While I don't have my hands on actual copy quite yet, a kind customer brought us the August issue of Success Magazine (http://www.success.com/current-issue) that features a small story on PJP. (!!!!!!!!!!!!). As a direct result or a bizarre consequence, my email inbox was packed full today with messages from people (mostly women) interested in opening their own business. What sort of advice did I have for them, have I ever been afraid, what would I do differently, and mainly how did I know we were ready to do this... So, here we go:
Advice: If you are going to open your own business, you better love it like you love your kids or your spouse or your parents or your whatever. Get to a place of knowing you love it even when you hate it. Jeanne and I got so mad at each other today that we both cried and doubted every decision we've ever made. But the bottom line is that I love her and I love what we do and the rest always sorts itself out. It probably significantly helps that Jeanne and I are rarely ever ambivalent about anything...we love and hate with gusto, so once we fell in love with PJP after Jeanne sketched out what our storefront should look like almost two years go, we were girls who could never be swayed to not caring about our sweet PJP with every ounce of our being. Even when we get really stabby with each other.
Afraid: Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha. If I weren't afraid a good chunk of the time, then I would be disappointed in myself. I like M&Ms, long walks on beaches, and puppies. I don't like cinnamon, snakes, or people who think they are awesome at everything they do. We aren't always awesome. In fact, we are likely our own worst critics. I'm afraid we will fail. I'm afraid we won't fail. I'm afraid of every single point in-between. But we aren't afraid to admit all that.
Different: Huh. I wouldn't have bought such a cheap store phone at Wal-Mart or signed a dishwasher lease. Maybe I wouldn't have screamed "I WILL BAKE IN A TANK TOP TO KEEP COOL BEFORE I REPLACE A $38,000 AIR CONDITIONER" at a mechanical engineer fresh out of engineering school. Maybe I would have listened a bit more when Jeanne kept saying to me that this would be really hard work. Honestly, we would have worn Spanx in our Kickstarter video. And every subsequent television appearance thus far.
Ready: We didn't know. We fell into it. For our personalities, it had to work that way and it was the ultimate blessing in disguise. If you added in a business plan, a bank loan, a two-week notice at work, a full-time manager on salary, and the feeling that we knew exactly what we were doing...neither of us would have committed. We need things to be messy. Maybe that is you too...or maybe you just dry heaved reading this paragraph. Figure out what works for you and then go with it. Don't listen to everyone else.
So, there you go...advice from two people who love what they do, believe in World Pie Domination, and live in a constant state of panic that we aren't doing this all right and that we will fail ourselves and everyone we've ever met.
PS...If my vote counts, start your business.