One of my most favorite things to tell people is that “Everything happens for a reason.” May it be because I truly believe it, or simply because it is an easy way to divert having a drawn out conversation, I do not know. But I do know, because I truly believe it.
I think everyone is put in your life for a reason, and taken out all the same. I think I didn’t become a professional horseback rider because my non-existant “Frog” butt would have looked horrendous in riding pants. I believe my apartment complex allowed me to lie about my income so I could sit on my Ikea-made balcony table and chair writing you this very blog. And perhaps a little bit because they believed in me more than I did myself.
So it is not lost that I indeed take this justification to great lengths. I use the notion of everything happening for a reason as my stance on life, business, and the pursuit of happiness. (Do we know what that means exactly? No. But none the less.)
Bringing this to the business side of things, as I listen in triumph to a high school band tooting their horns in the background (this is an actual things happening in actual time and I had to share), there have been three sound words of advice that summed up my entire year-and-a-half of work being justified as happening for a reason.
“Trust your instincts, in the end they are always right.” -Meredith, Austin Beauty Guide
A little story for you all. When first starting out in Austin I decided it was best to say yes to every single job that came my way. They were presented to me for a reason after all, right? WRONG. There was one instance where I can be very sure that my goal was to learn how to say no, and it wouldn’t have happened without the help of Meredith.
After a long night of fretting over a meeting that started as a simple marketing pitch and turned into coffee with a man who wanted me to build a company for him from the ground up, run it all, and make profit, which I had at that point still unsuccessfully done myself, I had no where to turn. There I was, 22 and freaking out. Not because I didn’t want to make money and he was presenting money (kind of), but because for some reason this business didn’t sit well with my aspirations. Not that it was some S&M shop or anything like that.
So I literally asked every person I know what to do. Fearing making the wrong decision would send my career spiraling into a fatal demise. It wasn’t until Meredith let me in on her little secret that it all made sense. She told me that no matter how powerful someone is, if you are true to the purpose of your business they wont have a hold on your success. And she was right.
“I do every aspect of my business in the most difficult way possible, but I’m okay with that.” -Tim, Mitscoots Socks
Listen, I linked this guys website because he is too legit to quit. Tim was one of my first interviews back in Austin when I was working for an online magazine as an intern. He has this company called Mitscoots that gives a pair of socks to the homeless every time someone buys one. But even more than that, he employs the homeless community of Austin to package the socks, and he only manufactures in the US.
Listening to him speak, my brain immediately went into over drive. He is a marketing gold mine, but a business disaster. His words (kind of), not mine. Pretty much, he explained to me that along the way he had been told time-and-time again that the way he was structuring his business had huge faults. Like helping people wasn’t a strong enough tactic to succeed?
But that’s the thing with Tim. I have watched, from a stalker-esque distance, as Mitscoots went from passing out one box of socks a month to passing out thousands. Tim is one of those people who is so true to his heart you kind of question if he has two. Or maybe three with all the heart truth he radiates.
“Stay neutral.” -Emma, Sirens Salon
If I have to peg a single moment in my career thus far as being one that happened for a reason it is the moment I met Emma. Sitting in a dim corner of my very first Austin event with her brightly colored dress and over the top heels, I thought to myself as she handed me her business card and assured me to call her for marketing work “What have I gotten myself into?”
I often times still ask that very question when thinking of her, but more so now because I literally would be lost without her and my Sirens family. And her husband and his work family. And all the other families she has introduced me to along the way. I could gush about Emma all day (as creepy as I don’t care that that sounds) but the true lesson she has taught me is to stay neutral.
It was evident early on in this town that moving home didn’t only mean moving back to my high school room, but it meant moving back in high school. Everyone knows everyone and everyones business is stirred into one big pot. I remember too well the pain from getting a pre-teen phone call that someone was talking shit about me. The buried anger you carry around when you see her in the hall. How can you be so nice to everyones face and then say those things about my green spiral behind my back? Obviously you got a new spiral, but the stink still stung.
Emma has taught me to stay neutral. To follow my dreams of having clients that I can call family, but remembering that some times even with family the answer is to nod your head politely, hug them with all your might, and walk away. Then call your mom and dish the dirt, right?
Is everyone seeing the common thread here? Perhaps it is the secret to life, or just the secret to everything happening for a reason… but either way, if you stay true to yourself, your purpose, and your heart things are going to work out in the way they should. And that my friends, is the only way it seems fit.
Side note: the band director just got really mad at some of the music kids. That is all.