Today I’m gonna jump right in. Hang on, its gonna be a bumpy ride.
Here’s where I get real and share some of the tough stuff I’ve learned from the past three weeks of the “new” Jess LC. Though I usually wait a bit longer to share lessons, I think it’s safe to take this moment and really get into what I’ve learned and gone through the past 21 days since I re-launched. As you know from the behind the scenes series, the process to make the new brand took six months and a ton of work, miracles, and amazing help. I was ecstatic, elated, and overflowing with gratitude.
For 72 hours.
On the third day after the re-branding, I had what I now call The Pilgrim Effect. What is the Pilgrim Effect you ask? Well, let’s put it this way (in my fuzzy and distorted recollection of American history), I’m sure that when the Puritans decided to leave England to practice their religious freedom, they felt that God had put a knowing-ness in their heart, they knew deep in their bones they were destined to move to the New World and start afresh. They made plans, built boats, sailed countless days in said boats, struggled, survived, and eventually landed on our dear shore. I’m guessing that they were ecstatic, elated, and overflowing with gratitude.
For 72 hours.
Because you see, I too had a similar vision on a much more personal scale. I felt last November that I was meant to make this shift to the new site, the new brand, the new look, the new jewelry. I knew deep in my gut that I could no longer keep Jess LC in it’s previous state. I simply felt it was meant to be new, different, improved. I also had a bigger vision for the new site and bigger company goals. So I worked, and planned, and struggled, and had amazing help to get me to the new shores of the integrated shopping cart, video, lookbook, Division collection, and logo.
But what I (think) the Pilgrims and I forgot to realize is that after spending so much time and energy throughout the journey, we started to build up a vision of what that hard work would manifest. Sure, the Pilgrims got to worship however they wanted and I got a sweet new website and look for my company – but the reality of that shore near Plymouth rock was hard (pun intended). It was cold. The winter was setting in.
And they didn’t even have a city or home to live in.
Not that I think that the Pilgrims were dumb, but I am guessing that if they were any thing like me, by the time they got through traveling, they half hoped they’d find a quaint bed and breakfast or at least a Sheridan Inn on the other side of the ocean so they could finally rest in the Lord’s blessings and 500-count Egyptian cotton linens. And maybe even have a continental breakfast the next morning.
But it didn’t happen.
When I finished the site, I expected 75% of the female population to find out about Jess LC, fall in love with the jewelry, and buy for everyone they knew. I expected Daily Candy to write it up again, Lucky Magazine to call me begging for samples for their upcoming photo shoot, and if Obama or Oprah called to wish me luck and much continued success, I wouldn’t have batted an eye.
But none of that happened.
I definitely got lots of great support, feedback, comments, and orders came in at average to slightly higher rates. But not a fraction of the expectation I had built up to that point. I expected things to come to me, when the reality was I needed to work even harder to see those new opportunities come to pass. I, like the Pilgrims, needed to build a city in the New World and that meant even more hard work.
Needless to say, it was unsettling and worrisome for a week and a half.
But then I started to see myself react to the situation, after hanging my head for a few days, I started to pick up the phone again, I started to make calls to Lucky Magazine, to Daily Candy. I started to go to new networking events and I started to talk to designers with bigger followings to learn what my next steps should be. I started to take risks and actions that I never dreamed of making while the “old” Jess LC was around. And over time, I’m starting to see results. I’m starting to see the possibilities open up.
I’m starting to build my city, just like the Pilgrims, brick by brick.
And so I guess what I’ve learned after this whole experience is that when we take a leap of faith on something we feel so inwardly compelled to do, we must not assume that the outcome will always be easy. But once we make that shift, we can expect ourselves to rise to the occasion and bring the outcome we seek to fruition.