Happy Monday! This is the first day of September that resembles a somewhat normal schedule for me. I’ve been caught up in a tidal wave of work, travel, guests, and photo shoots for so long, I almost forgot what the dry ground of routine looks like. And I have to say, as someone who has perpetually chosen the grounded path, learning to surf those crazy times was both thrilling and terrifying at various points. I find myself now thankful for a moment to breathe and catch up with the daily tasks that need to be accomplished, so that I can get back out there on the water and find new opportunity in the weeks to come.
Over the weekend I had two rather well known Texan guests, Kendi of the amazing Kendi Everyday and her adorable photographer husband, Bryan. I slipped a sneak peek of our Diversey photo shoot on the site this weekend featuring Kendi and a local Chicago talent, Meatball, a bulldog puppy who made her way into the look book as well. Though I will go into more detail about the shoot and working with Kendi and Bryan later when the lookbook is complete (hopefully early next week), I have to say that I adore both of them more than you can imagine. It was like meeting up with the oldest and best of friends.
I’m now taking it upon myself to help them transplant to Chicago (wink, wink). In order for this to happen, Bryan’s incredible photography business needs to thrive here in the Windy City. So here’s the shameless plug: If you are engaged (or know someone who is) and in need of a fantastically easy to work with photographer and talented stylist (Kendi knows how to make anyone look beautiful in photos) in Chi-town, please reach out to Bryan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Okay, now back to our regularly scheduled posting.
My Small Business Heroes
Though I’ve admired and followed the careers of many successful business owners for quite some time like Rebecca of Rebecca Minkoff and Blake Mycoskie of Toms Shoes (would love to meet him!), I have to admit that when it comes to true, unadulterated admiration, my hat goes off to those who grow their businesses while juggling full-time careers.
The unsung heroes of business are those who work their butts off to make their passions become their paychecks while balancing a busy life which often includes mortgages, marriages, children, and car payments. I don’t have any of these expenses or responsibilities and for me going full-time straight out of college did not include the risks and income stream that so many, many small business owners have. Though my path was certainly not easy, by spending 40 to 50 hours a week on my business from the get-go, it’s not surprising that it has grown and flourished. I get to decide where my time is spent each and every day of my life.
But there are others out there, many of whom are my dear friends, who work on their passion and purpose after hours. They are hustling to get their business revenue to match their income from their 9-5 job so that they can become the keepers of their calender. At the end of the day, I often find myself burnt out from working and I go for a run, chat with a friend at Matissee during their Wednesday night wine special, or watch Greek (please don’t judge). All the while there are thousands of people getting home from an unfulfilled day at an office to start their second job, their small business.
It constantly amazes me when I see my friends take the steps needed to wean themselves off of employment to self-employment. It’s intense and never ending. When I know that friends like Crystal are getting up at five in the morning to do magazine work before work and then see her up on email at midnight the same day, it amazes me. When I hear how Piper is excited for vacation so she can work on her business, I think to myself, “that’s not really a vacation, that’s just more days in a different office!” When I hear how Kendi and Bryan spend their ‘free time’ setting up photo shoots for their blogs or preparing to shoot a weekend wedding, I wonder when they relax.
And not to mention all of the moms out there who juggle raising kids with blogging and business. Jill is a great example of this. I don’t know how I’ll accomplish half of what I do now when I’m responsible for raising young children.
So what I’d like to make clear is that though so many full-time business owners get a lot of attention or applause, I think the real cheers belong to those who are on their way to full-time self-employment. They are the inspirations so many people need to see, they exemplify what it takes for those who want to chart their own path to entrepreneurship.
Thank you Crystal, Piper, Jill, Diane, Alaina, Kendi, Bryan, Tieka, and everyone else who work to make their dreams come true while balancing a full-time job. You inspire me and so many others more than you will ever know.
If you are also doing double duty with your career and small business, please leave a link and email below. I’d like to send you a short thank you note for being such an inspiration to me and so many others.