reader inspiration

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Good morning! I hope you had a great weekend. Over the past two days I’ve managed to finally get my new dining room table(!) and the new rug is waiting for me in the package room.


A while back, I elicited the help of Lauren and Courtney of Kelly + Olive to get a fresh perspective and expert advice on decorating the new place. They had some great ideas which I’ve been taking to heart. I’ll share their suggestions and inspiration tomorrow.

Reader Inspiration

Today I’d like to share an email I got from a Makeunder reader. I’ve asked her to share the letter here on the blog because though she wrote it as a thank you for me, I think a lot of people will be inspired by her courage.

Here’s what she shared,

I wanted to send a thank you note for the inspiration that you have been to me through your blog. I found your blog about three weeks ago and immediately gravitated to your ideas re: living an intentional life, weekly exfoliation, designing your life. I recently turned 26 and up until last Friday I was doing a lot of pretending. I had a career that was not a good fit for me; but because of family expectations, money and status I kept trying to make it work. This week is my first week on an unpaid leave- I’m taking three months to understand myself and re-evaluate my values. For the first time ever- I really feel like I can design my life! I was so happy to find your blog, learn new tips and know that there are others out there on a path less traveled. Thank you for being so awesome!

Though many people tell me that they are inspired by my business or career path, this woman’s choice has inspired me. I decided to start my business full-time right after college so I would not need to leave a cushy paycheck. I vividly remember my dad telling me as a high school senior that I should start my business right out of college – he said leaving a secure salary to start a company would be too hard to do. He believed that if I worked for a major marketing firm like many of my business school peers, the pressure and lifestyle I’d grow accustomed to would be too dear to leave.

I took his advice to heart.

Five years later when I announced that I would indeed start Jess LC full-time in Chicago after graduation, I’m sure my dad gulped behind his collar. It’s one thing to speak theoretically about self-employment, and another to actually follow that path.

So with that in mind, reading this letter I have shared obviously hit me in a unique way. This reader has had the courage to take a step back, evaluate her life, and choose to make a different decision. There is more sacrifice on her side of the equation than mine. And I think among those reading this blog, more fall in this reader’s shoes than my own.

Many readers have shared similar intentions of re-evaluating their careers. And I hope this single letter can inspire others in her position to redesign their lives as well.

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  1. Wow, she IS brave! Thank you both for sharing.

    And Jess, I think your work is such an inspiration as well. What wise words from your dad! I definitely went the other direction and am regretting not jumping into what I loved when I graduated. Oh well, live and learn. Now is my chance to do something about it too.

    Happy Monday!

  2. Flavia

    How courageous of her to take a break to evaluate her life! I wish I could have done so when I had the chance. I’m now trying to figure my life out while working full-time, with a long commute, and having a mortgage to pay…not easy! I really admire people like you, Jess, who knew what they wanted to do and went for it!

  3. Love the new dining table! And great post, very inspiring & motivating. Being self-employed can be challenging, but also very rewarding! ūüôā

  4. pve

    Just look at the positive inspiration and energy you have caused in your reader(s)!
    I think finding passion in what you do and then putting it into your life is so important!
    Developing your own style to take you on the path of your own journey is what life is all about!
    So proud of you and your reader for sharing this exciting step!

  5. Jess

    @ Magchunk: Just like I said in the post, my hat is off to you! Go bravely and design the life you want.

    @ Flavia: Good luck with your life design! Whether you are starting fresh or starting after getting experience in the “real world” if you just keep running, you will make it. Life is a marathon.

    @ Alli: Couldn’t agree more (about the table and self-employment).

    @ PVE: Thanks, Patricia! It is definitely an exciting step.

  6. First of all, I love what you have done with your new apartment (where’s the table from?)!

    Second of all, thank you for sharing this very inspiring reader email. It warms my heart to see how much love and inspiration your blog has created and to hear of people listening to the voice inside and going after their best life!!! Much admiration to all who are following their passions!

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