Failure, Reinvention, and Finding RelatabilityJul 19, 2022
What a great conversation we had with Rachel! I connected so much with her and the journey that got her where she is today. There were so many great things that Rachel said- but this really stuck out to me. I remember when she said this and I immediately got chills because I have felt this! While we have never had a business fail outright, I have had this feeling of survivor’s guilt. Specifically after these past 2 years with the pandemic.
Man - I remember the early days of quarantining, floundering around, and trying to figure out how to get through the spring- because summer was FOR SURE going to be fine! It was not fine. And with summer brought all new challenges that I didn’t know how to handle. I felt like we were barely holding on and making decisions blindly. It was exhausting, emotional, and so incredibly hard. I felt like a failure a lot of days, and truly felt like I was given a bigger task than either me or Courtney could handle.
2021 rolled around and I remember having one of the biggest fights with Courtney. We were so stressed, so overwhelmed, and did not see an end to this pandemic. We had just hired new people in the anticipation of the amount of events, but there was real fear that those events would push into 2022 and the constant pressure of payroll. April came around and it was like the floodgates opened up. We had one of the best years financially and we were changing our conversation from how do we pay our employees to how much money should our distribution be this quarter (it was our first year ever taking one)!
I didn’t want to talk about it, I didn’t want to tell anyone. We never celebrated or mentioned that the company was able to buy us brand new cars - it all felt..shameful. Like we didn’t deserve it. I was embarrassed to say that we had a great year when so many were suffering. I didn’t think we were worthy of the success.
Whenever it came up, or anyone asked- I always said we had the first string of luck in our entire time as business owners. The renovation lined up perfectly with COVID. A large portion of our new loan was with the SBA and when the pandemic hit - our payment was paused for 18 months. Even though our loan was almost 3 times of what it was prior ro renovating, our payment was half the amount.
So our success felt like a lot of luck with a little bit of business prowess. Which in my mind - not deserving. But hearing Rachel say it out loud - made me confront my own imposter syndrome. I can say that, while I still don’t think we DESERVED to be successful - I can say that it took a lot of work, skill, adapting, pivoting, and tenacity to get through these past 2 years.
We are so hard on ourselves, especially when we feel like a success is unwarranted. Listening to Rachel’s story- I wanted to tell her - WHAT! You deserve that success. It was YOU who worked hard, YOU who hustled it, YOU who marketed it- why shouldn’t you be successful off the back of something YOU built? It made me take step back and think - why can’t I be that for myself? Why can’t I be my own hype girl, encourager, and validate my success?
I don’t know why (that will take quite a but more therapy) - but I do know I have quieted that inner asshole that tells me I am undeserving and started listening to my inner hype girl - and friends - I have never felt more free.
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