Can't believe it's almost the end of the year. Where did 12 months go?
I figured I'd take this time to introduce myself and reflect as we transition from one year to the next amidst all the crazy that 2016 has brought us so far. I realized many of you subscribers don't even know who I am!
December is personally the second month of me officially embarking on a journey as an entrepreneur and full time creative, and it's been amazing. I’ve never felt this much joy or appreciation for my own life. I've learned a lot, forged solid connections with new friends and partners, built my business up from nothing with the help of my community, and I’ve done a whole lot of soul searching along the way. I will even be appearing on the radio tomorrow morning at 7:35am and twice again throughout the month of January! If you are in New Jersey, please feel free to listen and join in!
Though rewarding, that does not mean that this journey has been easy or without struggle. I like to acknowledge the hardships, because we often idolize the end result without considering all of the steps that it takes to get there in between.
As an example, in November I participated in my second vendor booth. The event took place at the Newark Airport Marriot, and I felt a huge rush of adrenaline. This was IT! I was going to be surrounded by entertainment industry professionals, veterans and like-minded individuals – or so I thought. This was my second vendor booth, and I was determined to do it right. I brought my work, my business cards, everything that would help me get noticed. It worked. A ton of people came to speak to me personally and were interested in my work. I made a lot of new subscribers, but I didn't sell very much as I made a very easy mistake to make. In a nutshell, the event was not as I'd expected. The people who stopped by my booth were genuinely wonderful and interested in my work, but it wasn't an event specifically catered to what I am about. It was ultimately a fashion show. -____- I was misinformed about the event, so I couldn’t even tailor my product or decipher if this was worth it. Though I made wonderful connections and met amazing people, I learned a valuable lesson that day. RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH. Not every event is made equal or is even worth your time.
Though frustrating, that event was a major part of my journey and my learning. Mistakes and setbacks are to be expected. Fumbling and tripping on the roots as you race blindly through the forest is normal. What I’ve learned is that never taking that leap, however, is not. The thought that “I might fail” has loomed over my head more times than I’d like to admit, but the alternative has scared me more. The alternative being that I live a life where I’m not living every day excited to begin.
Before I embarked on this journey, I’d been working at Merrill Lynch. For a year, I felt “safe” but ultimately unfulfilled. Every day I went in, did what was asked of me, went home and felt no zest for the job or life itself. I moved from job to job, never finding anything that could make me care about the work. I was unhappy and growing more resentful by the day. I had to make a change. After months of deliberation and anxiety, I decided to take the leap with no guarantee that I would succeed or how anything would turn out. One day, something told me to look up The Savannah College of Art & Design. After checking out a few other schools I knew I'd found what I was looking for. SCAD, which boasted the #3 Animation program nationwide at the time, was the right choice. I waited for months on bated breath to find out at the last minute that I got into the program! I was on cloud nine. From there, the universe proved to me that once I trust in my passions I couldn’t be led astray.
Within two days of flying down to Savannah to check out the area, I found a beautiful (and cheap) apartment right across the street from a supermarket and gas station. I was provided with the funding that I needed to get down there and used the savings that I’d built up over months to attend. Everything aligned just like I had felt and knew deep down would happen. With school, I loved every minute of it. It was my dream come true to learn about what ACTUALLY interested me. I maintained a 3.8 GPA despite the rigor of my program, but again I felt uneasy as time went on. Something felt missing. Once again, however, life asked me to take another leap. I felt like my time at SCAD was drawing to a momentary close and that I had to take my life in another direction. I quickly realized that I felt compelled to take a break from my studies and pursue my book and my career as a self-employed artist full time…and the rest is history!
I’m now enjoying watching my vision come to life bit by bit, and I haven’t looked back since.I’m elated to be on this journey and so grateful for every one of you that has followed me on this journey. My book comes out next month. I'm taking on clients who are genuinely interested in my vision and my work. It feels amazing.
If there has been any lesson I've learned this year to take into the next, it's that perfect moments don't just happen. I had to stop waiting for the "perfect" moment where my life was perfectly set up to pursue my dreams. I had to stop waiting for my "perfect" financial moment, my perfect "comfort moment". That would never happen. I finally realized that I had to MAKE that perfect moment happen, and life hasn't proven me wrong since.
Much love to all of you!! See you on the other side!