let it be

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.


This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Lauren L.

    Well I may be crazy 🙂 but I definitely think that Jess LC is doing great and that you should definitely enjoy it!!! 🙂

  2. Nikki

    I really appreciate how insightful your columns have been into your life and business. So, thank you for sharing. While you may not see it every day, you inspire so many people with your vision and products. It’s something to be very proud of. I hope you find those moments during this holiday season to sit back, and reflect fondly on where you’ve come and where you’re going. It’s exciting and hopefully so fulfilling. Cheers!

  3. alicia

    thanks for this, and all of your candid posts about being in business for yourself. i’ve always related, but especially especially especially right now with whimseybox. i know you’ll have a great 2012!

  4. Melissa

    Congrats on a great year! You are certainly an inspiration to many!

  5. bethany

    Jess, this is so much like what my year has been for me. I’ve grown a lot, started my new business, found new writing opps, but at the same time that growth has been stressful and challenging. Even when someone says, “You’re doing so well! You’re such an inspiration!” it can feel like the pressure is piling on to keep on that upwards trajectory and have everything figured out. The joy of it goes away.
    But I love your outlook, and as usual your thoughts shifted my perspective to focus on the positive. You ARE doing SO. WELL. You deserve to celebrate, because your hard work is making a huge difference, even if the numbers are a little scary sometimes. Keep it up!

    P.S. So great to meet you (briefly) last night and get to know the other small business owners that came to BiC. Thanks for creating such a great event!

  6. As someone who is getting ready to embark on her own adventure in terms of career and business, I love and appreciate posts like this. They’re the kinds of things that are so great to turn to when your fears and anxieties are getting the best of you!

  7. Lisa

    “Just keep going” is one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned from your site. I’ve been majorly stressed lately with all I’ve been doing, but this was a great reminder to stop and remember where I was last year. I’ve come so far, and there is a lot to be grateful for.

  8. Patti

    Thanks for sharing, I appreciate this so much! I can totally relate to this post and the anxieties and fears of 100% working for yourself. Definitely inspiring to see & hear about your success! xo

  9. Abby

    I cannot thank you enough for putting all of the thoughts and feelings I have in my head into words. I myself am a small business owner. This last year, was the first year of doing this full-time since starting my business in 2006. I can completely understand the money freak-outs and learning how to live on a small business budget. I hired my first employee this year and it has been SO INCREDIBLY hard to even give up the smallest roll because I have nurtured this business from my own head and heart. Your words ring so true and help more than you know.

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