Quite Continental Charm School: Day 28 — Be Enterprising

28/02/2012 § 2 Comments

The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life
Photo by Nina Leen for Life Magazine, 1956.

Editor’s Note: I’m very pleased to introduce our next guest speaker!  My good friend Jessica Goldfond, is the founder of the accessories and fashion PR firm and showroom called The Shiny Squirrel, as well as her blog by the same name where she shares her discoveries in style, art, fashion and aesthetics.  She is a lovely, hilarious and giving person, who I feel lucky to call my friend.  Hanging out all over New York aside, I also had the good fortune to travel with Jessica in California this past fall, when we drove from Los Angeles to San Francisco, with an amazing stop over in Big Sur (you can see that trip here).  Along the way we ate amazing tacos, sang classic rock at the top of our lungs, spied on sleeping elephant seals and took in the amazing beauty of my home state’s coast.  She happens to be quite the traveller, with trips to Turkey and Germany on her list for this year.  Of course I am very jealous she’s not taking me along.

When I began the Charm School project, I approached a disparate bunch of individuals, fully aware that they would each bring something different to the “curriculum.”  Confession: I actually had an idea in mind for each of them, ready to delicately suggest, just in case they had trouble coming up with their own topic.  I will admit that I sort of strong-armed Jess into my topic of choice.  I most hoped she would participate because I wanted to hear how she founded her very successful business, because she truly is an inspiration for all the would-be entrepreneurs out there, and because she doesn’t often tell her story.  If you are not yet familiar with Jessica, or The Shiny Squirrel, it is my pleasure to introduce you.

Editor’s Sidenote: I have widened the topic only a bit, only because I believe you can derive a lot of personal satisfaction from your life by simply being enterprising.  Here I use enterprising to mean motivated, venturesome, being resourceful and showing initiative.  While this may manifest itself in the founding of a business like Jessica, it doesn’t necessarily require it.  In fact, I’d even include things such as the founding of a book club, a church group, a blog or even using Pinterest under the enterprising umbrella.  The point is, find something that is completely yours, that will excite you, and throw yourself into it.  A charmed life is a motivated, satisfied life, and if money happens to follow, that’s icing on the cake.

Without any further ado, Jessica’s tip for a charmed life.

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Day 28: Be Enterprising
I can’t say I have any great wisdom or a formula as to how to make it work or even where to begin. I started my business or the concept that would be my business 6 years ago and been organically letting it evolve ever since. I decided to launch a PR company and showroom because I was tired of working for other people and wanted to feel 70 years from now that I really accomplished something with my life. I have been striving and working on that feeling everyday since.

I think the best way to start a business is to look at what you love and think about how you can formulate that into a plan. It’s important to ask questions, always take calculated risks, and develop the ability to recognize an opportunity when it presents itself.There are no failures if you learn from the mistakes you made along the way. I think a bit of self-reflection always helps to build the foundation of a company and let it take shape. Passion, Hard Work, Kindness, Generosity and patience are definitely some of the key factors in making something successful.

It is always important to remember that a business is built in a series of blocks or stages. Slowly but surely it all comes together over time.

Here are a few things I think would be awesome for building a business:

Present and Correct has some of the best office supplies around and I would love to use this little pad to take invoices if I am writing an order.

I find Fort Standard’s work and products really inspiring and would love to add these building blocks to my growing collection of their work.

I never seem to have a nice pair of scissors on my desk so these are a beautiful shape and have a nice feel to them.

I love having plants around me especially in lovely containers like this.  It is inspiring and refreshing if you have to sit indoors all day on a computer.

by Jessica Goldfond, of The Shiny Squirrel

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 The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life
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