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The Art of Having Fun

Shades of Gray: 10 Lessons I’ve Learned in 10 Years of Business

Hi Everyone,

I almost can’t believe it, but this year marks the first decade of my career! With the past 10 years in my rearview, I’ve had some time to reflect on ways I’ve grown, and the most important lessons I’ve learned in my first 10 years of business. Let me start by saying that this isn’t an all-inclusive list by any means—even the smallest lessons I’ve learned have been too many to count. Building your own business takes time, hard work, and most of all, passion for what you do. Believe it or not, I started out selling my work at flea markets in L.A.! I can’t believe how far I’ve come. But, I’m here to say that the journey is worth it a million times over.

That said, I hope that these lessons that I’ve learned will help some of you out there no matter where you are on your career path, and give you the push to keep going. Here are the top 10 nuggets of wisdom I’m grateful to have learned in my first 10 years:

1. Always be authentic. If there is one quote I would like to be remembered by it is ‘Authenticity is the key to life.’ I can never stress enough how important it is to be yourself at all times. As Oprah recently said, speaking your truth is the most powerful tool you have. Be yourself, be honest, and be one of a kind. No two people are the same and don't be afraid to be your honest self. 

2. Surround yourself with positive people. Or in other words, work with people you know have a good heart. Education and talent are important, but so is the kindness, patience and positivity of a great colleague. 

3. Do not over-share on social media. This is self-explanatory but it's important to remember that what you post is a direct reflection of you, in and outside of the workspace.

4. Kill them with kindness. Being rude gets you nowhere. Whenever you find yourself in a tricky or frustrating spot, it's always better to take the high road and be a gentleman or a gentlewoman. Be positive and keep focused on what is important rather than getting sucked into the drama.

5. Listen to your peers and your parents. I have learned so much from others, especially when times are tough. Whenever I get in my own head too much, I seek the advice of others.

6. Never be afraid to speak up or reach out. Someone once told me that you cannot wait for doors to open for you, you must knock and open them yourself.

7. Stay in control of your health. Do not let the stress of a job give you the excuse to lose control of your health. I personally have found I have done better in my career by staying active and keeping my confidence up through a healthy lifestyle. 

8. If it does not feel right, don't do it. Your instinct is a powerful tool. Always listen to it. 

9. Get an office. I started in my garage and though it took courage, once I made the decision to separate my home from my work it changed my career and my ability to have a healthier work/life balance. 

10. Learn to trust other people. As my company began to grow I had a hard time learning to trust others. It's important you learn how to let go and delegate responsibility to others so you can focus on the most important opportunities in front of you. 

I hope these lessons speak to some of you, too!

It’s been a long road, but absolutely worth it every step of the way. Here’s to more growth and lessons to be learned in the next 10 years…

Cheers!

xx

GM

 

Photos: GrayMalin.com

 

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