Dear Dream Chaser,
You opened this letter because you have a dream or a goal you’re wanting to achieve, right? It may already be in the process, you may already be successful, or it might be in the back of your head keeping you up all night because you’re too afraid to go after it. Stop. Take a deep breath in, say your goal out loud and then go get it.
Once you bring your dream or goal to the surface, there is no turning back. You’ve put it out in the universe and the universe will hold you accountable. I know this because it happened to me. For several years, I’ve dreamed of having a business that could be shown all over the world and people would see my brand and know it stood for something bigger. I never talked about it because hello?! being an entrepreneur is anything but easy, and plus, I was a full time registered nurse, who has time for another job? I kept it in my head only, just following Instagram stories of children affected by childhood cancer, but never thought that I could be the one who makes a difference. Little old me with 250 followers on Instagram? Not a chance.
In July 2017, I was getting antsy. I wanted to be working with pediatric oncology patients and I wanted more out of life. I felt depressed. I had gone back to school to get my BSN, per the children’s hospital request, but I still couldn’t even get an interview. I was working with transplant patients at the Mayo Clinic, but I wasn’t content. I remember specifically sitting in the breakroom at work wanting to break down. This isn’t what life is about, right? I shouldn’t be going into work everyday wishing I was somewhere else, right? What am I meant to do?
July 9th 2017 is a day I’ll never forget. My best friend from home text me and said “did you hear about ____” My heart sank. I jumped online and confirmed the text message and knew that I couldn’t be silent about my dream that I’d never mentioned before. My desire, heart and passion to change the world of childhood cancer was finally sent out to the universe on that day.
Once I finally said out loud what I had been thinking for years, things started gravitating towards my passion. In the beginning of August, I started a Childhood Cancer Fundraiser to raise money towards research for Childhood Cancer. I had a goal of $4,000, expecting to raise about $500, but all together we raised around $2,800 and I made 98 Fight Kid Cancer t-shirts! WHAT?!? Two weeks later, I finally received a call from the Children’s Hospital after being denied… 17 times. Y’all… 17 times I applied to the Children’s hospital and within 30 minutes of applying, my application was denied all 17 times. But the time I finally got an interview? That was the only time I had applied since I started holding myself accountable for my own dreams and desires.
I’ve had an Etsy shop for 2 years now, I do crafting on the side, but I still had that desire for a small brand with a big meaning. I started my new nursing job at the Children’s Hospital (which I LOVE!), but still continued to work on my personal brand. Being a nurse is one of the most rewarding, exhausting, have to have a passion for it job- and I’m lucky to work with so many amazing kids and their families, but it still hasn’t felt like I’ve done enough to change the world of childhood cancer. I want to change the world of childhood cancer because the treatment is unfair. The funding the kids receive is flat out WRONG. If you think our children don’t deserve more than 4% of all research funds, I’d like to have a word with you (but we’ll save that for another blog 😉 )
From August to now, I’ve worked on Fourth and Gold. I’ve come across SO many obstacles. I’ve wanted to quit more times than I could tell you. I’ve made a LOT of mistakes. I’ve cried. I’ve laughed. I’ve felt on top of the world and I’ve fallen back down. I started blogging about childhood cancer and the Jaguars and some blogs would only get 10 views. When you spend HOURS putting out content and can only get 10 people to even open it, it can be discouraging, defeating and even heartbreaking. Have you ever tried to build a brand from nothing? If people aren’t affected by what you’re trying to get them to care about… it’s forever an uphill battle.
For months and months, I was doing free giveaways on Instagram, sending free shirts to anyone who would listen and would do everything I could think of to just change the world of these kids in the slightest way. I spent my free time connecting with families affected by childhood cancer, connecting with business owners who started small and attending an accountability group with 5 other women who are doing the same.
On March 8th, 2018 (International Women’s Day)! Fourth and Gold launched. I told myself over and over and then 500000 more times, do not look at the statistics of how many people view your page. Count every little moment of success a win. You get one purchase in 2 weeks? Be thankful for the one purchase. You get 3 shares on your opening post? Be thankful for the 3. You see, if you start celebrating the small accomplishments, the big ones will come.
It’s been 6 days since my launch and I am thrilled beyond all words that I am where I am. I still have a long way to go to build my brand, to gain trust of consumers, to change the world of childhood cancer. But I am confident it’ll happen, because it has to. Failure in something you’re extremely passionate and devoted to working on is not an option.
I’d like to end this letter by telling you it’s not easy, but it’ll be worth it. Not everyone you know will support you. You’ll find out who believes in you and who doesn’t want to be bothered by you. The people you thought would help you the most, might not. People who you would have never thought even knew you existed, might be the ones who help you the most. Keep an open mind. Success won’t happen overnight. If you’re expecting to change 300 people in 24 hours, it won’t happen. If you’re trying to sell your brand and thinking that you can sell 10-15 a day… it won’t happen. But you know what will happen? Growth. Hunger. Determination. You’ll get that one order in one week and your heart will pound. One person will be representing YOUR brand and people will know what you stand for. And then you’ll get a thank you from someone who’s life you’ve changed and you’ll dig even deeper. It’s not about the money or the fame and if it is, you’ll burn out quicker than a match.
Friend, go find your biggest desire, passion or goal and go fight like hell to make it better.