entrepreneur, Island Life

Letting Go of Control

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For the past few months, our business has been rolling along wonderfully. We’ve had time to tout our crazy-full guest calendars, revamp our welcome messages and leases, upgrade our advertisements, and put together fabulous owner packets for prospective leads. Our numbers and ratings were sky-high. In short, we had the business firmly under control.

Or at least we did, until a then-category 5 hurricane began swirling its way towards the Hawaiian islands. Guests cancelled left and right; flights were cancelled; we fielded calls and messages and inquiries and complaints all day for over a week. Our awesome numbers dropped and our chock-full calendars were marred by vacant days at the end of the month. I kept asking myself, what is happening? What did we do wrong?! Why?!

A looming hurricane felt like it had ruined everything (everything!), but the truth is that it took away our control. Hurricane Lane itself is naturally, and obviously, out of our control – but I couldn’t stop myself from running through ways of controlling the result of it. Could I open up our properties to last-minute reservations? Displaced guests? Surely one airline was still landing….

It was my fiancée that made me realize how ridiculous it all was. We had a major, potential natural disaster-level storm a few hundred miles away, and I was upset that guests had cancelled their trips? Of course they did! What in the world was I thinking?

f062b425bdf17d58915c9d0da25a3dedI realized that I love running my own business because I love having control. I love managing, watching, tinkering, tweaking things to be perfect. I dig it, and it’s been a way of life for me for a while – but it’s not really how life works.

Actually, Hurricane Lane is a pretty good metaphor for life. You can do everything on earth to ensure your life/home/business are picture-perfect and under control, and then something external and totally unexpected can swirl right through and cause some chaos and mayhem. And you have no choice but to do your best and just deal. 

As our business grows, I know the day is coming when I’ll have to relinquish control. I’ll have to trust. I’ll have to let it go – and that day is coming sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, I’m going to try to enjoy a few days off curled up with my man and dog until the storm passes.

Running

Motivation Monday: Keep Fitness in Your Life

  
Life is crazy: crazy-stressful, crazy-frustrating, crazy-difficult, crazy-exhausting, crazy-unpredictable. Maintaining your sanity is tough enough. Now that I’m in a different stage of life, I truly see just how real the struggle of day to day adult life can be. My love for health and fitness – and refusal to give up on nurturing both of those interests – adds another element of difficulty to the mix.

Going to the gym, making meals and eating right in college is easy. Even if you work or play sports and have a heavy class load, it’s phenomenally easier to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle when you’re in school. Once you work a 9-5, you realize just how precious and sacred a lazy Wednesday morning or Thursday afternoon are. Once you get in a ryhtm of wake up, work, come home, sleep & repeat, it’s tough to figure out where exercise and meal prepping fit in.

But here’s the brutal, honest truth: YOU HAVE TO DO IT.

If it’s important to you, you will figure out a way to make it happen. Whether you wake up at 5 a.m. to workout before work, or stash shoes & clothes in your car to  go on a run afterwards, it’s critical to keep exercise in your life – if it’s important to you. Personally, being healthy and fit and capable is a major part of my outlook, personality, and sense of self. And when work is busy and stressful, it’s really hard to make the time for it. I’m mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted. The last thing I want to do is lace up my shoes & go for a run. But I find that if I don’t, I feel even worse. And when I do, I somehow feel significantly better.

My revenge on life’s ups and downs and stressors is my own happiness. Yes, things might be rough – but I can carve out an hour today to empty my mind and soothe my soul. That is something only I can control – and my health is something no person, place, or job will ever be able to take away.

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Thoughts

Wednesday Wisdom: What’s Meant to Be

  
Some people really dig the idea that what’s meant to be will be. It cultivates a sense of hope when crazy things happen and throw us off course; the unexpected happened because it was meant to. And in some cosmic sense, said events are pushing us in some unforeseen direction.

Others detest the lack of control that this notion suggests. What’s the point of trying if we can’t chart our own future? 

The truth of the statement hangs in the balance between the two. While our efforts don’t go unrecognized, they aren’t the end all be all of our destinies. We can steer the ship in a general direction, but we can’t dictate our exact route. And no matter how forcefully we pull, we’ll probably helplessly watch said ship crash into a few icebergs and nearly sink a few times.

Personally, I find this philosophy quite beautiful and forgiving. Life is all about taking risks and chances, crashing and burning, falling flat on our faces and picking ourselves back up again. That’s how we get stronger, wiser, and more open. 

Thoughts

Wednesday Wisdom: Have Fun!

  
Now that I’m in my mid-twenties, I’m noticing an alarming epidemic against having fun. I hear it from friends and family alike: “when are you going to find a better job? A real career?” Or, my favorite, “when are you gonna leave Hawaii and grow up? You can’t just surf your way through life.” 

The most alarming, though, is the little voice in my head that resounds their adulty concerns. “How are you going to get ahead if you’re spending all your money traveling?” Um, excuse me?

Here’s my answer: YES I CAN. As long as I’m taking care of my basic responsibilities, how is having too much fun a bad thing? Or an indicator that I’m not serious about my future? Honestly, my future will come soon enough – and is rather embrace it happy, healthy and full of life than exhausted from being so damn serious all the time.  

  I absolutely love having fun, and Im a firm supporter of having as much as possible. I’ve heard so many people tell me how jobs are just jobs – I can have fun all I want outside of work. But I refuse to work a job I hate just to pay the bills when I can search for a career I love. I love living in my little tropical paradise, thank you very much, even if the job prospects aren’t the greatest. Most importantly, I will continue to spend all my money on traveling because it’s So. Much. Fun.

  
When we have (responsible) fun at work, it makes us more stable, productive, and creative. Having fun outside of work makes us better friends, family members, and partners. Most importantly, we spread that happiness to others, regardless of whether they embrace it or not.

I’d like to keep my adventurous, fun-loving youth into the next stage of life. As I chase a new career and the next steps ahead of me, I keep my happiness close to my heart and at the top of my priorities. 

  
Having fun has built and deepened relationships, and made me more successful at work and totally kick ass at interviews. I’ve heard a few people admit they hired me because I made them laugh, which meant that id easily make customers comfortable. People gravitate towards happy, fun, positive energy anyways. 

I am determined to keep having my fun adventures and enjoying this beautiful life. I may never be a lawyer or a Wall Street Banker, but I can gaurantee that I’ll enjoy whatever path I do find myself on 🙂 

  

Thoughts

25 Mantras for my 25th Birthday

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This week I left the carefree, happy-go-lucky early twenties behind and stepped into full-fledged adulthood. Turning 25 and entering my mid-twenties was equally traumatic and transformative, terrifying and exciting. It’s hard to believe a quarter century already slipped away, albeit filled with wonderful people, memories and places. Now, adulthood feels much more daunting, and buzzwords like ‘career path’ and ‘future’ seem all the more relevant.

Although 25 made me feel a little bit old and unaccomplished (where were my post-colelge riches? My rewarding career?) it did serve as the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. My 24th year of life felt like an uphill battle in the pouring rain. I’m more than ready for a fresh start.

As I embark on this new, reflective chapter in my life, I’ve gathered up 25 goals, mantras and ambitions to tackle. As happy as I am with my life, I know that I’m not living or working to my full potential. For any twenty-something that’s graduated and entered the bleak, blank landscape of the American workforce, I’m sure you can relate.Our degrees don’t work any harder than we do; they’re only worth what we’re able to cultivate, create and produce. We’re the captains of our own destiny, regardless of whether part of that journey involves higher education.

While having a  degree is always a good thing, I’ve learned to invest greater confidence and power in myself than in a piece of paper. I have no problem chasing after my own destiny, even if it’s a little scary navigating uncharted waters for a while. I’m eternally grateful that this birthday came exactly when it did.

25 Mantras for Turning 25

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  1. Travel to a new place at least once a year
  2. To fully accept, love and take care of my body
  3. To make yoga a daily part of my life
  4. To soften my expectations of myself
  5. Let go and work through my past
  6. Embrace both my faults and blessings
  7. Fight for the life and career I want
  8. To complete at least one triathlon
  9. To keep doing races & half marathons
  10. Pursue my dream of becoming of a writer
  11. To take full charge of my finances
  12. To better organize my money, paperwork and life
  13. Play more soccer
  14. Volunteer in another country
  15. To keep learning, reading and exploring
  16. Keep in touch more with family
  17. Take more risks and be more ambitious
  18. Spend more time with the people I love
  19. Be more open, vulnerable and honest
  20. Cut drinking (mostly) out of my life
  21. Be optimistic and positive about the future
  22. Recognize my own strengths and potential
  23. Make a positive impact on the world
  24. Work harder, learn more, and reach higher
  25. To believe that I can do anything – and put that belief to action
Thoughts

Wednesday Wisdom: Resilience

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As humans, we love to compare ourselves. We see such a breadth of differing cultures, personalities, perspectives, and combos of charachteristics that we seem desperate to label as “strong” or “weak.” What makes someone weak? Is it their actions and decisions, their personality, or how they look at the world and their place in it? On the flip side, what makes someone strong?

Personally, I disagree with the desire to toss my peers in a box with some label in order for the world to make more sense. I think, in some ways, we’re all strong. The fact that we all make it through each day, regardless of the rough patches, indicates some general degree of strength it takes just to exist in modern society. I think that we all have strong moments, and weak moments; we all make some decisions out of love and resilience and others out of fear.

This whole thought process got me thinking – what is the most important quality that makes people strong? Or what is it that makes people in general strong? For that, my friends, I immediately came up with one answer: resilience.

f12cd0d9759b1546e6037839853ccda2Whether we live lives out of love or fear isn’t dependent on luck, money, or circumstance. This world is pretty crazy, and anything can happen; the wealthiest person can lose everything with a few bad investments or just bad luck. The luckiest man can find himself one day on his knees without it.

Resilience is the ability to just deal with whatever crazy shit is going on in your life. It’s the ability to mak something out of nothing, push through the bullshit. The ability to love through the hurt, forgive through the anger, and thrive in your darkest hour. Resilience is finding success through the failure.

Resilience is a gift. It’s in all of us, whether we realize it or not. Time heals all, right? Yes, but it’s actually the resilience within ourselves that is able to heal over time. No matter how tough life can get, we always make it through. There’s always another day.

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