2016 was a crazy, exhausting, exciting, and monumental year for me. I launched this here site and blog. I created a line of tote bags made in Guatemala. I began partnering with some AMAZING humanitarian organizations. And…I learned a TON!!
If you’re thinking of starting something new in 2017, especially if you’re planning to take a huge leap of faith, let me share with you some tidbits I learned and hopefully help you to truly embrace your new adventure. Here goes!
Send an email to that person you’d like to partner with. Hand someone that product you’re wanting to launch and ask for their feedback. Don’t let fear keep you from possibly experiencing your greatest achievement or failure. Yes, even in failure you will succeed. When I say this I’m preaching to myself. I have to tell myself constantly to not be afraid of failure, but to be afraid of never trying.
Allow yourself to grow and blossom in whatever avenue your heading down. If you’re new to Instagram, don’t worry if your photos are blurry and uninspiring. Allow yourself room to grow and get better. It’s pretty much impossible to start anything as expert. You have to begin somewhere and you’ll fine-tune your craft along the way. You’ll also learn what you truly love and what your style in doing that thing is. It’s also really unauthentic to see someone start a blog or social media account that looks absolutely perfect. There’s no room to grown and connect with your audience. Don’t be afraid to let people see you get better.
It doesn’t mean you’re done, you’re simply making time for things that need your 100% focus and attention. I do this every so often (planned and unplanned), based on the needs of the people and projects in my life. I learned this year to not worry that I’ll become obsolete by taking intermissions in certain areas. I recently did that here on the blog. I realized that with the holiday season approaching and my hudbans traveling a lot for work, I wouldn’t be able to properly manage all the things that truly mattered to me, while also providing you all with great content…so I took a break. I’m even considering breaking the blog up into seasons, that way there are dedicated breaks throughout the year.
p.s. While on break, don’t feel as though you must take photos and post everything to prove your still “doing stuff”. It’s your freakin’ life. If people cant respect that you’re a person and not a machine, they aren’t your kind of people anyway.
Recognize early on what fills you up, and then create space to do them without limit. If heading to the beach or lounging at a coffee shop and people watching fills you up, then you MUST create time to do this. You may even need to stop in your tracks at times and do it. That way you constantly stay inspired and fueled to create and deliver content, products, or love that truly overflows from your own passion.
Forget what others think, say, or do
Don’t let others spew their insecurities onto you. You will meet people who smile in your face, say they believe in your mission or venture, but then never back their words up with action. Let. it. go. But then don’t trust them later on to follow through with what they promised months ago, now that they see your growth.
Laugh without being ashamed
You have the right to be happy. As your adventure grows and succeeds, feel free to celebrate it without being ashamed. Toast to the little wins. And post it! Don’t worry that people will think your bragging. Yes, you are. And you deserve it. Those who’ve ever started something will be happy for you. They’ll understand how hard it is to put yourself out there and that every win deserves some bubbly.
Keep some things private
You don’t have to share everything! Make no excuses for having a private life. If your product, platform, etc. is about fashion don’t feel like you have to take about what everyone in your house is wearing, what religion you are, and what your favorite restaurant is, unless YOU WANT TO. You set the boundaries and make others abide by them.
Let people doubt and underestimate you
You have the unique opportunity to prove them wrong and blow them away. I love being underestimated. I love for people to snicker when they hear an idea or see me coming with some big lofty concept. I know that it may take time and adjustments to make it all happen, but when it does, it will be amazing! Believe in yourself, have a close tribe of people who believe in you too, and forget about everyone else.
Be kind to everyone and be thankful for every opportunity
Always be kind. Even when others are rude, take the high road. Be direct when you need to be. If you’re working with local businesses, partnering with organizations, or simply looking to collaborate with someone else, always treat others with love and kindness. Make people want to come back and work with you over and over again.
Trust in the journey and don’t try and plan every element
Allow some things to just take place organically. This was a big one for me. I’m a planner and coordinator. I like to MAKE things happen. But if I’ve learned anything this year, it’s been to just let most things happen on their own.
What lessons did you learn in 2016? Reply in the comments below. I always reply!
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