Friday, April 21, 2017

The choice is yours...always.

I’ve mentioned many times before that this wasn’t really my plan. I’m talking about the biz owner life. I never had a lemonade stand. I never sold Avon or Tupperware.  In my family, you went to work, got your check, paid your bills and saved a lil to go to Wildwood in the summer. I was the first to earn a college degree on my mom’s side so that was already doing things a bit differently.  My dad pushed achievement but never entrepreneurship. It just wasn’t our thing. I was 100% cool with that, as it was all I knew.

Almost 8 years ago that changed. I had an idea that would launch three years later and change the trajectory of my life. It would expose me to new people, I’d never have known without this idea/product. It exposed me to situations that would have passed me by and I would have been fine with that because I wouldn’t have known any better.

All the while, I’ve been working my 9 to 5. When things really started heating up with the invention, I got promoted at work and was VERY excited and determined to do a great job as a 1st time manager. I know what I’m doing. I’ve done it now for 23 years and I’m good at it. The biz owner life was uncharted territory. I didn’t know anything.  I had to learn every single thing. I got stuff wrong. Messed it up. While it was thrilling, it was also nerve-wracking.  I like comfort, low risk. I want to do my 8 and head on home. This life is different. It requires constant action. Don’t feel like pushing that day, guess what? There will be NO deposits.

Kind people have ask me when I’m giving my two weeks’ notice at my 9 to 5 since things have been moving along with the biz. I used to say, “Oh, you never know! Soon!” This was just a polite answer because I understood that they were asking out of excitement for me. Now, if I’m asked, I say, “Oh, I’m happy there. I have more work to do. I’m not going anywhere for a while.” Like everyone, I’ve got the normal bills, plus tuition, etc. But also, I’ve got a commitment to the work that I do during the day, from Monday to Friday. It’s one of the reasons that I’m so proud of that book. Writing it gave me the opportunity to get that experience on some pages; to live a multi-layered life. We ALL have gifts in many areas and I wouldn’t have been satisfied with my journey if I’d left it in my brain and never shared it.

So, while working for one’s self is the end game for many, the REAL end game is living the life you want. The one that brings you peace and soaring joy. When you know yourself, truly know yourself, then you’ll make choices that speak to and enrich every aspect of your life. There is no shame in doing what feels safe and comfortable. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t cut out for greatness. It means that you’ve searched your soul and in knowing yourself, you’ve made the best choice for you.

There are rich rewards for living the life you’ve honestly, fearlessly chosen. This is one of MANY areas where what others think means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Do what you want. Live a life you love. That's all that really matters.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The grind will NEVER be on cruise control!

Oh My. I just realized that I haven't written a blog post in FIVE months! My fave branding gurus (Allyn Lewis, Kyshira Moffett and Nicki Zevola, to name a few) are somewhere shaking their heads. They are probably saying, "Girl, do people even know you still have a company?" I'm trying ya'll, but it's a struggle. I've written a number of blogs in the past about being overwhelmed and not knowing what the hell I'm supposed to be doing from day to day. I WANT to follow all of the rules they tell you will lead to major success. You many times a week, stay hot and heavy on social media, make your website pop and a laundry list of other stuff I'm supposed to be doing to take over the world, but am not doing.

My girl, Allyn ( serves up relevant content but also very openly shares how she struggles with all of this. Being a business owner is cool, please don't get me wrong on that. However, it also begs, no demands, constant and consistent action and movement. It's "Yes" to a vending event, which might mean "No" to a movie with my son. It's, "Nikki, I tried to buy a gloss but the site is saying something weird." I'm not complaining. I can't imagine my life without NMW. Also, this journey has given me the courage to pursue other things in my life. It's been a gift, with no curse.

It is hard sometimes. It's tough knowing what to make a priority. It's hard knowing how much to spend on inventory and whether you'll earn it back. It's a daily endeavor figuring out how to take this largely small biz thing to the world stage.

This December will mark five years in business. That really astounds me. It has really crept up on me and has caused me to stop and reflect a bit. In many ways it still sometimes feels like hobby level stuff and in other ways, it feels like major strides have been made. I know for sure that NMW has made an impact but the drive to make that be felt far and wide is still my biggest task and biggest question mark.

This post may feel like others I've written but that's by design in a way. I don't want folks to erroneously think I have this ALL figured out. No, quite the contrary. I'm still learning just like you. I always remind myself, "Hey, Nik, Pepsi is still running commercials and they've sold stupid crazy amounts of soda." The grind will NEVER be on cruise control (Ohhhh did I just write text for a new t-shirt?:))

I'm walking the walk with you. I'm trying new things. I'm still doing some old things. I DID bite the bullet and finally hired someone to help because watching your to-do list remain pristine and un-crossed off is maddening.

As a friend says, I'm "staying in the fight" because it's not only what I need to do, but what I want to do. Also, I believe that I will figure it all out eventually.

As always, thanks for reading.