Over the course of the last year you have seen Jess LC grow by leaps in bounds from a product standpoint. We went from just jewelry to an array of products to create the beginning of what I intend to be a lifestyle brand.
And during the year you’ve also seen what I believe is a more pensive side to my own perspective on life and business. Things have been hard.
So while the outside shell looks “better than ever,” I am always quick to point out that I myself don’t feel that changed or different because of the success.
More success has meant more stress.
It hit me so clearly how these two pictures are so different when Lauren commented on the announcement that we are pre-selling iPad cases and raising the price in 2012. She mentioned that it was like an early Christmas present for myself. My first thought after reading that statement was honestly, “Is she crazy? Didn’t she just read that we are going to have to spend more money than ever before and raise the price because of 37% increase in labor? That we ran out of product in the height of the holiday selling season? That’s not a gift, that’s just stress wrapped in a bow.”
Clearly, I have have had a warped way of looking at things.
But this morning I took a step back and really looked at what has happened and finally I’m starting to see a glimmer of what this whole learning experience might have to teach me.
You see, I have always taken the hard road with my career. I ditched the business school interviews for $60k-$80k jobs to make less than a McDonald’s employee the first few years while starting up Jess LC full-time. I flossed so I didn’t have to go to the dentist for three years because I didn’t have dental insurance. I have had anxiety attacks over cash flow.
In my experience, self-employment is not easy. But it is worth it when you do it with intention and just keep going.
So I think that as things progressed this year, I continued to look at the challenges I faced as the price I paid for the company growth. I looked at the whole experience as a happiness neutral exchange. Sure, I got what I wanted, but at the same time my responsibility and stress rose equally. I’m sure this can also apply for others with different careers, relationships, or life changes.
But the truth is, I want to change.
I want to bask in the success of the company and see it rise to even higher levels. I want to take on new opportunities and share them with you. I want to get excited and share the successes as they come. I want to let the successes I have inspire those who are just starting out (or debating about whether to do so at all). I want to show that it is possible to succeed at what you are meant to do (and not be poor).
At the same time, I also want it to be abundantly clear that it is never easy to ascend to the next level. It takes hard work, learning, growth, higher quality, and perseverance. It takes a crap load of faith, too.
But I think I’ve made it pretty clear this year that new levels mean new challenges. Now I want to lighten up on that in my head and on MML and share the blessings as they come.
Designing a life with intention isn’t meant to be a life of lack, frustration, and stress. It can be challenging, but deeply meaningful and wonderful.
So now I’m going to soak in the goodness I have. And let it be.