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.