We’ve been so fortunate to be able to partner and do “life” or “business life” with some pretty incredible people over the course of running our business. This partnering and sharing has taught us some valuable lessons that we’d love to share. Major disclaimer: we haven’t arrived yet and that’s way ok. Other major disclaimer: There aren’t four steps. There are far more than four steps we just wanted to be funny. And who has time to read all that?
Step 1: Don’t compare yourself to others. Just don’t.
Comparison is so unhealthy and leads to no good end. I had a dear friend share with me this statement when talking about the comparison trap and it has stuck with me. “Comparison thinking leaves you smug or small.” Neither one of those attributes sounds appealing to me or life giving for that matter. So we suggest to stay clear. And truly, when you think about comparison from the outside, it cannot be accurate. It just can’t. On the surface we only see successes but what we may not see is the real hardship and learning that has led to success.
Step 2: Be open and content in the space between where you are and where you want to be.
This one is so hard for me. I am such a dreamer at heart and love to think about where my ideas could land. As I have found contentment (still learning) in the in-between space, I have opened myself to learning valuable lessons. If I were to skip over that time in-between, I may not truly understand those lessons about myself or about running a business.
The moment I start to rush myself ahead, compare, or become frustrated, I stop learning. It’s funny how something so opposite of what seems good can actually be good. To clarify, what would seem good to me in the beginning of any project is to skip forward to “success.” I may not even fully know what that “success” is, but it seems so good to skip over that in-between space. Thankfully I didn’t skip forward and still havent. But I’ve learned some new definitions of success and valuable lessons about myself, working hard, and staying kind.
Skipping forward to success without earning it can lead to the same smugness that comparison can lead to. Or in contrast, skipping forward and finding yourself lost or failing leads to feeling small and insignificant. It’s been a joy to stay open and to allow for learning and growth to happen however uncomfortable that may be. Contentment in the in-between space has helped us to better name success and adjust to failure. Because sometimes we don’t always hit the mark and that is ok.
Step 3: Know your why and live it out in your business.
This has kept me going in times where I have questioned or have lacked confidence. When the why to the what I am doing is rooted, I am able to weather the ups and downs of a business. People would be lying if they said there is never a down time. That’s just life.
The why that has rooted deep in our shop is to care for people and planet. It motivates the sourcing, the editing, the invoicing, the packaging, the shipping, etc. It’s the thing that keeps us going. We felt moved to re-evaluate this cultural idea of having the things we want at a cheap price no matter the cost. Maybe more isn’t more, for our hearts or for the real lives behind the clothing we wear.
The why to care for people and planet has led to challenging the cultural value of materialism. Actually, we would call it consumerism. We consume and we often aren’t aware of the effects. As a shop we hope to present a positive and informative alternative to fast fashion and consumerism. In all that we do we try to slow down, evaluate, and share beautiful things that are also kind. This why gives our shop life.
Step 4: Do “business life” in community.
It’s such a good gift to stay open to community. We aren’t islands and I don’t believe we were meant to function that way. This directly corresponds with step 1. If I am too busy comparing I leave myself pretty lonely and either smug or small. Doing business life in community is way better than running it alone. Run your shop and cheer for others. It really does good things for the heart. It’s so life giving to be proud of other people’s successes. We’ve stuck to the idea that there is plenty of room in the success category and we truly love celebrating others. There is so much we can learn from one another. We love the saying, “A rising tide raises all ships.” We hope to live that out.
So there you have it. 4 steps. Even though there are many, many, more to discuss. While these four steps may not lead to making loads of money or even being the top shop out there, they have led us to a place of joy that is worthwhile. To be rather than to seem, to have deep roots, and to be kind. It’s what fills our work with love. Wishing you all the best friends! We’re cheering for you!