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. I always get asked how I managed to quit my job as a lawyer and start my own jewelry business. I'll admit it was a drastic leap - going from a "prestigious" profession to a creative job, from a big paycheck to an uncertain financial stream, from being employed by a large company to being my own boss. A lot of people tell me they want to do the same thing but "How?! How did you do it?!" they ask. And believe me, I get it! It seems so far-fetched that this actually worked out. I still look back in shock and surprise sometimes. But I've finally determined the #1 most crucial thing I did to quit my lawyer job, start my own business and have it succeed more or less. You probably aren't going to like the answer because you probably want a step-by-step list of instructions and hear about the number one thing on the list. But it's not about the list. It has nothing to do with the "practical" concerns related to starting a business. It's about you.
Let me try to make an analogy. Think about the woman who wants to get pregnant. She does everything right - she reads all the books, sees all the doctors, gets all the tests, passes all the tests, uses all the tools and resources, takes all the vitamins, and yet she struggles to get pregnant despite all the conditions being optimal. She stresses out about it and it's actually her frantic energy and negative cycle of worry that pushes away what she most wants. It's the same thing with a business. You can do all the things. But unless you are in the right headspace for it, it's not going to work out. It just won't.
I know this because I had a business in 2010 and it failed. And the reason it failed despite my best efforts is because I was not in the right headspace. This was subconscious at the time but I see it clearly now: I didn't believe I could make a living selling jewelry. I was used to a big law firm paycheck and I just didn't believe I could earn a similar wage doing something I love. Now there's plenty of people making millions selling jewelry, so jewelry wasn't the problem. I was the problem. I didn't believe I deserved a life doing something I enjoy. And sure enough, the universe closed the door on my first business and I went back to being a lawyer (i.e. doing something I didn't like, because that's what I thought I deserved).
The universe, God, the divine (whatever name you want to call it) is very simple. It operates on clearly defined rules. And those rules aren't based on your education level, your income, your gender, your race. The universe doesn't see those things. In short, you tell the universe what you believe and the universe delivers the right set of circumstances to fulfill that belief. It really is that simple. The problem is, we aren't aware of the defeating, negative, critical beliefs we hold, nor do we know how to effectively change them to something more positive. You might say you believe you deserve to work in a job you love, but do you really believe that in your heart and soul? If you haven't seen the changes you're desiring, chances are "no." You say you do, but you don't believe you do. And that's what causes us to feel like victims - you know, the "I'm a good person, why am I stuck in this stupid job where I get treated like crap?" or "I'm doing everything right, why won't this business take off?!" Until we accept that our thoughts are powerful things that create our reality, and that we have to learn how to control them and harness them for good, life is going to continue to feel unfair.
Let's face it, most of us aren't taught how to be aware of our thoughts and direct them to what we want. But that's ok. We can teach ourselves. I taught myself! It takes a lot of practice, but I promise you it's the #1 thing I did to change my entire reality - it's the #1 thing that helped me go from lawyer to jewelry business owner. Think of it this way, we workout multiple times per week to improve and strengthen our bodies, and we need to do the same thing with our minds. Otherwise, those thoughts are just running around in circles up there and those circular, defeating thoughts are creating our reality. But just like working out, slowly but surely we get stronger, we get better at the exercises, and before we know it we're running a marathon.
If you're new to mindfulness as well as living and thinking intentionally, I know this entry was a lot to digest. So I'm going to stop here and in next week's Weekly Journal, I'll tell you how I taught myself to get out of the negative rut I was in and how I learned to control my thoughts and make them more positive. For now, try to accept that if you are in a job that you do not like, your thoughts got you there. But also accept that once you change your thoughts to be more positive (and this might take months) you'll see that you're no longer a match for the job you hate. It's seriously fascinating stuff. And it's becoming really mainstream at this point so there are tons and tons of resources and authors out there to connect with and learn from if you are wanting and willing to do the work.
You've probably heard me say this before: work on your mindset more than your website and you'll have a successful business. And this is exactly what I'm talking about! Cheers to becoming more aware of the thoughts that are (literally) running your life and the new power you can find to control them.