Remember Why You Started (6 month check in)
I can't believe that 2016 is halfway over... or should I say halfway started. I was sitting on my couch the other day thinking about how far I've come. In 2012 I just a little ole girl studying at VCU who decided to start Art & Ambition, my dream creative agency. It was just a far-fetch dream at the time that I wanted to be a title to. Every year since then I forget about that random day that started it all for me. I try to remember how I was feeling and what was going through my brain that convinced me to do research, buy a domain and register my business. I actually first registered under "Fine Luxuries over Broken Treasures" which is still my Tumblr url. Since that has absolutely nothing to do with anything lol I figured Art & Ambition was a more fitting and changed it in 2013.
That moment of sitting back and seeing how far you've come is something we so easily forget to do. We've been programed to "don't look back" and focus on what's ahead that we don't appreciate the journey and path we've paved. Remembering the WHY you're doing this and sometimes the HOW you started can put a spark in you that you didn't know could be relit. When your focus become blurry and maybe it's hard to be motivated, regaining that 5 year ago ambition is magical. So lets take that and apply it to the past 6 months of 2016. What goals did you set? Why were you truly working out? Did you forget why you became an entrepreneur? Or did you just say forget doing what you love and just started doing what you so called supporters told you you must do?
I've been practicing for the past 6 month this thing of hardcore self reflection. After each event, each project or each conflict I've taken just an hour or so to do some reflection. Now I'm very hard on myself so reflection gets pretty intense in my office. I talk to clients, family and friends and try to get honest feedback. Sometimes its not what I want to hear but I need it. I try to figure out why I didn't met my sales goal, or why I got a bad rating. I make sure I fully understand the issues and more sure it's something that I can work on.I can't please every single person and I'm ok with that. I read this post probably on Tumblr about how you can't take constructive criticism from someone who hasn't constructed anything. I know thats harsh but it's true to me. I admit, I'm pretty unreceptive to just flat out opinions from people who are not in my field. I'm not going to apologize for it but if I took every single opinion from every single Jane walking this Earth just because they emailed it to me or DM me I wouldn't be Addie, I'd be just a body doing what everyone wants me to do. With my reflection process I make notes that I keep private and refer back to when needed, which is more often then I thought. Self reflection is so important because it allows you to catch things before some else does. It gives you the chance to be honest with yourself about laziness, lack of attention or focus so that you can fix it. Don't get me wrong, its not all negative, I have a lot of positive things I noticed I've picked up a habit of and want to keep in my routine.
Speaking of positive things, celebrating has become more apparent in my personal life. There are times I'm still human and still want to have fun. When you are your business and you literally have to eat and sleep with it every night, a bad business day can be a bad day in my person life. On the contrary, having an amazing profitable month means PARTTTTTY! For every time I met my sales goal I give myself a few days off to just have fun. Whether it's a concert, a weekend with friends, family time at Mommy's & Daddy's or a small getaway with the Beau, I make sure that I'm rewarding myself as often as I beating myself up for forgetting a customers order in my trunk. After my horrible May episode, I realize that just sitting in dark all night isn't really going to do much, so I celebrate the small victories just as much as the big ones. I've done 4 interviews, packed over 433 items, and hit 5 figures in profit (There is a GOD, please believe it!) I really feel like I have all the reasons to party but I still sit here and make a list of what I need to do more of.
Of course there's a list, I have a list for everything! I even made a list of things I wanted to put in the list on this blog... So as we all look over our list we created back in January 2016, start to check out things you've completed, circle things you want to still do and cross out things you no longer believe is a goal. There are just some projects I had to knock off the list like the Zodiac cards simply because the time, research and energy I need to put into it seem more fitting to try again next year. Somethings you take off your list can be for more personal reasons or adjusting towards how your life is now. As you modify your goal list don't forget to add to it! My children/adult coloring book was just added into the mix after me obsessing over creating something that can help with adult anxiety and keep the little ones involved also. Your list isn't suppose to be intimidating but rather motivating. Keep it realistic, make them personal, make them interesting! Just remember, you're doing this for you and you got this!