Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share a bit about jewelry, and a lot about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. In this week's journal I'm sharing some real talk about making your dream a reality and I promise I won't sugarcoat it. The dream is the easy part, making it come true - not so much. Whether your dream is to start your own business, find the love of your life, move to an island and open a yoga studio, have a child...we all have them! To dream about our wildest hopes coming true is part of being human. But the real question is: what are you willing to do to make your dream come true? This is where most people get tripped up (and again, I think this is part of being human!). It can be scary, uncertain, and risky to take steps towards manifesting your dream into real life. It also can require a lot of work, a lot of discipline, and a lot of sacrifice. Few are willing to roll up their sleeves and get to work, and many want it handed to them on a silver platter. What's that quote I'm thinking of? Nothing worth having comes easy. Yes, something like that. And the bigger your dream, the more it's going to take. So where does that leave you?
First and foremost, you have to make friends with the fact that some sort of sacrifice is going to be required. Maybe you need to invest a lot of time into your dream, maybe it's money. Maybe you're going to need to get a little uncomfortable for a while. Maybe you're going to need to work really hard on your mindset to make your dream come true - you know, change the negative beliefs that are holding you back. You get the idea. I truly think *this* is the main sticking point that most people can't get beyond. People want things to change and they want their dreams to come to pass, but they aren't willing to change anything about their current situation to get there. Let me give you an example. I hear from a lot of lawyers who want to leave the practice of law and start their own business of some sort, but many of them say, "Well, I don't want to change my standard of living though." Code for: I make 6 figures now, I have gotten used to a cushy life and I'm not willing to give that up. Really? Not even if it means seeing your dream come to life? Here's the deal: making some sacrifices now for a little while could potentially add up to a lifetime of happiness. Isn't that worth the "pain" of giving up the lifestyle you're used to? Let me tell you from firsthand experience, it is!
When I left my lawyer job in 2017, I was at this crossroads in my life: buy a condo or quit my job and try to make my dream come true. I had saved enough money to put a nice down payment on a condo in downtown Chicago, but there was a nagging thought in the back of my head that I should use that money to quit my job and start my own business. I chose the latter, which means I still rent and I don't own a home (and I'm 39 years old). That's the main "sacrifice" I made to start grace + hudson (I use the term "sacrifice" loosely as I realize some people never even get the chance to buy their own home). I am so glad I made that decision for myself because it gave me financial flexibility - I am not handcuffed to a certain income level in order to pay a hefty mortgage each month. And you know what else has come of it? The money I make now feels good - it makes me so proud to earn a living from something I love to do and I know it's going to feel so good to buy a home someday. The money I made when I was a lawyer didn't feel good, and I know the home I bought with that money wouldn't feel good in the long run either.
The point I'd like to leave you with is this: everything is a decision. Everything. When it comes to the dream of business ownership, you can prioritize home ownership or luxuries like expensive coffee and weekend trips away or you can prioritize saving money for your dream by, for example, downsizing to a smaller apartment so you can quit your job. Realize that the power is in your hands. It is your choice. Own it. Own your choice. It'll empower you, even if you decide to choose the stable paycheck over business ownership. And for some of you that might be the reality. So when you embrace the fact that you're choosing a stable job with a nice paycheck over the risk of business ownership, you can let the business dream go and be happy where you are. And maybe a different dream, like adopting a child into your stable home, will come to greet you. In either case, decide, own your decision, and stop pining for what you don't have. The grass is always greener...until you decide to let yourself feel empowered by the choices you have made.