(continued from Part 1)
I don't know if it was the sunshine, the free spirit in the air, the creative vibes or my age (32-33 at the time) but in California, my alter-ego really came out. Out of nowhere, I had the courage to quit my job, launched a Kickstarter campaign for a new business (not Yem) and traveled home to Vietnam to promote the new venture. My boyfriend and the dog came with.
I thought this was when my life would truly begin, as my dream of being an entrepreneur was finally coming true. Little did I know these were going to be some of the hardest yet most magical months of my life. One of the magical outcomes was that I found Midnight Silk and Yem was born.
As I have previously written about, not having a job and stable income threw me completely out of balance, and challenged my self-esteem. On top of that was the feeling of helplessness that came with trying to start not one but two businesses on my own. I did not know who I was anymore. I found myself often full of self-pity, blame, anger, and desperation to be liked and to be "successful." Like toxins, all of my fears and insecurities came out hard, as if my body was going through an intense detox before collapsing. I finally hit a wall.
This was when I realized it all came down to "transparency." All my life I was not transparent with myself and others about who I really was. I was afraid it would lead to vulnerability, which I associated with weakness. I was ashamed of my true self; an only child from divorced parents, always number two in class, closeted introvert, a diploma that wasn't from an Ivy League school, never the best at anything. I could not bring myself to show strong emotion in public, so when my grandfather passed away, I hid in the bathroom when I needed to cry.
This time as I hit the wall, I could not run anymore. I had two choices: to reach deep inside and deal with the real problems, or to give up. And luckily I chose not to give up.
As the journey of my personal development continued, I started to meet so many people who were facing the same blockages, and I realized I found the greatest joy in helping them through sharing my trials, and the only way to truly tell those stories now is with full transparency.
As for my business, I also chose #TotalTransparency as my way of dealing with my lack of trust in the business world today (exciting updates on this coming soon!). On that note, I will end with this quote from Gandhi: “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. We need not wait to see what others do," which was later translated into the bumper sticker "Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Los Angeles, May 9, 2018