Happy 44th Birthday to Me!
I woke yesterday morning feeling like I could take on the world. I mean, I’m 44 years old! That’s a pretty big deal. I’ve survived four decades of life and more than 15 years on my entrepreneurial journey managing at The MelRish Studio with my husband, and I’m still here. I’m still standing. I’m still kicking.
I started my day off with a delicious breakfast of champorado at Kooya restaurant. I had been craving this Filipino chocolate rice porridge for weeks, so it was the perfect way to start my birthday. After breakfast, we watched a movie as a family (I did not bring a camera for that). It was so much fun to just relax and enjoy each other’s company. For lunch, we went to Texas Roadhouse and I had my favorite steak. I had to forget about my low carb diet for the day and just enjoy my cheat meal. It was the perfect birthday. I spent it with the people I love and I did the things I love. I couldn’t ask for anything more. I’m so grateful for all the blessings in my life. I know that I’m not perfect, but I’m trying my best to be a good person. I’m trying to make a difference in the world.
Along the way in my entrepreneurial journey, I’ve learned a lot of lessons, both big and small. Some of them have been easy, and some of them have been hard. But through it all, I’ve grown and become the person I am today.
Here are four of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my 44 years as an entrepreneur:
1. Always choose kindness.
This is one of the most important lessons I’ve learned, both in business and in life. It’s easy to be kind when things are going well, but it’s even more important to be kind when things are tough. When you’re under pressure, it’s easy to lash out or take things personally. But if you can remember to always choose kindness, you’ll be amazed at how much it changes your life.
In business, it’s often said that you should be transactional with your relationships. “It’s not personal,” they say. “It’s just business.” But I disagree. I believe that kindness is always the best policy, even in business.
Sure, there are times when you need to make tough decisions that may not be popular. But even then, you can still be kind. You can still show empathy and respect for the people you’re dealing with. Why? Because kindness pays off. When you’re kind to people, they’re more likely to be kind to you in return. They’re more likely to do business with you. They’re more likely to be loyal to you.
And even if they don’t do business with you, they’ll still remember you. They’ll remember the way you treated them. And they’ll be more likely to do business with you in the future.
So next time you’re in a business situation, remember to be kind. It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s also good for business. I was once in a meeting with a potential client. We were discussing the terms of the deal, and I could tell that the client was getting a little frustrated. He was starting to raise his voice and get a little aggressive.
I could have easily matched his aggression. I could have raised my voice and gotten aggressive back. But I didn’t. Instead, I took a deep breath and smiled. I said, “I understand that you’re frustrated. But let’s try to keep this conversation civil.”
The client was taken aback. He stopped raising his voice and apologized. We were able to finish the meeting on a positive note, and we ended up doing business together.
So remember, kindness is always the best policy. Even in business.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:32
When we treat others with respect and integrity, we build lasting relationships that can withstand even the toughest of times
Lesson 2: The journey is more important than the destination
“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” – Proverbs 16:3
Looking back on my entrepreneurial journey, there were definitely times when I was so focused on the destination that I forgot to enjoy the ride. I was fixated on reaching certain milestones and achieving financial success, that I forgot to appreciate the little victories along the way. But now, I realize that it’s the small things that add up and make a difference. It’s the relationships formed, the lessons learned, and the growth that happens that make the journey worthwhile.
And let’s be honest, sometimes the journey can be downright hilarious. Like that time when I accidentally sent an embarrassing typo in an important email or when I showed up to a networking event with mismatched shoes. But even in those moments, I learned to laugh at myself and not take things too seriously. After all, life is too short to not have a sense of humor.
So, as we navigate through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship, let’s remember that the journey is what truly matters. Let’s enjoy the ride, learn from our mistakes, and trust that God will establish our plans according to His perfect will. And who knows, we might even have a good laugh along the way.
3. Failure is part of the learning process.
I’ve failed a lot in my life. I’ve failed at relationships, at jobs, and in my entrepreneurial journey. But through it all, I’ve learned that failure is not the end of the world. It’s just a part of the learning process.
Reflecting on my own failures, I can definitely say that it’s not always easy to get back up after falling down. Sometimes, it feels like the world is against you and that you’ll never succeed. But looking back, I can see that each failure taught me something important. Whether it was learning to delegate tasks better or developing better communication skills, I always came out stronger and more equipped for the next challenge.
My failures have resulted to embarassing moments. Some of my mistakes cost the company substantial losses. I hired the wrong people, said yes to horrible clients and even priced some projects incorrectly. But even in those moments, I learned to embrace the failure and use it as a learning opportunity. After all, if we can’t laugh at ourselves, who can we laugh at?
The important thing is to never give up. Keep learning, keep growing, and keep moving forward. And remember, failure is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength.
As the Bible says, “The one who falls and gets up again is better than the one who never falls” (Proverbs 24:16).
4. Faith + Hard work = perfect recipe.
I believe that faith and hard work are the perfect recipe for success. When you have faith in yourself and in God, anything is possible. And when you’re willing to put in the hard work, you’ll eventually reach your goals.
“But someone will say, ‘You have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” – James 2:18
As an entrepreneur, it’s important to have faith in something greater than ourselves. It’s what gives us the courage to take risks and pursue our passions. And as the Bible verse from James reminds us, faith without works is dead. We must be willing to put in the hard work to make our dreams a reality.
But let’s be real, sometimes the hard work can feel like a slog. There are days when we want to just crawl back into bed and binge-watch Netflix instead of putting in the effort needed to move our businesses forward. And that’s okay. It’s important to take breaks and recharge our batteries.
But when we’re feeling discouraged, let’s remember that success doesn’t happen overnight. It’s the result of faith, hard work, and persistence. So let’s keep pushing forward, even when it feels like we’re not making progress. And let’s trust that God has a plan for us and our businesses, and that with His guidance and our hard work, we can achieve anything we set our minds to.
In conclusion, my entrepreneurial journey has taught me valuable lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Always choose kindness, remember that the journey is more important than the destination, failure is part of the learning process, and have faith and work hard. As Christian business women, we have the added benefit of knowing that God is with us every step of the way. He wants us to succeed and has a plan for our lives. So, let’s have faith in Him and enjoy the journey. Let’s embrace the failures and the obstacles as opportunities to learn and grow. And let’s keep working hard to make our dreams a reality. Remember, with faith and hard work, anything is possible.
I’m so grateful for all the blessings in my life. I know that I’m not perfect, but I’m trying my best to be a good person. I’m trying to make a difference in the world.
I’m excited to see what the next year brings. I know that it will be full of challenges, but I’m confident that I can handle them. I’m ready for whatever life throws my way.
Happy birthday to me!