One Year Later
It's been one year.
One year since I closed up shop on Olive Lane. One year since I met my mailman out front to ship packages. One year since I've put a design on a tee. One year since I leapt into something new.
For those of you who might be new around here, Olive Lane was something I had done for about 4 years, and oddly enough, now I can't remember exactly when I started it. By the time I closed it down though, it was a well-oiled machine. It had grown year over year to the point where I was considering fulfillment centers, and the like, if I was going to continue it. While I loved the creative outlet, the extra income & business aspect of it, it still left me lacking.
Little did most people know that I grappled for 2 years over closing it, growing it or selling it, which always left it hanging in the middle of my indecision. I didn't know why or what at the time, but something was missing. I craved more and I wasn't even sure what that was.
So I just closed it down, almost on a whim. I grappled in indecision for so long, I just decided to jump, hit end & be done.
I thought I would panic at doing so, but instead I felt great. At the time I wasn't sure what I was going to do next, but the mental space that was created in closing that book completely was freeing. I had so many different ideas & thoughts to explore that I wasn't even fazed by the 'you are crazy,' comments that came my way from my family, my friends & my customers. From their perspective Olive Lane was the perfect 'side' business that provided well.
From my perspective, it wasn't enough.
My husband had gently been encouraging me to pursue my real estate aspirations for several years. I obtained my license prior to having babies and had always kept it up to date. I knew I loved real estate, but I was intimidated by the thought of it. You see, I had tried real estate prior, when I just had two little babies at home. It was a messy market with messy deals and I got burned.
So I stopped. I had another successful business I was running, two little babies & I didn't need that headache.
But now. Was now the time? Even after closing Olive Lane, I wasn't sure that's the direction I was going to head. I would think about it, then move to something else, circling back to it again. I had a list of contacts in the industry I knew I should reach out to...and say what? I knew I needed to do it, but always put it off.
Then I got an email from an old boss while I was sitting at my son's soccer practice. We are family friends at this point, so I figured he was emailing me along those lines. Instead, he emailed me a subdivision grand opening for his homebuilding company...the kind of emails and events I used to produce when I worked for him. I looked to see who else was on the email, was this sent to 500 people? Instead it was sent to 4-5 people I recognized worked in his office. I quickly realized one of the people on that list was not like the other & it was me.
I responded back, we met for lunch the next week. A couple more weeks, a couple more meetings and suddenly, I was doing consulting work for him and his home building company. I was officially back in real estate.
I loved the opportunity, as well as the work and at the time, I was certain I would grow a consulting company. Like most things, the beginning is not the end. Instead, it was the vehicle that prompted more research than you can imagine. As I learned, I had more questions, which lead to more research, which lead to more ideas. I explored each different idea, twisting it and turning it to determine its weight and value. I held them close for a long period of time, sharing them only with the closest of friends and family.
Then I created Sonny Daily, to support my real estate endeavors and now, it's been more successful than I dared even hope. When I first started it, I wrote down a specific list of goals for the year. The number of closings I wanted to hit, companies I wanted to work with, dates I wanted to achieve them by & taped it inside my planner...you know kind of like you would in junior high. I wasn't sure how I'd achieve them, they were fairly lofty, but it gave me a map to get started. When things felt fuzzy or I wasn't sure which direction I should go, I'd refer back to that paper...now a little tattered and scribbled on. Today I can say everything is on the calendar to actually meet all of those numbers by the end of the year.
Every. Single. One. I had given myself until August to have it all on the calendar, so I'm even ahead of schedule.
Last night I was talking to my dad & while he's always been supportive, as well as a major sounding board for me through this process, I think he might be more surprised than I am that it worked. If you had told me three years ago what the results would be, when I was grappling over continuing Olive Lane or jumping feet first into this, I wouldn't have dared hope. Instead, I told my dad last night, 'this year I've learned my instincts are good and now I know I don't need to spend so much time questioning them.'
When I closed down Olive Lane without a clear plan moving forward it was just instincts, which taught me a valuable lesson.
You don't need to know the end before you begin, but you have to begin.
This week, I'm mapping out my goals for next year & if I'm being honest, there are more variables on the table now that scare the heck out of me, like keep me up at night with worry. The stakes are higher & the consequences could have far reaching effects. My old self would have said, just throw in the towel, don't push yourself there, but with everything I've learned this past year, I can't. I have to keep pushing myself outside my comfort zone, because that is where I accomplish the most, learn the most & surprise myself the most. The goals are bigger than I would have dared whisper a year ago and while I don't know the end, I have to begin.
Wish me luck. I'm going to need it this year.
Hi, I'm Amy. When I'm not scouring the valley for the perfect new house, you can usually find me in the kitchen with a gaggle of kids. Chips, salsa and a Diet Coke are usually in hand.