Living Over Existing 4 Months In Review
As I entered into 2017, I declared to myself that this would be the year of purpose.
2016 was rough. I wandered through it aimlessly, while failing at every attempt to do what everyone else was doing because I thought that it would make me successful. That year ended in a complete meltdown that left me longing for clarity and a sense of purpose. So as I began this year, I told myself that I would focus on being intentional and digging deeper into what I felt like I was purposed to do.
The saying "What you focus on, you become." has reigned to be absolutely true because 2017 was filled with nothing but digging deeper and discovering what I had been placed on this Earth to do. Despite feeling pressured to run my business a certain way, I focused fully on doing the things that I truly enjoyed. I put more focus on working one-on-one with clients to help them gain clarity and writing the book that I had ignored for nearly a year. 2017 was the year of purpose, and as I close it out, I have never felt more alive and aligned with what God has called me to do.
On August 24th of this year, I launched the Living Over Existing site with the podcast, originally as a way to start promoting the book. I wanted to make a big deal about it, and knew that it was something special about it when I discovered that the LOE domain was available (and not a million bucks). I also knew that I wanted to use the space as a platform to help other women share their stories. The book was all about my journey, so I felt that it was only right to allow women to share theirs. My personal brand is all about me and I knew I didn't want to necessarily be in the spotlight.
Still, I didn't expect for LOE to turn into anything more. But as I began to share my story of how anxiety, fear and doubt held me back for years, more and more women began sharing their experiences with me of how certain situations and even everyday life have held them back from taking their ideas to the next level.
Hearing those stories is when I really realized that living on purpose looked different for everyone. That the path of entrepreneurship wasn't always halted because of fear or comparison. That many women hesitate to take the leap because of the different factors in their everyday life. Parenting, dealing with anxiety, working at their 9 to 5 or even juggling their brand while dating. There are tons of articles and resources online that will teach you HOW to start a business (seriously Google "How To Start A Business" and just see how many articles pop up within seconds) but not many show you how to successfully navigate through life as an entrepreneur.
There are tons of articles and resources online that will teach you how to start a business but not many that show you how to successfully navigate through life as an entrepreneur.
How do you make time for your family while building a brand?
How do you prioritize a healthy lifestyle while running a business?
How do you find time to date while juggling a 9 to 5 PLUS a growing brand?
In those moments and in those stories, I realized that we are more than just our business. When you decide to start a business your other responsibilities and the world around you does not pause for you to get your business off the ground. Nor are you magically blessed with 20more hours in your day. It can be hard to analyze someone else's highlight reel and question how they are able to do so much without taking into account what all we have on our plate. But we are real women, dealing with real life issues in addition to making a name for ourselves in our perspective industries. I knew that I needed to create something for US.
That's where the LOE brand began to flourish. In late October after the book launched, I decided to take the leap again and make LOE more than just the book. I wanted it to be a space where creative women could come together and find the resources they needed to build their business and to find advice on managing life around their brands.
As we close out the year, we're closing in on over 5k podcast downloads, I've applied for the brand to be in an incredible business accelerator program for female founders (cross your fingers we get in!), we've launched The LOE Shop which currently holds the book and other resources to help creative women grow in their business (we've sold out TWICE) and we have a Facebook community of over 800 incredible creative women. I've also brought on an incredible assistant to help me keep it all together (Hey Brittany!) and will be looking to bring on part-time contributors this year. For a brand that wasn't supposed to happen, I'd say we've done pretty well in our first four months.
But we are real women, dealing with real life issues in addition to making a name for ourselves in our perspective industries. I knew that I needed to create something for US.
This upcoming year, Im choosing the word VICTORIOUS to focus on. While LOE wasn't necessarily planned to go this route from the start, I don't believe this was an accident and I truly believe that there are women out there who were waiting for this void to be filled. Before I submitted the application to the accelerator program, I surveyed our audience and 60% off you said that you felt like your everyday life often holds you back from taking your ideas to the next level. So I know this was meant to be as woo-woo as it sounds.
If 2017 was about figuring out what my purpose is then I fully believe that 2018 is about stretching myself beyond my comfort to see what this purpose is all about and what I can do with it. I am excited for all that we have planned over the next 12 months from hosting both on and offline events, to adding more products to the shop to turning this brand into a digital media company by creating stellar, consistent content.
Thank you for your support. Thank you for your advice and ideas. Thank you so much for being patient with me as I worked extremely hard to figure all of this out. I have felt fear like no other in the past 4 months, building a completely new brand, getting back into ecommerce, calling myself a founder! But I am excited to see how the next year plays out.