Reflections: Governor’s Young Entrepreneur Award
As I received the Young Governor’s Entrepreneurship Award and reflected on my accomplishments and the last seven years of entrepreneurship, one thing comes to mind. I could not have paid thousands of dollars for a better education than what life teaches us daily. Every day, I am continually being challenged; learning, growing, making mistakes, taking risks and chancing the unknown. This journey has been exciting but not “easy” and I wanted to share the lessons learned along the way…
Hard lessons learned
The greatest lessons life has to offer hit hard and hurt worse. The most powerful lessons have to impact us this way in order to learn from them and make changes. The mistakes that keep you up at night and put a pit in your stomach are the kind you hardly make twice because you learn from them! When you’re going through hard times, embrace them and learn from them; they are the lessons that make us stronger.
Relationships are the most powerful force in the world.
Everything that we earn and accomplish dates back to our ability to truly connect with people. I deeply and genuinely care for people and I enjoy learning from others. The only way to have really strong relationships is to master the art of communication. It’s not always easy but it’s crucial to communicate effectively in order to have and maintain strong relationships. This takes a lot of courage and practice but it’s always worth the effort.
We must always surround ourselves with people who force us to learn and grow.
Don’t ever get too comfortable. Do what scares you the most and you will always control fear! I’m wired to constantly push myself to raise the bar and do better. We should always want to tweak, push, learn and grow to become a better version of ourselves. I’m never in competition with others; I’m always in competition with myself to do and be the absolute best that I can.
Never be afraid to ask for help!
If my goal is to become a better dancer, I go to the best dancer in the room and ask them to share their expertise. When I’m around successful professionals, I like to ask questions. When I come across a mother I admire, or a couple that sets the bar for #relationshipgoals, I like to observe their traits so that I can learn from them. Never be intimidated by the best, rather always be inspired by the best.
Awards and accolades mean nothing if you are not truly happy down to the core.
Up and Comers, Small Business of the Year, Business Woman of the Year; these are all great accomplishments. An award on the wall is a beautiful thing to celebrate but at the end of the day an award without inner peace, happiness, and strong personal relationships is nothing but plastic. Put yourself and your passions for life first and see how that energy transfers to everyone you know. Success is a result of your happiness and passions and it seems more effortless and natural. I’ve learned this from my move to Austin and it’s been the greatest and most life-changing lesson to date. Life is all about balance. Make decisions that will make you happy. Work on yourself first and you’ll be able to provide more for those you love.
Success is only beneficial if you can share it with others.
As I grow professionally and make more contacts, my focus is to ensure that I am equally connecting others who can benefit from the same relationships. If I have two friends who can benefit from each other’s services I connect them immediately. Let’s all make an effort to see opportunity and provide that for others. “If you want to achieve your goals, help others achieve their goals” ~ Zig Ziglar
Money is best spent creating experiences for yourself and others.
A vacation to a city that you have never been to that creates lifelong memories, a dance lesson that brings so much joy or purchasing camping gear to explore the outdoors will always take precedence over the big homes, expensive jewelry, and over-the-top anything that society tries to enforce. Don’t get caught up in pop culture trends. Material things can’t always bring you happiness, but real life experiences can!
Relationships need a strong balance of give and take.
This is something that I’ve struggled with but I’m making a strong effort to improve upon. Some of us give but are hesitant to receive. Always give freely and without expectations, but also be open to receive. I’ve learned that sometimes people will try to take advantage of your kindness, when this happens, recognize it and take immediate action to correct it. Act but never react!
Never get comfortable and always stay humble.
Some of the greatest businesspersons have been defeated and experienced loss. When I’m hesitating to confirm a work trip because I am getting comfortable at home, I remind myself that this is my job and my responsibility to myself, my team, and our clients. Success requires a lot of hard work and more effort than many people are willing to put forth. Nothing comes easy. Work hard and don’t get too comfortable.
Be kind to others and always reflect light and love. The most influential person in my life, my grandmother, never received awards or ran a business, but she was strong. She lived and loved deeply and exemplified grace, dignity, and strong family values. She changed my world just by who she was as a person and the example that she led every day inspires me and lives within me each day.