70 Things I've Learned A Year And A Half After Quitting my Job At Neiman Marcus And Moving From Dallas To San Francisco

Longest, blog post title ever! As a result, I really don't think I need to put a long introduction here. I'll just let you get to it.

Check out the 70 things I learned after quitting corporate and starting my own business, i.e. leaping into the great unknown.


  1. I’ve learned that people I thought would never be a part of my life have woven their way into it or kept in touch in ways I would have reserved for those ‘best friends’ I no longer speak with.
  2. I left a job because it kept me in front of the computer and hidden from the world all day. I then started a business that kept me in front of the computer and hidden from the world all day. I’ve learned that old habits really do die hard.
  3. I’ve learned that there is SO much more out there. So much more I would have never seen if I hadn’t have given my notice.
  4. Everyday I work. I spend hours, creating, re-building, tweaking, learning, getting frustrated, scrapping it all and starting all over again. I’ve learned to trust the process even though it can, at times, seem like an uphill battle.
  5. I’ve learned that books romanticize the big leap into the unknown. When you jump, the net doesn’t appear. I’ve learned that you make your own net.
  6. When I first started this adventure, every day I would ask myself, “Is it (the business) good enough?” or, “am I good enough?”  I still ask the first question about my business but I don’t let it hold me back from taking action. I know the answer to the second question now.
  7. I do question on a daily basis if what I’ve done is insane, and not in the, “wow, she really went and followed her dream, that’s SO insane” kind of way,  but more in the, “where’s the straight jacket, she’s IN-sane” kind of way.
  8. If you think speaking up in a Monday morning meeting in front of the entire division is scary, try cold-calling someone and selling yourself as a brand. I didn’t realize how great of a challenge believing in myself would be.
  9. I’ve learned how fundamentally CRUCIAL the people I choose to surround myself with is to the success of my business.
  10. I’ve learned to watch how I feel after conversations with people. If I walk away feeling depleted each time for three meetings in a row, I put my big-girl pants on, tell them thanks but I don’t think it’s a good ‘fit,’ and move on. Sometimes two people just, don’t, work. It’s not personal, even though it kind of is.
  11. Even when I thought I didn’t know something, I really did know. I just had to get out of my own way.
  12. I’ve learned that less is WAY more.
  13. I’ve learned that donating everything you own (almost; I kept the closet but not all of it) is liberating. Traveling light through life is going to be how I do it. I’ve learned that they’re right, it’s just stuff. You don’t even use half of it.
  14. I’ve learned to design things that a three year old could use, or a monkey, whichever.
  15. I’ve learned the importance of phone calls with truly positive people in my life, and how they energize me. How without them, I would never be able to do what I have done. Fact.
  16. I’ve learned that before the move to San Francisco, I had let a part of me atrophy. I just didn’t know what the ‘part’ was for some time. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I realized that ‘part’ was me knowing how to enjoy my life. I learned that I completely forgot how to do that and I learned that I wanted to remember. And by ‘enjoying’ I don’t mean going on big vacations and instagram’ing shots of fruity drinks in the foreground and island views in the background. I mean living each day, doing everything from the mundane to the amazing, and having it be enough. Having it be more than enough.
  17. I learned that many people say they will do something and very few actually do it. I’ve learned to not judge the people who lack follow through. Instead, I just walk in the opposite direction and let them do their thing.
  18. I’ve learned that what I have done in the past year and a half wasn’t about me building a business. It was about me learning what I’m capable of and learning how to believe in just that. 
  19. I’ve learned that if I say I really want something and don’t do it, buy it, get it, go for it, then I really don’t want it. I’ve learned that this is pretty universal.
  20. I’ve learned the importance of giggle fits.
  21. I’ve learned that people love to tell you how you ‘should’ be doing things. And I’ve learned that I listened too much to these people. I now know they are speaking from the ‘cheap seats’ and until they have felt what it feels like to really make a jump and take a risk in their life, I will always respond by tilting my head to the side, smiling with a closed mouth, nodding once or twice, a quick glance at my watch and the line, “oh wow, I have to run, thanks.” Thank you Brene Brown.
  22. I’ve learned that I don’t need to tell people why. Ever.
  23. I’ve learned that forced networking makes my skin crawl. The best (life-changing) connections I’ve made have been random and organic. The same goes for men and dating, not to mention friends.
  24. I’ve learned that, although I like to think I’m ‘outdoorsy’ and can be the ‘cool girl’ who can hang in a tent or a cabin, I’m know I'm so not her. 
  25. I’ve learned that if I believe it’s a sign, then it is.
  26. I’ve learned that it’s ok if some people don’t like me.
  27. I’ve learned that every time I make something into a big deal, it never really is. EVER. One would think I would have learned to dial back the drama by now.
  28. I’ve learned that I am way better than I thought I was. There’s something about being ok with bragging rights, especially as a woman. It can be liberating. Side note: my head can still fit through a door. Reality checks come daily in the way of true friends and my family.
  29. I’ve learned that women say ‘I’m sorry’ way too much for no apparent reason, in business and in life.
  30. I’ve learned that if I don’t want to go out on a Friday night, all it means is, I don’t want to go out on a Friday night. 
  31. I’ve learned that I no longer have a tolerance for people who treat me poorly whether it’s via small comments to condescend or back-handed compliments.
  32. I’ve learned the importance of setting boundaries and the importance of holding to that.
  33. I’ve learned that kindness works far better than the opposite when negotiating.
  34. I’ve learned to stop dressing down in San Francisco because I thought I would look like a fish out of water. I now embrace said, “fish-out-of-water” status. This city could stand to dress it up a bit. #24/7hoodiesarenotcool
  35. I’ve learned that people take to Facebook to make dramatic declarations and such because they just really want to be heard. And that’s cool, but leave the negativity to your shrink. Or at the very least, offer up a solution. Choose your platform wisely.
  36. I’ve learned that when people get angry and lash out, they’re usually mad at themselves. And I’ve also learned, this is not an excuse.
  37. I’ve learned that disappointment is inevitable, but so are unexpected moments of joy. 
  38. I’ve learned that dreaming is one of the healthiest things I do on a daily basis.
  39. I’ve learned that no one has the ability to make me feel guilty unless I allow it.
  40. I’ve learned that people really do tell themselves the oddest stories about their lives, what they can and cannot do, whom they can and cannot be. Sometimes I wonder where it all comes from and when they’ll get back to reality.
  41. I’ve learned that I lose respect quickly for those who make themselves out to be victims when they are not. I’ve learned to still love these individuals, in my own way.
  42. I’ve learned that some business ideas I’ve started, even though successful, I was right to let go of because money can't outweigh the sense of feeling like an impostor.
  43. I’ve learned that, under-charging is just as dangerous as over-charging.
  44. I’ve learned that for me, it’s really never about the money.
  45. I’ve learned not to make excuses for what makes me happy.
  46. I’ve learned how to shift focus and look at what is working as opposed to what is not.
  47. I’ve learned how, on days when I’m down and out, to just accept it, let it flow, and then get back on the horse when the time is right. Resisting a bad mood is, for me, like adding fuel to a fire.
  48. I’ve finally learned how to answer the, “what do you do?” question.
  49. I’ve learned that asking people ‘what they do’ is the quickest way to end a conversation. Instead, I ask them, ‘what are you building/creating,’ or ‘what do you love to do.’ Thx to Scott Dinsmore (LiveYourLegend.net) for that one.
  50. I’ve learned that pushing too hard gets you nowhere. And I’ve learned to recognize that feeling, when I know I’m trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole so I can stop and change course.
  51. I’ve learned that I get my best ideas when I’m in the shower.
  52. I’ve learned that sometimes, I need to show more compassion.
  53. I’ve learned that sometimes, I need to show less compassion.
  54. I’ve learned that giving people a second chance is an admirable quality of mine, and that giving people a third chance is where I fall short. Fixable though.
  55. I’ve learned that some people don’t really want to take action, they just want someone there to listen to them and give them hope in the form of words. And that is enough.
  56. I’ve learned that the gut reaction I get within the first 10 seconds of meeting someone, is spot-on. I’ve also learned to trust this and stop questioning it.
  57. I’ve learned that people actually want to hear what I have to say.
  58. I’ve learned that, as similar as my older brother and I are, we are that different. And yet, miles away, when he smiles, I smile. I value our bond more with every year that passes.
  59. I’ve learned that some people could care less about what I say.
  60. I’ve learned to trust the ‘talk’ only when it’s followed up by the 'walk.' 
  61. I’ve learned that I never want to go more than two months without hugging my parents, and the cat of course.
  62. I’ve learned that I'm 50/50. I need my own space, and I love having a partner in crime to go on adventures with.
  63. I’ve learned that simply saying, “hi” is the best way to meet people.
  64. I’ve learned that it’s ok to tell people you love them and not hear it in return.
  65. I’ve learned that it’s way more fun to love than to get mad.
  66. I’ve learned that, I can’t change the way someone feels or reacts.
  67. I’ve learned to finally, FINALLY, believe them when someone in my life shows me who they really are.  No more, “he/she’s having a rough week,” or, “but remember when he/she was so sweet and did this…two years ago…wait…” Nah, you show, I believe. Words are not a factor in this line of reasoning.
  68. I’ve learned that it’s just not that big of a deal. No really.
  69. I’ve learned that location can change everything.
  70. I’ve learned that I’ve still got a lot left to learn.

K, your turn...What have you learned?