the Yellow Brick Road

It's a beautiful path, that yellow brick road. The friends, the scenery, the journey ... things dreams are made of, right? 

Yes. Most of the time. 

Because no one ever forgets the flying monkeys. It was brilliantly written if you think about it. The foreshadowing ... you think that was about a wicked witch? Go watch it again. 

I've read every 'this is how you start a business' list, and all of the 'here's the magic formula for success' post. All of them. Because I, like you, wanted to know the secrets. After what felt like a lifetime of work, I was certain I'd missed something. Clearly somewhere along the way I missed a memo or two. While I had experienced moderate success in my career, I was tired of making just enough, and not being able to fulfill dreams. Dreams of making sure my family was set up, dreams of making a difference in other's lives, and what was rapidly beginning to feel like a wild dream of someday retiring. I had gotten to the point of joking that I could always return to my roots at Disney for my retirement career. And while that would be a fun + fulfilling option, the idea of working well into my 70's did not sit well with me. 

I wanted a yellow brick road. Searching for it became a mission. Surely it was out there somewhere, and I had just missed a turn somewhere. 

Then I had my own Dorothy moment, sans the ruby slippers. I realized that the quote was more of a statement of truth than a pitchy feel good moment in pretty fonts. "You've always had the power my dear. You just had to learn it for yourself." In that moment, I knew it was time to build my own yellow brick road. One that would be large enough for others to join me; one that would provide great scenery + opportunity for extraordinary journeys. We are definitely on our way. Are you ready to join us?

What's the key? The secret sauce? Hard work. Harder than you can handle some days. Faith over fear. Faith over everything reasonable + logical. You have to be open to being wrong, learning quickly, be vulnerable in your strength and soft when handling the hard stuff. It requires a thick skin, determination + a steadfast commitment to your vision, all while remaining flexible in your approach. Understand that failure is guaranteed. You determine if those failures are your story or the fuel that moves your forward, because know this: that is a choice. Financing? Not likely if you have girl parts. {Girl parts = 52% of the population + 6% of the financing offers in the US}. So be ready to sacrifice. If you aren't willing to bet the farm, you are not committed to success. It is that simple. Did I mention faith? Don't have one? Starting a business will give you a whole lot of Jesus. You will likely lose friends. People will look at you like you're bat shit crazy. You will most definitely lose sleep. Oddly enough, losing weight usually isn't part of the algorithm. 

Be ready to meet new people. Stay open to learning the vast delta of knowledge that you don't have yet, and remain clear on the fact that there will always be more to learn. Stagnant business = bad business. Buy good pens; you'll sign a lot of paperwork. Identify great strategic partners + be fearless in your ask. Demand the value of your brand. No one else will do it the way you can. And be sure to offer every partner the value of theirs. Stop working before midnight, drink lots of water, invest in good concealer + eat your greens. You'll want to be in decent shape when you get to the Emerald City.

Oh, and carry a slingshot. Those fucking monkeys are real.