Just recently I was reflecting on my life and all the things I’ve accomplished. I was looking back on how young I was when I started my first business and how I felt during that time. I was 22 years old and I was so lost. I felt like I was moving forward and I had it all together but yet I didn’t fit in anywhere. Anyone else who owned a business was a lot older than me and everyone my age was out partying. I missed a lot of parties, bar nights, and get togethers due to my responsibilities. The pressure I constantly got from friends was overwhelming. I felt pulled in so many different directions, but deep down I knew where I needed to be. So I said no a lot, actually most of the time. And it made me feel alone.
I would look at pictures from the weekend and see all of my friends and wonder how it would’ve been if I were there. I think about how the next time I see them they would talk about how fun it was and I would feel left out. They would have all these inside jokes that I would never understand. And I was right. I constantly felt left out and like no one understood me.
But the bigger picture was that I was building a business and that took sacrifice, so I began to have grace with myself. That was over five years ago. But even now, I find myself feeling the same way but for different reasons. Shaun and I love to travel and we usually travel 4 times a year. However, we knew that if we were going to move to New York traveling would have to be put on hold for a bit and we’d have to work our butts off.
Shaun and I moved to New York almost two months ago and all we’ve done since we’ve been here is work. Yes, we explore. Yes, we make time once a week for friends. But other than that we are focused and we have our eyes on the prize. And I think that’s always the way it is when you’re working towards a goal. For example, your goal may be to lose 15 pounds so you want to limit the time you spend going out to eat and having drinks. Sometimes people will even peer pressure you and make you feel guilty for not doing those things. Try and surround yourself with like-minded people who cheer you on instead of making you feel that way.
As humans it’s in our nature to say yes just to please people, but we have to get out of that habit. They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. We can’t continue having the same routine and expecting things to change. Put yourself first and focus on the bigger picture.
So, to the girl who’s getting her Master’s Degree and says no to the Saturday night parties in order to study, the guy who doesn’t go to his buddy’s house on Sunday for football because he’s working overtime so he can save to buy his first house, the couple who stays in for a quiet date night instead of spending $200 at the bar with friends because they’re saving to start a business…this one’s for you. Yes, I know that building your dream can be lonely but I also know it’s all worth it.