Welcome to the second edition of my Weekly Journal where I'll be sharing a bit about jewelry, and a lot about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. Last week, I talked about the power of the beliefs and stories we tell ourselves about money. This week, I'm sharing some real talk about finding the motivation to make a big change - whether that means starting a new business, switching careers, or finding a better, less toxic position in your current field. They say that the pain of changing needs to be less than the pain of staying the same in order for us to make a big change. That's because big changes can be scary, intimidating, and uncomfortable. No matter how much we might dislike our current circumstances, at least we're familiar with them and can generally predict how they'll go, right? Our minds can crave predictability because predictable generally equals safe. But safe gets you no where when it comes to pursuing your dreams or making a big change. This is why many people daydream, but never try to turn those dreams into reality. Getting uncomfortable is one of the obstacles to big change.
The other big obstacle in our way is motivation. When you're dissatisfied with your current career or job, you're often low on energy. Often all you can muster after work is the energy for wine, take out, and mindless reality tv. Sound familiar? I've been there, so I get it. I spent 11 long years in the legal profession, hating every single day since the very beginning. That career didn't just leave me tired at the end of the day - it actually drained me of all my life and spunk and energy. I often felt like I was sleepwalking through life, constantly on empty, just trying to manage another day. The thought of spending my evenings working on a website for my new business just wasn't in the realm of possibility. My tank was literally on zero virtually all of the time.
But eventually, the pain of staying in the legal profession was too great to bear and it outweighed the pain of getting a little uncomfortable to start grace + hudson. When did this shift happen? To be honest, it happened when my father passed away. When a parent passes away, especially at a relatively young age (he was 65), all of a sudden you really, truly, absolutely understand that you are not here forever. You also realize that you were not put on this planet to work at a job you dislike, and drink wine and watch tv in the evenings (note: I'm not saying that drinking wine and watching tv is an inherently bad thing. It can be very relaxing! But when the majority of your nights look like this, I believe it is a symptom of an underlying problem of dissatisfaction with some area of your life.). Life is so much more than this, so much more than your job, so much more than climbling the ladder of "success" and getting the material things along the way that indicate achievement like a big house or a Louis Vuitton bag. It's about our growth and evolvement as a person, it is about our relationships and our family, it is about using the talents and gifts we were given, it is about connecting with others through the use of these talents and gifts. This realization motivated me to get off the couch and start putting the wheels in motion to start grace + hudson. Otherwise, I was going to remain a lawyer forever and that was way too big a burden to bear. I started to work on a jewelry website, I ordered a logo from a graphic designer on Etsy, and I designed my first jewelry collection. Every time I doubted my plans or felt too tired to work on them, I came back to these feelings. Do I want to reach age 65, with only a few months to live like my father, and feel like I let my dreams pass me by simply because I was too scared (and too tired) to make a change? This is my "why." This is what motivates me to keep going when I want to quit. You have to find yours.
Let me leave you with some tough love - we all have the same number of hours in our day. You can choose to "Netflix and chill" or you can choose to work on your resume, your business website, or your passion project in the evenings. It is all a choice. Sometimes we have to make adult decisions when all we want to do is binge watch a series because we're tired. If you don't want to be in the same place next summer as you are now, realize you are the one who holds all the power. It's entirely up to you how you spend your time. I know it's hard, so start small - set aside 15 minutes before or after work to brainstorm ideas for your business or research new career fields where your current skills would be an asset. Do you take the train to work? Instead of listening to a fiction book or music playlist, listen to a podcast on how to start a business (try "How I Built This" with Guy Raz). Then increase it to 20 minutes per day next month. These little blocks of time will add up significantly over the remainder of 2019. I've been there - and all I can tell you is, I wish I had started sooner. I wish I didn't waste 11 years of my life working in a field that drained me of all my energy. I wish I had taken baby steps of 15 minutes before or after work - those would have turned into huge giant leaps much sooner than the 11 years it took me to find the motivation. I hope you'll try this! Let me know if you do!