You know how they say, "If I had a dollar for every time..." well for me it would be when I'm told: "I don't know how you do it all!"
Well sit back and grab a coffee because I'm about to tell you.
About 15 years ago I made a decision at a Pampered Chef party to move my entire life 3/4 of the way across the country. I wasn't happy. I was lacking joy and purpose and the only road I could see myself going down was staying stuck exactly where I was. Instead, I did what I always did, I moved forward into the unknown. I took a trip just a few short months later to live and work in Yellowstone National Park. That experience is quite the story for a different time. This story is about the butterfly effect that one small decision had on the course of my life.
I've never been the friend that keeps in touch. I was always a gyspy on the go. Loyal and faithful to every friendship I've ever had, but the WORST at keeping in touch and checking in. Not because I didn't want to, but because my brain band with didn't allow it. In 2008 the whole social media craze really didn't go further than Facebook, and my service didn't exactly exist living in the middle of the country's oldest national park. It was a different time that in hindsight was so beautiful to be less connected to everything around me.
Because staying in touch wasn't my greatest asset, I started to post weekly updates on Facebook about my travels and adventures out west. I'd type on my screen about running into a bison face to face, opening up a seasonal restaurant, falling in love, falling out of love, and all the miles I would drive over the lower 48 states in between seasons. What I didn't know was happening was that people actually gave a shit. To me it was my half assed attempt at taking the easy way out of updating everyone back home.
After a few years of being away and returning home for a visit I was honestly blown away at how many people were keeping up with my travels and felt invested in what I was going to do next. This visit home also included running into my high school sweetheart at my 10 year high school reunion. I think it shocked me as well as the rest of this "following" I had created that the next thing I was going to do was settle down and get married. Well, maybe not settle down, but yes, get married. Spoiler alert: I'm still married to him!
Now, I had already been in the habit of over sharing my life, why would this journey be any different. I shared our relationship, getting our first dog, our friendships, and our ever growing family. One night as a joke I applied to be on "Say Yes To The Dress" and wouldn't you know, they chose me to be on the show! Naturally, I just kept posting about it. I shared the planning and execution of our wedding and everything in between. Before I knew it I was sharing buying our new home, running the Boston Marathon and then my greatest of two posts. My announcement of pregnancy. Those years of sharing were like a rocket of time. But in total it was almost SEVEN years of sharing my life. Opening the door of my reality and leaving it wide open for criticism, judgement and jealousy. But also for encouragement, joy, friendships and most of all, relatability.
We always think that someone has it better or worse than we do. How many times have you caught yourself comparing yourself to someone else? Or judging someone? Don't lie, we all do it, its human nature. I'm just as guilty as every person reading their screen right now. But the thing is, we all have our own pile of shit. ANd the difference between me and the majority of the population, I'm not afraid of the judgement and criticism. Why? Because along my journey, I wish I had someone like me to relate to. Someone that didn't want to get married. Someone that didn't want to have kids. Someone... unconventional. Not the perfectly curated aesthetics that you see on the internet.
Now that you're caught up on the last 15 years on my life, lets talk about the real topic. How do I do it all? Second spoiler alert: I DON'T!
I tried to, and failed. So many times did I fail. I'm a serial hobbyist. Which I recently learned in life is just ADHD. I always went ALL IN, but the second I either accomplished the goal or needed help, I didn't want to do it anymore. Until Declan's Mining Co. Maybe it was because it was my sons name or maybe because I now had millions of followers with their eyes on me, I wasn't going to give up or fail this time.
I was feeling overwhelmed and on the verge of burn out. I had been going HARD for way too many years and knew I couldn't be the only person on the ship, so I swallowed my pride and asked for help. I'm a creative and the only way you can creatively grow is to delegate. And TRUST ME when I say it’s THE scariest thing ever to take on the payment of help but it’s 100% the only way you can grow.
In the world of entrepreneurship there is a TOXIC culture of being made to feel that we need to be a one woman show. Almost like its a requirement or even a badge of honor. But I can say with certainty it is the number one way to fail. Some people are meant to be the star of the show, but they don't win the Oscar without the supporting roles. I learned, very slowly, that I needed to start letting other people help steer the ship. I (very) slowly started to build a team of other strong, supportive and powerful women who all had the same collective energy of reaching the top together. They can't (and don't want to) do what I do. And I sure as shit 100% cannot do what they do. But what the rest of the world doesn't see is all of the gears and moving pieces that make me, me.
Creatives aren’t made to do all of the “office work”. It stunts our creative process. But we are also too proud to ask for help or wave the white flag. And it's not always because of our pride. It's more of our own personal challenge within ourselves.
Honestly, it took me up until about a year and a half ago to loosen the reins a little and let those that I love and trust the most take over certain aspects of my life and company. But watching them shine only makes the entire collective brighter. I've also learned what it means to be a business owner, and what people like to consume and what they don't . We are running a business right? And we want it to be huge. So why are you playing small?
I was once given great advice. Act as if.
I'm a small business, but you rarely hear me say that. Why? Because on paper we may be considered that, but we have 13 employees, have shipped to over 40 companies and have VERY lofty goals to be a household name. If I play small, big things can't happen.
Act as if you’re already a multi million dollar company.
I believe when we put struggles and issues out to the universe that that is what the universe gives back. When we think and operate in a scarcity mindset, that’s all we’re ever going to get back. Instead, I operate in a state of abundance and attraction to receive that back. I TRULY walk around this world with the strongest belief that I deserve it and so doesn't every other good person out there. But the REALITY of it, it's not going to fall into your lap. The hustle is so so real, but once you get your hands on the one thing you work so hard for, the snowball effect happens and can keep going if you allow it to.
I've often been asked to teach others how I built my following as well as my business. All I can say is, stay tuned.
Love and Light,