How has being my own boss been going? Well, I woke up the first day I didn’t have to commute into the city for work, ready to seize the day… until I realized that day-seizing could wait.
I went right back to sleep.
The next day I did the same thing.
I can’t lie, in a city known just as much for it’s deplorable traffic as it is as the “Capital of the Free World,” this no commuting thing is a beautiful wonder. I’ve loved making my own schedule. I’ve loved running mid-day errands. I’ve loved working in my favorite big, baggy sweatshirt. But after a few days of sleeping in and mid-day coffee dates (because why not!), an actual routine is slowly starting to shape up.
Learning Is My Middle Name
For Whistling & Company, this time is allowing me to soak up as much as I can from people who really know what they are doing. I am working on a lot of small business fundamentals with plenty of help and outside expertise. I’m reviewing financials, shoring up all of our branding and language, working on a new collection for our necklaces. I’m using words like editorial calendar, wholesale, branding, website hosting, and Quickbooks. I watch YouTube tutorials before I do just about anything.
Even at my new job a yoga studio, from running the front desk or having the patience to withstand a 75 minute-long yoga class, I’m learning so much. During my first yoga class, we were all “forward folding” when the instructor invited us to invert. I was still bending over at the waist as I saw through the frame of my own ankles, several people shoot up into a headstand like it ain’t no thang. (One day, I’ll “invert” with the best of them.)
I’m learning how to be new at something again. I’m challenged on a daily basis and the problem solver in me is loving the “think- fast!” moments. It’s during these times, I really learn to be resourceful. My first night at the yoga studio, I couldn’t remember, through the maze of back hallways, which plain, unlabeled, white door would get me to the dumpsters. Rather than call the manager for the 12th time that night, I took the garbage, threw the trash in the back of my car, and dropped it at a dumpster I knew of on my route home. Oh, well. Learning.
Why We Are Here
And while all this day-to-day stuff is really mostly fun and exciting and aiding in my personal education of what feels like everything, I’m all too often reminded of the dark situations that brought us here in the first place. Whistling & Company is always on the hot pursuit of hope. We don’t aim to be just a cutesy boutique that talks about how great hope is. We are doing this work because we are determined to find it. This is messy. This isn’t a walk in the park. It’s more like a tussle in a swamp. I want to be walking into the places where hope doesn’t have the oxygen to survive. We are the oxygen tanks.
The reality is, balanced with all the fun and all the learning, I am also having conversations with friends, asking questions like, “How’s your mental health?” or “How do you feel about your support system? Do you have enough?” or “How’s the job search going? Still searching, yeah?” While I’m able to take a breather and dream a bit, real life is still happening for many of us.
It’s easy to joke about impressive inversions and learning the ins and outs of Quickbooks but — while important —that’s not why I’m here. I believe in hope and need this community so much that I want to make it count. I want to stand for something. I want my belief to be put to the test that hope even in the tiniest glimmer overcomes the Goliath darkness. I want to trust. Trust that there is good. Trust that as divisive as this world can feel, we are all so much more alike than different. Trust that we will all be okay. I want to believe in something so much that I’d leave a job, a level of comfort and predictability to see it through. Ya’ll, I believe in this. I believe in hope. I believe in this community.
We Are The Changers
I’ve said many times on this blog that we are the changers. We create the good for others. Doing that will look different for each of us each day. Some days we are the supporters. Other days we are the supported. For me, being a changer, a hoper, a whistler means going where I’ve never been to create what I believe gives the chaos a steadier rhythm.
The day-to-day stuff is just stuff. The truth is, I don’t worry much about the nitty gritty. I don’t worry about how many people follow us or what our page views look like. I care about you. I care that this is a message that reaches exactly who it’s supposed to. I care that this is a message that resonates with so many only because of the great magnitude of hurt and pain.
A lot of people talk about the entrepreneurial hustle. I’ve said that’s not my style but I’m learning the hustle isn’t often driven by a desire to work in Excel or just start a business for the heck of it. My entrepreneurial hustle nudges me to go deep, to feel, and to take a risk in the name — the certainty — of hope.