It was 10 years ago this year that I started Charliemadison Originals. I posted my very first necklace for sale on Etsy. And boy was I nervous to hit the "publish" button and send my designs out into the world. I've learned a ton in 10 years, tried lots of things that didn't work, met the most amazing mentors and fellow business gals, and tied thousands of leather knots on bracelets.
I used to look at other entrepreneurs and wonder how they were making their business work, why they could do it and I couldn't......until I realized that they weren't magically an overnight success. They had already invested years and many hours of work into their business and they were going out and finding people who believed in what they were doing.
After 10 years in business, I know there is no magic formula for success. It really comes down to pure determination, perseverance, and the will to keep trying and stick with it, even on those days you're wondering why you chose this entrepreneur journey.
I used to be so intentional about creating the "perfect" list of resolutions at the end of December - just in time for the new year. But a few weeks into January, I always felt disappointed with myself for not making them stick. This went on year after year - feelings of frustration and failure. Why couldn't I just follow that list? It really wasn't that hard.
"I used to be so intentional about creating the "perfect" list of resolutions at the end of December - just in time for the new year. But a few weeks into January, I always felt disappointed with myself for not making them stick."
Until I realized I wasn't motivated by resolutions or goals or intentions. The things on that list would never get checked off. I needed something different to motivate me. So I decided to choose a word for the year - yep, just one single word to focus on. It was my everyday reminder of how I wanted the year to go and it helped me to create realistic goals each month instead of trying to stick with unrealistic lists for an entire year.
As we start a new year - and a new decade - I thought about what I wanted to accomplish this year. After 10 years in business, I'm still only a part-time business owner and work a full-time science job. Each year I make progress toward my dream of running this business full time, but I realized that if I chose my word for the year based on what I "wanted" rather than what I "needed" then I may still be stuck in the same spot next year.
So I chose a new direction - not something heart-warming, inspiring, and feel-good - but a word that pushes, focuses, and is intended to help me grow. Not only as a business owner, but as a person. After much thought, I chose the word Uncomfortable.
"I chose a new direction - not something heart-warming, inspiring, and feel-good - but a word that pushes, focuses, and is intended to help me grow."
Yes, it's an odd choice, and it makes me uncomfortable just saying it. But I know that I tend to make "safe" choices or opt to do things that keep me inside my comfort zone. If I want to make my dream come true, I need something to push me outside that comfort zone, where real growth, understanding, and courage are found.
And I'm keeping my word close - I have my One Word Bracelet as my everyday reminder. I can write my word of the year on the special bracelet card and keep it where I can see it each day - when the card is out of sight, I’ll be reminded of my one special word every time I glance down at my bracelet.
I know it won't be easy focusing on the word "uncomfortable" this year, but I've mostly chosen "easy" for many years - or maybe things have just come easily to me. I'm going out on a limb this year, looking for opportunities to be uncomfortable, to do difficult things, to collaborate with other business gals, and to learn what I'm made of.
And to all my fellow entrepreneurs out there making magic where literally nothing existed before, I'm looking at you to light the way - to collaborate with and grow together! And if you're just starting your entrepreneur journey, I'll be cheering you on and will gladly offer any advice or assistance if you're ever in need. Because in life and business, it is always better when you have friends who believe in you!