I'm currently sitting on my couch at the Dazey Desert House with Franklin burrowed in blankets by me, my grandmother's art hung behind me, and a home full of color and inspiration EVERYWHERE that I get to call my own. How damn magical it feels to be 28. But you know, this isn't all by accident. I've worked my ass off, I've failed, I've taken big leaps, I've fought anxiety and stress, I learned to let go, I work everyday to beat the algorithm (HA!), and I always just keep going.
I spent this past week here in Palm Springs with close friends who I had met from all walks in life. We spent time reflecting and reminiscing, and I couldn’t help but realize how far I've come since I was a young girl terrified of the world. In my 20's especially, I have learned SO MUCH that makes me who I am today. Some lessons have come with experience, some with age, and some have even JUST come to me within the past few years from running my business. However, all of them have become a somewhat of a guide to how I live my life today. I'm sure these lessons and perspectives will change and grow as I do, but for now, I'd love to share the greatest hacks, mantras, perspectives, and lessons I've learned along the way. I hope you can take from these and get ahead on the learning curve!
1. Don’t care what other people think.
This is something people say all the time, but it’s so true. Somewhere in my early 20's I just stopped caring (so much) what people thought of me and did what I wanted to do. I allowed myself to wear wacky outfits, speak my mind, and dance like nobody was watching. If you don’t like the way people judge you, you don’t have to be around them! And as for random strangers on the street, when will you ever see them again, why does it matter? Figuring this out was like finding a magical secret that gave me freedom!
2. Be nice.
3. Ask for what you want.
Simple as pie. A little kindness makes a huge impact on people and it’s so much easier than being mean. Especially as you navigate your everyday life. Smile at people, let them in front of you in line, compliment strangers, or help them with something. I wasn’t and am not always this way, I certainly have a sassy side to me. But kindness is something I've been trying to be more mindful of over the years. It's an easy way to make the world a better place! The awesome part about this hack is that it not only makes the subject feel better, but you will too!
If you don’t ask the default answer is NO. I will literally ask anyone for anything. Sometimes my boyfriend is mortified of this trait haha. But he and I are always surprised how often the answer is yes! To me, a simple ask is always worth the risk and if I don't get the answer I want, I can simply just move on.
4. Believe in yourself.
I spent way too much time doubting my dreams in my younger days. I had ideas of what I might like to do, but never really believed I could achieve them. It terrifies me to think where I would be if I had actually continued to listen to those limiting thoughts. The more you believe in yourself and focus on that, the more drive you will have to achieve all you want! I promise you, it's all possible! Quick challenge: Motivate yourself by making your New Years resolutions TODAY! Get your mindset prepped and get a head start on making your goals your reality.
5. Take risks within reason.
I fall somewhere in the middle on the risk scale. I like to blame my vastly different parents on this one! My mom can be quite reckless and my dad is totally by-the-book. Being safe and conservative has saved my ass a few times no doubt, BUT my more adventurous side keeps me pushing the boundaries and it pays off. Find your balance when taking risks and see how it helps you grow!
6. Save money.
Money is not happiness, but it is freedom. Before I started Dazey I saved up some serious cash that funded my business and kept me afloat and sane. If I hadn’t been living below my means and tucking cash away every check I got, I wouldn’t have a company or a house today.
7. Treat yo’ self too.
If you get too caught up in penny-pinching you will miss out on your youth and free time to have fun! Budget in a treat yo' self stash for concerts, brunch, drinks with friends, and all those good times to be had because having fun keeps you SANE. I know this is somewhat contradictory to #6, but having a little bit of both is important. Remember, risk within reason! HACK: When making your budget, use cash! That way when you go out you can't overspend.
8. Ask for help.
You can’t do everything yourself and asking for/hiring help in my life and business has been the single best decision I have made. Not only will you be in a better mental state, but allowing others to step in and do what THEY'RE good at will free up your time to work on the things YOU'RE good at!
9. Success doesn’t bring you happiness.
When you’re chasing the ever elusive definition of “success” it will always feel one step out of reach, no matter how much you’ve accomplished. I’ve noticed that the more I achieve, the more I want, and the less happy I am. I can always climb one step higher, it seems. It's great to dream and scheme of my next step of growth, but it's just as important to remind myself to be grateful and see what I have done as opposed to what I have not.
10. Learn on someone else's dime.
The biggest asset that helped me start my business was that I went in with previous professional experience. I managed to start Dazey a few steps above zero because I dedicated my early years to learning from others. Back when I worked for other companies, I was given the low-down on how things were done. I was taught how companies ran from the inside and the million different ways it could be done. Working for other companies is where I learned a ton about project management, workflow, and company culture. This experience gave me the insight I needed to design my dream business and ultimately it saved me a lot of money and major headaches when I decided to take the leap and launch Dazey!
11. Know when to take the leap.
On that same accord, you need to know when it’s time to move on and seek new opportunities that are bigger and scarier. Don’t get stuck or let fear hold you back! So many doors have been shut in my life only for bigger and better ones to open. So how do you know when it's time to take the leap? Ask yourself this one question: Am I learning or just repeating? If you feel like you're not learning or growing, it's time!
12. You will be OK.
I often get caught in this black hole of “what ifs”. I worry about things that aren’t even happening and most likely never will. These things can bog you down with anxiety, and really for no reason. I can’t speak for everyone, but for me, the “worst case scenario” is having to move back in with my parents…Which wouldn’t be super glamorous, but c’mon it could be so much worse! Even if worse did come to worse, I promise you will be OK and everything will work out, so tell that little voice to shut up :)
13. Find Magic in the mundane.
Not just a Dazey tee people! So much of what gives life meaning is in the downtime. Getting a morning coffee, playing with your dog, or going on a walk. It contrasts the highs and lows and also gives you time to think and unwind. Treasure these moments and try to live in them. Soak it all up like it’s the highlight of your life, because it very well may be if you let it!
14. Take friendship seriously.
If you have all the success in the world but no REAL friends, what's the point?! When Dazey was really hitting a stride I found myself spending less time with friends and getting "too busy" to form meaningful bonds. BIG mistake! It will leave you unhappy real quick. Set aside time for your friends, the same you do for work or anything else. If you don’t have close friends, I challenge you to make a real effort to change that. Do something bold like asking an acquaintance on a coffee date, that’s how many of my close friendships started!
15. Prioritize inspiration.
Literally set aside time in your schedule to do whatever it is that makes you feel inspired! For me, it’s exploring new parts of town or browsing beautifully curated boutiques. It may feel like you're wasting time but in actuality, this is more valuable than any output of work you could be doing. It’s filling up your inspiration tank and feeding your mind what it needs to create! Inspo dates are always a must!
16. Read more books.
A book can change your whole perspective, encourage you to dig deeper, give you the wisdom you didn't think you needed, make you laugh or cry, and actually help train your brain to get focused. It's something I’ve prioritized more lately. It’s a great way to be in the moment and bring me to my next hack!
17. Get off your phone.
While I owe so much to the little screen in my pocket I know it can also be a source of so much negativity. It’s one of the biggest causes of depression in our generation. Finding balance can be a challenge, but you have to set up clear boundaries you can follow. You don’t need to be plugged in 24/7 and honestly what you don’t know is better than FOMO. Your mental health will thank you for it. Take some time to get offline.
18. Unfollow everyone who doesn’t empower, inspire or educate you.
I don’t care how fabulous you think they are or how much you wish you had their life. I don’t care if it’s your best friend or family member. You need to prioritize YOU when it comes to your online and IRL life. I’m personally a lot more happy seeing cat memes all day vs seeing flawless women travel the whole damn world while wearing flowy dresses and selling me sugar bear hair :) Memes FTW.
19. It’s ok and normal to feel sad.
Even for no reason. It doesn’t mean you're broken. I feel this “big empty” a few times a month. It might even last for a few days. Life is cyclical and you will come back around. Do what you can to pull yourself out. Call a friend, take a hike, or just sit with it and know it will pass.
20. Self-care isn’t selfish.
Take time to do small things that make you feel better both mentally and physically. For me, it’s keeping my home organized, lighting a candle, taking a walk, wearing a fun outfit, getting coffee with a friend, listening to a good song, watching a favorite show, and the list goes on. Knowing what you need for your self-care and then doing it will change your life. Making time for self-care will sustain your sanity and allow you to fully show up and do your best work.
21. Find rituals and stick with them.
Okay, I know you probably see me doing this all the time! I LOVE the act and ritual of getting my morning coffee. I love going there, I love knowing the baristas, I love those first few sips. Every morning this is what I do to get my day started. It gets me in the right mindset and makes me feel safe and balanced. As someone who’s self-employed and every day looks different, it’s little rituals like this that give me clarity and peace.
22. Embrace change.
Again opposite of the previous hack, but you gotta have balance! I’m all about novelty, I know this about myself and embrace it. I live for a change of scenery, whether it be designing a new collection, redoing my apartment, traveling somewhere I’ve never been, or starting a new project. These are the things that light my fire. I know in order for me to be happy I need to leave space for fresh ideas and experiences. That's where growth happens!
23. Don’t count on other people to make you happy.
When I was younger I was obsessed with the idea of finding a “soulmate” to the point where it became a joke amongst my friends and I. I was genuinely convinced that once I found my soulmate, my “happily ever after” would ensue. After years of up and down dating and driving myself insane, I realized I didn’t need to rely on anyone else to make me feel complete. I had to find that within myself. Once you're focused on being your own soulmate the right people will fall into place to compliment that :)
24. You don’t have to be friends with everyone.
Some people you just won’t click with. Some people won’t be the friend you need them to be. Some people will be downright toxic. Learn to zoom out and spot these people ASAP. Cut them out right away or slowly start to distance yourself from them. You can’t choose your family, but lucky for us you CAN choose your friends!
25. Not everyone is going to like you.
As a self-proclaimed "people pleaser" this one can suck, but it’s honestly unavoidable. You just can’t make everyone happy. Trust me I’ve tried. If you're making one person happy someone else will be upset about it. You have to trust your gut and know who your people are. Embrace that not everyone will like you early on so you can stop worrying about it!
26. Find a hobby that is ONLY for fun!
Even if your “job is your hobby” have something outside of that that will make you happy. Something that’s not supposed to make you money. Something perhaps totally opposite of what you do for a living. Try new things and see what interests you. You don’t even have to tell anyone you're doing it. You may just find a whole side of yourself or talent you didn’t know was there!
27. Be open-minded.
Learn from people, listen to their stories, and try to understand their perspectives. Coming from a small town to the big city was an adjustment, but meeting vastly different people from myself was the most magical and enriching part of the whole experience. What I believe today is almost a 180 degree flip than my 17-year-old self and that’s because I was shaped by all the different people I met. Why would you limit yourself to just one way of living when a whole world is out there? Study people, cultures, and experiences. Let them shape who you become.
28. Be true to you.
At the end of the day knowing who you are will be your biggest source of strength. Know your values, what you like, what you are good at, what lights you up. These things can take time to develop and will change over time, and that’s ok. You have to study yourself and become conscious of who you are at the core. Know at the drop of a hat where you stand and what your options are. A strong sense of self will guide your daily decisions and be something you can trust and fall back on. I may have doubts about things, but at the end of the day I know I can count on myself.