For the past three years, I've kept a journal. Not like the Hello Kitty diaries pig-tailed girls scribble in, but a notebook filled with my private thoughts. It's a place I pour my unfiltered emotions.
It's also a place I swore I'd never share. Until today.
For the past three years, my business has changed. On the outside it looked like these changes were seamless and perfectly orchestrated, but—in reality—it wasn't. It was painful, exhilarating, and wildly frustrating. What appeared to have happened overnight, actually took two years of agonizing growth.
I kept a journal and though I won't share the entries in their entirety, I do want to give a glimpse into the journey…
May 7, 2014
I emailed Gary Vaynerchuk after reading one of his tweets. He responded to my email. He'll never know what it meant to me. I dream of teaching entrepreneurs outside of the photo industry…the fact that he expressed interest felt like a lifesaver in a storm.
May 26, 2014
I feel lost and alone. I don't know how to start fresh, but I know I want to start from scratch. I'm willing to begin over, I just don't know where to start.
August 25, 2014
I need to push out fear. I need to stop qualifying each scenario, and just simply trust. All I do is doubt. I need to stop depending on myself, and depend on something greater than myself.
September 3, 2014
This past weekend we thought of a new business plan. I was beyond excited to think things through for a full day and it made me feel alive again. Hopeful and hungry and ready to hustle. I missed feeling this way. I miss creating new ideas that make me uncomfortable with the new challenges. Let's see if we can make this happen.
August 25, 2015
I'm buried with work, and I can barely make time for other things I'm trying to pursue. I feel like I'm trying and I keep failing. I always worry about making other people happy. God, help me make time for new projects. In better news, Taylor Swift concert tonight…yay!
August 26, 2015
Feeling like I'm moving through molasses. I'm trying my best, but I can't understand why I'm so slow. I have an aching feeling I'm going to miss my February deadline we set for the new project. I feel like I don't have time to create new content. And I'm jealous when I see others make it look so easy. I hate feeling jealous. It's ugly.
October 6, 2015
Finalized our plans for the February rebrand of the business, and launch of my first educational course for entrepreneurs. Feeling excited/terrified and battling those emotions of it's-gonna-work, it's-NOT-gonna work. Feel like I'm in over my head. Feel like I bit off more than I can chew. But I know God will help me through.
January 27, 2016
Launched my new website last week and today we launched our first public business pivot, The Path to Profitability. This branding and marketing course has been a labor of love. Regardless how this fares, I will continue to move forward with hope. Glorious hope.
I wrote in my journal this morning. On a flight headed home from Nashville, where I attended a brand-writing workshop. For the past three days. I sat in a room with brilliant entrepreneurs and hoped they couldn't smell my desperation, the desire to learn everything I could. I wanted to soak up everything with a life-sized sponge.
And I tried. My journal is filled with pages of notes. Pages of hope.