Started at Village Inn. Now we're here.
Two months later, we got our first real office. It was small but worked for what we needed at the time. Our team grew as did our needs for a space and in April, we moved again to the place that has become our current home. Each office has been exactly what we needed at each time and has helped us grow much faster than we thought we would. A good home has a way of doing that for you.
We're now staring at the first anniversary of our magazine and of our community. Birthdays mean a lot more than just a congrats high five that you've circled the sun one more time but I think first birthdays are especially poignant. There's a lot of numbers that come in to quantify one year - 60,000 web page views, 11,000 social media followers, 12 Mix & Mingles, 2 markets - but there's many more lessons to be learned in a year.
Here are just five things I've learned (or been reminded of) in our very first year.
You know the answer, even when you think you don't. Trust your gut. Listen to the deep inner truth inside you and work your butt off to make it happen. There will come low points where you don't think you know the right way to go but you do. Take a few deep breaths, ask for help if you need it and remember you know what's right. Keep going. You got this.
All of those ridiculous jobs you've had and weird skills you've picked up will come in handy. Yes, it is really helpful that you know all those weird things like how to build something out of a few pieces of wood or how to bake 1000 cookies at the same time. All those jobs you thought you'd never use again like nanny, paper delivery driver, diabetic screener - yeah they're all helpful too. Because with each of those, you learned something, even if it was just learning how to learn. And you never know when you'll need to construct something at 2 am or calm a crying baby. Running your own business is difficult and really strange so all those little tricks will come in handy.
Remember who has your back. When (not if - when) the stinky stuff hits the rotating blades, you'll want someone who you can look at and know they're in your corner. It's pretty great when this person is your business partner. There was a time or two this year when our team knew crazy times were coming and the crazy stress monster wasn't far behind. You know the one who makes you act like a complete lunatic, saying things you don't mean? That one. Heather and I looked at each other, promised we always had each other's back and vowed to remember to be friends at the end of it. Somehow, we crawled to the finish line of that crazy time and really were friends at the end of it. She has my back and I have hers. Pure and simple.
Don't stop believin' Figure out why you're doing this, why you started all of this in the first place, why it speaks to you on a deep cosmic level, what makes you so downright giddy about what you're doing and, like that great Journey song, hold on to that feeling. When the times come that you're in too deep and you just don't think you can keep going, remembering that feeling will help you keep your sanity. And once you've remembered and you're back on the path of rocking and rolling, make sure you look at yourself in the mirror and say "I'm so glad I didn't give up." Let me tell you - I'm really glad we didn't give up.
Denver Style Magazine wasn't some totally thought out concept when we started. We knew what we wanted to accomplish, what we wanted to bring to the fashion table and why we were setting out to do what we were doing. There were, and still are, a lot of blanks to be filled in. I am so excited to step into the expanse of our second year and see what else we can accomplish.