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 my last few journal entries I've been talking a lot about perspective. Perspective is everything! This week, I want to address a pervasive thought that holds a lot of people back from starting their own business because a change in perspective will do the trick. It goes a little something like this: I want to start my own business, but I'm waiting for the engraved invitation to show up in the mail. Pardon the sarcasm as I'm originally from northern New Jersey ;) but you've probably heard this expression before and it is so apropos here. It's like we're waiting for a rock solid guarantee to show up in the mail or drop down from heaven that says, "Yes, Stacy, if you start this jewelry business, it is going to make oodles of money and you'll never have to go back to a job in corporate America again." And so we wait and we wait, we hem and we haw, we don't do the work because we don't know if it's going to pay off. Well, just like anything else in life, there are no guarantees that your business is going to succeed or make money. Heck, there are no guarantees that any one of us is going to wake up tomorrow! At some point in time, you are going to have to take a risk and decide to go for it (or not). But here's what I want to tell you. Here's the perspective shifter. It's not about whether the business succeeds or makes money. It's about what you learn along the way and how you grow and develop as a person as a result of the life-changing experience of trying to build your very own company. You've heard me say it before and I'll continue to say it again. It's about the journey not the end result.
Here's how I know this to be 100% true. If you've been reading along, you know I quit my job as an attorney not once but twice! The first time I quit, it was 2010 and I opened a brick + mortar jewelry store in a cute town in New Jersey. I had the shop for one year. Although this would be marked a failure to the untrained eye, something really important happened when I owned that shop. Brides-to-be consistently stopped by the shop looking for bridesmaid jewelry. They all said the same exact thing: "I want to buy jewelry to match my bridesmaids' dresses but the pretty jewelry I'm finding is at Nordstrom and I can't afford to purchase $200 necklaces for each of my 8 bridesmaids. The only other colorful jewelry to match my wedding that I've been able to find is at Kohl's and is just too cheap looking." I'm not joking, if I had a dollar for every time I heard this exact spiel, I'd have been rich.
So what's my point? That first store led me to open grace + hudson 9 years later. When I opened g+ h, I knew there was a huge gap in the market between expensive and cheap bridesmaid jewelry gifts. But I never would have known the ins-and-outs of this need in the marketplace if I hadn't owned this jewelry store in 2010 which "failed." It was a critical stepping stone on my journey. I wouldn't be standing here now if I hadn't had that store.
And your journey is no different. I'm sure if you think about your own life right now, you can see areas where the dots all connected.
So stop waiting for the engraved invitation to show up in the mail, inviting you to make the leap to start your own business. Listen to your intuition. If it's screaming at you to start a business and you just know that it's the next step on your path, go for it. Accept the risk and go after your dream with an open heart, knowing that everything you learn along the way is going to make you stronger and better. Trust that all the dots are going to connect in the end. Be smart about it, but know that it necessarily is going to involve some degree of risk.
This idea can be applied to virtually every area where you've got to make a big decision. For example, recently my mother has been thinking of moving from New Jersey to the south to be closer to me and my sister. She's never lived outside of New Jersey and the idea of such a big move is a little intimidating. I told her the same thing - at some point, you're going to have to take a risk and follow your heart. There is no guarantee that if you move, you're going to love it in your new home. At some point, you're just going to need to take the chance. Or you're going to need to accept that you're staying in New Jersey and stop talking about moving. You're going to need to decide and get out of a seemingly endless loop of debating the pros and cons.
Cheers to recognizing areas where you're stuck - areas where maybe you're waiting for a guarantee before you make a big decision or a big change. Evaluate the risks, listen to your heart, know there are no guarantees in life, and move forward.