Photo cred: Breeze Art Photography Chicago
This week has been a mountain. One that I faced with uncertainty and a level of naivety that no
entrepreneur human ever wants to admit to—but here I am, admitting to it. I came off of the previous week being at the peak of the most beautiful mountain, but that mountain came easy. I took a lift to get to the top of that mountain and the ride up included the most ego-boosting, beautiful conversation I could have imagined. The ride down looked like one of those magical snowboarding rides where you see certain clips in slow-mo with your hair flowing in the wind as you carved back and forth. The wind hit your cheeks with a perfect level of chill and the powder was so fresh it could have been mistaken for baby powder.
Then I hit the end and had to head back up. This time, I strapped on the snow shoes and went on foot.
So here I am on Friday, on my second beer before 5pm, staring at the last half mile of snowy mountain that I have to climb. I have a knot in my chest that makes me feel like I could either burst into tears or throw up at any given moment. Maybe both.
They prepare you for this though. Every entrepreneurial book I’ve ever picked up includes a very bold, very long, section about the rough moments. Let me tell you, hearing those are never the same as experiencing them.
I hit some of the big moments in a business that require you to pony up and have those conversation that make your hands go numb and your heart thump in your chest. At the same time I was experiencing some of the first big logistics issues of owning a product-based business. But don’t worry, there is a cherry on top of this, and Murphy placed it there and called it law.
Today marks the 5th anniversary of a day I hoped would get easier. Five years ago today my family experienced the loss of one incredible human—my grandma, my meme, my person. I thought after five years that this day might not feel as heavy. But it doesn’t. No matter how much I trained for heavy moments, lifting 255lbs off the ground feels like nothing in comparison.
I’ve cried today, I yelled, my chest got tight, my anxiety spiked, and all I thought about was hiding in bed all day reading my Rupi Kaur book and crying about what’s happened.
Then I remembered my own words. Words I literally just posted.
Let’s focus on number three: “When in doubt, take the next small step.”
I’ve always promised that regardless of what I’m going through, or what I become, that I will always remain transparent and honest with you. Which is why you should all know that every single thing I’ve ever posted, was posted because it was what I needed to hear. It was myself allowing my words to escape my head through my fingers. It was allowing the exact things I knew I needed to hear to be placed into the world for everyone else to read. The fact that I now have almost 20 thousand people who also need to hear those things is astounding to me.
But I think that’s precisely why talking about these moments of hardship are important. This is not just my mountain, I would be ignorant to think that. This is our mountain. We’ve all been here in different ways, we just miss the fact that there are footprints you can’t see because the snowfall comes no matter how hard you pray for it to stay away. Winter is coming and we all know it.
So in these hard days, in the moments I feel like someone placed a weigh ton my chest, I have to do what I’ve told others to do so many times. I’m taking the next step, no matter how bad it hurts, or how hard it feels. I’m taking the next step because that is all you can ever do. Whether you’re at rock bottom, or the top, you have to take the next step or else the only place you’ll ever be is stranded.
While I wrote this I’ll also include that I had to take a walk to cry in the parking lot of my favorite coffee shop. I had to reach out for some sort of support, even if that was on Facebook.
I’m still very human, and no matter what social media presents, we all have really hard days. Really difficult moments.
We’re Only Human. So just take the next small step.
To the mountains and back ❤️