My daughter Elle is 12 and recently attended one of our major events. In this case, it was a fashion show and at the post show luncheon two guest speakers captivated the audience talking about the impact the dollars raised will have on their lives. A few minutes after the program concluded I received a text that said, “you are amazing, I’m super proud of u for saving all of these people and raising money for kids in need, XO”. It had not really occurred to me until that moment, but I have had JHL longer than I have had Elle and that event has been happening more than half her life. I believe it’s important for my kids to know they are the center of MY world, but they are not the center of THE world. On this spring day, Elle learned this important lesson.
Today, JHL turns 14 years old. In the past 5,110 days since I popped open a laptop at my kitchen counter and called my mom to ask how to file a DBA, I have learned many lessons and experienced more highs and lows than I ever knew possible. I have learned people will surprise you – good and bad – and that if you pay attention, people will teach you who they are. I have learned that the best of friends will betray you for a quick headline and I have learned that complete strangers will walk into your life and bring you work so meaningful you can’t imagine life without them. I have learned to trust my gut. I have learned to lead with compassion. I have learned the sun will come up again tomorrow. I have learned to win gracefully. I have learned to never forget. I have learned that if I think I can or I think I can’t, I am right. Nothing is ever as good or bad as it seems.
Small business is not for the weak. Taxes, employees, clients, business development…. – it’s all tough. It takes grit. Fierce determination and stick-to-it-iveness. Faith. Some days are good, and others are a two-tequila shot/hot bath/cry it out kind of day. But EVERY day is a blessing. I truly love my clients and my employees, and I love what I do. Happy birthday to JHL – to all clients past and present, to all employees past and present, to all who have taken a chance on me or given me grace when I have needed it… Cheers to 14 years!