Today, September 16th, will mark three years since the official launch of Gracemade. I can't believe how fast time has gone by and how much has happened since the day I launched this brand in my bedroom with only 3 styles. I can't say that things have gone exactly how I expected them to go 3 years ago, but things have happened exactly how they should.
Throughout these years I have made countless mistakes, wasted too much money, and learned so many invaluable lessons. Without these failures, the brand wouldn't be where it is today and I wouldn't be the woman I am today. God has used every lesson in this journey not only shape the brand but to shape me into the woman He has called me to be. I want to share with you three lessons I've learned that have changed my life and business for the better. I hope they will be of some encouragement to you!
1. Press past fear.
I am so annoyed with myself because of all the times during this journey that I've allowed fear to hold me back. Honestly, if I could kick myself for it, I would. I allowed my insecurities to deceive me.
I was fearful to say I didn't know what I was doing and ask for help.
I was fearful to confront business contractors who treated me unfairly.
I was fearful to ask for what I wanted because I felt my brand was unworthy of it.
I was fearful of how people perceived the brand.
All of this was a parallel of how I was in my personal life, and something God really had to work out in me.
I'm so grateful to say that I finally made the decision to press into fear and to do the very things that make me uncomfortable. The more I do them the more confident and bold I become. But, let me be clear, this confidence is not rooted in self, but the confidence that comes from knowing that I serve a powerful God that promises to never leave me - not even in the messy places.
2. Take the risk.
A few months ago I was invited to the Facebook offices and had the chance to speak with one of the marketing executives who worked with businesses considered to be disruptors (Disruptors are businesses that create innovative ideas that will totally change the game). I asked him what he noticed as a commonality in the successful businesses he got to work with every day. And you know what his answer was? They take risks.
This was such a simple concept but totally revolutionized my mindset. I realized that, for so long, I had been playing it safe. I manufactured just enough inventory, I didn't want to try anything new, and I hadn't invested enough in this business that I valued so much. Without taking risks or trying new things you will stay in the same space of comfortability and never grow. This is a key principle in life and business.
3. Look for God in everything.
I believe that God inspired this business 100%. It's actually the thing that keeps me going the most - seeing His hand and favor on everything. To be honest, this journey hasn't always looked how I imagined it would. When I started Gracemade, I pictured a quick growth. I pictured that, by year 3, we would be in an amazing office with a team of staff members and the sales would be in the 7 figures. But that hasn't exactly been our reality. Despite the fact that things look differently than I thought, I still see God's provision in a way that inspires me to keep going. I've seen testimonies of rededication in Christ. I've seen God open doors that no human could open or shut. And, most of all, I've see God's unmerited favor in everything we do.
The Lord is far more concerned from an eternal perspective than any worldly definition of success and I'm here for it.
As we enter into this new year, I am hopeful and expectant for God to show up in ways that we've never seen and to continue to blow our minds with His goodness. I want to thank each and every one of you who have followed our journey and have rooted for us since day one. I honestly could not continue to do this without the love and support of all of you and I'm so grateful for our tribe. Here's to another 3+ years.