3 Years of Blood, Sweat and Tears

The Feathered Farmhouse has officially reached its Third Birthday. Three years ago, I pushed that publish button on my Facebook page after coming back from the courthouse finalizing the last few details to get my DBA. I had no clue what I was doing. Shit, I still have no idea, lol. One thing I do know is I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to live out the last three years doing something I have grown to love.

This is an impromptu blog post and in true Mallary fashion most of things that I do tend to start that way. I was mowing this afternoon thinking about a message my sweet, sweet sister-in-law sent earlier in the day. "Happy 3 Years to The Feathered Farmhouse!" She has always been one of my biggest supporters so of course she remembers this anniversary before even I do. Anywho, back to the mowing. Sitting on the mower being impaled by grass (it's soooo windy here today) gives you some serious time to think. I felt the need to jot these thoughts down and share them with you to commemorate this day.
I want to tell you a few things I’ve learned over the past few years. Year Three was amazing but also INSANE. Things grew much faster than I anticipated and I'm so grateful. I have some of the BEST customers. So good that I have a hard time calling some of them customers. They are friends. When someone reaches out to see if I have something they need or have been looking for, that means the WORLD to me. You could go anywhere or drive to Hobby Lobby, but you chose to come to me. You supported a small business that in turn gets to help support its family. I have prayed and prayed that our children who get to see us work so hard for our dreams will also get to continue to watch them come true. While a work/life balance isn't always easy, being able to be here during the day and have power over my schedule will always be worth it.

YES is not always the answer.
I took every opportunity I could get just to try and keep up. It wasn't pretty. I agreed to deals that I shouldn't have. Did things that I pretty much lost money on. Why? Basically, due to the fear of saying no. You want me to paint a cute quote on your great grandma’s 200-year-old headboard that is priceless to you? SURE, and I'll also do it for only $20 because of pure fear of screwing it up. But the time and energy I spent researching and practicing on similar surfaces should have made the cost more than $200. I have learned to say no. Sometimes I turn it down even if I know a project is feasible. Could be due to timing, supplies I have in stock, or any reason really. Even when opportunities seem grand, I step back, assess my goals and have learned to say no. The best part is I can finally be at peace with my decisions.

You can't make everyone happy, you are NOT Nutella.
Don't like Nutella? What is wrong with you?! JK, but seriously, what's the expression? You can be the biggest juiciest peach in the entire bunch and someone still won't like peaches.
I hit an ALL TIME LOW this year. I had my first 1-Star review on Etsy. I should add that this was the ONLY review that hadn’t been 5 Stars. IT CRIPPLED ME. I cried. I wanted to quit. Be done with the whole thing because I COULD NOT take this. A couple of days later... two 4-Star reviews. Group mentality, anyone? At the time, I had sixty-six 5-Star reviews. I was CRUSHED. My world was falling apart! Or so I thought at the time. This 1-Star customer had messaged me, had clearly not read the description of the product before she purchased it. In hindsight, with nothing to back up her claim I realize she probably wanted some sort of discount out of the deal and was pissed when I wouldn't budge and instead offered for her to return it. Or maybe it was just a shit day for her and she needed to take it out on someone. Or maybe she really just hated the damn sign. A few good friends pulled me out of the gutter and I realized that I could and did survive that. A stepping stone failure to place on top off all the other ones that paved that path to where my businesses is now.
You don't need anyone's approval. The best thing about raising this baby of a business - it's mine. I can do with it what I want. There are so many things I regret not doing because I was so concerned with what people would THINK. Can you believe that? SO MANY THINGS.
To quote some Rachel Hollis for you, "We all have skills and gifts and just the idea that you would squander yours because you are worried about other people’s perception of it." I'm pretty sure I noted this from a video of hers and she was shaking her head at the end of it. I've been shaking my head at myself. There are a million reasons why the insecurity of showing up and going for it is there. Maybe it's because I live in SUCH a small town. Maybe it's because I KNOW there are people watching those Instagram stories JUST to laugh at me behind my back later. Maybe it's because all my excuses have held me back.
Another Rach quote for ya, "If you're not in the game with me, then you don't get to call any plays, and you darn sure don't get to offer negative comments about the work I'm putting in." So, if you're all like, soooo she's blogging now? Ya, well maybe I might be, but if you haven't gone for it and tried something outside your comfort zone then take a hike. Karen.

Personal Growth is Ok.
Maybe I needed the perception of “I've got it all figured out” to help me through the first few years. But up until about a year ago you would have NEVER caught me listening to anything about personal growth, business strategy or any type of podcast. I was all like, if I need some inspo then Drake, Lil Wayne or some old school Notorious B.I.G. is gonna get me through the day. Not some self-help crap.
I slowly started listening to business-based podcasts and I was HOOKED. Free information, flowing from the lips of people who are experts? Umm, why wasn't I already listening to these?! Probably because that little voice in my head told me that the people who need this type of thing don't know what they're doing. That voice was in some serious denial. One podcast mentioned the book "Girl Wash Your Face," yes, that infamous book by Rachel Hollis. So, I figured I might as well read it. Well, I didn't really read it, I listened to the audio-book while I worked. To say this book has completely shaken my existence to its core is an understatement. Here we go, right? "She's drinking the Rachel Hollis Kool Aid" I'm not just drinking that shit, I'm taking shots. Do yourself a favor and pour a glass. I could go on and on about Rachel Hollis now but maybe that's for another impromptu blog post day. What I do want to tell you is that this book changed me. Therefore, it has changed my business.

Year Four is gonna be great. It's not just gonna be great it's gonna be flippin' fantastic. I can feel it in my bones. Year Four is the year of refusing to be small. Refusing to smile, nod and agree when someone says they are glad I found a "hobby" that I enjoy. And if you're here with me, excited to see what's ahead then THANK YOU. You are the reason that I am here. You are the reason that I have pushed past the hard stuff and am headed towards some epic shit. Year Four is new, exciting, and somewhat terrifying but I wouldn't have it any other way. 
- Mallary
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