NEW YEAR, NEW TRUTHS, NEW STRENGTHS!
I’ve done a lot of self reflection this past year. I was put in situations, I didn’t think I would survive. Situations that still trigger me. Situations that will take a while for me to heal from. Strange, terrifying situations that brought me the greatest love I’ve ever felt. The most puissant peace. The willingness to keep fighting. To become a better creator, lover, human. My life is no longer just my own. It’s also about the life I brought into this world.
Last January around this time, I was pregnant with my daughter. I was sick, swollen, and exhausted. Then three weeks later, I was admitted to the hospital, stayed on bed rest for thirty-three days and gave birth at twenty eight weeks. It was one of the most terrifying and darkest times of my life. I spent the majority of the time in the hospital, watching my firstborn fight her way through, trying to stay afloat. I couldn’t work. It hurt to sneeze, to laugh, to cry. Not only was I miserable, I was truly afraid. One moment, I was speaking in a panel in front of a room full of people about authenticity, hard work, and how to “stay above the noise”, the next I was admitted to the hospital in physical and emotional pain being diagnosed for things I never even heard about.
I was not able to work for the first five months of the year. I had to learn to release and surrender to the things I could not control. I trusted my small team to keep things running. And during those few months, we kept standing, and we kept growing. That’s when I realized that Fanm Djanm was bigger than me. That Fanm Djanm was never about me. That FANM DJANM is about us. Them (those who came before us and those who will come after us). FANM DJANM is truly about what its name stands for— STRONG WOMEN.
I thought about what to write about this past year all December. The things that broke me. The things that built me back up. The things that made me stronger. And the things that I need to work on. I’m not going to lie, friends. I thought about quitting a few times this year. I’ve also let “fear” get an upper hand on my dreams.
BELOW ARE FOUR THINGS I’M CHOOSING TO FOCUS ON THIS YEAR:
WRITE DOWN MY IDEAS- I have this terrible habit of letting my great shower ideas run down the drain along with the soapy water. No matter how silly they sound, I’m writing them down. Because if I do, I’m more likely to act on them. I’ve had some recurring shower ideas that you will definitely get to witness this year. Because guess what? They’re written down!
WRITE MORE- If you’re not following my BLOG, this is the time to do so. I’m trying to be more transparent about some of my struggles, and things I’ve learned about business throughout the years. I think social media paints the most inaccurate depiction of what running a business is like. And while I’m still growing, and trying to establish myself as a creative entrepreneur, creative director, I post very curated, well thought-out images (that take days to plan and lots of determination). That’s not real life. No, I’m not always wearing a long flowy dress. Sometimes, I’m in CAMO pants rolling around on the ground to get the best shot when I photograph for FANM DJANM. Sometimes, I’m breaking down on the side of the road, carrying way too many things. Other times, I’m running around, pacing back and forth, seeking inspiration, trying to hit a plateau.
FINDING SOLUTIONS FOR THE SMALL EVERYDAY THINGS THAT GET TO ME- I finally decided to purchase a new trash can for the kitchen. The old one bothered me everyday. The lid would bang against the counter and every time we would use the step to open the lid, the entire can would slide back one to two inches, which meant constant readjusting and cursing under the breath. I know it seems minor, but that’s one less thing to bring me displeasure. If the solution is simple, fix it. If the solution is complicated, write down a plan, and take it step by step.
ACCEPTING ALL THE BAGGAGE THAT COMES WITH RUNNING A BUSINESS- I’ve gotten so much better. There are things we cannot control, and we certainly cannot please EVERY customer no matter how hard we try. I always expect some level of stress during the holiday season no matter how much we plan ahead. And I have to mentally prepare myself and remind myself that things will not always be perfect. To stand up to adversity and to try to please the customer while thinking about how that decision will affect the business in the long term. When I say we are a small team, I’m not kidding. There are only four of us, including all of the production and shipping, and marketing. I’m working on becoming stronger at delegating and being more assertive with the things I want to get done. I constantly have to remind myself that the greatest things are never easy, and everything worth having, is worth fighting for.
I have a longer list of things I’m focusing on but I thought I’d start by sharing these four. I’m curious about you! What are the things you’re focusing/working on this year? What are the things you would like to see from us moving forward?