Not so long ago I felt guilty buying myself underwear.
I mean come on. Underwear? But you and I both know how ridiculous a pair of underwear costs. But our finances were super tight, like those little pieces of fabric I couldn't justify buying.
When we moved into our home we didn't have a lot of money. It was 2007 and at that time, we bought a new home before our other home was sold. #dumbidea
We thought we'd be rolling in cash. That didn't happen. We carried 2 mortgages for a year and a half.
My husband was working in L.A., which in traffic was 2 hours away each way from our new home. My husband had to sell his Mustang and I had to cash out my retirement to survive. We had to borrow from family to close escrow on the old home. It was tough times.
We struggled, but made every payment to meet our obligations.
Life's a lot different now. I look back at the time and smile fondly.
We're no longer struggling to make ends meet.
We paid off those debts. And it wasn't easy.
In 2009, I decided to start my design business. Not the best year to start a business, but I was determined to help our family and stay home with our daughter.
During that time, I also took a part-time job at the company my father worked at. I was doing CAD work, but mechanical engineering drawings which were new to me. I figured it out, though, and all the while was thankful that even though I had to commute an hour each way with our daughter, there was some much-needed money coming in. It wasn't a lot, but we needed every penny.
This year, I'm beyond grateful. Those years were so difficult. I felt guilty buying anything, like the underwear I mentioned before. I know, so embarrassing. I share this for a reason.
The big shift in my business happened when I changed the way I thought about myself. Seriously.
If I wasn't willing to take action and invest in myself, how could I expect my clients to invest in me. I didn't value myself enough.
From first believing in my value to then seeing the results I got for my clients - I could see that it wasn't me blowing smoke up my own ass. It was me being okay with knowing my value. Even if I thought the world would think I was a fraud.
You may not have all the experience or all the answers. You may not have all the fancy letters to put after your name. Maybe you do and you still feel like a poser.
You're are way more talented than you know. We need you to share your gift with us. And don't you dare for one effing moment think that that's a lie. It's not.
If you believe, you work hard, you decide that failure isn't an option, choose success - you'll make it.
I hope that you count your blessings, small or large. Be thankful for your family and your health. Believe in your dreams and work hard. It's amazing how your life can change. It probably won't happen overnight (I know I wished it would) but I wouldn't change a thing. I learned so much and that in itself is a blessing.
Alycia Wicker is an interior design business coach specializing in online marketing strategies.Her clients land more of their own dream clients and make more cash, period. Celebrity gossip whore. Elvis-obsessed.