6 years ago, I started Calypso’s Island. I attended my first Show a couple of months after I decided this was the journey I wanted to take, and I was pleasantly surprised of the receptivity of my designs. A few months later I was posting my very first bracelets 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 6 years, tried lots of things that didn’t work, met the most amazing people and tied thousands of elastics for my bracelets.
After 6 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 sticking with it, even on those days you’re wondering why you chose this entrepreneurial 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 sticking to them. This went on year after year and every year I wondered why couldn’t I just follow that list, It really wasn’t that hard.
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, 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 6 years in business I have learned a lot, 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. I remember my word for 2019 was “success”. Define success, how can I measure success…I still feel that somehow, I was pretty “successful” in 2019 but…success?
On my search for the next word that would define my new year for 2020 I chose “Progress”. Why not? It’s the continuation of Success…keep making Progress. But the last couple of months of 2019 were a little different if not to say challenging business wise. I wish I would’ve had a shield to protect me from what was coming, I wish I would’ve been stronger, I wish It wouldn’t have hit me that hard. So, I realized I needed to take a new direction, not something business like, not something external, but a word that pushes, and is intended to help me grow. Not only as a business owner, but as a person. After much thought, I chose the word “FEARLESS”.
And suddenly I realized that I’m not alone, that many of us live a life full of fears…you are afraid you have no talent, you are afraid you’ll be rejected and criticized, or ridiculed or misunderstood or the worst of all…ignored. You are afraid there’s no market for your creativity and therefore no point to pursue it. You are afraid somebody else already did it better, you are afraid everybody else already did it better. You are afraid somebody will steal your ideas so it’s safer to keep them hidden forever in the dark. You are afraid you won’t be taken seriously. You are afraid your work isn’t political or emotional or artistically important enough to change someone’s life. You are afraid your dreams are embarrassing, you are afraid that someday you will look back at your creative endeavors and think that it was a giant waste of time, effort and money. You are afraid you don’t have the right kind of discipline, you are afraid you don’t have the right kind of workspace or financial freedom, or empty hours in which to focus on adventure and exploration, you are afraid you don’t have the right kind of training or degree, you are afraid you are too old to start, you are afraid because something went well in your life once so obviously nothing can ever go well again, you are afraid because nothing has never gone well in your life so why bother trying…you are afraid you are too fat, I don’t know what this has to do with creativity exactly but experience has taught me that most of us are afraid we are too fat, so let’s just put that on the anxiety list for good measure lol.
So, yes! it’s an odd choice for me, and I’m in fear 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’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 “fearless” this year, but I’ve mostly chosen “easy” for many years. I’m going all out this year, looking for opportunities to be uncomfortable, to do difficult things, to collaborate with other businesswomen, and to learn what I’m made of and lose my fear.
And to all women 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, because in life and business, it is always better when you have friends who believe in you!