This past week was GloveStix 3 year anniversary and I just realized, wow, I have so much to celebrate… how cool!! This one is different though... it’s actually the biggest one of all and the most important to celebrate but the week slipped by before I even realized it had past.
June 20th 2015, my family and I packed up our SUV and headed to a Lacrosse Tournament in Williamsburg Va. We had done that many times before but this time was different, we weren’t just spectators watching our son play all weekend and having fun with friends. We were now “working”. We had no idea what to expect, what to do or even how this whole vendor thing worked. We showed up about 6:30 am... my husband, our daughter Kelsey (22 at the time) and our 2 boys CJ (16) and Jackson (14) and I. Jackson is my lax player and he had to play 3 games that day but since we were working, he also had to come with us to set up.
With the help of the vendors next to us, being newbies we had a lot of questions, we set everything up but before we finished (it was 7:52 am) up walks our first customer EVER and we all looked at each other like “uh... now what to we do?” I still remember his name... Ray, he is a dentist, he was our first sale and he even helped us work the Square credit card reader because we honesty, had no clue! We still see him at lax tournaments occasionally and he always comes back and brings us new customers and buys refills. How cool is that? That day was amazing, on so many different levels, my husband and all my kids working together... learning, meeting new people and trying to figure out what to do.... together! THATS what a family owned small business is all about and for the first time, we had one.
We sold out that day, no joke, we had loaded up the car with a table, a tent, some samples and as many GloveStix as we could fit in a bin and we sold every single one of them! Once we started selling... we didn’t stop, people were flocking to the tent, and it felt INCREDIBLE! Many times during the day we even had a line. It was the most incredible feeling.... to actually invent something, that people wanted to buy… I was definitely on a high!
I look back at the moment and think, wow; I never in a million years would have guessed the last 3 years would have gone like it has. So much learning, stress, excitement, nervousness, anxiety, pure joy, victory and lots of mistakes, downward spirals and feeling scared of the unknown. The highs and lows of being an Entrepreneur and bringing a product that doesn’t exist to market is insane. Every time you take 2 steps forward, right around the bend you have to take one step back but I am actually kind of getting good at running this business and managing all those feelings. That’s the crazy thing, I can have them all... in the same week, but now I actually welcome them. I feel like if I am not feeling scared about something... then I am not pushing my self enough and I am definitely not growing. I’ve gotten used to this unsettled feeling and I can’t believe I am going to admit this but… I kind of like it :)
When I started GloveStix it was not with a fight or flight attitude, it was with a fight, fight more, fight harder, fight until I can not physically or mentally fight anymore but I honestly had no idea it would be this hard! I have so much more respect for small business and what it takes to run them. My husband and I took a huge risk to start this company, we invested our middle sons small college fund that we had spent a lifetime saving for. We didn’t have investors; it was just us trying to figure out how to make this thing work and there was and still is a lot of pressure to succeed but from day one, failure was not an option… I feel like that’s the difference… I HAD to find a way to make it work; there is no other option!
If we had this attitude in everything we do, just think what we could accomplish? I am just learning this after 40 but when is it ever ok to stop something just because it’s “hard”. Why do we always say, “Only do what makes you happy”? I think that’s a cop out. If anyone thinks for one second that I have only ever been “happy” running GloveStix... you are wrong. Very wrong! Even with all the amazing things that have happened the last 3 years, there is also plenty of HARD and plenty of unhappy, I am just learning to embrace it. We can change our attitude and not run away from the hard, but welcome it. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable, get used to the ups and downs, the SO FREAKIN SCARY moments and get over our fear of failure. It’s about putting one foot in front of the other even when you don’t know which foot goes next. Just keep stepping forward... and use any foot! Don’t be afraid of what people think of you if you fail... think of what it will feel like to WIN and don’t accept less. Remember that failure is only NOT TRYING and our thoughts are powerful!
I am reading this awesome book; Chase the Lion, by Mark Batterson (love it and highly recommended it btw) and he talks a lot about inaction being an action! It’s so true! Doing nothing or doing something is YOUR choice! We decide our path and if you choose to do nothing about your “idea” then you are choosing to do nothing... therefore you can’t ever feel the highs, you will only wonder what those highs feel like. I’m so blessed I have been able to feel the ultimate high, and the ultimate of lows... at least... I am feeling.
I look back at the last 3 years and I can’t believe how much growth I have had. GloveStix has given me something you can’t pay for… personal growth is priceless. I am better, stronger, and much more capable then ever. The things that used to be hard, I giggle at now, because it’s amazing how many sleepless nights I had back then. I was always looking at the future thinking if I could just accomplish that or just reach this goal everything would be so much easier. The truth is it doesn’t ever get easier. It gets harder, the more you accomplish, the bigger your business grows, the harder it gets but the more confidence you build when you realize that YOU CAN DO IT! I was worried about everything back then and now, my business and the pressure are so much bigger then that moment 3 years ago but the difference between now and then is now... I embrace the hard. I search for it and I love it! That’s the key. No matter what you’re trying to accomplish whether its losing 40 lbs or starting a business you have to embrace the suck. Embrace the pain. Embrace and search for the hard because when you push past that moment… that is where your success is!
Don't wait... start now... Chase that Lion just change the way you look at it!