I got a new prescription for my lens on life
Somehow, I convinced myself that I couldn't be creative and business savvy. I would constantly seek out people who I thought were better and smarter than me to help me on my creative journey. Of course, this led to many problems for me because I put myself at a disadvantage. The need for validation and direction from others made it difficult for me to grow.
Real human connections were hard to maintain because I felt like we were all trying to gain something from each other. And we were trying to sell each other something. I signed up for small business classes and even enrolled in an academy because I thought it would lead to financial success. My jewelry business didn't produce a sustainable income and my day job barely covered my monthly expenses. Yet, I sacrificed my money to 'invest in myself and business.' That experience really opened my eyes to just how vulnerable I was to fall for anything. Also, it made me realize that people will always reveal who they are and their truest selves if you listen long enough.
In one of my sessions in the academy, the mentor said something to me that I cannot shake to this day. She encouraged me to expand my jewelry-making class offerings. I struggled with the pricing because I thought of all the things I had to turn down because I couldn't afford them and didn't want to create that barrier for others. Then, on the other hand, I was concerned about people signing up and not taking the course. This was a huge concern for me because I wanted to create a community. And this is when a red flag went up. My mentor said something along the lines of, 'it doesn't matter if people don't take the class after they paid for it. As long as you get your money, right?'
Actually, no! But I didn't know it was a no for me at the time. I was still fixated on the idea of building a 6-figure business, after all, that was the selling point as to why I signed up for the academy in the first place.
Now that some time has passed since I quit the academy and had time to reflect, I'm extremely thankful that my business did not become successful because I would have had the same mentality as the mentor. I would have traded my creativity for exclusivity and lost my real connection to what I create. I was already feeling the strain from the lack of authenticity I was putting out there. Most likely, I would still be chasing that validation from people like that mentor who look at time and experiences through the lens of dollar signs. And that's not me. That experience helped me realize I am now one step closer to being my truest self.
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