Photo Credit: Iron + Honey Photography
Read time: 4 minutes
It's been a minute since I've blogged but I wanted to get back at it in a big way. I'm starting a new blog series called "The Entrepreneur Life" because I have received so many inquiries about leaving a job you hate and following your passions (for more on how I did that, head over to my "About" page here). I hope you learn something from my musings about following your passions and turning them into a lifelong career. At the bottom of each post, I'll include some practical steps and "how to's."
The first post in this series is called "Mindset" because it is, hands down, the most critical ingredient to following a passion. Whenever someone asks me for advice on how to start their own business or quit their current job to pursue one that's more in line with their passions, my first piece of advice is always this -- work on your mindset the most. Even more than you work on your website or resume. If your mindest isn't right, no amount of work is going to connect all the dots on the path to a successful business or career.
By mindset I mean, quite simply, knocking out all the fears that are keeping you in your current job and preventing you from following your passions. These may include the following: fear that others (such as your family) will judge you for quitting a stable job; fear of uncertainty; fear of giving up a steady paycheck; fear that you can't make enough money doing what you love; fear that it will take too many years to build a business that can support you financially. If you believe you can't earn a living being a writer or personal stylist or baker, you won't. Similarly, if you believe you can make more money pursuing a dream than a regular paycheck, you will. It really is that simple, but it does take a lot of work to get to that place of true understanding and belief in these simple principles. One of my favorite quotes to sum up this learning process is from the Wizard of Oz, "You always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself." We are our own worst enemies -- but the beauty in that is that we hold the power to change. You don't need to convince anyone else but yourself.
The biggest difference for me between my first business (a brick and mortar jewelry store which ultimately failed in 2011) and my current business (grace + hudson) is my mindset. Back in 2011, I didn't truly believe I deserved a better life than billing 80 hours per week as an attorney, constantly arguing with others for a living (if you've come to know me, you know that doesn't fit my personality at all). Now I believe I deserve to earn a living doing something I love. I believe that I don't need to "sell my soul" to afford my living expenses. I believe that I can create a business that reflects my ideals and my authentic self, and therefore brings me joy on a daily basis. I believe that I can blaze new trails that lead to a super successful business, and that I don't have to be like every other jewelry artist on the planet, struggling to make sales any which way they can. When you truly have these beliefs, you receive out-of-the-box inspiration, you wind up in the right place at the right time, you come up with ideas that seem divinely inspired, you blaze new trails. For example, if you believe you can only make $20k per year as a baker, begging to sell cupcakes to passersby, you are completely foreclosing other possibilities. What if Oprah Winfrey stumbled upon your cupcakes, posted about them on Instagram, and you sold your entire daily inventory and received 1,000 online orders in 3 minutes flat? Your negative mindset is completely foreclosing that option, and other less radical ones that have just as much power to lead to a "sold out" sign. The mental momentum of out-of-the-box possibilities is a powerful thing, let me tell you!
If mindset is holding you back, I would highly recommend meditating. Meditating helps stop negative, fearful thoughts and helps you get in touch with the amazing, powerful possibilities that come to us in stillness. I would also recommend reading a few books by some of my favorite thought leaders (listed below). This is the exact path that worked for me, and I continue to reinforce it everyday. It's the first thing I do in the morning, and the last thing I do before bed. It doesn't need to take hours. Even a few minutes per day of meditating and reading a short passage will lead to gains. Or, on a really busy day, just set an alarm in your phone that goes off every hour and says something like "I welcome infinite possibilities for success" or "I choose positive thoughts over fear-based thoughts."
Here are some of my favorite books to get you started. Financial fear is probably a big one for you, as it was for me -- and I'd recommend reading "You are a Badass at Making Money" by Jen Sincero (get it here). If you already meditate and/or believe in the law of attraction, I'd recommend reading "Life Visioning" by Michael Bernard Beckwith (available here). It'll help you get in touch with the vision you have for your life, and understand only you have the power to make it come true, and similarly only you have the power to make it not come true. If you've never meditated before and need help with the constant stream of negative thoughts that hold you back from following your passions, I would recommend a 40-day practice called "May Cause Miracles" by Gabby Bernstein (find it here). It's a great place to start to end those negative, fear-based thoughts that are keeping you stuck. It only takes about 5 minutes per day -- get it on Audible and play it while you brush your teeth in the morning. Giving up these fears is a daily practice. A daily choice. But it does get easier the more you do it.
If I know one thing for certain, it's that a fulfilling, successful business first starts in your mind. Changing your mindest is the greatest gift you will ever give to yourself, and your future business or career!