I can't believe it's been 365 full days since I launched my digital strategy business. I'm not really sure if it feels like it's been longer or shorter. To be completely honest, the past year has been a bit of a blur. It's been a chaotic blend of smiling endlessly, crying occasionally, battling real world fears, crushing crippling confusion, setting reasonable boundaries, using my strengths, working around my weaknesses, learning new skills at the speed of lightning, checking my email obsessively, sacrificing countless Sunday nights, pinching pennies carefully, blowing paychecks recklessly, and much more. But do you want to know a secret? It has been so, SO worth it. Every drop of blood, sweat, and tears that I have funneled into my business has been MORE than worth it.
I am so incredibly happy to be in a place in my life where I am literally creating the career I want. I feel very fortunate and blessed and grateful. A big thanks to my family, friends, clients, colleagues, mentors, and role models for all their support and encouragement this past year.
So what do I have to say after my first year? A lot, actually. But instead of rambling on for pages, I'm just going to give you the one piece of advice that literally saved my life.
You must keep your faith. No matter what happens. No matter how many times you get knocked down (and you will get knocked down a lot). No matter how many people try and rain on your parade. No matter how many clients you lose. No matter how little money you make. No matter how many weekends you need to sacrifice for the sake of getting work done. No matter how many nights you stay up till 4am. No matter how many haters cross your path. No matter how many friends/family members try to convince you to explore different career paths. No matter what.... you must keep your faith. Faith in the universe and faith in yourself.
My dad has always said that success comes from equal parts hard work and sheer dumb luck. And I think I finally understand how true this really is. You could put in all the hard work in the world but if your big break never comes around, all that work will never be put to use.
I'm not usually one to toot my own horn, but since it is my business's first birthday (and this is my own blog) I'm gonna go ahead with a little toot-toot real quick. If nothing else, I am most definitely a hard worker. I have never been known to give anything less than 300% to any project or task placed before me.
That's probably why bouncing around from temp job to temp job for two years after graduation was essentially my version of hell.
I craved stability, a routine, financial freedom, job satisfaction, and more. I wanted it all and I saw so much potential in my skill set and work ethic. I knew that I was doing all the right things and giving each job (whether it was organizing a PR road tour or waiting tables) my all. Even if I knew it was a short term opportunity, I spent whatever time I had in that position acquiring as many useful skills as possible. And it's a good thing I did, because I have used ALL of those skills in my own business.
From organizing a PR road tour I learned how to speak in front of a crowd of 200+ people. From working direct sales I learned how to convince someone face-t0-face to buy your product/service. From running in-house marketing efforts at a digital agency I learned how to effectively and efficiently manage a brand's public image. From waitressing I learned how to deal with stupid people without compromising on client relation standards. All of these skills came from my refusal to quit and move back home, my determination to make rent in NYC without starving or missing a mani, and endless faith in the universe.
And guess what? Just when I was ready to throw in the towel, close this business down, and find a new corporate America desk job... the universe finally sent me my big break.
That's not to say that all my problems have been solved. No, no, no. I'm still working hard. I'm still making compromises. I'm still struggling to find the perfect work-life balance. But I'm finally exactly where I want to be. And there's nothing more empowering than taking that first step towards your self-manifested future.
So cheers to my business for making it a full circle round the sun. (And cheers to next 10-15 rotations too.) And cheers to me for surviving the first 365 days without murdering anyone. And cheers to you guys for all your love, support, and encouragement this past year. You guys, my readers/friends/fans/followers, light my life up. You really do. In the past few months I've received so many compliments on this blog and I don't thank you guys enough for providing endless motivation to keep at it. So thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Popping the bubbly and making plans for world domination, xx Nikbear