in the heart of NYC, a fancy car (even though they don't really need one in the city), a beautiful young child with another baby on the way... basically on their road to multi-millionaire status and a picturesque life. What gives? Having gotten to know some of these attorneys quite well, I think many of them felt led astray. Something to the effect of, "I have been told that if I chase these things and achieve them, I can be happy! I have all of these things now, but I'm not happy. In fact, I'm quite unhappy. And quite unfulfilled. I'm only 30-something years old - where do I go from here?" They felt very stuck. They already had a fancy car, a million dollar condo in NYC, etc... in other words, in order to afford the life they unintentionally created, they had no other choice but to stay put in their high paying attorney job even though they were incredibly unhappy. They were handcuffed to a certain salary so they could continue to afford all of the things. It's much harder to start over and rewind your life choices when you have all the obligations of a million dollar life. Never, ever assume that someone with a "great job" and a high salary is happy. Many are not. There's a reason that drug and alcohol abuse is incredibly high in the legal profession, just as one example. 

You see, we are all created differently, with different talents, gifts, skills, and destinies. It is absolutely absurd to think that all of us should follow the same path in life - that the same things that make you happy are going to make me happy. Yet, for some unknown reason, most people think that if they achieve these things on the life checklist, they will finally be happy. Happiness doesn't come from checking things off a list. It comes from living life intentionally. Ah, that's one of my favorite words - intentional. In other words, rather than go through life like some sort of robot chasing the next thing on the list, you actually take the time to think about and decide what would make YOU happy and you chase those things instead. You don't just go through the motions, but rather you intentionally decide what YOUR path to happiness consists of and you try to achieve THAT.

You're going to face some questions if you live intentionally - that's just how ingrained the "life checklist" is in our society. If you choose the job that will be fulfilling over the one that pays more, your parents might have some questions for you. If you decide not to purchase a home so that you can instead invest in your dream of starting a business, you're going to face some criticism. If you decide not to get married, people will ask you why. If you decide not to have kids, there might be some rumors floating around behind your back that you can't actually get pregnant. People on the life checklist path are so, so critical of people who are not. Why? Well, it's likely because they are unhappy themselves. People who are genuinely happy with the way their lives have turned out generally don't spend time criticizing the life choices of other people. The people who will criticize you probably bought the life checklist mentality hook, line, and sinker. They found out it doesn't pave the road to happiness, but they don't know how to start over and extract themselves from the life they unintentionally created. Don't let these folks stop you from living life on purpose and deviating from the set list of things that will supposedly make you happy.

If you find yourself in the midst of the life checklist path, and this resonated with you, the first step is to really sit down and decide what would make you happy. This might feel uncomfortable (I know it was for me the first time I did it) because we've been living life by other people's standards and expectations. We have never actually given good and decent thought to what would make us truly happy. It might even take you months to figure out. Don't expect to have all the answers the first time you stop to think about what an intentional life might look like for you. But it's well worth your time and energy. If you live life intentionally, your chances of finding long-term joy and peace in your life are infinitely greater than the folks who just go through the motions.

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 have 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

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Focus On The Feelings Money Will Bring, Not The Money Itself

Focus On The Feelings Money Will Bring, Not The Money Itself

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 money. I've written quite a few journal entries on money because it's the number one thing holding us back from pursuing a dream of a more fulfilling and satisfying career. In the last 7 years or so, I've had to do a lot of work on my beliefs around money in order to quit my job as a lawyer and go out on my own as a jewelry business owner. And I mean a LOT of work. Through sharing my work and my experience on this topic, I hope you will change your perspective on money too.

Let's clear something up right out of the gate. Why do you want money? Think about it for a minute. Is it because you want to save a lot of money in the bank in order to feel secure before you quit your job to pursue a dream? Is it because you want to travel the world? Raise a large family? Retire from work altogether? Buy fancy cars? Buy multiple homes? Why? Why do you want money so badly? We get so caught up in dollars and cents and bills and financial goals, that we sometimes lose sight of why we actually are working so hard to earn money. When you really sit down to think about it, you'll come to find out that you don't actually want the money itself. You want the things money will bring into your life or help you achieve, right? What would happen if you started to focus on those things more and stopped focusing so much on the actual dollars and cents? Better yet, what would happen if you started focusing on the feelings those things would bring you? For example, what if you focused on the feelings you would have if you pursued your dream of owning your own bakery (or boutique, or consulting business, or whatever it is you really want to do)? You'd feel so much freedom in your work to do your own thing and set your own hours and, most importantly, spend the minutes of your life doing what you want to do rather than what some boss or large company wants you to do. That is true, beautiful freedom right there. There is also so much stability and security in living life on your own terms - in pursuing your purpose through the natural given talents and abilities you were born with. When you have this type of mental and emotional stability and security, you begin to see that stability and security do not come from a paycheck and do not come from having a large savings account. We all know plenty of people with large sums of money who are by no means stable or secure, right? Just look at the world of celebrities. 

You see, we are taught by society, or our university, or our parents to strive for the best job with the best salary we can obtain, when really we should be taught to strive for the feelings we think that salary would bring. What would those be? Namely, they are freedom, security, and stability (and maybe a few others personal to you). And the truth of the matter is, freedom, security, and stability are NOT found in money and they are available to you regardless of how much money you make. Huh? There's a lot to unpack there, I know. But it boils down to this: there is a huge disconnect when you think you can only get freedom, security, and stability through money. 

Let's unpack this with some examples. Is the new career or job you're dreaming about going to be more fulfilling, and therefore bring you more joy and internal peace? That's stability right there. Mental stability. And mental stability is a lot more valuable than boatloads of money in the bank. For one, you can't buy mental health or physical health. Health is arguably the most valuable form of abundance.

Here's another example. Is the new career or job going to make use of your God-given talents and gifts which you aren't using in your current job? If you answered yes, that's security right there. Let me explain. When you use the talents, gifts, and skills you were born with, you are working from a place of service (i.e. how can I best serve the world with the special skills I have?). This is the opposite of working from a place of "I need a paycheck." When you build a career around the gifts that come naturally to you, you're going to excel more quickly, more easily, and face less risk of layoff. And even if you do face a job cut, you're likely going to gain a new one quickly. Job security doesn't mean "I have a job with this employer forever." No, no. Job security means "I naturally excel in this field because of my God-given talents and skills and therefore even if my employer goes bankrupt through no fault of my own, I will find a new job in this field quickly because I'm naturally great at it." That's security right there.

Now here's the kicker. Ironically, when you approach career and work from this perspective, the money follows! It's amazing. Almost like magic. It doesn't happen overnight and some patience is needed, but when you commit to work that's in alignment with YOU, the money follows naturally. One of my favorite teachers, Iyanla Vanzant, once said money is "My Own Natural Energy Yield." You see what she did there? Money is a currency, an energy. And it's simply what comes back to you when you put good energy out into the world in the form of sharing your skills and talents through your work. I just love that.

Let me leave you with a passage from one of Iyanla's books called One Day My Soul Just Opened Up:

Most of my life I thought I wanted money. I believed that if I had money to do what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it, I would be deliriously happy and free. As a child and as an adult, I have often heard myself say, "Boy! I wish I had a million dollars." I thought that would be my ticket to freedom. One day I woke up with those same thoughts floating around in my mind, and by the end of the day I had $1.1 million. It was a short time later that I realized it was not the money that I actually wanted. My true desire was for the freedom I thought the money would bring. It was too late! I had the money and all of the obligations that came along with earning it.

So what are you chasing today? Is it paychecks? Or the feelings of stability and security and freedom? Always prioritize the latter. The money will take care of itself. Trust me. I am living proof of this through my decision to quit my 11-year career as an attorney to start grace + hudson.

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

xoxo,
Stacy

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Troubleshooting Guide: Why Hasn't Your Dream Of Starting A Business Come To Fruition?

Troubleshooting Guide: Why Hasn't Your Dream Of Starting A Business Come To Fruition?

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 to all the people out there who've tried to start a business (or have been really thoughtful about starting one) but just can't seem to get it off the ground. If you're pretty intelligent and have studied how to start a website, design a brand, etc but there still seems to be a roadblock holding you back, your issue might not be technical. I see so many people focused on the nitty gritty technical details of the business they aspire to launch when they really need to be spending time on their mindset. Their own thoughts are holding them back and they don't even know it. 

I'm going to paint a picture for you of two women. Chances are you know two people like this, and perhaps you identify strongly as one yourself. The first one always talks about starting her own business someday and has even thought about and planned many of the small details. However, she takes no action. She talks about this business idea quite often but each time you ask her if she's taken any baby steps towards that goal, she says no. The other woman has taken action and started her business, but she plays the "starving artist" role. She constantly talks about how hard it is to make money in her business. She constantly talks about how expensive it is to run a business. She's constantly looking for ways to cut corners to save money on the things her business needs to get going. She does everything herself and refuses to hire someone or invest in an online course to learn how to do the more technical things her business needs to thrive. In other words, she plays the victim role - "oh it's so hard to be an entrepreneur," "oh it's so hard to be a small business owner," "I'm just hoping to break even this year," and on and on she goes. {P.S. - if you've ever networked with other small business owners, beware of these folks - they are everywhere. I learned this early on in my small business journey and removed myself from groups like that - many of the "small business groups" out there consist of people like this and all they want to do is talk about how hard it is to run a small business. You don't need that negativity in your life, it'll bring you down!}

Can you identify with one of these types? Is your best friend, significant other, or sibling one of these types? I bet you know the type of person I'm referring to because everyone wants to start a business these days. Sure, these two types of folks might genuinely need some technical help getting their business off the ground - perhaps they just don't have an artistic eye and they need some help designing their branding and color scheme, or perhaps they lack marketing skills and they need to invest in a course on how to market their products on social media. But more often than not, the root of the issue lies beneath the surface. How do I know this? If they truly believed they were worthy of a successful business, they'd do what it takes to hire the branding expert or invest in a marketing class. They simply wouldn't be using their energy to whine about these things. So what's happening here? It's mental! There is a mental roadblock or two (or three or four or twenty...) that's simply manifesting as "I can't figure out this branding stuff" or "I can't figure out my marketing plan."

I've said it before in prior journal entries and I'll say it again here. If you want to start a business, a successful business, you need to work on your mindset more than your website. Starting a business is honestly the most challenging mental exercise I've ever experienced... and I say that as someone who went to an Ivy League college, a top 25 law school, and practiced as a lawyer for 11 years. I don't say that to be boastful (because lord knows I have no good things to say about the legal profession and I also question some of the viewpoints I was "educated" to have at an Ivy League school) but I say that because I know what it's like to be extremely mentally challenged. But you know what? All of that was book smarts. It takes almost no mental willpower to be good at that. But starting a business? That requires you to search the depths of your soul for all the issues and triggers and "old stories" as I like to call them that are holding you back. That might sound dramatic but it is. This is not easy work. Everything from "my mom and dad pinched pennies and now I hold onto every dollar as if it were my last and I just can't mentally invest in my dream when the outcome is uncertain" (in other words, scarcity mindset) to "who am I to be successful and happy and deeply fulfilled in my work, when almost all of humanity dislikes their day to day job or at best feels so-so about it?" Oh there are SO many stories holding us back and unless you call them out and change them, I don't care how great your website is, it's never going to take off.

I already shared a step-by-step process you can use to start calling out these stories and changing them. You can read that journal entry here. I have done so much work on the stories holding me back, it truly has been the hallmark of my business journey. Yes, I've managed to grow a business but more than that, I've grown myself. I have grown so much as a person and I just can't put a price tag on the ways I've developed - it's been absolutely priceless. I never knew how much of an investment I was making in myself when I started my business. I thought I was just investing in a business idea. Here are just some of the old stories I've uncovered lurking in my brain, worked on (some with the help of a therapist), and changed so that they no longer hold me back:

  1. Work isn't supposed to be fun.
  2. The purpose of work is to earn a paycheck.
  3. I could never earn a lot of money doing something I love. The things I love are reserved for hobbies on the weekend.
  4. Everyone hates their job, or at best feels so-so about it, so who am I to think differently? Who am I to wake up each day feeling happy, excited, and fulfilled with the work I get to do in the world?
  5. I'm supposed to work until age 65 and then I can retire and start enjoying my life. At best, I can aspire to retire early and start enjoying my life before 65!
  6. The right thing to do after college is to get a job with good income potential.
  7. I work an office job because I need health insurance.
  8. I stay at my corporate job because I need the benefits.
  9. Having a regular paycheck makes me secure.
  10. I could never earn a lot of money doing something I love. Either I can make a good income or I can do work I love, not both.
  11. My value and worth is tied to my job title. If I have a prestigious job at a good company, people will think more of me. It proves my worth to the world.
  12. I'll never make as much money doing jewelry as I did as a lawyer.

And those are just some of the stories I worked on, not all! So have no shame if your list is just as long or longer. The amazing thing is, we can change our perception of our world. We can change what we choose to believe about work, money, and all the other things in our lives. So if you feel stuck about that business dream you have, I highly suggest you look within. I highly suggest you spend time working on the thoughts and patterns and automatic triggers you have because, if you're human, you're going to have quite a few that need to be worked on and turned around. And don't be ashamed if you can't figure it out on your own or with a few self-help books. I used the help of a therapist for some of these deep-rooted issues that touched on self-worth, confidence, and self-esteem.

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 have 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

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Are You The Entrepreneurial Type?

Are You The Entrepreneurial Type?

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 a little bit about what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Not everyone is cut out for it and - honestly - you might find more happiness in a more traditional job. In writing my Journal, my hope is always to share valuable information that might save you some time and heartache, so get honest with yourself about whether you're really built to be an entrepreneur before you start that business you've been dreaming about.

Here is the number one thing I would honestly consider before you start your own business: are you an independent-thinking leader? Some of us are born leaders, some of us are not. Some of us are more inclined to go with the crowd, and some of us are more inclined to go against the grain. Some of us think differently than everyone else, and some of us adopt what the majority appears to believe without giving it too much thought. Which type are you? Get honest and here's why: when you run your own business, you need to be a natural born leader capable of independent thinking because there's no one over your shoulder telling you what to do. I know, I know, you might say, "Wow, that sounds amazing! No boss looking over my shoulder all day long!" But in reality, some of you would be completely lost without the direction of a boss. And I don't say that in a derogatory manner - I just say that from an honest viewpoint that about half of us are born leaders and about half of us are not. We are all different. And we are all suited to do different things with our lives. And what I want to do is help you recognize early on - before you waste a whole lot of time and a whole lot of money - that business ownership might not be right for you. And, even more importantly, it might not make you happy. It might stress you out, cause a lot of headaches, and be more aggravating than it's worth.

Let me expand on this a bit. Starting a new business doesn't come with a checklist, a manual, or a guide. This is quite unlike a traditional job, where your job duties are clearly spelled out in your job description and your goals or benchmarks are clearly set forth by your boss and in your performance reviews. If you want a promotion to the next level, the requisite years of experience and other required skills are usually spelled out clearly by the human resource department. If you start your own business, don't expect to find any clear documents or checklists on what to do. There is no list called "100 items to complete to start a successful business." Even if there was a checklist with 100 items, and even if you completed all 100 items with flying colors, there is zero guarantee you'll have a successful business waiting for you upon completion of the checklist. That can be daunting for someone who is very accustomed to having clearly spelled out expectations, goals, and functions. If you are the type of person who likes to know "If I do X, I will get Y" then starting your own business is likely to make you very uncomfortable.

Listen, while people often complain about their boss, most people actually need a boss. They stumble if there's no one above them to turn to for advice and guidance when stuck on an assignment. 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? Give it some honest thought because, at the end of the day, your overarching goal should be to find happiness and fulfillment at work and that's going to look different for everyone. 

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 have 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

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Follow Purpose And Connection And You'll Never Be Led Astray

Follow Purpose And Connection And You'll Never Be Led Astray

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 prioritizing purpose and connection in all aspects of life but especially when making career decisions. 

Let me tell you a story that goes something like this... I just got promoted, I'm making over 6 figures, I live in a beautiful condo downtown, I have great friends and family. I feel fortunate for what I have, but I am deeply, deeply unhappy. I cry most days, I have no energy after work to do anything but watch reality tv or HGTV, and the dread I feel on Sunday nights overwhelms me.

Does that resonate at all? You know, the "outside" seems pretty darn great but the inside is crying out about unmet needs? That was me. For a very, very, very long time. Eleven years to be exact. And I know there are a lot of you out there who have felt the same. 

Looking back, here's how I would boil it down - I was deeply unhappy because I was lacking connection and purpose in my life. And what made me even more unhappy was that everyone was telling me I should be happy because I "had it all"... and then this made me feel even worse about myself. And it left me drained and depleted.

We can strive for the next promotion, and the next promotion, and the next promotion and win them all, but at the end of the day when purpose and connection are missing, we will be unhappy with every win. We "think" that next thing is going to make us happy, and then it doesn't. So we strive for the next thing, and that doesn't make us happy either. If that pattern continues, it won't be long before a real sense of disillusionment sets in about the story we've been sold. You all know the "story" I'm referring to -- get into the best college, get into the best graduate school, get a high paying job, get married by 30, buy a house, get a dog, have a child, etc and at the end of that very long list, happiness awaits.   

We need to be smart enough to recognize that happiness is unique to each individual and not based on some superficial list of life achievements. And we need to be brave enough to admit what isn't working for us. We have to be brave enough to be radically honest, without judging ourselves and without minimizing our experience. 

I find that what usually is missing in this equation is purpose and connection. That's at the root of the unhappiness so many "successful" women experience. It doesn't matter how much money or friends you have - if you are lacking fundamental human connection and purpose, you will be deeply unhappy. And on the flip side, this is why people with "average" jobs and "average" salaries can be deeply happy. If they go home after work to a wonderful, big family and a supportive partner after working in a job that matches their purpose, they will experience deep joy and fulfillment and be much, much, much more happy than the person who appears to "have it all" per the story we've been sold growing up.

If this resonates with you, I strongly encourage you to start here -- evaluate your goals. If they consist of things like "get the next promotion" and "book that trip to Greece", I encourage you to take a deep look at what you're chasing in life. In my opinion, the biggest and largest and best goal any of us could ever strive for is deep, meaningful, and true connection and a job that fulfills our purpose. Get away from goals that center around words like promotion, job title, salary, and fancy trips and cars, and move towards goals that center around the things that are going to bring you joy, meaning, peace, connection, and fulfillment. And *most importantly* I can't tell you what those goals are because they are different for everyone. What makes me truly fulfilled is going to be drastically different from what makes you truly fulfilled. What brings me peace and joy is going to be different from you. We are all unique and special in our own ways and the "cookie cutter" approach to goals has been all wrong from the very start. We are all very different, and therefore we shouldn't all want the same things, but yet most of us are striving for that cookie cutter list I rattled off earlier (you know, the high paying job, husband, dog, house, kid, etc).

Warning: This is not easy. It sounds simple right? Draft a better list of goals with meaning? But it's terribly hard for so many women, including myself back in the day, because most of us have been programmed growing up to want that cookie cutter list and we have literally never thought about what we truly want. If you're say, 35, and this is the first time you've ever thought about what you truly want in life, it's going to be difficult. It's probably going to bring up some tears. It isn't an afternoon project - it might take months to figure out. It might even require the help of a coach or therapist. But it'll be worth every tear, every minute, every dollar you spend on it. I can say that from personal experience. I sought the help of a therapist in 2015 and, in 2017, I made the drastic choice to leave my job as a lawyer and start grace + hudson. It took me two years to work through some things and get really clear on what I want. Don't be surprised if it takes you that long too. That's important work and it can't be rushed.

At the end of the day, we all deserve to be deeply happy. And when you start to think of goals in a different way - when you start to think about YOUR unique happiness instead of the cookie cutter list of things that are "supposed" to make you happy, the idea of happiness seems a whole lot more attainable. And when we feel our goals are more attainable, we feel more empowered to reach them. In short, when you follow your unique purpose and the things that bring connection and fulfillment, you'll never be led astray. You'll always have the means of reaching them. It might take a long time, but you can get there. It was what you were put on this earth to do, and only you can stand in your own way. The other stuff is just obstacles to help you grow and help you become a better you

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 have 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

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5 Things I've Learned As I Celebrate 5 Years In Business

5 Things I've Learned As I Celebrate 5 Years In Business

Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. As I write this week's journal entry, grace + hudson is about to celebrate its 5th birthday. I opened the virtual doors to my grace + hudson e-commerce shop on June 14, 2017. Many new businesses never see the 5-year mark so I'm definitely experiencing some big, overwhelming feelings of gratitude and awe. Awe for just how much my life has changed in 5 short years. Gratitude that I get to show up every day to do something I love, in a space I adore, in a city that's the perfect match for me and my brand. I started grace + hudson in Chicago, with no plans to move to Charleston and no plans to ever open a brick + mortar shop. But the universe had some interesting things in store for me that I never could have planned! In tonight's journal I'm sharing the top 5 things I've learned in 5 years of business:

1. I had no idea how much personal growth work would be required to succeed.

When you start your own business, all sorts of stuff comes up for you. It's a challenging journey so that shouldn't have surprised me, but I was so focused on the nitty gritty details of things like my website, logo, and products that I totally neglected how much mindset work would be involved. Thankfully this came quickly to my attention and I've been a loyal student of mindset work ever since. The job is never done. It's like peeling back an onion. You master one area, and then lurking behind it is yet another. For example, you've probably heard of "imposture syndrome" and that's definitely come up for me at times. Imposture syndrome is having persistent feelings of self-doubt despite education, experience, and accomplishments... you know, the good ole "who am I to think I can succeed at this while everyone else toils and sweats in a 9-to-5 job?!" Feelings of lack (as opposed to abundance) and fears around money also came up BIG for me and required some real growth work. You see, if you believe you'll never make as much money selling jewelry as you did in your 9-to-5, that'll be true for you. But just the same, if you believe you can make just as much or even more selling jewelry, that'll be true for you too. It's amazing how much power our beliefs have on the experience of our reality. It truly is "all in our heads." Yet another thing that came up for me is control and perfectionism. Having practiced law for 11 years, it should come as no surprise that I'm a bit of a type A control freak at times, striving for perfection. Well, I had to learn how to let some of that go. I had to learn how to channel the good, positive side of that character trait into a more productive form. I had to let go of always having every single detail right every single time. Why? When you do that, you lose focus of the big picture. You spend time getting the margins and font on that email just right, instead of spending time on the important revenue-generating functions. There were countless other things I've learned and grown through - so many that I should probably write a book about them!

2. I understand the concept of "service" on a level I never understood before.

When you start a business always make service your top priority, not revenue. "How can I serve?" has taken me out of some whicked funks. Business ebbs and flows and, especially in the beginning, it's really easy to get tied up on that daily revenue number (and to freak out when it doesn't seem to be moving upwards). But the energy around that is complete lack, and it causes you to push and "hustle" in ways that never work. I learned early on that if I'm in a revenue slump, all I have to do is get back into the beautiful energy of "how can I serve?" and in no time, I see a turnaround. Why is that? I believe we are here on this earth to be truly helpful to others with the gifts we've been given, and it doesn't need to be fancy. You don't need to be volunteering in a homeless shelter to be of service. Sure, that's wonderful, but service is much, much broader than that. You merely have to extend your unique gifts to the world to be "of service." How can you help another? Maybe you are helping solve world hunger and that is your passion, or maybe it's much smaller than that. Maybe you are helping a bride desperate for a nice, classy gift for her bridesmaids that costs around $50 to show her appreciation for all the time, money, and effort they spent on her over the last few months. So, what problem can you solve? How can you be of service? How can you use what you were given to be useful in the world and provide a solution to someone else? Focus on service, not money, and you're much more likely to succeed in the long run. People can feel that.

3. Starting and building a new business is a marathon, not a sprint. In fact, it's a long, long, long marathon.

This one came as no surprise, but I wanted to mention it now that I'm rounding the bend on 5 years in business. A lot of online courses and teachers have popped up over the past few years and be very, very wary of the ones promising "quick ways to double your revenue" or "increase your social media following 10 times in 10 days." Nothing lasting and permanent is built that way. The people who succeed in business show up every day and make a little progress every day. I know that sounds simple but I know SO many business owners that started out around the same time as me but gave up years ago. They wanted instant results and, frankly, weren't willing to put in daily, consistent work for multiple years. "Sticking with it" has so much power and, I've learned, is something few people are willing to do.

4. When you create an authentic business, meaning one that is a true expression of your natural gifts and talents and experience, you will have few competitors.

I wrote about this one in detail last week so I won't expand on this a lot here. But when you create a business from your soul - you know, one that is a pure and true expression of your gifts, your talents, your personality, your experience, all wrapped up into one, you really distinguish yourself in the ever-increasing marketplace and have few direct, one-to-one competitors. For example, there are no other former lawyers designing dainty jewelry, specializing in weddings and writing weekly journals about career change and small business ownership every week. I'm the only one. And there's a business that each of YOU can create that is just as unique. Are you curious enough to find out what that is? It takes some digging and maybe even some coaching from a business coach, but it can be done. You can read more about this in last week's journal entry linked here.

5. Your friends will change when you make massive changes.

Maybe sad, maybe not, but the people in my circle right now are completely different than the ones that were present in my life 5 years ago. I attribute that to all the change I have gone through. I'm not the same person. And consequently, my friends have changed. This wasn't a terribly big surprise to me, but it might be to you. I can only think of maybe two lawyers I still keep in touch with, whereas five years ago almost all of my friends were lawyers like me. We're just on totally different paths now and share little in common. I find it's natural for people to want to spend time with people who can relate to them, and perhaps are experiencing similar things as them. So now I find myself surrounded by people with alternative careers like my boyfriend, or running their own business like the deli next door owned by a family from Massachusetts, or the wedding photographer who rents the office next to me, or the hair salon owner that set up shop in the space behind my store. These are my "co-workers" that I share daily chats with now. People come into our lives for a reason or a season, and if you accept that, this part will be a lot easier. And maybe you've already experienced this when, say, you got married and spent less time with your single friends or when you got pregnant and spent less time with your friends who don't yet have children. There will always be those few people that stick with you over a lifetime, but it's okay for the daily people we interact with to change every so often. It grows us.

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 have 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

 

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The Best Piece Of Business Advice I Ever Received

The Best Piece Of Business Advice I Ever Received

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 am sharing the best piece of business advice I ever received. There is no shortage of business advice out there - both solicited and unsolicited. When you're just starting out, everyone wants to give you their two cents (and most of the advice you'll receive isn't even worth that much!). Hopefully though, you'll stumble upon a few nuggets of wisdom that just stick with you over the years.

For me personally, the most valuable nugget of wisdom that I received came from Marie Forleo. If you've spent any amount of time researching entrepreneurial advice online, you've probably come across her name. I took her B-School course online before I started grace + hudson and it was worth every single penny. I'll just say that the business I was going to start before I took B-School and after looked very different. There were many nuggets of wisdom in that course, but the one that stuck with me the most is Marie's advice about branding and marketing. The beginning of the course is really devoted to finding your niche in the marketplace. And the key is to niche down, niche down, niche down to a super specific market. Many entrepreneur coaches will tell you that - it's not unique to Marie. It sounds kind of counter-intuitive though because the tendency of an entrepreneurial novice is to want to "be everything to everyone." You know, if you try to sell something that appeals to everyone, you'll sell loads of it because your market is so big. Well, when you do that, you end up appealing to no one. Again, this point is not unique to Marie, it's just who I happened to learn it from. And that is the best nugget of wisdom I ever learned early on in my entrepreneurial journey because it's where I found my voice - it's where my brand became "dainty jewelry designed by a former lawyer pursuing a happier life." How many former lawyers do you know who sell dainty jewelry and share their journey about pursuing a happier life? I would bet I am the only one. And that's Marie's point. When you find your authentic voice and get really specific about what your brand is, you no longer have direct competition. There are no other former lawyers selling jewelry and writing weekly journal entries like me. And that's how you identify yourself in a sea of jewelry companies. Do you know how many people have come into my store and said, "Yeah, wait, aren't you the former lawyer who makes jewelry now?" It's my identifying, distinguishing mark. It's something that allows me to stand out from the crowd. And it would be pretty darn hard for another former lawyer to come along and do what I do, and do it better than me. It's just too specific. So in that way, you make yourself competition proof to some degree. 

So if you're looking to start a business someday soon, I highly encourage you to first educate yourself on marketing and branding especially as it relates to the social media space. And then second I would spend a LOT of time on finding your niche. When you think you've gotten specific, niche down again. And again. Find the way(s) in which you can distinguish your brand from every other in your industry. I promise you, this will be time well spent. And I promise you, if you don't do this, your business journey is going to feel like an uphill battle. There are just too many shoe stores, clothing stores, apparel brands, pet stores, etc, etc, etc  already out there - and if you plan on just doing what they're already doing, you're going to have a hard time. How is your brand different? That's the key. And don't stop there - you need to communicate that in your branding and marketing every single day. Heck, I've got a sign outside my store in Charleston that says "dainty jewelry designed in Charleston by a former lawyer pursuing a happier life." Do you know how many people come into my store because they read that? So many. And I know it because they tell me. They'll tell me they saw my sign outside and it brought them in. So that's what YOU have to find - what is going to bring that customer through your front door or your virtual door if you're solely an e-commerce business?  

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 have 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

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Does Your Current Career Feel Out Of Alignment With Your Personality? Read This.

Does Your Current Career Feel Out Of Alignment With Your Personality? Read This.

 Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. If you have been following grace + hudson or my personal journey for a while you might already know that I am a pretty positive and optimistic person, usually able to see the good even in supposedly bad situations. I would say that I strive to live a peaceful and joyful life and, on most days, I truly feel that way. I wasn't always this way though and in this week's journal entry I want to share a little about that. It's important that you know that I wasn't always in a good place - in fact, things got pretty dark for a while. Maybe that's where you find yourself now and, if that's the case, maybe it'll give you some hope to know that I was there once too and reached the other side where a much better career (and life) was waiting for me.

I was an attorney for 11 years and I hated every second of it. Every. Second. I knew very early on - within a year or so - that I had made a really poor career decision. I mean, really poor. We're not just talking the typical, "I don't like my job." A legal career is obviously ridiculously demanding and very grueling. Long days and nights at work (and often weekends too), urgent emails all hours of the day, very demanding bosses, constant arguments. It's not a very "happy" career. By nature, I'm pretty optimistic, reserved, and gentle. But at work I was asked to be critical, argumentative, and aggressive. If someone had said to me before I went to law school, "Your entire life is going to feel like one huge argument," I definitely wouldn't have enrolled. But I didn't look at it that way. I was smart and capable of getting into a good graduate program and I just thought it's what I was "supposed to do." We're all pretty much taught to get the best, most stable, well-paying job we can, right? That's certainly the message I heard throughout high school and college and I bet you, too. No one ever sat me down and talked to me honestly about career choices. We pay thousands upon thousands of dollars to attend college and no one ever sits down with you to take an inventory of your natural skills, talents, and areas of interest to help you pick a career that might be fulfilling. Sounds crazy when you put it that way, doesn't it?

Anyways, I ended up in the legal profession and it was really out of alignment with who I am as a person. When that's the case, it's really hard to find any happiness at work. I felt so disconnected in so many ways, and I felt I was being asked to do things (like argue in court) that just really didn't fit my personality type in the least bit. I almost had to put on a fake facade to even make it through the days where I had to "turn it on" and be argumentative in court. Because of this internal struggle, I wasn't the gentle, optimistic Stacy you know today. Not at all. I had a pretty miserable outlook on life, a touch of depression, and little hope for a better future. Was my life just going to be about working long hours in a job I didn't like with hardly any personal life? Year after year went by and I could really sense this disconnection, this mis-alignment if you will, in my body. I was always sick. Nothing serious thank goodness, but I always had a stomach ache. I always had a cold. I often got 24 hour viruses. I even got mono in my 30's and I still to this day have no idea where I got it from. Looking back, I know that my immune system was weak because of the stress. This wasn't just the natural stress of being in a demanding profession - this was also the stress of being in a career that felt really contrary to who I am. And that stuff builds up. I look back at pictures of myself from ten years ago when I was a young attorney and I look older back then than I do today. It's a little scary. I hate to think about what my body would feel like five, ten, twenty years from now if I had stayed in the legal profession. Stress is real and it has a real impact in terms of your immune system, cancer, and countless other health issues. Your body simply can't operate in that state for your entire life without real impact. 

So fast forward to today, where I've found a career path I love. I'm pleased to report that not only am I really happy at work, but I am SO much healthier. I don't get constant stomach aches, I don't find myself sick with colds or minor ailments all the time, and I feel healthier at age 42 than I did at 32. So what's my point in sharing all of this? If you can identify with this story - and again, we're not just talking "I hate my job," we're talking a true misalignment - then I want to be honest with you that it doesn't get better. It doesn't. I practiced law for 11 years even though I knew it was wrong for me in year one. I tried different jobs in different cities and nothing worked. I knew switching law firms wasn't the solution. I knew I had to leave entirely. But hey, I can sit here today and confidently say that I tried a few different jobs in the legal profession before I gave up on it. It makes me feel more confident in my decision to leave. If you know you're in the wrong career, trust that. Sure, try a few different things to confirm your decision, but don't be surprised when they don't work out.

And the other message I would leave you with today is this: it gets better. You deserve better and better is out there. You just have to have the courage to make a change. Think of it like a poor romantic relationship. We've all experienced them in life at one point or another, right? Whether it was in high school or later in life, chances are you've heard the phrase, "You deserve better." And the same is true here. If you find yourself in a real misalignment, if you find yourself in a career that you know without a shadow of a doubt is never going to bring you fulfillment, you deserve better. I don't care how much the job pays you, it is not worth it. I can say this because I was earning well into the six figures and I can tell you without a doubt that the money was not worth it. It's not worth poor health. It's not worth the mental struggle of constantly having to be someone or something you're not, like me trying to be aggressive and argumentative when a court battle required it. It is not worth it. And trust me, you CAN find a new path. Maybe you'll have to "pay your dues" for a few years like me, and sacrifice a bit like I did during those first initial years of grace + hudson, but then you get established in your new career, start to earn more money, and you find yourself in the beautiful position of having career fulfillment AND stable finances. It IS possible. I am a living example of it.  

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

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