Yesterday I shared on my IG my interview with The Influential Women Podcast, and in my post, I wrote: “I don’t want to say I stumbled upon Lillian & Co. because I don’t believe in accidents, but to be honest I never had entrepreneurship or jewelry company on in my brain. I never dreamed of either of one, but it’s the exact thing I needed and dare I say, hoped for.”
Then, an IG friend messaged me and said, “I’m 26 and sometimes I have days where I have no idea what I’m doing with my life…then I see your post and I feel hopeful…”
So, this is what I would tell my 26-year-old self, 36-year-old self, and yesterday old self:
Girl, I understand you one thousand percent! Society gives us this timeline of things that should be checked off by certain ages and if we don’t meet them we somehow feel like it’s too late for us, like if we’ve missed the boat.
Well, it’s not too late.
I didn’t even start Lillian & Co. until I was 40!
And you’re never really lost. We’re always exactly where we’re supposed to me.
If there’s one piece of encouragement or advice I could give you, no matter how old you are or how lost in life you feel:
Become a student in life.
No, I’m not saying go back to college. Heck, ditch college if you’re not planning on being a doctor or lawyer. What I really mean is learn as many skills as you can right where you are and get so freakin’ good at whatever it is you’re doing that people can’t ignore you. Even if you absolutely hate it and think, “if I have to do this for the rest of my life I’m gonna shoot myself”.
Because you never know where life is going to take you and I promise you’ll look back and be like “Wow! Who knew I’d need this skill in my life.” So, instead of struggling to muscle your way through a menial job wishing your life away, use that time to become proficient, an expert even, at a certain skill or line of work.
Work hard to become proficient
When you become proficient in a skill, you become more confident, and when you become more confident, more doors open up to you, and when doors began to open up to you, as Earl Nightingale put it, “it’s the privilege of writing one’s own ticket, and of making Life yield whatever price is asked.”
Studies have shown that if you spend one hour a day — ONE HOUR — studying and practicing a skill or line of business in one year you’ll know more than 70% of the people in that line of work. That’s pretty crazy to think about.
Here are a couple of examples of how I’ve experienced this very thing in my own life:
A Professional Photographer
I was a professional wedding photographer for 8 years and absolutely HATED it. I tried to quit every other week, but I got myself into it because I was a stay at home mom and it was a flexible way to make a supplemental income for our family. So, I was stuck. Over the 8 years, I got really good at photography and I’m confident behind the camera.
Now, fast forward six years. Do you know how many THOUSANDS of dollars we’ve saved at Lillian because I am able to take our own photos?! All those grueling years of learning and becoming a proficient photographer prepared me for my future endeavors.
Working at Walt Disney World
Another example is more recently I took a part-time job at Walt Disney World when we first moved to Orlando. I never publicly shared this bit of information because I was a tad bit ashamed of this. We decided it was a perfect thing to do because they offer free admission to the parks for cast members and their families, so who wouldn’t want to save some money for our Disney crazed family?
But here I was closing in on 40 shoveling fries and chicken nuggets into paper boats for hot frustrated vacationers alongside kids who I was old enough to be their mother? I was basically a McDonald’s employee with park benefits.
After four months, I ditched that job, but what I didn’t realize was the intensive cultural employee training of Walt Disney World taught me a lifetime of lessons on the psychology of making the customer happy. I mean, I cried in my first day of orientation. They made me believe I was the reason people were coming to the Magic Kingdom. Humanity’s happiness was hinging on the magic I created.
Let’s be honest, any company who can charge thousands of dollars for a family to spend long hours waiting in long lines in the hot sun only to go home with the most “magical memories ever” has a secret or two on customer service.
For the first year of building Lillian & Co., our very motto was, “What Would Walt Do”. I pulled out every single lesson I learned from working for the empire that Walt Disney built. I left no stone unturned from churro pedaling days.
Get really good at something
So, where are you right now? Do you feel lost and frustrated at where you are?
I want you to stop waiting for a future event to save you from your current misery because you’re already getting prepared for it. You’re in the middle of training for it (whatever “it” is because who really knows).
Get to work right now becoming so good at something — anything — that you’ll be able to write your own ticket in life.
Don’t put any expectations on what it’s going to look like in the future. Just get yourself ready for when the doors start opening up, you’ll be confident to walk through them.
Trust the journey. You’re on the right one.