Life has moved crazy fast lately. The unpacked boxes in the living room of my new apartment are proof that not everything is in order, but details are coming together (and eventually I’m sure I’ll find my favorite pair of shoes in the bottom of one of those boxes). See previous post: (https://www.saltandlight.coffee/blog/so-whats-next) for details about Salt + Light’s recent move to Pittsburgh, PA.
I can honestly say that running a business has not been a drag. I have enjoyed every minute of this journey— even those minutes of the in-between, where I got up at 3 a.m. for another flea market, or fell asleep smelling like coffee, I kept pushing through. I can look back through all those overwhelming moments and see the good in it all.
I have always done my best work under pressure and feel that I give my best when I am actively stretching myself and working towards a goal. I have struggled my whole life feeling the need to accomplish more. No matter how much I’ve completed, I tell myself, “I need to do more + I should be more successful by now.” No one has ever made me feel like this— it’s just how I am! I love achieving + crave the adrenalin high I get after a big accomplishment! The acknowledgement from others after exceeding expectations feels like a prize. I typically put high expectations on myself and beat myself up when I can’t meet them. It’s not enough for me to take a big step towards my goal, I have to achieve my goal and scratch it off my to-do list. I drive myself crazy because I rarely feel content + satisfied as a business owner, and I just wish I could enjoy the small victories.
The hardest seasons for me are the slow, growth-filled ones, where it seems as if time itself is standing still. The seasons where I feel like I am not moving forward as quickly as I would like to and tell myself I should be. Seasons where to-do lists are long and few goals are checked off. I once read a statistic in a book called Good to Great that explained how businesses which start from ground zero, with no financial backing or big money players, often end up more successful. Businesses that start from humble beginnings learn how to budget, how to appreciate the small victories, and have a healthy amount of fear because they are keenly aware of the risk that is involved with business. That healthy fear of risk causes us to respect the pace in which we run our business. The fast track may get you where you want to be quickly, but it also can set you up for a major crash and burn down the road. Fast pace = rushed decisions, excess spending, energy spent at an unhealthy rate + grabbing anyone you can find to join your team (which is always a bad idea). This is how you may begin your business, but it is not a pace you can sustain. If you don’t crash + burn first, your business will, and then you will follow.
Slow + steady wins the race. I am reminding myself of this daily right now. With this recent move, I feel like I have built up energy to run a marathon at the pace of a sprint. I feel so ready to go and excited for the future, now it just needs to hurry up and get here already! I used to have a basketball coach that would say, “be quick, but don’t hurry.” Be ready to jump in + take a leap of faith, but don’t rush into anything. Wait in anticipation for the fast paced seasons in the future, but don’t get caught in the trap of wearing busyness as a badge and as a false appearance of being successful.
I recently read a quote that said, “good things come to those who hustle.” We live in a society that tells us we have to hustle constantly to ever gain any sense of worth, success + dignity. Don’t believe it. Results come to those who are patient, strategic and focused on their goals. Is hustle involved? YES. But, what’s worth more than hustle is resilience. Resilience + grit will keep you going even through that slow season. Believe me, you will experience dry, dead + straight up boring times in life and business. Times where you feel a little lost and think to yourself, “will all this pay off?” Or, “When will I see a breakthrough?” Oh man, if I had a dime every time I had a thought like that. Hustle is good, but it's not the answer + its most certainly not sustainable. Hustle is temporary. It’s merely the motivation you need to get through a fast paced season, but businesses are built in the off-seasons; times that no one will applaud you or acknowledge the work, or “hustle” that you are putting in. Keep going at a consistent pace and fix your focus on your goal. When the time is right, you will step into the arena + all those years of hard work in the dark will pay off.
Keep going. It may be a slow + steady pace, but I promise you that you are getting ahead. Good things take time. Don’t allow yourself to be controlled by the constant, “in your face” lie society tells us about hustling. Take it one step at a time + celebrate the little victories as you go. They are bigger than you think!
Good things are coming!