January 1st, 2013 marked the second anniversary of my lifestyle PR firm, House of Success!
Two years may not seem like a lot of time but when you’re working hard to build something from the ground up with no guarantee of success, each day can feel like a lifetime.
My last day of work at my former employer was 12/30/2010 and the first day of the rest of my life began on 1/1/11. No breaks. No safety net.
When I walked out of that building for the last time, I felt every single emotion that exists wash over me. I was terrified, happy, confused, anxious, excited, etc. I remember going to a New Year’s Eve party the next night to celebrate and after the countdown to 2011, I remember literally just standing in the middle of the dance floor smiling and thinking:
“Wow, did I really just quit my job? Am I really about to do House of Success full-time? How?”
I didn’t have any answers. And at that point, I didn’t have any clients either. But what I did have (besides bills lol) was passion and an unrelenting notion that if I just worked hard enough at it, I could make it work.
I thought about the conversation I had with my grandmother at her kitchen table during the Summer of 2006 when I announced that one day I would have my own PR company and that it would be called House of Success. I thought about how I changed my major from Pre-Med w/ a minor in PR (I wanted to be an OB/GYN who got quoted in all of the magazines 🙂 ) to PR w/ a minor in entrepreneurship.
I thought about how I did internship after PR internship and freelance work under the HOS name literally for free so that I could supplement my experience in between industry jobs.
I thought about how I went to the library before my first PR internship and checked out every book they had on PR and PR writing. I read ’em all too.
I thought about how I felt when I got my first two media hits in the New York Daily News and Black Enterprise magazine.
I thought about how people would laugh when I told them about my dreams and the moment I learned that when someone says “Wow, that’s really ambitious,” they don’t mean it in a good way.
I thought about my lacrosse coaches and former bosses, mentors and professors who saw something in me. Who gave of their time and held me to my own high standard, never letting me slack off or get away with mediocrity.
And now as I sit here in awe reflecting on what I’ve been able to accomplish in two years, I think about the cold shoulder I got from former colleagues who thought I was making a huge mistake.
I think about getting my first official client nearly a month after quitting my job.
I think about crying tears of uncertainty and doubt literally every single day of 2011.
I think about having to sue someone during my first year of business.
I think about not having any food to eat at times and not bringing in enough money to pay my bills for several months in a row and how I had to make the decision to use the little money I did have to pay the bills that were essential to my business first in order to keep it up and running.
I think about the amazing people I’ve been able to meet and work with.
I think about how I was able to renew my spiritual faith and how doing so gave me the strength to keep going.
And, I think about doubts that are swirling around in my head right now and how because of every thing I just listed, they may be without merit.
I almost didn’t write this post. Almost didn’t do anything to acknowledge and celebrate this moment. But then I read parts of my journal from 2010 and knew that I had to do something to honor the person who I was when I was writing those entries.
I also knew that I needed to remind myself that I am still that same passionate and ambitious person and that my best achievements are in my future.
I hope you will be inspired to honor your own dreams. Anything is possible.