They have a tendency to be all the things: exciting, overwhelming, terrifying, refreshing, sad, happy.
Whenever I start a new project or embark on a new journey, I find myself going through a very specific set of stages. First, I'm curious and tentative. Are my dreams even possible? Am I doing the right thing? What makes me think I can tackle something that others can't or won't?
Next, I explore the potential. I do a tiny bit of research, ask a million questions and get right into feeling out the idea. Who could I partner with? What will it take to get things going? What opportunities and pitfalls are there?
Then I do it. I leap.
Ask my husband. He'll tell you. When I first mentioned the idea of opening a boutique, he will tell you he rolled his eyes. He hit me with reality a few times... Opening a boutique out of our house while working a full-time job, momming and wifing would be hard. Really hard. And who was to say I'd ever make my investment money back?
But as much as he balked, he believed in me. After a few weeks of pestering, he came around. Kind of. "You're gonna do what you want anyway," he said. "Just don't quit."
That sounds harsh, but it was the perfect answer. I invested our Disney vacation fund money into starting a boutique, money I would need just six months later, and dove in. There were swear words, tears, cheers, fears and eventually... Ears. That was in the end of May 2015, and by the end of September I was resigning from my full-time stable job to go full-time with my boutique.
It was terrifying and freeing, all at once.
Seven years later, my boutique looks a little different. After working with a direct sales company as my vendor for five years, I shifted to curating my own inventory. I did pop-ups in homes, festivals, vendor events, businesses and even my own home. I went online, both via social media and my own website. I added e-newsletters, an app and text message marketing. And I opened two brick and mortar locations located an hour apart from each other.
Some of the things I've tried over the years have been great successes. Many of the things were great failures.
But I think it's important, especially during the hard days, to take a look back at the beginning. The hard. It seemed impossible. At no time would I have told you that I'd be where I am today.
It was possible, however. And I didn't quit. Most days are still hard, and I'm still equal parts scared and excited to see where this business goes in the future. But I won't quit. I will remember the beginning and try to worry less about the hard stuff. The end is nowhere in sight, and I've already beaten the odds.
I don't know where this blog will go, but I hope you'll hang with me on the journey.