The biggest challenge during the journey of growing my business has been to keep persevering throughout the ups and downs. Entrepreneurship has been a HUGE learning process for me, initially having little to no experience in regards to starting a business and what that would entail. The trial and error of trying different marketing techniques, managing finances, attending various craft shows, finding my target audience, and the overall evolution of my product has been challenging, and at times very frustrating. Even though the aspect of trial and error seems to be a given with growing a business, it has been a lot harder to keep that positive outlook during the errors that can feel so discouraging. Learning from the obstacles that haven't gone as planned and choosing to move forward is what has allowed me to grow. It is a mindset I have to put into practice every day.
From a young age, I became accustomed to instant gratification; acknowledging what I wanted, going after it, and achieving it quickly. I didn't realize how adapted I became to this method of attaining goals until I started my jewelry business. The journey I am on now runs on a completely different wavelength, at times making me feel extremely uncomfortable. I no longer function off of instant gratification, instead I have to take the daily risk of trusting in myself and the efforts of what I am working towards. Alongside societal pressures of what "success" looks like, I have had to challenge a lot of norms that exist in our world and beliefs within myself. I have often felt silly or "unrealistic" for thinking I could turn a hobby into a career, but over time realized I was the only one that could get in the way of going after the life I want to live.
This experience has forced me to have patience, teaching me what it means to truly believe in myself. I have had to re-train my brain to trust in the step by step process of building a solid foundation to achieve success, which I have learned can take time. I have had to let go of the things I cannot control, and trust that my passions and efforts will show results, even if they aren't immediate. There have been many times where I thought about quitting and going back to the comforts of a "regular" job, but I am so glad I chose to stick it out and be true to myself.
Starting my own jewelry business and creating something that is mine has been such an amazing experience. It has without a doubt made me a stronger person. I am grateful for everything I have learned so far, even if it hasn't always been easy. I am excited to keep pushing forward, taking all of my experiences from 2016, along with a more confident mindset, and applying it to 2017!