Friday, September 14, 2012

Success Takes Time: A Four Year Check-In. Never Give Up!

This week marks four years since my first day as a copywriter and one year since I left Cubicle Hell to embrace freelance bohemianism. I was 21, Thrift Core was still an idea yet to materialize. I was eager to drink in as much marketing knowledge as possible, yet still dreamed of something more.

It started out fun. The novelty wore off by the end. My fabric pinned legacy remains.

I make a living from freelance writing/marketing gigs, selling stuff from my blog and on craigslist (slow setting up an Etsy shop because people buy a lot from the blog), advertisements, and sales from three antique store booths. I feel spoiled by this lifestyle now, so I wanted to look back and feel some gratitude for what it took to get here- and show you that it's not easy! Overnight success this was not!

1998-2004: Middle/High School, made dozens of websites and practiced writing.
2004-2008: Dropped out of college after 2 years. Worked full time, squirreled funds.
2008-2011: Learned and grew immensely working 50 hours a week as a marketer/writer. Developed Thrift Core, started reselling, networked in the art community. Working 70+ hours/week in total.
2011-2012: Worked slowly while catching-up on stuff I couldn't working 70 hours per week for years!

Consolation for those stuck working for the man: I was never more motivated than when I was working hard writing to help make someone else successful. I miss how it kept me hungry for success. Embrace it!

I spent this year playing catch-up. I got thrifty/healthy eating down to a science, donated and sold tons of personal possessions (eager to sell more), and finally organized my damn life. Now I'm ready to work harder on my brand than ever and take it all to the next level. I'm excited, and sincerely glad you're here with my on the journey.

When you feel like you're not moving at the pace you'd like, remember to look back at how far you've come. Keep moving!
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

17 comments:

  1. I'm so glad this is working out for you! You're such an inspiration! :)

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    1. Hope it really helps :) A lot of people ask me how I make a living and how I got here so I wanted to clarify. Kind of been working at this for fourteen years. Takes time!

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  2. I've been moving faster than I expected with my etsy store while working for the man. It's my incentive to keep going, but in the year and a half since I got aggressive with it, I have grown so much. You are right. Keep going and always look at where you have come since starting. Can't believe I am 60 and just finding where I am supposed to be. Thanks for all the great tips and inspiration.

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    1. You're proof that it's never too late for sure, I will definitely share your story with my mom. She's still trying to find the right path for her life too. We never stop evolving. Your Etsy store is glorious!

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  3. Thanks for sharing the timeline :)

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    1. No prob, I hope it helps people realize how long it takes to get where we want to in life.

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  4. Yep getting to the actual time when you can walk away from working for other people is amazing. I've been self employed for 5 years now and it is awesome! My husband has been self-employed now for a couple years. (Reselling is only a small part of our income, I write architectural site reports and do freelance graphic design and the huz is a process server/P.I.) Living the dream! ;)

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    1. Super impressed by you and your husband's credentials and resourcefulness. It's MUCH funner to be a jack-of-all-trades for ourselves than for any boss.

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  5. Van - you have the true entrepreneurial spirit! It is very true when you wonder why you work so hard to make someone else successful and realize that you can redirect this energy to your own success...long-live FREE ENTERPRISE!!! ;)

    -pamela

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    1. Agreed, Pam. Life is much more freeing directing that energy toward our own enterprise.

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  6. You are an inspiration (and yes, I plunged into the antique booth adventure largely because of your blog). I started working from home (as a translator) when I had kids because I want to be there as they grow up (and teach them my native language, which is almost a full-time job in itself). I thought I would go back to my regular job when they started school, but now I enjoy being my own boss and control my own time too much and cannot see myself ever going back to somebody else's schedule and projects. Also, working from home gives me freedom to go treasure hunting and resell fun stuff. I LOVE America since you can actually seek your own path instead of being bound by your formal education :-)

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    1. Took a peek at your blog, glad to see your booth is doing really well! I had the same beginner's luck and was happy to see I'd done much better than making my rent. Just keep switching things out so it's not merely "beginner's luck" :D

      Freelancing is the perfect way to have a flexible schedule when you want to be with the kids. My mom ran a daycare out of house when my brothers and I were very young.

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  7. Van..I love hearing about you're story. I've been selling online since middle school...well before I should have been! I guess when you're a hustler, you're a hustler!

    I really enjoy your antique booth blog posts as they are what draws me to your blog and the reason why I found your blog in the first place. Keep up the great work!

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    1. Hustlers is right! I love talking to fellow. entrepreneurs. We all agree that we started young. One of my earliest jobs was selling Christmas wreaths I made from the evergreen tree trimmings they tossed at my mom's job. Glad you like the content Jay!

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  8. Love post Van. Very inspiring. I love your blog it inspires me through and towards achieving more of my reselling and log goals. It's all a work in progress and juggle with two little children, butill get there. I always remind myself constant forward motion will get me there, doing something anything big or small each day is key.

    You should be proud of yourself Van, congratulations on the journey so far.

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    1. It's true, I honestly believe failure is impossible when you're putting as much effort as possible toward your goals.

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  9. I completely agree, and I needed to read this.

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I love reading your comments. Thank you for adding to the discussion! I always reply to any and all questions.

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