With the New Year around the corner and Green Living’s 1-year anniversary in the dust of my heels, I found myself reflecting on the past 365 days. As my mind jutted from one overwhelming glimpse to the next, I felt obliged to share a few of my learning experiences with you. In hopes to provide some level of enlightenment for those of you that may in fact find yourself in the same position I was in a year ago.
So here are 11 things I wish I could have told my pre-business owning self:
1.You’re about to start working for the world’s worst boss.
Me. I am my own boss, and I suck. I make myself work 14-hour days, I am excessively critical, and I don’t allow for adequate vacation. (Ok yes, I traveled abroad in August and then went skiing, but I thought and dreamt about work the entire time, so it doesn’t really count.)
2.Your business will be your life.
Life, as you once knew it, will change. For the good, the bad, and the ugly. And all 3 will revolve around your business. Or rather, your life.
3.Your business will be your baby.
Right. So just in case you all missed it, I had a baby a year ago. November to be exact. And I’ve nurtured and cared for my child 24 hours of every day since. So for those of you asking the ever-so dreaded question, it already happened. You just missed it.
4.People aren’t going to understand.
Friends and family. They won’t get it. They knew the previous you. The one that didn’t give birth to a 1300 square foot health clinic.
5.There will be tough times.
Make sure you gather a support system. If you’re a 1 man/woman show, find a sustaining pillar in your closest of circles. Because you will need to talk things out. For the sanctity of life.
6.You will question yourself.
And your tactics. Don’t over think it, but rather go with your gut. If your gut says to lie down, then you better damn well lie down. Just make sure no one is around to witness the tantrum that takes place once you do.
7.Tenaciousness is key.
Persistence. Persistence. Persistence. I can remember, vividly, a conversation I had with my grandfather when I was 7 (8?) years old. I wanted to prove a point, and he insisted on playing Devils’ Advocate. The moment ended with his claiming, “You sure are persistent.” Based off of his impatient demeanor at the time, I assumed he was calling me a bad word. I now realize that he was not.
8.Perfectionism is not.
Striving for perfection is both time provoking and unnecessary. After all, no business, big or small, maintains perfect status every second of every day. It’s in between the moments of perfection that we learn and grow from the experience. (I’m merely preaching to the choir here.)
9.Don’t look back.
10. Don’t stop.
Working. Learning. Growing. Challenging. Questioning. The pace is going to quicken, so just go with it. With as much grace and delicacy as you can muster. In the midst of the haze, you will realize that the moment you think you’ve got it all figured out, the moment your head grows 10 sizes too big, is the same moment you comprehend that you are a very small fish in a very big pond. Success lies in the need to always want more.
11.Take a deep breath.
Every night when you leave the office, take a second to sit still. Breathe in slowly, and breathe out (diaphragmatically, if you will). And remember…you did it. You followed your passion.