Michelle, Who Are You?

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

I don’t know.

The people who follow me on social media for a while now will see that my bio has changed from fashion designer to writer, to Administrative Consultant (whatever that means), and now recently back to fashion designer. All this while holding down a full-time job and raising 2 boys in a rather, chaotic but happy household (until the goldfish dies). I’ve lost count on how many we’ve bought and buried.

As some of you may also know, the first time I started out as a fashion designer nearly 6 years ago, there was the honeymoon phase and then the divorce. It went well, while it lasted and then the break-up (aarrgghh sobs). If anyone cares to enlighten themselves on the details, here goes — What a failed business venture taught me.

Back to today. I just don’t think it’s time to settle yet. The thing I’m most afraid of is settling and worse, settling without realising that you’ve settled. 
I visited a local farmers market for fresh produce recently and I was amazed that the chocolatier standing there, nonchalantly whipping up decadent pieces of sunshine that will take me a full month to work off at the gym.

It looks like he’s been doing it for years. He looked so at home behind the stand and with what he does for a living. Why can’t it be so easy for all of us!

I don’t feel like I fit in anywhere.

I know there are designers better than me. I know there are writers better than me. What stops someone from buying from a big retailer at unbeatable prices, then buying one of my pieces or reading my work.

Well, they’ll get a piece of me. The most exhilarating feeling is creating something and someone picks it up and owns it. Like it’s been their missing half all along. I love the interaction with my customers. I love their feedback. I love being the face of my brand. A yet unknown, minute operation that may one day climb into the hearts of hopefully a few people. Just a few.

When starting a business, we want everything to be perfect. The business plan, the offices, the receptionist, the wooden flooring, but we forget the most important thing. The customer. Without the customer, none of these things matter. Is someone willing to exchange their hard-earned cash for your goods? You only need to convince a few people, just like 0.00001% of 7 billion. One thousand true fans they say.

Make sure you can count on at least one. Not your mom, or your grandma who will gladly exchange their birthrights to see you succeed.

It’s an uncomfortable place to be in. This uncertainty, the fear of the unknown. The fear of another failure that may knock you down and out for months.

Yet, it’s a beautiful process.

When you are present throughout you learn so many things, you grow as a person, you have new experiences. You absorb and grow into your new skin. You can never go back to your old self again. He/she doesn’t exist anymore, except as a distant memory.

It’s easier to want to do it the textbook way. They way they taught you. That’s ok, just don’t forget you in the process. Whether success or failure, you will be a better person in the end, guaranteed.

Theodore Roosevelt said: 
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

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