I’ve been reflecting on 10 years of blogging, all that has changed and some things that have surprisingly stayed the same! When I started this blog, I didn’t imagine very far into the future—if I’m being honest. I didn’t plan ahead. Things just happened, things fell into place. We did more of what was working. We learned as we went.
That said, I have some advice to send back to my younger self. Maybe some of you can relate.
Dear 24-year-old Elsie,
I know you think you’re so smart and so grown up, but listen to what I have to say because I know way more than you do.
– Don’t rush each milestone. You’ll want to get married fast, get a book deal fast, design products fast, decorate your home fast and have kids fast. Don’t rush. Looking back, the years you were less rushed are so much more full of memories. Your brain needs downtime. So take the important milestones slow, and enjoy them. Enjoy the planning, the little steps. Sometimes you get to the end and realize your favorite part wasn’t even the finish line. Don’t worry so much about the end goals.
– Make friends outside your bubble. The more you do, the more you will grow.
– Accept your company’s growing pains. There is a lot of growth ahead and some of it will hurt for a while. You probably think that having a bunch of employees will make your job easier, that you’ll never have to do the things you don’t love anymore. Well, it doesn’t work that way in real life. It will always be challenging. Training new employees takes a long time; you’ll be surprised how long. But don’t let it bum you out, you’ll be so glad you did it in the end.
– Always listen to Emma when it comes to money and business. Always insist she listens to you when it comes to creative direction. Eventually you’ll learn to stay in your own lanes and you’ll both be happier for it. And don’t forget to tell her you appreciate her as often as you think of it! You need each other.
– For God’s sake, don’t Photoshop your face! It’s something you’ll regret looking back, and feel so dumb about. Don’t ruin perfectly good photos. Let it be.
– Trends will come and go, so spend more time tapping into the vintage styles that you have always loved. These are the key to finding your style. Everything else is in flux.
– Don’t worry about competition. Like, really, don’t worry about it. You’ll realize later it’s not a thing.
– Learn to accept the Internet for what it is. Sometimes it’s far too nice, sometimes it’s unfair and cruel. It’s not going to treat you reasonably all the time. So don’t take it personally. Don’t fight it. Don’t try to edit your life to avoid critique. Eventually you’ll honestly be able to laugh it off. I promise you, it will get easier. By the time you’re 34, you’ll feel like you can fend off bad vibes with a water gun, while sipping a Mai Tai.
– Ask for help as much as you can. You have people in your life who are much smarter than you. Ask their advice and listen.
– I know that when you’re 24, being 34 sounds so old and gross, but I promise you it’s all good. Your 30s are pure magic—everyone knows it (except 29 year olds).
– Only do business with people who believe in karma.