Waited 7 Years too Long

It was kind of odd having felt pretty upset/scared/excited leading up to the time to have ‘the’ meeting with the Capital Funding person I met recently at a women’s meeting. It was fresh and exciting to learn that to make businesses grow and develop, there was a possibility to sell the idea to potential investors to get funding.

So I thought, wow, that’s fantastic. I’d love that opportunity to make happen my idea that I had for the last 7 years.

In uni days, I learnt that t-shirts were the bread and butter of any business. My thesis in my Honours year was on Generation Y – fashion. Through research and looking at what’s out there, I realised that Gen Y fashion was simple – t-shirts and jeans.

My third year research was in Consumerism and what it meant. That thought me a lot about branding and how the industry was all about that. It was the gimmick about products that motivate people to buy, rather than just a need for something.

In 2008, I went on my holiday to Japan and that was when I first learnt of Uniqlo. The first time I walked into Uniqlo’s store in Harajuku, I was amazed at how big it was and how awesome the tubes looked against each other on the shelves. I honestly cannot remember how I first learnt of Uniqlo – it must’ve been through researching innovative brands. It was Uniqlo that inspired me to go forth with the T-shirt business. Then I had a friend who wanted to invest in it – but I really had no clue what I was doing. (In many cases, sometimes today, I feel that I have no clue what I’m doing).

We looked at a manufacturer in China somewhere who screwed up the samples – way tooo big. And I just couldn’t get designers to design what I was thinking (once again possibly my fault for not having a clear enough picture and too high an expectation.

It went no where. I felt unsupported. I had no idea what I was going. No idea how to run a business. I was going through a lot of mental frustration that every time we had counselling practicals at counselling college – that’s all I spoke about. Eventually I decided to stop with the idea and I found RedBubble.

Redbubble was a cool site. I got to upload a variation of the artwork that one artist had done for me. I didn’t sell many t-shirts at all and the commission was very small per t-shirt. Perhaps lucky to have $1 – $2 per t-shirt. It was definitely not an outlet to make money. It was an outlet to design something and SELL A T-SHIRT to prove that it was possible.

It was.

But as time went on and I started to lose track of time and lose track of the will to design. And I stopped.

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Presenting and Public Speaking

Back in the days, public speaking was something that I was ok with. I just had issues with small talk and showing feeling.

Over the last few years I’ve run so many presentations and ive gotten used to it. Loved it too.

Recently ive been having doubts. If anything, even a little hesitant in wanting to stand in front of people to present an idea or speak.

Now having just run a seminar with some lovely ladies, ive found that I fucked up big time. And feel even more like I dont know what im doing. I feel so open and vulnerable and feel shitty but in a way good. .. if that even makes sense.

Ive been feeling very strange lately. One big thing is im learning to not look at other people for recognition? Dammit lost the word. It’ll get to me.

Ive realised that no one gives a shit. No one gives a shit about what I do. No one celebrates what I do. No one even wants to care about what im doing.

And its only now do I really understand when they say, no one gives a shit about what you do except you. And rightfully so right?

You are the only one who will care about what you come up with. You are the only one who cares about what youve achieved. You are the only one who will laugh at your own jokes.

The funniest people on youtube are those who laugh at their own shit and started making those videos for them to laugh at.

Having millions of fans is a bonus. Having money is a bonus.

I sometimes wonder why I do these womens seminars. Initially it was to market our business and make money. Now it feels more like marketing the event and making the event sell rather than selling our business. I havent made any money to date. Not at all. Having fucked up today will mean I wont make any. I didnt even get ppl wanting to have the book. And the book is fucken free.

And I guess at the end of the day… my thoughts are not that im upset but more of a learning curve.

Not everyone is going to want my product. Not everyone is going to enjoy what I have to say. Not everyone is going to want what I have to give. Just like the bowl of soup that my boyfriend left for 2 weeks.

Another thing that I learmt from this is what these women want. Not a lot of them want relationship stuff. They want sex. These are oldies who want sex.

And that is what im going to talk about next, sex.

I do feel like what is the purpose of all this. What will I achieve and what will I get.

But also, what else have I got to give?
Well… I guess.. in my space of Saturn Return. Lets see what happens next

Mental Exhaustion

I’m feeling exhausted and pretty overwhelmed.

One of the challenges of being an entrepreneur or (an aspiring entrepreneur) is having lots of things going on each day. Life would be easier if I had the one job. And it would be ok to have the one job with many projects, but having lots of different jobs – gets to you.

I’ve been reading the book “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown, one of those books that you wait for for ages to be released. I bought it recently, read 7/8 of it with only one chapter left and wow, it’s really shifted many things in my life. For one, I stopped feeling shame or guilty for things that I havne’t made a mistake. I’m the kind of person that fears making other people upset or feel like a faulted someone else – I know I’m not the only one. I guess we feel a lot of empathy and sympathy for someone else and try our best to make them happy or “not sad” if that’s the only thing we can do.

In that, I’ve started to build my boundaries – say no. Look out for myself. Stand up for myself. It’s all too new and it’s feeling uncomfortable. I guess I have to sit with that.

So I’ve been up to lots of different things – coaching thing, networking thing, my women’s seminar thing, and recently got back into my fashion thing – both speaking and physical creation.

It’s been great. And I’m speaking to more creative people which is fantastic.

What I am now, is feeling exhausted. I haven’t slept well lately – bad patterns of sleeping really late, feeling my stomach hurt and then waking up relatively late and too exhausted to get out of bed.

I am feeling the pain from the gap of where I am to what I would like it to be to be even more painful. At the same time though, I am feeling more and more excited – that bubbly feeling like something is going to happen… anticipation.

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It Feels Like Everyone is Moving Forward and I’m Behind

I’m having one of those shit ass days. Days when you wake up and your body is sore, your head hurts and you just don’t seem to think of anything else but nasty negative thoughts.

It feels like I’m so behind. it feels like I’ve wasted so many years of my life chasing after something that I don’t even know what it is. I’d like to say, relationship. I’d like to say “a life”. I’d like to say, “being happy”. I’m in a relationship now, life is happening and I wouldn’t say that I’m always happy.

I left the idea of having my own fashion business behind 7 years ago and am kicking myself today with the realisation that if I had just gone and got a junior job somewhere, where would I be today? Would life have been totally different today?

I’m kicking myself for staying in the same job where I’ve been in the last 4 years and I haven’t moved up, sideways or even gotten a pay rise. AND I’m still there working each day making as much as I could to pay for my bills.

I’m kicking myself for doing two courses in the last 4 years and have racked up a huge debt.

I’m tired of doing things that seem “wrong” to others and trying to do what’s right by them and please them. Some people just can never be pleased.

I feel like I’ve lost the battle and everything is just going to be the same. I even read this article – http://www.writechangegrow.com/2011/05/does-it-feel-like-everyone-is-moving-forward-except-you/

and felt reminded that other people feel the same (yes, other people are like me) and there are people that are in a worse place.

I’m really tired of focusing on myself. Looking at life from myself and always about myself. That I make decisions based on what I think is right, only to find out in the end that it wasn’t right in the others eye.

I can feel that I’m starting to resent things. Resent where I live, resent where I work, resent some of the choices I’ve made.

Was I hiding when I was away. Yeah, I probably was. What was I hiding from. The shit life of always “trying” always chasing after people who’ve done it. The shit life of everything being the fucking same. The fact that I still don’t have my own place, I don’t have a job that pays me more with the potential to keep building, I don’t have a business that’s paying me and I still don’t have the monetary capacity to pay off my debt and buy the simples in life like make up.

And you know what, it’s all sounding so First World Problems-ish. Like, “Shut the fuck up bitch, you have a lot more than most people”.

Aren’t we all a little like that though?

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New ways

Wow. Really.

There are so far many different things in Canada or, I guess, different ways of doing things. Im sick and only now do I know who the medical clinics work here. As a tourist, I cant go to just any doctor but I must visit a walk in. Which means that I cant make an appointment and I just have to walk in and see where I would be on the list.

In Australia, ive always called in the morning, rocked up at my time and waited about an hour or two. Thought I couldnt wait at this place.

To make the most of it I chose to stay nearby and go eat instead.  I either go home and find some way of getting back or again or may kill time and do what I wanted to do over here.

How life is different where ever you go.
Whether you chose to assimilate and fit in is the question.

Well when you’re sick,  you don’t really have a choice.  But I’m a fighter.

Though I understand that when you’re caught up in a shit place you get shitty thoughts.  I know I asked for this sickness.  I probably need it to appreciate good health, Australia and won’t take my body for granted.

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I’m going to sit here and slowly enjoy my salad.  It’s got to last me an hour so I can kill that much time.  And think of all the things I should be doing,  all the things I’m grateful for and put together a list of things I want to do.

How much are you worth?

I’ve heard over and over again that self worth or the value that you give yourself is in direct correlation to the value you give money. The relationship you have with money is the same as the relationship you have with yourself.

Now I’ve always been ok with money. When I was young, I had “Lucky Money” that I didn’t really need. When I was a teenager, I saved up my “Lucky Money” and really paced it out for the year (going out with friends, taking sticker photos, movies – all social, hardly ever about buying stuff). When I got my first job, my first paycheck I used to buy a pair of khaki pants from Dotti (which then, was an awesome store) that cost $80! When I was in uni, all my money was spent on uni – books, material, whatever I needed to for my education.

When I finished uni and got a real job that’s when it started. I never really knew how much I should be paid. I was always just told what I was going to get paid. My first job was tutoring – $100 a day which wasn’t so bad for a first job. My second job (which ran along side with the tutoring) was customer service at Myer – I think it was $18 – $20+ an hour which then made a few extra bits and pieces.

The first time I had a negotiation about pay, I was struggling to negotiate how much I would get paid. My lecturers had said that the minimum pay I should be getting is between $35 – $40k a year. I didn’t know what that meant. When asked why I was asking for $35 – $40k, I said, “I dunno, my lecturer said so”. They ended up pulling it down to $20k in US dollars with the promise that I would get bonuses, travel, accommodation and food taken care of. That job didn’t last long.

The next time I had a negotiation about pay was for the counselling job I worked in. Then I was still a student so I took the less than administration/reception pay of $20/hr. The bonus was that everytime I ran a course and wrote an assessment, I would be getting paid between $50 to $70 an hour. So I was ok with that. The reality is that on the whole, it didn’t work out. I was making less than people at Myer or Coles.

This wasn’t an issue until recent years when I started to grow up and think like an adult. I didn’t realise how important it was to be paid a proper salary. No actually, it didn’t occur to me how much you got paid was important until i met my boyfriend.

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Thought of the day

I watch a lot of tvb and tv. Today’s tv spoke to me of being who you are and loving who you are no matter who you are and where you are.

I actually watched a lot of YouTube,  the draw my life series by some of the greatest YouTube stars.  I’ve watched MyChonny last week.  Today I watched bubzbeauty, My harto and jenna marbles. These women really changed my views on story telling.  Each had a story to tell.  Struggles with acceptance,  loneliness,  sadness, shitty times… even though they are now youtube sensations, life still is the same.

Bubzbeauty had a happy ending – she’s engaged, moved to HK, bought property and has her line of make up brushes.

My harto and jenna marbles had a different story. Jenna marbles in particular.  Her video resonates with me,   especially as she keeps saying she didn’t know what she wanted to do with her life and in that moment she wanted to make videos.  Ultimately, she wants to open an animal refuge and I don’t see what is stopping her.

I feel the same way.  Accept,  I don’t know what my passion is anymore. I love being in front of people delivering a message.  I used to love making pretty things but I haven’t done that for a long time.  I love my guitar but that is a hobby.  Would never want to do that for money.

Then I watched “the voice” and there’s one singer who said that she had a few brushes with success but not the big break.  Ive been thinking of that as well.  I’ve made little triumphs but not the big break or a sustainable break yet.  I’m still wondering what the big bang looks like.  I guess that’s the problem.  I’m still confused sometimes.  How do I see the big bang,  the big break.  What do I want.

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The True Science of Parallel Universes

Why are parallel universes fascinating?

Imagine having the chance to do something again: to re-choose your decision, to take a different path, to have just done something or said something else. What would the outcome be.

Just the opening 3 seconds in the video below is enough to excite every part of me. It reminds me of the choose-your-own-adventures Goosebumps books that I used to read. What would happen if I went through the door; what would happen if I had chosen to stay put. The great thing about those books is that if you get to an ending that you didn’t like (whether it be boring or whether you end up falling down the cliff), you could always go back to the point of decision and take the other part.

Though in life, it’s not like that.

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What’s Your Signature?

I remember completing my Bachelors of Arts (fashion) in 2005 and was walking around our final year exhibition in Prahran (which then seemed so far away) and my lecturer, the awesome Glen Rollason said to me, “You’ve got to find your signature, what makes Karen Luu stand out from the rest, how people will identify that this is a Karen Luu piece”.

I remember walking thinking, I have no idea who Karen Luu is – What makes Karen Luu, Karen Luu and what is my signature? I mean, what is signature? I asked what it meant but I still didn’t get it. To make things worse, my boyfriend then dumped me because he didn’t like Karen Luu. I remember specifically he wrote and said that he enjoyed having a girlfriend but he didn’t like being with Karen Luu.

And that started my journey to understanding who I was.

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