what i’ve been up to in november

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Hi Guys,

I know that I haven’t exactly been absent here on MML this November, but the truth is that certainly haven’t had the time to devote to it that I usually do. In the past (and ideally in the future), I spend up to half of my day working on MML related activities. And in recent weeks, time has been difficult to manage. So given a momentary lull in the chaos, I’d like to sit down now and chat with you about what has been going on in my life.

A lot has changed.

When I think back over the past three months they are a blur of activities, risks, challenges, faithfulness, and blessings for both the business and my personal life. And now I’ll do a quick recap of each of those aspects so you can get a full idea of what has happened. Though this kind of self-reflection may not appeal to some readers, I do think it’s pretty interesting and hopefully inspiring for other entrepreneurs or people going through life changes.

Jess LC – Activities

Right after moving to my new apartment in September I flew out to Denver for speaking about social media with American Express OPEN. I also flew to NYC in October to do a press preview with my PR firm, Red Light PR and introduced Jess LC to magazine editors and stylists. I started reaching out to bloggers to work with over the holidays and prepared for the holiday rush by ordering more raw materials than ever before. These actions though without immediate results, laid the foundation for things to come.

Jess LC – Risks

While doing the activities above, I did not see a significant payoff. Though I had faith that they would result in more exposure and sales, I had no guarantee. I had also extended myself further than ever before in my business career. I took out a credit line for inventory and PR and invested serious money into the business. I was no longer taking things baby step by baby step. I was learning to jump.

Jess LC – Challenges

Then the challenges came. The money I had invested in all of these new endeavors was close to completely maxed out. I was hitting the ceiling of my newborn risk threshold. It was time to readjust my PR strategy (going to a bi-annual outreach rather than a monthly retainer). It was time to reconfigure and reflect on what needed to be done with what little there was in cash flow.

Jess LC – Faithfulness

Once I reached my limit with everything I had laid out for the business since the re-branding in April, it was time to look back and reflect. I had devoted a significant amount of my savings this spring to re-imagining Jess LC. And then gone forward with a line of credit to build the new product lines and take on a serious PR firm in LA/NYC. All of these actions I knew deep in my heart were right. They were what was needed to really get Jess LC to a new level. But at the same time, the difference between last year and this year in numbers was not that striking. Especially when you considered how much more equity was in the business.

So it was time to have faith that it would all pay off. I did the best I could with what I had and it was time to leave the rest up to God/Life/Fate. I could only do so much.

Jess LC – Blessings

Right after flying home from NYC and transitioning my PR strategy to be more financially limited, the Daily Candy Deal went live. My PR team had worked hard to make the deal go smoothly, and it was time to see what was possible. The results were staggering. This November we did 280% more business than our busiest month to date. All of the concerns about how I would cover my taxes, savings, and expenses were resolved. So though I certainly don’t feel as though I’m any more wealthy, I feel financially stable, secure, and able to meet my responsibilities.

Seeing how the re-branding, PR, speaking, writing, and essential piece of press combined to create such a tidal wave of business confirmed that all my efforts this year were worthwhile. That my journey has been on the right path all along. When I look at the homepage of the business and compare it to last year, I am still a bit shocked to see how it’s developed into what I’ve envisioned all along. When I chat with the girls while filling online orders the past few weeks I smile and remember that the level of business we are at is what I knew was possible back in 2009.

Personal – Activities

In my personal life, I’ve had a flurry of activity. In the three months I’ve lived in the new apartment I’ve had seven guests visit for fun or business. I’ve continued my running and weight lifting classes. I’ve done a great job at reaching out and deepening friendships with those I’ve known for years.

Personal – Risks

This entire process of moving this fall has been about having faith in the unknown. And in doing everything I have done for Jess LC, my personal life felt out of balance for a while. But rather than tuck my head into my shell I boldly kept going one day at a time.

Personal – Challenges

Over the past few months a few of my close friendships have taken more distant paths. And though it was painful to realize they had altered, I eventually learned to accept that their evolution. I realized they may be making room for new connections and friendships in the future.

Personal – Faithfulness

As with the business, I learned to realize that things were being re-arranged in my life in deep and important ways. And though none of the new changes were immediately wonderful, I remained hopeful. The sheer unknown-ness of so many aspects of my life left me with a deeper sense of faith which has helped me persevere and will make me stronger for challenges that lie ahead.

Personal – Blessings

Over the past few weeks I have felt a merging of all of the disparate aspects of my personal life. Things that before seemed puzzling, disorienting, and unfinished are weaving together to form a new social life, sense of belonging, and rhythm which is new and inspiring. I’ve made a new yet profound friendship and I’m rediscovering what I want out of my life. And I couldn’t be more thankful.

So there you have it. The full story. This is what I’ve been up to over the past few months and specifically the past few weeks. Looking at this letter in it’s totality leaves me with a renewed sense of the life I’d like to design for 2011.

Thank you for sticking by me here each day as I share my journey. You’ve been the most wonderful support system for me during one of the most transformational years of my life.

With love,
Jess

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  1. Awesome job, Jess! Thanks for the recap. It’s so amazing to see that you’re willing to risk big for things you know will pay off in the end. I wish we all had that kind of courage. Keep on charging forward and happy holidays!

  2. Annie

    What a great reminder of just how far you and your business have come this year. I love seeing your hard work pay off, and I love even more that you recognize the journey it’s been. Here’s to more adventure in 2011!

  3. I love this post Jess!! I’m so impressed, and staggered by all that you’ve acheived – and you are a definite source of inspiration for me as I work on my own brand! Bravo honey, you should be proud of all you’ve done!!

  4. Kendi

    You are my hero. Well you and that guy who wrote The E-Myth. 🙂

    So proud of you, friend!

    Kendi (and Bryan, of course)

  5. Jill

    I loved this post… I feel like I have been “missing” you lately! Wondering what you have been up to! Which it sounds like a lot… I love your ability to step back from life and evaluate it – it’s very inspiring!

  6. MANDIE

    Thanks for sharing, Jess! I, too, had been missing your more personal postst, but trust me- I’m learning what busy-ness comes from trying to manage your own business(& mine is SO little right now!). I’m glad to see how you’re doing! Thanks for always sharing & being encouraging!

  7. What an inspiring journey in business and in faith. Thank you for sharing & best wishes for much continued success!

  8. Maddie

    I’m finally de-lurking in order to tell you a) how much inspiration I’ve been gleaning from your blog, and b) how amazing that your dreams and efforts have come to fruition. Keep it up!

    Also…I just bought a pair of your gorgeous earrings as an early Christmas present to myself. Very exciting. 🙂

  9. Good Evening!!

    What a great recap!!!!! I just recently started following this blog and love your line of jewerly. How do you feel about bringing your exquiste taste and design to Iowa???? Looking forward to your future posts.

  10. Hannah

    Congratulations! I am inspired by your journey and appreciate you putting yourself out there like this to share with us. Your blog is always delivering quality content. your eulogy…holy moly was that brave! God bless you and your future endeavors.

  11. So inspiring! I love it! 🙂 You have worked your butt off and deserve every moment of it!! You rock!

  12. Sarah Robinson

    Inspirational! Thanks for sharing this. Love the courage a faith you have showed and so happy it is paying off.

  13. Lauren

    You’re an inspiration Jess. How cool to see the risks that you took pay off in such a major way. I think that speaks to your faithfulness and business smarts. Thanks for sharing and for continuing to inspire!

  14. Jess – I’m so happy all your hard work is paying off and that things are settling into place once again. Growth is uncomfortable as you’re going through it, but so worthwhile. Congratulations!

  15. Alexa

    I still think you’re amazing. And you’ll always inspire me. Thank you for being brave and for sticking it out and for showing all of us how to beat any obstacles/challenges that may get in our way.

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