Tuesday, December 13, 2016

7 Truths About Running a Startup

After two years of running a startup, I reflect back on the journey so far. The past two years has definitely changed me.

I think, if you are running a startup and aren't covered in gray hair, somewhat of an alcoholic or don't appear slightly nuts 99% of the time, I don't trust you.

I recall, when I asked the Co-Founder of an extremely successful startup what his advice for a new business was, he told me ,"Don't do it." At the time, I thought, "What?! Running a business is awesome. It's your baby."

Now, I am starting to understand. That's it precisely. When you're running a business it IS your baby. It's like when you meet someone who has a toddler and they tell you, "Don't have kids!" They love their kids and they wouldn't trade them for the world... but, kids are expensive, stressful and make you crazy.

Running a business isn't all coffee and sweatpants.

In today's blog, I discuss 7 truths about running a startup.

1. You Will Ask Yourself "Should I Keep Going?"
You will go through hell and you will eventually have to ask yourself, "Is this for me? Is it better to quit and get an 8-5 job?" This is the question that I believe all entrepreneurs have to ask at a certain point. You would have benefits and a steady (really good) paycheck. You may even have some job offers or "dream jobs" open up that are tempting to go after.

But, when going to an 8-5 scares the living hell out of you and you know that you don't want to stop- you'll keep going.

2. Nobody is Going to Do it For You
It's not that you would expect others to carry your burdens or "fix" your mistakes. But, there will come times in your business where you will find that the only person you have to depend on is yourself.

If you want to be successful, you are responsible to make that happen.

3. You Will Have to Learn What Schedule is Best for You
One of the biggest benefits of owning your own business is to manage your own day. But, with great privilege comes great responsibility.

If you're like me, you want to get the most productivity out of your schedule. I am always reading articles about the best time of day to do this task/etc.

I was constantly beating myself up because I'm not an early morning person and all successful people get up at 4:30 a.m. blah blah blah.

Finally, I decided to let myself naturally fall into the schedule that works for me. I can sleep in until 7 a.m. and still be successful.

4. You Will Have Highs & Lows
Many entrepreneurs describe the journey as a rollercoaster of highs and lows. I remember being fearful of the "lows" when I would hear those words and thinking that I didn't want to go through them.

But, you will have lows. It's just part of business. Failures are stepping stones on the path to success. You will make mistakes. One of my favorite quotes is, "Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish" from Steve Jobs.

5. Work Hard Play Hard
You might spend the morning eating champagne cupcakes from the event last night and watching your show that you DVR'd. But then, the next Friday night you'll spend 8 straight hours trying to figure out an accounting error and not stop except to go to the bathroom.

Sometimes, I feel like Ferris Bueller skipping school during the day and it's awesome. But, other times, I work 16 hours straight and don't see sunlight for 3 days.

6. There IS Crying in Business
So. I worked "corporate" jobs for years and have almost never broke down crying. In tough situations, I at least held it together until I got home.

I always believed that there is no crying in business and felt that I would be weak if I cried in a business setting.

But, now I feel differently. It happens. Running a business is about as personal as you can get. You will go through a lot of emotions and probably lose your cool once in awhile.

7. You Don't Understand it Until You Live It
I always knew that running a business would be hard. I imagined having a million responsibilities and just being crazy busy.

What I didn't understand was the emotions, the challenges, the sacrifices. It's something I don't think you can truly understand it until you live it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Living in the Present

My intention for this year is to live more in the present.

I chose this focus because I thought that by living more in the present I would improve all aspects of my life.

Every person has a primary state of time that they spend the most time in. Some people could spend hours reflecting on the past and analyzing and reliving their past experiences. Others are able to be present in the here and now. And, then there are those like myself who walk around pre-occupied with thoughts of what's coming next and envisioning the future.

As a future-oriented person, I find it serves me well in being a planner. It also serves me well in that I don't dwell on hardships too long and never hold grudges. 

On the otherhand, it also means that I have a difficult time just being in the moment and enjoying the present. On every single vacation I've ever been on, there's been a conversation asking, "Where should we go on our next vacation?"

There are many tips and tricks to live in the present, but I am also utilizing some of my own.

Most of all, I'm trying hard to just let things flow and not try to control. Some might call it "flying by the seat of my pants."

Also, I'm working on taking things as they come. Rather than trying to force things, I'm working on trusting.

One of the most challenging things I've been practicing involves music. Anyone who knows me, knows I listen to music all the time. In the car, in the shower, all day while I work, while I clean... 

I have a habit of switching songs pretty frequently, or taking forever to pick a song. I always want the "best" song that I'm in the mood for. I always think that there's a better song.

I've been working on just letting the music play. It takes every bit of self control to just leave it be. I find that in a few minutes I'm grooving to the song and I'm enjoying it.

I won't say that I have completely broken this habit, but it's a start.

One of the absolute best pieces I've read about living in the present is this article. I encourage anyone to take some time and read it.

I end with a good quote on living in the present:

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”- Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, January 24, 2016

A Few of My Favorite Things

We all have those products that we love and highly recommend. In today's blog, I share 10 of my favorite things.

1. Cape Cod Kettle Cooked Potato Chips

Chips are one of my favorite snacks. These chips are the best. My favorite flavor is Sea Salt & Vinegar. They have the perfect crunch and flavor.

2. Sharpie Gel Highlighters

Highlighters are a list-makers best friend. I discovered these highlighters and became addicted to them. They are like crayons... but better.

3. Strawberry Chapstick

I've probably tried every other lip balm on the market. Nothing works like good old classic chapstick. I've even tried other types of chapstick and they don't work. My favorite scent is strawberry.

4. Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure

I don't see the point in buying expensive nail polish. Why spend more when this nail polish does the job. My favorite colors are Commander in Chic (Gray) and Wine Not (Red).

5. Post-It Filing Tabs

I love Post-It brand office supplies, but these are my favorite. I use them to label file folders for projects and then you can switch them out easily and reuse the folders. They are super sticky, but come off clean.

6. Lipton Red Goji Raspberry Green Tea

This is my favorite tea. Enough said.

7. Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream

I've tried many different face moisturizers as I use it 1-2 times per day. It's tough to rationalize spending a crazy amount on it. This is my favorite lower priced moisturizer.

8. Bath & Bodyworks Aromatherapy Orange Ginger Energy Lotion

I discovered this product line when staying at a hotel. They have lots of different products, but I am addicted to the lotion & body cream. It smells like a spa and gives you a boost.

9. Brookside Dark Chocolates

I could eat a whole bag of these in one sitting. But, they're dark chocolate and fruit, so they're healthy right?

10. Express Dark Wash Mid-Rise Jean Legging

Last, but not least on the list is my current favorite pair of jeans. It's hard to find a nice pair of jeans, especially when you're a Mom, but still want to be a hot one. These jeans come up over the hips and stay in place. They fit really well and you can wear them with boots.