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 entry, I want to share the 5 key things that contributed to my success as a business owner. I opened grace + hudson in June 2017 and at the close of 2019 we're officially a six-figure business! I feel like I've earned the right to speak a little about what it takes to succeed, especially because it's all so recent and fresh on my mind. There are so many people out there claiming to be "business coaches", preaching all day long about what it takes to succeed, but did you know very few of them have built an actual business outside of their coaching business? As someone who quit her day job almost 3 years ago and built a six-figure jewelry business in that time frame, I want to chime in with what I think it takes to succeed. And let me tell you straight out of the gate, if you've been listening to those run-of-the-mill business coaches on Instagram, this list of 5 things is not going to be what you expect! Here it goes...
1. You have got to identify the stories that are controlling your life. The ones that got you here, where you are today. Because if you aren't where you want to be, chances are you have some nagging negative stories and beliefs that are holding you back. Know you can choose differently.
If you've been following along with these Weekly Journal entries, you've heard me talk about this before. Here are some examples of negative thought patterns that were sabotaging me back when I was a lawyer: (a) I must hustle to succeed, even to the detriment of my personal and social life, (b) I need to succeed because it proves my worth to the world, and I feel the need to prove myself, (c) everyone else has a job they hate, so why should I think I’m entitled to anything different?, (d) I must work hard at a job I don’t like until I can retire and then I can do what I want. Do any of these sound familiar to you? Do any of them resonate? If you felt a twinge of pain when you read any of them, that's a sign! Know you can choose differently. When you change the way you think about things, the things around you start to change (which is an awesome paraphrased quote from author Wayne Dyer).
2. You have got to find a way to quiet your mind chatter because you're missing out on a ton of creative, innovative, exciting ideas if you don't.
We're all human which means we all have a non-stop mix tape of thoughts running through our heads all day long. And as a follow-up to #1, I would bet that mix tape contains at least a few negative songs. You may not even be aware of them! So you have got to find a way to quiet your mind and quiet those negative thoughts. I'm telling you - the BEST BUSINESS IDEAS COME IN TIMES OF STILLNESS. You know why some people get their best ideas in the shower? It might be the only "quiet time" they have all day. It's no coincidence. You don't need to learn how to meditate if you don't want to learn how to meditate. But what you do need to do is find something that allows you to relax your thoughts. If you're into sports, it can be shooting hoops on the basketball court for 10 minutes. If you love coffee or tea, it can be sitting on your patio for 10 minutes with that warm mug and no background noise. Or maybe for you, those 10 minutes in the shower are golden. Find out what works for you and do it every single day. Research says that even 5 to 10 minutes per day can do the trick. Once you get into the habit, you'll begin to access more of your creative thoughts -- you know, all of those ideas that I believe are gifted to us. Where do all those creative ideas come from by the way? I believe it's from God or the Universe (or whatever word you like to use to refer to your intuition, to your guidance system, to your higher power). I also believe that we cannot access that higher power if we never take the time to be still and listen.
3. You have got to trust the process and have faith that, no matter what happens, you'll end up exactly where you're meant to be.
To make the leap from a typical job to owning a business, you must trust in the process and have faith that, no matter what happens, it's all going to work out in the end exactly the way it's supposed to. There is never, ever going to be a moment where you'll know with 100% certainty that your leap from corporate America to jewelry business owner, for example, is going to succeed from a financial perspective. Never. But what you can be 100% certain of is that you're going to learn a lot along the way, grow and evolve as a person, and meet a lot of different people along the pathway of business ownership. Maybe your business will fail, but you'll meet the owner of another business and become her partner down the road. Or maybe, like me, your first jewelry business won't make enough money to survive but you learn so much from this "failure" that you open a second jewelry business several years later and that one succeeds quickly. You just never know how things are going to work out, but somehow all the dots will connect in the end. They always do.
4. You have got to allow success.
This sounds silly, right? But so many of us have become so used to mediocrity that it's difficult to accept the awesome gift of success. For example, guilt and doubt will creep in when your business starts to take off. The voice in your head will say, "Who are you to earn good money from work you love, when the rest of the world is living the TGIF culture?" You might even feel like a fraud at times. You may even sabotage the whole thing (subconsciously of course). So you have got to hone your ability to claim success. Otherwise, doubts and guilt will destroy anything you manage to build. We are so good at feeling anger, pain, and frustration; we need to get better at feeling joy, success, and pride. One of my personal mantras is "receive it" - I have to continually remind myself to receive all the goodness coming my way otherwise I often fall back into the old default mode of pushing it away. It's something I've gotten much better at with a little work, so I know you can too.
5. Patience is key. Success takes time - we're talking years, not months.
Starting your own business is a marathon, not a sprint. There's no such thing as an overnight success (trust me, if something succeeds that quickly, it's also going to disappear just as quickly). You've got to be in it for the long haul. An average business doesn't start to generate real money until year two. But when it does, what an awesome return on your initial investment of time and money! Think of it liking investing in property - you're building something that'll generate increasing amounts of wealth for you as the years go by. Unlike a typical office job where there's usually a defined ceiling on how much you can earn even at the highest level, the amount you can earn from your own business is almost limitless. But, just like real estate, it doesn't happen overnight or even over a few months. It usually takes a couple years, at least. If you get bored quickly, if you don't have patience, or if you aren't great at sticking with things, then owning a business might not be for you (or it might be just the thing you need to develop patience and stick-with-it-ness). Along the same lines, you need to accept that if you want to own your own business, you will probably need to keep your day job for a while until you get it off the ground. This is not a bad thing. It takes a lot of the pressure off so that you can make decisions that are good for the business, not just your paycheck. Just think how far along you'd be today if you had started working on your business idea two years ago - even if just for a few hours per week on the weekends.
There you have it - my view of the 5 most important things that contributed to my success as a business owner. As you can see, they ALL have to do with mindset. Some of you may grumble at that but my response to that is: your mindset is 100% within your control. There's not much within our control these days, but what goes on in our minds is entirely up to us. It takes practice, but new mental habits are definitely within reach if you're willing to put in the work. It's just like physical exercise - no overnight results but with daily dedication, all of a sudden the pounds will start to drop off.
Now for an exciting announcement! I've hinted at this over the past few months, but it's all come together: I'm going to be offering mentor and coaching services in 2020! This has been a long time coming. I've spoken to so many of you about career change, how to start a business, and how I quit my lawyer job, and I've wanted to offer help and assistance in a more formal way than these Weekly Journal entries allow. Stay tuned for all the details! They'll be announced over the course of the next week, and there will be various mentoring options available. I look forward to connecting with you in a more substantial and helpful way, especially if your background is similar to mine and you've been stuck in a job you don't like for way too long.
Cheers to making big strides towards big dreams in 2020!