NOTE: What a week, huh? I think Jezebel summed it up best. I know that a few days after the bombings in Boston, I said I was moving forward. But until Friday night, when good beat bad and my beloved hometown emerged from lockdown, I don’t know that I truly could. This is the start of a new week, and I’m choosing to remember how awesome our world can be.
In that spirit, I’m so thrilled to welcome Jasmine, the creator of one of my most favorite pieces of jewelry. She’s doing what so many are terrified of — following her dreams and pursuing her passion. I hope you agree that her incredible energy and belief in the good that life offers is just what we need to move forward together.
My name is Jasmine Myers. I am the owner of a small hand stamped jewelry business called bama + ry (www.bamary.etsy.com), which I run full-time out of my home-based studio in Portland, OR. Katy has kindly invited me to be the moderator for the April 23rd #Fitblog Chat, and I’m stoked to join you guys.
The topic for #fitblog will be dreams and career risks.
This is a topic I know a bit about, seeing as I am both dreamer and risk taker. Most business people are. In my estimation, the degree of any success is commensurate with how much work you’ve put into it. However, it is also equal parts opportunity, dreaming, and oh crap there’s no net, but I’m jumping anywaaaaaaaay!
Over the past decade, I have formally owned three businesses. The first was a beaded jewelry business; the second was an amalgamation of freelance marketing services and my former healthy living blog Eat Move Write; and the third is bama + ry, an unexpected combination of two seemingly unrelated interests (writing and making jewelry).
I’ve learned a number of lessons over the years from both self-employment and also from the day job stints that have punctuated the spaces between. Here are three valuable lessons I’ve learned along my way.
- Accept that failure is part of success.
There is a quote by Michael Jordan that says, “I’ve failed over and over again in my life. That is why I’ve succeeded.” Getting good at something requires a lot of practice. You’re not going to make every shot or win every game.
- Be willing to walk away.
This was a hard lesson for me to learn. Walking away from my first two businesses was hard. I wasn’t happy doing them, my heart wasn’t passionate about either, yet, I continued — to my emotional and financial detriment — trying to fit round pegs into square holes because I was so afraid of failure. As it turns out, walking away allowed me the freedom to create the life I truly wanted.
- Remove the labels.
For me, it took my entire 20s to figure this out. Since I was practically in diapers, I’ve been “the writer.” I played with a typewriter while most kids my age were playing with Cabbage Patch Kids. As an adult, I worked writing job after writing job without feeling fulfilled. It took me a long time to even admit that maybe writing is my hobby the way running marathons is someone else’s hobby. Writing is this incredible, personal hobby I love, but it doesn’t HAVE to be my job. The moment I looked in the mirror without my “writer” shades on, I felt incredible relief and what came next was a natural combination of my skills.
These are just three lessons (of many) I’ve learned along this journey that is really only just beginning. I knew with my very first sale, that bama + ry would be different from my previous entrepreneurial attempts and thankfully, I was right. This was my moment, where opportunity, dreaming, and risk taking met hard work and I was finally able to build something that stirred my heart enough to put in the very long days (and nights!) required.
Before I sign off, I want to say just a little bit about opportunity. We’ve all heard the biblical idiom “Beware the wolf that dons sheep’s clothing.” Conversely, also look for the opportunity that lies in the rubble of tragedy. I began working with hand stamping metal after the loss of my twin pregnancy. Making jewelry became my catharsis as I battled depression related to the loss and our ongoing infertility. This business is the light I salvaged from that very dark time in my life.
I will leave you with one final quote. (Can you tell I enjoy quotes!?!)
It is said,
“When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.”
In my case, the entrepreneur in me wouldn’t allow me to just stop there; bama + ry is my lemonade stand.
I look forward to discussing the topics of dreams and careers risks further at #fitblog. See you there.
(Katy’s note: our chat starts at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday — join us using Tweetchat.com!)