Ed: Sydney Chaney Thomas is a Moraga-based writer and businesswoman with three books to her name, all currently available on Amazon. She is also co-founder of a sustainable sailing apparel company called Ocean SF, and operates a nonprofit that works to reduce plastic waste called the The Trident Project.
Sydney teaches entrepreneurial marketing at UC Berkeley in their International Diploma Program and, in addition to this column, she writes a popular lifestyle blog, which can be found at sydneychaneythomas.com.
Transition, Work & Motherhood
April 27, 2018
Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. The nuts and bolts of running a business can be daunting. As a clothing designer everything matters to me, and I want the end product to look exactly like the vision that is my mind, and this can cause a great deal of stress. Below are things that I have learned along the way that have helped me to make the changes and transitions necessary to live the life of my dreams.
The first step is to believe in yourself. Once you do this, in a real and authentic way, you begin to care less and less about what others think of you, and making decisions based on your own integrity and judgment becomes easy. Through this practice, you are less likely to waste time and energy second guessing yourself.
Believe in your own wisdom, make decisions, and stand by them with conviction.
Surround yourself with kind and supportive people. Not just family and friends, but everyone including the people you work and do business with.
From this empowered and positive position, the people who do not resonate with you fall away, and you find yourself surrounded by people who support the vision you have for yourself, your life and your purpose. This practice alone, eliminates most, if not all, drama and time wasting stress and turmoil in your life. Unnecessary drama can consume a great deal of time, and nothing is more stressful and exhausting, so actively seeking to avoid it, is simply an act of self preservation.
Be nonjudgmental. I no longer judge others, I’ve not walked in their shoes, so it is not my place to judge how or why they do the things they do. Judging others is essentially a time consuming and negative activity which bestows absolutely no personal benefit.
Eat right. And this means a sugar induced binge before bed will keep you up at night, and end with an ant parade on your nightstand as the ants devour the remnants in your ice cream sandwich wrapper. Do not create unnecessary problems for yourself. This is a metaphor for other self destructive tendencies as well, be your own best friend in this regard. For people who love themselves, avocado toast is an antidote to most late night ice cream runs.
Tuck yourself in early. When overwhelmed, unplug and get some shut eye. I like to drink my green tea and read before lights out.
Have a playlist of your most cherished songs, the ones that transport you to a time in your life when you felt the feelings of joy or of falling in love. I played mine on the way to an investor meeting and it immediately put me in a happy and appropriately upbeat mood.
I am a proponent of prayer, and I pray daily before my feet hit the floor each morning, and all day as necessary.
Be mindful that water is the most powerful element because it has no resistance. I remind myself to be like water often and to allow good things to flow into my life and let others flow out.