The Struggle Is Part Of The Story

I am not a very patient person. I know it is my own personal trait, but really, I blame Alice. She is notoriously impatient. In fact, when I was asking my sisters about a good “Alice Patience Anecdote” today my mom said, “I don't think you'll come up with anything...patience has always been one of my most refined virtues.” Even Alice knows she is known for her lack thereof. She definitely passed it on to me.

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If we have an idea at Cents of Style, I want it executed yesterday. If I decide to change my hairstyle, it will be done within the week. And don’t even get me started on store checkout lines. I have to give myself a pep talk before going into the craft store -- I’m looking at you Jo-Ann.

I write this all very tongue-in-cheek; however, it’s not too far from the truth. I’m not great with patience. If I decide I want something, I start going after it immediately. And because of my perfectionist tendencies and overall high expectations for myself, I believe I should accomplish it in record time.

This drive, coupled with the fact that I am notoriously stubborn, (again, cue Alice) is one of the main influences I attribute Cents of Style’s successes to; the fact that I will keep going even when it probably would have been wise to stop.

However, the downside to this otherwise positive trait of grit is the lack of patience and seeing the “struggle” as personal failure.

I have been working on Cents of Style for nearly a decade. There have been many highs and many lows. There are starts and stops, successes and failures. And there will continue to be so.

But no matter how long I have been doing this, and intellectually I know it's just a part of business, when things aren’t going as planned or we are in the midst of slow growth or a lull, I get impatient and begin to take it deeply personally. I forget that the struggle is part of the story and the failures, lows and stops are the things that make the triumphs and successes sweet.

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No one wants to root for a heroine who doesn’t struggle. Our favorite stories are of those who overcome and triumph. Why should my story be any different? Why should yours?

There are two reasons the struggle is so important. The first is because failure creates winners. The act of getting up after failure and continuing to work, that is the moment when success happens. The failure teaches more than the success. The failure refines us. It makes us better so we are more likely to win the next time.

The second is you would not recognize or enjoy the success nearly as much without having experienced the struggle. Without knowing frustration and struggle, success and triumph are not as easily recognized or enjoyed.

When we launched Cents of Style’s Tribe Necklace line a couple months ago, the first necklace I purchased for myself was “the struggle is part of the story.” It is a daily reminder and personal mantra for me. It helps me with my lack of patience and reminds me to keep going because the struggle is creating my personal victory story.