This May, my company will celebrate its 8th birthday. Curly Girl Design was actually born a couple of years prior, but by the time we got it together enough to do our first tradeshow it was May, 8 years ago. So I like to start there.
Since then, it has been a bit of a wild ride. There have been ups and downs, but fortunately, mostly ups. By that, I don’t mean there have not been struggles. Most of it has been struggles. But challenging, wonderful, make-you-grow-in-ways-you-never-thought-you-could struggles. Learn-new-things-everyday-if-you-don’t-you-wont-make-it-struggles. Those kind. But I have also been so fortunate to have so much positivity and success surround my little venture that I have gotten used to it a little bit. Comfortable in success. Confident even.
Now, my solid mid-western upbringing reminds me constantly to never get too comfortable in these shoes. I try to remember this and make hard work, humility and gratitude at the core of what I do and how I run my business. I think I have, and I am always grateful. But being good at something feels good. Success feels good. And after awhile, you get used to it.
These past few months, a few little things have put a few little dings in my shiny new confidence-armor. A few things that have made me question myself. Doubt myself even. Worry just a little that the industry I had bursted onto the scene of was going to have me and my little life’s work, as a snack.
The truth is, that is entirely possible.
The truth is, it is a jungle out there.
The truth is, every one is out in that jungle to make money. And they don’t particularly care that it’s your life’s work.
So, I started thinking about what ‘the truth is’ for me.
This was not, however, before I pouted for a while and got a few good pep talks from a few wise people.
I may have also had a chocolate glazed donut.
The truth for me is this;
I am just getting started.
I have big plans, a big spark and a lot to say.
The truth is I have not even begun to test the limits of my creativity, and am only just a novice-teeny-tiny-baby CEO.
The truth is I have a world to set on fire and at the risk of sounding like Marshall Mathers, I only get one shot, and these little dings are not going to get in my way. They are going to work to my advantage.
The truth is I can do this.
The truth is, I needed that.
Sometimes, actually, most of the time, the greatest teacher is adversity. Our greatest assets are our challenges. Our greatest lessons are our failures.
We just have to breathe through them, think through them, and get better at being exquisitely ourselves. Because nobody is going to do it for us.
Polish up your spark and put it back out there. It really is the only way.