Studs and Duds: Bad Days Got Me Here

So, a little over two weeks ago when I introduced you to Studs and Duds, I assured you I’d be here every week giving you some insight on my journey as a lifestyle business owner. And here I am, already behind on my posts (=X). Guess that’s a dud on my end!

For pretty much the past two weeks, I’ve been traveling – first to New Jersey with my fam, and then to speak at ShutterFest (more on that coming soon) at St. Louis. Yes, ShutterFest is for photographers, and no I do not know anything about photography. So now you’re probably thinking, “what the heck did this chick even speak about then?”

I spent years failing to see how much worth all of my experiences, all of my failures, all of my bad days had curated for me. Once I started becoming aware of how much this was truly impacting my business and lifestyle (hello undercharging and stress to the max). I naturally began a journey filled with self exploration, discussions with my clients and community, and many, many hours trouble shooting this issue so many of us don’t even realize we deal with. By utilizing this struggle to create a strength and skill within myself, I ultimately ended up with a mind shifting system (for myself and other entrepreneurs) to use adversity, struggle, and failure to charge MORE for our business offerings (no, not an April fool’s joke).
Xo Margo Watercolor Necktie ($29.99)

At ShutterFest, I spoke on the importance of identifying your worth and using that to project your value to the eye’s of your consumer. Everyone loves to talk about authenticity these days, and for good reason, but the step that’s missing is exploring your worth. Being able to see your worth allows you to use your authenticity to communicate your value (which equates with the degree to which a customer perceives your good/service to meet his or her needs and how willing they are to pay for it). The worth-authenticity-value relationship generates a pricing for profit system where you are making enough money to not live paycheck to paycheck, but rather earning enough to have your life back.

My presentation wasn’t perfect (because I’m a human), and I know I’m not everyone’s cup of tea (I’ve read both wonderful and not-so-wonderful feedback so far on my lecture), but it was raw, genuine, and relatable with 50% of it from my heart and 50% from my head (got to find that passion and practicality balance!). I know you’ll think I’m crazy, but I wish more people would be open with professional, but constructive negative feedback because it’s the most direct way to find not only what to improve on, but also how to do it.

The motivation for everything I do is fueled by the “ah-ha” moments I can spark in my fellow business owners. To see that “ah-ha” face throughout almost an entire room when I presented new perspectives and life changing realizations (if paired with proper implementation) made all the tough times I’ve been through in #StartupLife so overwhelmingly worth it.

I am grateful for every step in this whirlwind adventure I’m on of business owning. If you asked me a year ago where I was going to be now, I would have never thought that this would be it. Trust yourself, and your experiences, and keep moving forward! You can do this, Gems.

Xo Margo Watercolor Necktie ($29.99)

Let’s talk about who is shining – our studs!

Margo Snyder of Xo Margo

Artistic brand and design maven aside, this Gem also has crafted a stunning line of artisan neckties with a feminine touch designed just for women. Margo knows what it’s like to be a small business owner and isn’t afraid to be open about the realities. The Watercolor Necktie ($29.99) is featured in this post and you can click to catch me styling the Coming Up Roses Necktie ($29.99)! Want to give ties a try? Save 10% off with code “allyn2016” at checkout!

Steffi Keung of Steffi K Jewelry

After a few quick stints at jobs she hated, she knew the 9-5 lifestyle wasn’t for her and finally opened her eyes to what she really wanted to do – create. And boy do these pieces show off her passion! Each one is delicately handcrafted by Steffi herself and takes days of work. The best part? They don’t tarnish, so your fingers stay pretty. I cannot wait to see what this Gem is working on for her upcoming collection.

Sarah Hartley of Holl & Lane Magazine

This Gem works full-time, is raising the most handsome two year old I’ve ever seen, and somehow also finds time to runs a digital and print magazine! As if that isn’t impressive enough, the concept of her mag, Holl & Lane, is to give a voice to the stories that often go untold by creating beautiful conversations. I just love that and I was humbled to share the story on my father’s suicide a few months back. Sarah has been such a supportive force in the Gem Nation Community since day 1 and I can’t thank her enough! <3

Tell me about your studs and duds of the week below in the comments, Gems! What’s working well for your, and what isn’t?

Photo By: Kate Stutz Photography