I was at my weekly life coaching group session and each week we all have to first celebrate our victories and then give a status of the work we have set out to do. I went, it was lovely and we moved on to the next person. When everyone was finished, Katie says, “Ann, what else? What else do you have?”
And then I said it. I said words that were stuck in my throat for months but I didn't know they needed to come out.
“I don't want to design. Well, I do, but I can't get myself to actually design. I'm fighting something and I don't know what it is. I dreamed of this - of being an interior designer and running my own business for years and now I am here. And I'm paralyzed."
I said this and the tears flowed down my face.
Katie and Sean, the wiser, more experienced entrepreneurs in my group had giant smiles, as if I just shared good news. I was confused. I didn't share good news. I shared something that made me want to vomit.
“Ann, this is it. You did it. You got your dream. You are living it. But it doesn't stop there. You were made for more. There is more in you. There is more for your business. There is more for your customers.”
I cried more. But this time it was a cry of relief. And a cry of clarity. And a cry of a firework going off in my soul. This was it, they were right. It's not that I didn't want to design. Or want to close my interior design business that I worked for over a decade to start (duh). It's that I am made for more. I achieved a lifelong dream and I am at the top of the mountain and that tension was because I couldn't see what was next.
And then, there it was. Another mountain. More of them. Beautiful mountains that were calling my name.
In that instant, everything changed. I spent the following weeks head down in all of my big dreams. I got on my knees and prayed to God. I journaled. I listened to Tony Robbins. I spoke with my closest friends that are entrepreneurs. And I created a vision, a plan, with outcomes. I shared it with my team and we are off to the races.
Ann Ueno Interior Design isn't going away. It's expanding. It's growing. Here is a sneak peek:
Our first-ever digital course will be launching in the fall. You guys, this has been a heart and soul project and I KNOW it's going to be a blessing to so many entrepreneurs. I CANNOT WAIT.
We learned a lot from our wallpaper line...next up...pillows!
AUID will be undergoing a re-brand, a renovation if you will. It's time. My life was demo'd, I'm changed. My brand has always been personal and between my personal life being vastly different than it was a year ago and the leveling up we are doing on the business side, this brand renovation is necessary.
We will be launching a new website, featuring our new layers, new products and services and it's going to be fire.
We have kicked off the design for a studio space for AUID and TALK ABOUT ALL THE DREAMS. I could cry again typing that.
We will be offering new marketing services and products to interior designer entrepreneurs.
I've begun the initial framework for a book I am writing. That is hard to actually say and announce but, there you have it.
And there's more. But I will leave you with that for now. #nbd.
What success looks like for me is much different now. Yes, I dream of making the cover of Domino Magazine (I write it down every single day in my start today journal). Yes, I want to design a celebrity home. Yes, I want these things. But more than that, I want to follow God's lead and I want to serve people in bigger ways. A path that isn't always easy, often confusing but one that I know will yield the best outcome because it's people and purpose focused. The most peaceful, fulfilled outcome. And the one that has me and my team so intently focused on serving people and inspiring people to action. That is where my fire is coming from right now and I know this fire is here to stay.
Here's the takeaway, you guys. So many people ask me about my routine, my habits, how I'm thriving given the trauma I've been through. I will be writing more on this (I have literally gotten 5 messages asking me about this in the last week) but in short, it's this:
Faith. God first, always. I could write a book on this but, God has been so gracious, so good, so loving amidst this season. I'm clinging hard to Him.
Habits. I wrote about this - what do you do when you don't know what to do? Your habits. These habits have been with me for months, for years and still are.
Self Investment. I have spent more money in 2021 on self investment than I ever have. Tony Robbins programs, life coach, therapy, all of it. It's the best money I've ever spent. More to come on this.
Reading. There are one million books that can help you - and me - in any season. On mothering, on relationships, on trauma, you name it. I read, I learn, I grow, I become better.
Community. I have my people. I don't know what else to say here. I invest in them, they in me. We are tight, ride or die type of friends. Friends that are now family. I'm constantly inspired by each of them - as moms, as business owners, as church goers as creatives. Invest in community.
Okay, that was a lot. I'm so thankful to have a community here that I can share these life things with. SO THANKFUL. Each response, DM, text, voice note and voicemail shapes me, keeps me going and reminds me that none of this is about me. It's about you. I want to serve you, help you, inspire you to action more now than ever.
Get ready, it's going to be good.