Everything’s Your Business is about making the most of your personal business and what matters to you. It also follows on nicely from Act On It which I guess makes sense because it is the next stage to coming from a place of yes.
This chapter was very interesting because it gave me such an insight into the beginnings of Bethenny’s business life, way before Skinnygirl’s inception. It was interesting to see that even though Bethenny didn’t know exactly what she wanted to do, she knew that business was her forte and what she was meant to do (to the extent that she had many businesses even though they didn’t always work out how she had hoped they would). Reading her business experience, I saw how hard Bethenny worked and the risks she took. An example of this risk was her Pashmina Princess business, long before pashminas became really popular and were popping up everywhere. It all started because she wanted a pashmina from Neiman Marcus but could not afford the $500 price tag. After doing some research, she took a risk investing in hundreds of pashminas, successfully selling them on to friends and friends of friends, and managing to turn a profit. Naturally, this venture did not pan out well, but I saw some of the valuable lessons it taught Bethenny. Two of the most valuable lessons I saw were: to take a risk if you believe in it, but do your research first – something that can be seen in her Skinnygirl drinks line (she believed in her drink so much that despite being knocked down and refused several times by major liquor companies, she did not give up, but kept going); and to not invest in things based on what a friend or anyone else recommends, do it because YOU believe in it – which can also be seen in her Skinnygirl line because all of her Skinnygirl products are things she believes in.
Bethenny writes that making everything your business does not strictly apply to ‘business’ per say but to any aspect of your life. It means making the most of every opportunity, minding not to spread yourself too thin, and being able to be the best you, you can be because you never know who might be watching you.
When I was reading this I couldn’t think of how I’d made everything my business, after all I am only nineteen years old, but then I though really hard and realised that in some way, I had made everything my business. For example, I think my passion for fashion (oh what a cringe) was partly what got me this job that I’ve somehow managed to keep since June and may (fingers crossed, touch wood) return to at Christmas time. If you know me then you’d know I’ve never had a job before (okay, so I lie. I used to deliver newspapers every Thursday [though it wasn’t regulated very well and it felt more like child labour than work] and I’ve done loads of babysitting), had no experience working in retail, and no experience with luxury retail AT ALL! However, I since I was the age of about fourteen, I’ve been making fashion my business. At one point, I was buying up to eight magazines (my ‘bibles’) a month and poring over every page, drinking everything in and allowing myself to be swept into the fashion fantasy. It was at this point that I discovered net-a-porter.com and I’ve NEVER looked back (if you read this blog, or even just look at the tag cloud, you’ll see just how OBSESSED I am with net-a-porter). Anyway, my point is all this research, knowledge and genuine love of fashion helped me write my covering letter, which I hope got me picked (hey, I know I wasn’t hired because of my experience) and interviewed. I think this is why such a prestigious luxury department store (although maybe not behind the scenes…ahaha) took a chance on me – like I said earlier, you never know who might be watching. I also felt (I don’t think I thought this consciously though) that as such a large store had taken a chance on me and I was so excited, that I could not let them down, and really threw myself into everything I did. I even think I was coming from a place of yes without even realising that I was! This would probably be a good time to share that I’d applied for other jobs before (each time being turned down), I’d even applied to THIS department store before as well! I think that I just wasn’t ready to actually have a REAL job and perhaps my gut was waiting for this time in my life and for this specific opportunity.
Also interestingly, when I was fourteen, I wrote a letter to Vogue asking for work experience. Needless to say they turned me down, saying I was too young, but that I should keep up with what I was doing and write back to them when I was at university. I guess in some weird way back then, I found my truth that I wanted to work in fashion, acted on it, and then made everything my business. The same could also be said for this job. I took a risk applying, just trusting my gut and jumping in with both feet and my eyes screwed shut! That being said though, you shouldn’t do things in the vain hope of being ‘spotted’ or elevated to some higher level, you should do things because YOU really want to (even if you can’t pinpoint a reason for wanting to do so).
It’s quite obvious to see I was more focused when I was a lot younger, but then of course life happened and other things somehow seemed to become more ‘important’. Now I don’t regret that change, I’m happy I went through it, because I think it made me see what was still important and true to me.
I still LOVE LOVE LOVE high end luxury fashion, and while I’m no longer spending upwards of £40 a month on my bibles anymore, I’m still learning and craving and drinking in all that I can! I also think that while focus on the future is good, I want to try and focus on the now and focus on how to make everything my business for now! After all, contrary to my past belief, I am young, at university and want to make the most of this experience.
The next chapter of A Place of Yes is All Roads Lead to Rome and I’m excited to see where this will lead, as well as finding out more about Bethenny.