At the end of 2015, I connected with Reese Evans, the founder of Yes Supply Co. As Reese puts it, Yes Supply was created to get rid of the glossing over of how to live a life on purpose, a life that you choose to completely and full-heartedly say yes to. Yes Supply aims to get rid of the “oh I just fell into the job & life I love” rouse, and does so by sharing “real advice from cool, smart and creative women (and a few cool dudes) who aren’t afraid to bare their souls and share the obstacles, and insecurities that they overcame to get their yes supply.”
I spoke with Reese about her thoughts on doing a mental health check-in alongside New Year’s resolution and goal setting (more on that here), and along the way learned more about the path that has taken her to where she is today. Reese’s journey, like so many of ours, has not always beens on of ease and comfort. She had the courage and compassion to share her story with me, and that story resonated so deeply with me that I felt I needed to share it with y’all. Reese’s story is one that touches on abuse, life as an introvert and knowing your purpose. Read on for more from the lovely Reese Evans, and be sure to check out her work over at Yes Supply Co.
Can you give us a little background on yourself?
From about grade 6 through grade 10, growing up, my mother was antagonized by an abusive partner. I experienced first hand what can happen when you allow toxic people and circumstances into your life, and I can tell you right now, it doesn’t get better and it doesn’t change unless you cut that out of your life. There is no reason why anyone should allow another person to disrespect them with negative language, hurtful comments, or misguided and undeserved anger. You have to let people know how to treat you, or let them go if they are not capable of doing so. This affected my whole life, my confidence, my relationships for some time, but I did not let it define my future.[Tweet “”You have to let people know how to treat you, or let them go if they are not capable of doing so.””]
Growing up this way, I was told by him that by the time I was 17 that I would be pregnant and addicted to drugs. Boy, did I prove him wrong. I’ve always been resourceful, and even with no financial help through college I worked hard, used all the resources by applying to any scholarship and bursary that I could find and paid my own way through school. I saved every cent I could and purchased my first home at 22, which had been a long standing dream of mine. Now at 26, I have a long term relationship that I am so happy in.
I don’t say this to brag, and owning a place is of course is not the key to success or happiness, but I say this because you can overcome the odds and you don’t have to listen to those who don’t believe in you. You don’t have to become what people say you will be. You get to decide what your yes is. This is a huge reason why I created yes supply co.[Tweet “”You can overcome the odds and you don’t have to listen to those who don’t believe in you.””]
What was your motivation for creating Yes Supply Co.?
I think all of us have friends and family members that we know are capable of achieving so much, but they limit themselves because of their relationships, their circumstances or pre-conceived beliefs.
Being able to look inside yourself to find fulfillment and happiness is something that everyone is capable of doing, yet so many people think that they should allow something as important as their path in life to be determined from external sources. Your boss, your friends, and your parents should not be the main determinant of how you live your life.
Yes Supply shares the stories of creatives, entrepreneurs, and freelancers who have found their ‘yes’ in life, as they share their unique story of how they navigated the path that was true to them and reached creative and financial fulfillment. Too many of us work at jobs we hate, surround ourselves with people who drain us and allow that way of living to become the norm. This is not okay, and it is so ‘yes’ to go against the grain and find the path that is right for your life.
I profile and interview people who are making an impact in the world, asking them to be honest about their rise to the top of their industry and avoid sugar coating their journey. Sharing these personal stories has helped so many 20-somethings who are searching to find their path gain real life advice and insights, while learning from other people’s mistakes.
You’ve experienced a lot – good and bad – throughout your life. How do you take care of and check-in with your mental health, taking all of your life experiences into account?
Life is crazy sometimes, and you can’t predict what will happen, but you can decide how you feel about certain situations. When I start to feel a little crazy, I like to reflect on the things that make me feel good and that I’m passionate about. When I’m worked up or anxious, it takes a while for me to settle into my yoga class, but I remind myself that I’m just a human, I try to connect with my soul, and all the money issues, deadlines to meet, and external circumstances do not have to effect how I feel. That gives me a sense of balance.
A lot of the time, when we’re in a situation we don’t love, our first instinct is to do something that distracts us, go for a drink with a friend, party, whatever it may be. Before doing that, spend some time understanding what you did and did not like about the situation, so you understand how it affects you, and you know how to deal with it.
Any last words of advice for the dreamers and aspirational doers out there?
Don’t forget about balance. You should ensure that you find the right balance for taking care of yourself, your health, plus improving your relationships and of course, finding a career you’re passionate about.
Take action. Dreaming about having a better life is one thing, but it is really important that you take steps towards this everyday if you are going to actually reach your goal. The right planning is essential. Once you figure out what your goals are, create a weekly schedule so that you can keep yourself accountable and ensure that you make time to do the things that make you happy. Accountability and telling people about what you’re working on helps you stay on track. I love to help people make realistic schedules to take care of all the aspects of reaching their goals, and keep them accountable.