So I’m sure you all have seen that trend by now to the audio “I wish that I could be like the cool kids, because all the cool kids, they seem to fit in” where people show themselves younger and then an accomplishment, something they proud of, and/or are shocked by now. I still have yet to do that trend (really need to text my mom to get some photos of me as a child haha), but it has had me thinking about my younger self and what she would think of me.
When I was younger I wasn’t popular, I got made fun of, I was physically awkward/lanky, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, wasn’t a confident person, etc. I’m sure these are things are lot of us have gone through but let’s just say I wasn’t someone that peaked in high school (in hindsight, thank god).
Now, I’m not saying that the older Claire is so great haha (no one is perfect) but if my younger self would have seen the life I have now – marrying someone like Stephen, my hobby of blogging turned into a 6-figure business, developing an app, and overall just being a confident and fulfilled person – I think that I would be pretty proud of myself (and surprised). All that to say, it made me think – what are the traits/changes I’ve made in my mindset (from when I was growing up to even in my early/mid 20s) that have gotten me to the point where I am today? So for whatever it’s worth, I figured I’d share them in hopes that they may help someone – because let’s be honest, there are plenty of us that may still feel like how we felt when we were a child in some ways. However, it’s in our power to change that. Your past doesn’t determine your future.
Mindset Of Why Not Me I started to realize that everyone I see as successful was once a beginner. Success comes from working your ass off (for the most part, I know some luck and privilege should be acknowledged too), and that is something that is available to anyone; anyone can put in the work if they are willing. So I started thinking – why not me? There is no reason I cannot have whatever I want in life if I’m willing to put in the time and effort. If you can’t be your biggest fan, if you can’t bet on yourself, then you can’t expect anyone else to. Start realizing that you are no different than anyone you look up to. Sure, you may have to shift your mindset and start doing things differently to get there, but there is no reason you can’t make those changes.
Confidence On that note, it’s having confidence in yourself and your abilities. Does it mean that you know how to do everything and that you’ll always be right the first time? Absolutely not (quite the opposite actually). But it does mean that you have the confidence to try and keep going despite the mistakes you make along the way. Have confidence in yourself – that if you want something, you have the capability to figure it out and achieve it.
Remaining Humble and Willing To Learn – I think these two go hand in hand. You can be confident while still remaining (and needing to be) humble. You need to be humble enough to know that you don’t know everything and be willing to learn (from others). This is something that should never go away. Regardless of how successful you become, there will always be something you don’t know and room to learn. The mistake (IMO) that people make is when they think they’ve “reached the top” and aren’t humble enough to admit/know that there is always room to grow. Not to mention, your success itself doesn’t make you a better person than anyone else. Don’t be an arrogant asshole lol, remember you once started at the beginning too.
Taking Risks This characteristic is definitely harder to embody than others – in that, I think confidence for example can be learned over time but some people are just innately more comfortable with taking risks than others. This is something I have talked about with my sister – she’s like I could never do what you and Stephen are doing – too many risks. She means it as a compliment because she is proud of us, and it’s not that she isn’t a confident person but I think you can be confident in who you are and still be risk-averse. So this tip may not be as easily applicable to everyone however, I have to include it in my list because it’s a huge reason that I attribute to my success. The main thing I think of is taking the leap and leaving nursing to work full-time as a content creator. Keep in mind, that I started this blog and my IG in 2015 – the word influencer didn’t exist and it wasn’t necessarily cool to be documenting/posting on social media.
When I left nursing (a job with a steady paycheck and in a field that will always be needed), it was a risk. It was a calculated risk, but a risk nonethless. And while that risk worked out, there have been plenty of other risks that Stephen and I have taken that have been more of a “learning experience” than a success. Over the last four or so years, Stephen has started several businesses which ended up not fully panning out for one reason or another – some of them we decided to just abandon because it wasn’t a right product/market fit, or it ended up getting too expensive, etc. But for whatever reason, we couldn’t follow through with them. Similar to me starting Avail (my athleisure line). I worked on that for two years, and then months before launching I came up with the idea for Parry and knew I had to pursue that instead (I knew I didn’t have the time or money for that matter, to commit and invest in both). All that to say, over the years, Stephen and I have invested well over 100K of our own money into these businesses. And at the end of the day, as of now, my personal brand, Parry, and Stephen’s business Cumulus are the only businesses that have fully panned out. There are about six other ideas/businesses that didn’t work. And even though Cumulus panned out, it does not generate much income (because Stephen and I decided to focus on putting money into Parry moving forward). But the point is, we’ve taken a lot of risks to get to where we are today and a lot of them them haven’t turned out like we thought but we were okay with that risk and uncertaintly, and we’ve learned a lot in the process. At the end of the day I go by the motto – no risk, no reward. Or as Grandma Missy says, “no guts, no glory.”
Being Resilient As you can probably imagine (or you’ve experienced yourself), it’s not fun to invest a lot of time and/or money into something especially when you don’t know what the outcome is going to be.
My dad was telling me the other day about an article that he was reading on the founder of Uber. Before founding Uber, he had dropped out of UCLA and had tried to start about 5 other business while living in his parents basement. None of those panned out, until Uber. Some times (a lot of times) anything hard and worth doing takes time. Again it goes back to the saying “if it were easy everyone would do it.” This doesn’t just apply to starting businesses. My sister for example, applied to Speech Pathology Master programs for three years in a row. It’s a very competitive space and the first two years she didn’t get accepted into anywhere she applied. So each year she went back to work and did things to make her more competitive. Three years later, on the third time she applied, she got accepted.
Sometimes being resilient is pushing for the same thing month after month, year after year. Other times it’s acknowledging, okay this plan didn’t work but I’m going to pivot, keep moving forward and figure out what is next. As a sidenote, that is a big part of why I got to the tattoo “forward” on my wrist. It is a constant reminder to me to continue to keep moving forward and to be resilient regardless of what comes my way.
Not Caring What Others Think Last but certainly not least (this an important one). If you start to get in your own head, and let the (potential) opinions of others impact you from going after what you want – none of these other traits really matter because you will feel too insecure to go after what you want in the first place. In my experience, people are usually too wrapped up in themselves and what is going on in their life, to really care what others are doing. But the ones that do judge you, it’s because they are unhappy with their own life and clearly don’t have enough good things going on in their life if they are focusing their time and energy on bringing you down (more on how I handle haters and judgemental people here). I know it doesn’t feel good to be judged or have people make assumptions about you or your life but at the end of the day – you’re not going to wake up and be like “I’m so happy that XYZ isn’t judging me and that is what brings me happiness and fufillment.” No, you’re going to be like “Why did I let their opinions prevent me from doing something that could have made me really happy?” Not to be morbid, but at the end of the day we’re all going to die and I’m not going to let Karen dicate how I live my life. I’m going to do what makes ME happy not what is expected or accepted (more of some of these thoughts in my recent reel btw).