Learning to Celebrate Alone | Small Business Owner

 

I’ve learned and I’m learning in my own journey the leading pitfalls and leading strengths of my “success.”

When an incredible email comes or I mark a massive milestone in my work and company, I usually find myself alone.  And as I’m growing into that, I’ve learned to celebrate instead of pity myself.

Tavi Gevinson answered the question, “What is the biggest sacrifice you’ve made in starting or running your business?” – “What would otherwise have been free time, like after school or post graduation. But this is what I wanted to do with my free time, so it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice, just non traditional.”

It’s not that no one chose to spend time with me to celebrate. My work day is simply alone- I don’t have coworkers, I’m not married, and my roommates work most days out of home. (It has its benefits, TRUST me.) I think that’s been the biggest growing point. Feeling comfortable dancing alone in my room. Learning to call and text friends when something big is happening so I don’t sit there mourning that I have no one to be with. And when no one answers those texts, I’m pulling out my journal and writing what I would say to a coworker or best friend. Sometimes I go get myself a great coffee. Sometimes I let myself “off work” an hour early, and other times I don’t have time to stop- I just keep going- smiling alone!

On the day I launched my website, I dressed up, left my work at home, and headed to a favorite spot to get myself lunch. I was on cloud 9. But it’s taken so much to get there. I’m a socialite and networker by nature. People feed me, conversation energizes me, but I chose this. I chose to spend my evenings and nights editing and blogging in high school, I chose to not go to college, I chose to make this my full time job. If you also chose to work alone, in pursuit of your passions, and God blessed you with a way to have that as your job, celebrate. Plan your own parties. Learn to sit alone reading your book. Learn what makes you spring out of bed in the morning. Learn what lets you enjoy the solitude. If I can, trust me, you can. And I’m still learning. I get lost sometimes in the morning. Lost in self doubt, in purpose, and in lack of energy. Some days I’m overwhelmed with loneliness. I long to be surrounded by other people working hard with the same goals. I’ll find myself envious of those who get to pass the buck up when it’s out of their expertise or above their pay grade while I sit googling for hours. But I’m learning. I’m learning to take care of myself, to love my job through the amazing and the rough. To not beat myself down when I  have to spend the day working on taxes of website hackers instead of what’s on my actual to do list.

It’s awesome. It’s hard. Please don’t forget to celebrate. Have fun. It sounds crazy, but I think I forgot about fun. Of course I’ve had fun in the last couple years, but I don’t think I freed myself to, and I am learning because I also plan out everything else in my life, I have to plan for fun. You carry your story and your company’s story. Just cause no one else’s offered to host it, doesn’t mean there shouldn’t a party. Either let go of how “untraditional” you are, or be dragged along into your own story not having fun.  Surround yourself with friends and people that will celebrate when you give them the thumbs up.  Involve the people who ask you to!  Because TRULY, I don’t do all the work. You can ask my best friends… they usually get texts 5x a week asking for advice. I’m usually spending a couple hours a week bouncing ideas off my sister and best friend. Last week my friend came over and added the last touch to a flat-lay for a giveaway. They are all a part of this. They ground me and allow me to test ideas, ask advice, and cry about failures. My parents have walked this journey right by me. They were there when I decided each step, and have guided in every way they can.

Surround yourself with people who will celebrate with you, but don’t expect them to know when to celebrate if you don’t tell them. It’s good to learn how to ask to go get drinks, it’s okay to take yourself to lunch. Get comfortable with your “alone.” When you sit alone sipping that cup of coffee, you are having a date with the CEO, the Founder, the Intern, the Editor, and the creative behind an awesome business. That’s pretty cool.

Joshua Stephans | Web Designer

Hey friends! I wanted to make a short post to introduce my amazing web designer–who also happens to be my brother-in-law. This is Joshua Stephans!

Josh was born and grew up partially in Chicago before moving to Orlando. He transitioned to Tennessee in 2012 for a BA in Digital Media Communications at Union University. As well as gaining experience through classes, designing local coffee shop, concert, and school posters, he met his best friend and later wife at UU–my beautiful and talented sister, Elizabeth. Before they even dated, Josh and I would spend hours pushing each others’ creative boundaries and ideas. He was the first person to believe in Dancing Through Memphis, my very first passion project that ended up being a 5 month enterprise. His zeal for culture, stories, and craftsmanship never ceases to inspire me.

Elizabeth and Josh married in August of 2016 and having another creative in the family has been such a blessing. Josh is a graphic + web designer and overall creative based in Memphis, TN. He’s been a constant supporter, fellow dreamer, and best friend.

He helped me edit and build pieces of my current website during the months of 2016 + 2017, however as time went on, I started realizing how different my vision and brand had become. The idea of him being my web designer for a whole new site was exciting and terrifying.

Creative conflict can be a make-or-break situation. Josh has been an incredible listening ear, but also matched my dream with healthy debate. He has challenged me to keep things simple and clear, with the message that if you claim to be a storyteller, your story is not the one being focused on. I’ve radically changed my mindset on how to communicate my services and passion through his incredible design and wisdom. There was some silence over phone calls, clashing of vision, and frustration as expected. I’ve learned to fight for what I really believe is priority, and how to discuss things in a healthy way. 

Since building my first website on my own, I have dreamed of hiring a designer. Those who have fought tooth and nail with wordpress, wix, and squarespace…you feel me. I’ve been in tears, on the phone for hours, and still ended up with something far from my vision. It was SO frustrating. Josh allowed me to dream big and draw out my ideas on a paper. He literally made a website from those ridiculous chicken scratch sketches.

I’m beyond excited to launch this face to Emily Frazier Creative. It is a true work of art. Josh has put in time, creativity, research, and endless design. I am so thankful! It’s hard to hire a designer when you technically can DIY it, but this was money spent so well. I am so thankful I invested in his work.

JOSH’S LINKS

WEB: JOSHUASTEPHANS.COM

INSTA: INSTAGRAM.COM/JOSHUASTEPHANS

Stay tuned for Thursdays website launch at www.emily-frazier.com and the exciting giveaway on instagram.com/emilyjfrazier 

full table | new year

Twenty years old.

I think I spent a lot of high school growing up fast, but the last year I’ve felt my true age more than ever. I’m not an old soul in a young body. I never have been. More so a young soul with a big job to do. I’ve been putting off writing a blog post for my newsletter like this, but yesterday was the perfect push to make it happen.

The truth is I have no idea where I’ll be in 10 years, 5 years, or next year. My goals have swayed, my vision has shifted into guidelines, and my concept of the future has been altered by my faith. The Lord has taken me to places I couldn’t have dreamed. He has given and taken. He never ceases to surprise me by gifts and mercies. love I don’t deserve. joys he never promised I would have, but simply gives. I don’t want to come up with a detailed plan. I’m done trying to plan my biggest dream, because his is beyond what I could muster up.

Ephesians 3 is clear,

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

I know his glory isn’t my fleshly desires. By accepting christ, laying my sins at the cross, and pursuing his plans, happiness is not promised, joy and gifts are not my reward on earth. But we are in it for the long run. for his mighty plan and his victory. his glory, for the kingdom. All I dream is that this year, next year, in five years, in 10 years, I want my table full. full of friends, family, and strangers.

Reading apostle Paul’s letters to the churches makes me nostalgic over memories that aren’t mine. There was fierce struggle, the good fight was daily just like it is now. There were hidden churches, there were joyful believers celebrating in low voices around tables. They leaned on each other as family and community. They had abandoned all. He wrote to encourage and challenge.

I think about the good fight I’m fighting with my brothers and sisters. The tearful phone calls, the hours of prayer, the long travels to just be with each other, the challenging conversations, the times of worship, the times of communion and fellowship. I love when I glance around and we are together and laughing. “We” is vague because I experience this “together” in different homes, states, and countries. As my birthday has passed and this new year is around the corner, all I’m praying for is that in 2018 my table is full. Even if it’s full in a different way than I imagine, may it be full.

God blessed last night, as the table was full.

At 11:00am, my best friend Ginny arrived to my new home. We greeted each other with squeals and hugs because we’ve become accustomed to not seeing each other for months due to distance. She is joining MTR (Memphis Teacher Residency) next year, and I’m proud of her. At about 12:30pm, my friend El arrived with “hazelnut spread” and a container of parsnips with carrots. She brought stories and updates from her first semester at school in New York City. We laughed over subway experiences and conversed about art, work, and community. Quickly our little group grew as Tiana, my friend who is studying dance in university, arrived; then Olivia Grace, a music major; Kelly and Vincent, friends I’ve known through Avenue Coffee; and more and more. The day continued with grinding loads of coffee. I had mentioned that you could bring your presents to wrap so we could all be together, and many of them did. So out came boxes and bows. My mom and her best friend Megan, my art and science teacher from HS, stopped by. My sister arrived with 18 boxes to stuff and package for my clients. It was a full experience.

As dinner grew near, food was arriving with each person. It was two sets of incredible mac + cheese, blt bites of some sort, bananas, fried chicken, parsnips + carrots, and veggie chili. We slayed that mac + cheese. Nothing left.

I was in the kitchen for maybe 20 minutes when I rounded the corner into my room, and dear Lord, there were so many people all together sitting on the floor, chairs, and bed. It was a full room, barely room to walk. People I didn’t recognize came and introduced themselves, new friends brought other friends. My heart swelled. This is what I’m about. I’m about the sharing food and having conversations. I love when I hear people learning about another lifestyle and culture. I’m all about hearing a friend from one part of my life introduce themselves to a friend from another part of life. Even baby Liam made a showing with Jo and Peter, my freakin’ people. I didn’t want this to end. As every bit of mac + cheese was scraped from the casserole dishes, it was time for music.

Mary Mad, as her friends lovingly call her, brought out her guitar to start us off. She is a student at MS State and a dear friend to one of my dear friends. So of course, we are tight. <3 She played and we all joined in as she finished off with Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours”. Next, Jackie, my Zimbabwe queen. She brought her drums and spontaneously (under much squealing on my part) started hyping up the room with her beats. We even morphed a beat into jingle bells and it was so fun. Wyly began setting up his piano, and swept us away. My favorite of his last night was an original called Memphis Nights. SHAMELESS PLUG: https://open.spotify.com/track/22l9CHlqXrDL0zp8J985Gx . Olivia Grace brought out some Mariah Carey with Wyly killin’ it on the keys. After many a request, out came ice cream and cookies. We gathered together in my room again to grow quiet for John Black to play a “rough draft” of his music. He drove home to get his amp and guitar just for it, and everyone had no complaints as he kept playing.

Gosh, so much joy that night. This friend family I had left nothing for me to do, as they gathered plates, cups, moved furniture back into place, cleaned mugs. The house was back to normal in a few short bustling minutes! I was driven to Gibson’s by Sara Beth to finish off the night.

I came home, heart full, room empty. I won’t ever forget how full it was. And I hope it will always finds its way back to that state.

NASHVILLE, TN | ROOMIE ROADTRIP

It is something I could have never prayed enough for, nor known to pray for, but having two of my favorite people in the world be my roommates is beyond a blessing. It is life giving. I thank the Lord these two are in my life every day. Figuring out adulthood with them, taking care of a home, and growing up together has been crazy!

I am so proud of Hope and Kat. We took this Nashville day trip to celebrate the seasons of life we are all in separately. I’ve never known two girls to work so hard and hustle so intense then them. I love how they see the world, how they work for what want, their goals, and their love for the Lord. I’m so exciting for what God has in store for the three of us for the rest of the year. Also HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Hope that weekend!

For this trip, we drove to Nashville for about 10 hours. Fast-track Nash, if you will. By no means did we see it all, but I loved the strange selection of things we did and ate. We weren’t allowed to talk about work for the whole day. It was actually pretty hard for all of us. I also got to wear Amelia, the travel skirt, that is circulating through the nation to different girls. I had Amelia for a week, and got her the night before our day trip! Perfect time to take her on an adventure!

First stop was Pinewood Social for brunch. SO GOOD. Oh my word. We got pancakes, waffles, eggs. It was incredible. HIGHLY recommend

Second Stop: Parked at Nissan Stadium for a good view of downtown. 

Went to the little walkway one of my couples showed me during their engagement session here this spring. <3  Third Man Records.

Barista Parlor.

12. South

Little Octopus for dinner.

Good day in Nashville. <3 Thanks for stopping by the blog.