Friday, October 4, 2013

Happiness Without Bacardi? It IS Possible!

Very exciting things around here this week! My new business page launched and with it, a fresh, stinky ball of fear! Risk is scary....

What if I can't generate a good client base?

What if I drop the ball?

What if I don't make any money?

What if I meet a crazy person?

What if my pants fall down?

Mmmmkay, maybe not that last one. But you get my point. Transition and change can be scary. You're moving from something established and proven to something unknown and unexplored. You can read every book in the business, follow every professional on Twitter, or talk your head off to every consoling friend in your life....and you'll still be starting with a blank, inexperienced slate. 

Moments like these really force me to drink copious amounts of Bacardi focus on why I'm doing this in the first place. 

What makes you smile, Jen? What makes you tick? How can you leave your stamp in this world and do the impossible: 

Satisfy your seemingly-unquenchable thirst for peace and happiness.

When I was 18, I made the decision to attend college in Iowa. I remember making the drive multiple times a year, flying down the highway, cruising under the biggest sky I've ever seen, always looking into the distance, focused on where I want to be. 

Flash forward to 2007, my family and I are stationed in Germany.

I'm driving through the hills, looking out over the intensely rich, beckoning landscapes, and always feeling drawn to "that place off in the distance".....acknowledging where I am, but constantly reaching out, wanting to be over there....on that mountain....the pretty one. 

Sometimes I would drive out to the mountain, only to look back at the place I'd just come from and yearn to go back there. Never satisfied, always looking for the next best, most beautiful mountain. Green grass, greener on every side but the one I was on. 

The yearning continued through my early years with my first daughter.....and finally my second daughter. I needed to find my happy. What's the point of working so hard, Jen, if you can't sit and enjoy what you've done?

So I brainstormed. What am I good at? What could I picture myself doing forever? What would allow me to satisfy a thirst for more, for the best, the most beautiful, the most content, the most fulfilling? 

Writing was my answer. For you, it may be dancing. It may be nursing. It may even be cooking pizzas. Something makes you tick...something exists that will allow you to satisfy your thirst, if only for a few minutes at a time.  

I listened to this awesome live chat by my favorite blogging community, SITS. One of the ladies they interviewed, Danielle Smith, talked about how she prioritizes her life by glancing at a bracelet on her wrist that says, "Hell yeah!" I thought this was incredible....she literally asks herself, does this make me say "hell yeah?" If it doesn't, don't do it. Period.

Obligations and expectation aside, what makes you say "hell yeah!" ~? This can be the hardest part of the'll waffle, waver, and change your mind. I experience moments of self-doubt constantly.

But then I remind myself....

You love this. You are good at this. This allows you to dream forever. This allows you to reach for the next hill and not feel guilty about it. This allows you time to do the other things that make you happy. You can succeed.

I can. And so can you.

I am no expert. No, I'm the crazy chick just starting out...but believe me when I say, I've already learned some key steps towards happiness:

Step 1. Define joy. Like I said, this is one of the hardest steps. Be open-minded and honest. 
Step 2. Identify which circumstances will give you time with said joy.
Step 3. Create three paths towards your newly-identified circumstances.
Step 4. Evaluate your dedication ~ this is no cakewalk. You are redefining your career, your free time, and in some cases, the way you are perceived. You either give it 100% or you walk away and try again some other time. 
Step 5. Consider how your paths affect the outside world. Who will be influenced by these paths? How much do they impact your choices? 
Step 6. Decide which path is best for you and those you wish to keep around.
Step 7. Execute your plan.

Start small.....give yourself a reasonable goal. I gave myself three months to launch a website, complete with a light, but decent, portfolio. I am giving myself two years to become fully-profitable. I am a newbie. I have much to offer, but much to learn.

Most importantly...when you're pulling a late-night shift, suffering from exhaustion, feeling the pangs of regret, second-guessing yourself, and getting pulled 1,000 ways, remember:

You love this. You are good at this. You can do this.

And hey, if that doesn't work, you can always hit up the Bacardi....and then return to Step 1. 

Happy Friday :) Thanks so much for reading!


  1. You will be successful! You will always be successful when you follow your passion. Finding your joy is difficult. You have and I am so excited you have.

    1. Thank you Sarah :) I love having you as my reader!!

  2. Defining joy is the hardest part. Love this list. I need to work on my joy.

    1. Yes, it really, really is. I go back and forth all the time....and change my mind often. This is a vital part of growth and improvement, though, so I try and stay patient with myself. Thanks so much for reading and I wish you all the best on your joyous expedition! :)