Entrepreneurship, General troublemaking, Healthy Living, Professional Growth

30 Day Challenge: My Morning Routine

Since launching IMBY, I have been writing for lots of blogs, contributing content for the IMBY blog, and focusing on business operations. And where does that leave this blog, my place for personal thoughts and exploration? Unfortunately I haven’t been showing much love here.

Instead of focusing on ethical fashion on this blog, I will now be featuring more content on the technical side of that topic over on IMBY’s blog. Here I will be focusing on my personal journey with ethical fashion, with capsule wardrobes, and as an entrepreneur striving to use business for societal change.

My last post (though awhile ago!) was on my new years resolutions, and one of them was to create a morning routine. Lately I have been experiencing the opposite of everything I strive for in a morning: wake up, check my emails, scroll through Instagram, watch tv, stay in bed answering emails. Where does it leave me? Starting off my day with clutter, a mess of a mindset, and ultimately less energy.
So, starting tomorrow I am committing to a new, energizing morning routine. Here’s what I landed on, starting from when I wake up:

  • 10 minutes of journaling
  • 10 minutes of yoga
  • 10 minutes of meditation
  • Get dressed from my capsule wardrobe (yes, I started my own! I will fill you in more on that later)
  • Drink a glass of hot water with lemon
  • Eat breakfast: Avocado toast, eggs, or smoothie
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I anticipate this will take me about an hour each morning, and I am excited to start each morning with reflection, movement, and healthy eating. I also decided that if, for some reason, I don’t have time to do it all, I will still journal and meditate, even if it’s just 5 minutes of each (but those are for the rare exception days!).
I also set some ground rules for myself:

  • No phone near my bed
  • Wake up by 8am every week day
  • No tv when I go to sleep or wake up
  • No checking email until my morning routine is done

I am excited to kick this off! Who else out there has committed to a specific morning routine? What have you learned? What has worked best?

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Entrepreneurship, General troublemaking, Professional Growth, Sustainable Living

2016 Resolutions

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As 2015 comes to a close, I recently took some time to reflect on one of the most momentous years of my life. I started 2015 by moving into my own apartment for the first time. Five months later I moved out, and in the process, started looking for a new job. I quickly realized I had the opportunity that I had always wanted: to start my own company. Since then, my life has been truly focused around IMBY, creating an accessible option for ethically-made fashion.

When I think of 2016, I think of possibility, and uncertainty. If there’s anything I know about being an entrepreneur, it’s that there’s no way to predict the next year, let alone the next month. But I do want to set my intentions for next year. Here are the things, first and foremost as an entrepreneur, I am resolving to in 2016.

  1. Take care of my mind and body. This was a big focus of my letter to myself when becoming an entrepreneur, and to be honest, I am not doing a great job of it. I will be focusing on making yoga a regular part of my daily routine, and I plan to start 2016 with a Whole30 challenge to recalibrate my deteriorating diet.
  2. Create a morning ritual. I have been craving stability and routine in my not so stable or routine life as an entrepreneur. One thing that I am confident will help is creating a morning ritual that focuses on starting my day mindfully (not on my phone!) with meditation, yoga, and a healthy meal.
  3. Practice gratitude. I get a lot of help and support from wonderful friends and colleagues, and without them, I couldn’t get IMBY off the ground. I want to practice gratitude towards the people who support me beyond just saying thank you. This includes a regular thank you note practice, as well as being grateful of the things that others might not realize are a big deal, but make a big difference to me.
  4. Go big. 2016 will be a big year for IMBY— the company will hopefully grow a lot. This will require the majority of my energy and time for 2016, and I am ready to focus on bringing ethical fashion to the masses. This will require sacrifice including less time with friends, challenging decisions, successes and failures. I plan to embrace it all (and I have my own set of goals for IMBY’s growth in 2016!).
  5. Build community. Being an entrepreneur is incredibly lonely. I knew this fact from my time at PresenTense helping entrepreneurs start up, but it feels so heavy building a company alone. I plan to focus 2016 in building my own community of individuals I can support and who can support me. I am starting entrepreneur brain slams so that my friends and I can support each other in brainstorming new ideas when there is not normally someone around to share those ideas with.

Speaking of community, I recently joined the Ethical Writers Coalition, a group of bloggers focused on living more sustainable lives and helping others do so as well (some of them have been my favorite blogs on the topic for a while now!). We have all committed to posting our resolutions today. You can check out the other truly inspirational posts below– and check out their blogs for some great resources! What do you resolve to focus on in 2016?

Hanna of Sotela’s Why Making Unresolutions Are Better
Alden of Ecocult’s Painfully Honest New Years Resolution
Leah of Stylewise Blog’s Year in Review and Ethical Resolutions
Hannah of Life + Style + Justice Blog’s Resolutions
Kasi of The Peahen Blog’s A Year of Wardrobe Resolutions
Elizabeth of The Notepasser Blog’s My One Big Resolution for 2016
Faye of Sustaining Life’s Shedding Layers for a Mindful 2016
Annie’s My 2016 New Year’s Resolution: Buy Only Ethically Made Fashion
Kamea of Kamea’s World’s 4 New Year’s Resolutions You Need for a Meaningful 2016
Holly of Leotie Lovely’s Gone Green 2016
Andrea of Ecologique Fashion’s Resolutions

 

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Entrepreneurship, Professional Growth

The rat that launched my business

I have been a little off the radar lately. Let me fill you in on why.

In May, a series of events and unwanted rodents led me to discover that my new and quaint Brooklyn apartment was no longer the humble abode I had anticipated it to be. I left the apartment, moved in with my parents, and didn’t look back.

At the same time, I was starting to explore where I wanted to move next in my career. After three wonderful, challenging, and rewarding years of growth and learning at PresenTense, I felt it was time for a new challenge.

Unrestricted by a lease or a job, I had the opportunity to push my boundaries and dream big. So I decided to pursue something I have always wanted to: starting my own company. I started working on it on nights and weekends and on September 15, I officially left my job at PresenTense to start IMBY, an ethical fashion company.

I have SO much to share about my entrepreneurial adventure so far, the ethical fashion industry, and IMBY. Too much for this one post, so there will be many posts to come.

For now, I will leave you with a letter I wrote myself right when I started IMBY about what I wanted to remind myself during the process. I welcome your insight and feedback into IMBY, and if you are interested in getting involved, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Dear Sara,

You are starting to embark on an exhilarating, terrifying, challenging, and rewarding journey. Starting your first (or any!) company is not an easy feat. It will inevitably be one of the most fun and challenging things you take on. It will push you to your limits. Your passion will be tested. There will be long nights. And your creativity will soar. 
Sara, you will be a rock star. I believe in you. Sitting on the subway writing this letter I’m so excited for you and what’s coming. You have been preparing for this for years. You are completely and totally prepared and equally unprepared. 
I want you to remember some important things as you push forward. 
You will fail. And that’s ok. Failure it’s one or the most important aspects of the entrepreneurial journey. This is where you will learn more than ever before. 
Take in every day. Entrepreneurship is not solely about the final product but also the journey. Be curious and always be learning. Lean into discomfort. Live in possibility. 
The product will never be final or perfect. It will grow and evolve and pivot and change just like you will during this process. 
Remain humble and embrace support. You simply cannot do this alone. Ask for help. Admit when things are hard. Be vulnerable. You will do the best you can but others will be able to do things better. Accept their help, support, and guidance professionally and emotionally. 
Live the entrepreneurial experience you have always desired. Truly embody it. This is your first chance to test the waters, learn where you will sink and swim. You will sometimes need to fake it until you make it. Lean into that. 
The health of your business is directly correlated with your health and wellbeing. Don’t sacrifice taking care of yourself. Go to yoga, meditate, eat healthy, whole foods, and nourish yourself with what you need physically, emotionally, and socially. While it will be essential for you to push through discomfort at times, you will also need to draw the line and be kind to yourself. 
Be appreciative. You have an opportunity to do something amazing. Don’t forget that you are lucky to have the stars align in the right way to enable you to take this journey. 
Turn worry and fear into opportunities. You will, quite often, experience fear. There will be many unknowns. Recognize those moments and shift them into moments of power and action. For every negative thought, create a positive one. 
Create your own luck. Entrepreneurship is really hard, and it’s a matter of the effort you put in and the attitude you have. Allow yourself to believe you will succeed. Many people will doubt you along the way, understand that’s part of the process. Humbly accept their opinion then prove them wrong. 
When you make it big, don’t forget the little guys. 
You do you. You are different, you’re unique. You’re a troublemaker. No one is as dedicated to your mission as you are. Never forget that. 
Have fun. Don’t forget to laugh. Live in the moment. Don’t take anything too seriously. 
Make it rain. 
In possibility,
Sara
July 17, 2015 
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Entrepreneurship, General troublemaking, Troublemakers

Ruckusmaking, Troublemaking; Let’s just make something

Hello, dear friends. It’s been a while. I have been lost in the chaos of my own personal and professional troublemaking and have neglected to catch you up on my learnings. We have so much to get done. Here we go.

Last weekend I attended a workshop called Ruckusmakers with the one and only Seth Godin. Having been a big fan of Seth’s work for a while, I was delighted, nay, thrilled to attend this workshop when my colleague Todd invited me to do so (thank you again, Todd!!).

Seth’s work focuses on the importance of making change. Change is at the nexus of improving society, being happier, being productive, and making a difference. Change is what allows us to grow in ways we never thought possible, to push the boundaries of our personal and professional lives, and to advance our agenda. If you aren’t changing, well, you’re moving backwards.

Right off the bat, I know Ruckusmakers was my jam. Ruckusmaking sounds pretty darn close to troublemaking, and to be in a room full of people who love to cause a scene is the place I always want to be. It’s easy in our daily lives to fall back into complacency, to accept the way the world is because it’s easy and comfortable and what we are taught in school. We are taught to study to pass a test, to know the right answers, to only speak when we are called on. Nowadays that just doesn’t fly. The way of the future is to make ruckus, to make necessary trouble, to make something you believe in. There simply isn’t time for otherwise. If we aren’t creating, we aren’t contributing. And the world really, really needs us to step up.

At Ruckusmakers learned a LOT, both hard skills and soft. I met some pretty inspiring people. And while I am still digesting it all, I hope to frame it back to you so that we, together, can continue on our journey towards challenging the status quo, not giving in when others laugh or roll their eyes, and trek forward on a path we believe in. There just ain’t no other way.

I will leave you with one nugget from Seth that I have been thinking about constantly. He shared with us:

Failure is just learning one way not to do something.

Let’s succeed, let’s fail, let’s just do. We will figure it out eventually.

Onwards.

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