Small & Simple Things in 2015
Every year I select a motto for myself, something that will lead me to making positive changes in my life and get me one year improved. This year's motto is "Small and Simple Things in 2015." The scripture from which this thought originated states that by small and simple means great things can come to pass. So, although my goals are lofty this year I wanted to remember that I don't have to eat the whole elephant all at once. I just need to take this year one bite at a time.
*Included in the content of this page you will see actual images taken from the vision board hanging in my room. All of these are to help me keep my eyes on the prize!
Since I was 5 I have had an entrepreneur's spirit. As a child I would sell my half eaten boxes of candy to my nieces at 300% mark-ups in order to get a few bucks. In Jr. High I designed and built shadow boxes at a local boutique. These past few years however have provided many concrete opportunities to see how small businesses grow and I find the whole process fascinating. By the end of this year I hope to either own a business or to be the COO of a start-up company. I'm eager to take off the training wheels and start a new adventure.
University has been a struggle for me over the past few years. It's not the rigor of the schedule as much as it is that I felt there was more for me personally to learn in my most recent position. However, after a few shifts at work this year I am feeling like it is time to again diversify my sources of knowledge, and leave my current job and start back in to school. I plan to take classes that not only will challenge me intellectually, but will provided much needed formal training in areas I have not been able to dabble in with my current position at work.
I've always known I will be wealthy some day, there's no doubt in my mind. When I sat down to draft my goals at the beginning of this year, I thought to myself, "You know, let's start this year!", so I set my goal to make $100,000.00 over the course of this year. Based on my current salary...ain't gonna happen! But, with ideas up my sleeve, my work ethic, and a little crazy kid faith, I'm sure it's going to happen!
People always mistake me for being significantly younger than I am, based solely on my child-like face. So, I've decided to change that. It's a simple goal, but I'm excited for it.
End of Year Update
I started the year off thinking I could negotiate a significant raise, start my own business on the side and in the end work my way into the 100K family, and frankly, I really think I could have! However, as the year began, I realized that money was not my highest priority.
This year I found myself feeling limited in my role as Senior Project Manager, and had almost literally written the handbook on how to do it perfectly. Although I enjoyed the company I worked for, the people on my team, and the role itself, I didn't feel as though I was learning anything new, or growing as much as I'd like. So, after much deliberation, I decided to step away from my comfortable job and re-enter the world of academia. My plan was to live on my savings, pick up odd jobs here and there, and just glean as much experience from the world as I could.
So, I enrolled full time at a local business college and worked towards a certificate in Social Media Marketing. The actual certificate doesn't mean much, but the hands on experience was exactly what I was looking for! It was feeding my need for growth. Each assignment was for a real company, in real time, with a real budget and real customers. There was no one to delegate responsibilities to, so I got my hands dirty and got to work.
Best decision of my life!
My morning commutes were about an hour long, so I decided to use that time effectively and listen to a good Audible book each day on my way into the city. My first choice was "$100 Startup" and it genuinely changed my life. The idea is that it doesn't take 100K to start a business and it doesn't take CEO to become a CEO. All you need to make a start up is $100 and ambition. So, on one of my long commutes the idea came to me..."Why don't you do for yourself what you were doing for AM?" I had developed a skill set over the course of several years there, so why not keep doing that, but this time it would be on my own terms.
I enrolled in a web development class, build my own company portfolio/website, and started networking with a few people I felt would be interested clients. To my surprise, they actually agreed to pay me to work for them! It was exciting, and I was loving the experiences that were flooding my direction.
One company, Troop, originally hired me on as a consultant, but later offered me ownership! My dream of COO was unfolding right before my eyes. I now owned my own company, and was being offered ownership in a second company. I ultimately decided to turn down Troop's offer as they were also a young startup with shallow pockets, and with a few more semesters ahead of me, I wanted to keep my focus on graduating before I got too distracted with other ventures. I did, however, make sure to keep the door open as I left.
Although I still get mistaken for being younger than I truly am (which I will come to appreciate in time), I was able to get my average assumed age up to 23, which was a vast improvement from the 19-20 I started the year at.
2015 was amazing! It was hands down the most personally fulfilling year of my entire life. I learned that change can bring about growth, that unemployment can be the genesis and motivation you need to start a company and make ends meet. Most of all, 2015 made me realize just how important it is to do what you love!