With so many things in life, getting started is always the hard part. It’s the part that stops so many of us from getting stuck into a goal or project that we would give anything to achieve. We know we want to do it, but we just need that push. I’m definitely the type of person who seems to have a new idea (either for work, for the apartment, for fitness…for something) every single day but if these ideas don’t ever get fully executed, then what’s the point? It’s all about the execution and to get to that stage, you just have to get started. Over the past few years in university, in work and just in life in general, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks that really work for me, so I wanted to pass them along to you guys too.
So the inspiration behind today’s post actually came from a collaboration I’m currently doing with watch brand, CLUSE. It’s funny, every time I go to write a post, I really really think about how I can make each one as unique as possible. Being honest, I probably spend way too much time on each individual post I write but my goal every time I publish one is to provide value to YOU. I’m insanely grateful when you decide to give me 5 minutes of your day to read one of my posts, so I want to make sure I make it worth your while. We all lead crazy busy lives these days, so each time you come to the end of one of my posts, I want you to think to yourself ‘Ok, that has given me some ideas, inspiration or even made me smile.’ No time-wasting over here on Retro Flame. Ever.
Photos by Tara Marzuki
So when CLUSE asked me to style a design from their brand new La Vedette collection (which just launched today), instead of just showing you ‘another outfit’, I wanted to share a story. This new collection instantly brought me back to something. The La Vedette collection is inspired by women with timeless style and with its small case (24mm), their aim is for this timepiece to re-invent “the small vintage watch”. I’m usually more of a larger-face watch kind of girl, but there was just something about this rose-gold beauty which really caught my eye. Classic, timeless & elegant – everything you want from a watch. If you’re a long-time follower, you’ll know that vintage pieces like this jacket I’m wearing in this post make up a very special part of my wardrobe. When I started Retro Flame, my favourite thing to post about were my vintage finds. I would trawl vintage fairs, flea markets & thrift stores for beautiful vintage clothing and accessories and still to this day, I get such a thrill when I find something good. I’m known for clearing out my closet of a very regular basis and I don’t really have any problems selling on or donating items that I’ve grown tired of, but when it comes to my vintage pieces – I just can never let go. So as soon as this watch arrived, I knew exactly what I was going to style it with – this beautiful vintage jacket I found at a vintage fair in New York about 4 years ago. What a find, right? And just to prove to you how much I love it, here’s a little throwback of me wearing it three years ago, styled basically the same way. That’s the thing about good vintage, classic pieces – they’ll always have a place in your wardrobe and this vintage-inspired rose-gold watch is going to fit right in.
And now back to how this collaboration with CLUSE inspired the title of this post. When I was styling up the look for this shoot, it really reminded me about how Retro Flame started out and how vintage played a huge part in it’s beginning. I’ll never forget how scared I was to start this blog. I put it off for months and months and convinced myself that every last person I knew would just laugh in my face when I told them what I was about to do. Blogs are common practice nowadays, but back then, only a few people I knew really understood what they were about, so I was scared. But I had two choices: 1) Just forget about it and convince myself that it was a silly project/goal or 2) Face that fear head on. It’s no big surprise which option I went with and I wanted to share the advice that helped me bite the bullet. I still use all these tips to tackle new goals and I hope you will too.
1. Start writing sh*t down.
Ok so first up, sit down with a piece of paper and start writing. No matter what your goal is, this needs to be done. You need to get all those thoughts of yours on paper and this will make everything seem more real. It’s weird, but you kind of have to make sure you’ve convinced yourself before everybody else. Five years ago when I wanted to start a website, there was one big thing that stood in my way and literally held me back for a few weeks – a NAME. Whyyyyy is it so hard to come up with a name sometimes!? You’re actually going to laugh when I tell you what one of my bright ideas was…..’Fashion Stole My Soul’. Cringe!!! I still have a good laugh when I look back. Thankfully, Retro Flame was born instead. I would sit down every night for a full week with a big sheet of paper and write out words I liked. A couple of nights in I spotted ‘Retro’ and ‘Flame’ close-by on the sheet of paper and you know what, it just worked. I had found it! ‘Retro’ stood for my love of vintage/retro clothing and ‘Flame’ was a nod to my red hair. I shared it with my Mom, Dad and Kaelin and when they all smiled back, I knew I was onto a winner. So step 1 was accomplished and I was feeling a million times better. It’s true that even the smallest amount of progress can make such a difference, so as soon as you finish reading this post and even if you’re not looking for a name, go get that pen and paper and just start writing anyway. Write all those thoughts/ideas down on paper and don’t stop until you’ve passed that start line.
2. Make A Vision Board to remind yourself of your ‘Why’.
One of my favourite pins I have saved in my ‘Words’ (Quotes) board on Pinterest is, ‘What is your why?’. Whenever I’m feeling a bit unmotivated or discouraged, I look at this quote and ask myself, what are my reasons for doing what I’m doing? What are my reasons for working so hard to achieve this goal? Once you’ve figured out that ‘Why’, I promise you, nothing will get in your way. So another big tip of mine to get started on a goal is to create a vision board to remind yourself of this ‘Why’ (an idea I got from my friend, Lorna). For example, when Retro Flame started to turn from a hobby into more of a business, I knew I didn’t want to do it half right. I saw potential and my long-term goal was to get to the stage where I could work on this website full-time. So while I still had another full-time job in fashion last year, I worked harder than ever to keep growing Retro Flame here in the US, so I could eventually quit my job and work for myself. It was always my goal but I knew I would have to work hard to get there. Some nights as I was finishing posts & emails at 2am in the morning, I seriously questioned why I was bothering. But all I had to do was go back to my Vision Board to remind myself it would all be worth it when I reached my goal. Every vision board is different. It’s just a board full of quotes, pictures and whatever will motivate you to get to a certain stage. It might sound a little bit weird, but take it from me, it works. I had an image of my dream office space on my board and guess what? I’m writing this post from that very place. Give it a go, I promise you they work!
3. You have to spend money to make money.
Ok so some people might disagree with me on this one, but I fully believe that you have to invest into something to get something back. This isn’t just money-related, it’s also in relation to time. Starting a business, joining a gym, building house are all things that will leave your wallet a lot lighter, but you have to think ahead to the returns. For me, when I started Retro Flame (and when I wasn’t making one single penny from this website) I invested into a really good Canon camera. I knew my outfit pictures would have to be better if I wanted to be recognized by brands, so it was an essential investment for me & Retro Flame. Of course, I would have rather spent that money on clothes or travel, but I knew it would stand to me in the long-run. When you start out with a goal, you have to be willing to take risks and make sacrifices and then more often than not, you’ll reap the rewards before you know it. So figure out if there are certain purchases you can make straight away that will help you realize your goal, start saving and then bite the bullet.
4. Create a plan and break it down.
After you have all the initial steps done (names, investments, justification to yourself, etc. etc.) then now you have to set your plan in motion. When I was in school, our football trainer used to tell us over and over again that you never have anything to be worried about as long as you’re prepared. We used to train every single day (even during some lunch breaks) so I 110% believed. If you’ve prepared and planned well for something, you’ve given yourself the very best chance of achieving it. But if you haven’t, it’s a whole other story. So my main advice when getting started on your goal is to be absolutely positive of your plan. Break it down into small, achievable steps & stages and you’ll feel as positive as ever before you even start.
5. Don’t listen to one single person who tells you you can’t do it.
We’ve all been there. We’ve all had a great idea, told someone close to us (a friend, family member or that colleague at work) and literally been shut down straight away. “NO, I definitely don’t think that will work.” “Do you know how much money that will cost!?” “I think it could be too risky”….blah, blah, blah, blah blah. You just can’t listen to them!!! At the beginning, you have to be so careful who you share things with. When you have an idea, you really have to trust people with it. I’m pretty sure my poor parents wondered what exactly I was doing for the first 2-3 years of Retro Flame, but thankfully, they just trusted my vision and I’ll be forever grateful for it. Being honest, I can’t say the same for everyone in my life at the time but that’s just life – you live and you learn. Always go with your gut and there’ll never be any regrets.
This post ended up being a little longer than expected, but I just love writing posts like this and I really hope you found it useful. Even if it just motivates one of you to get started on a goal you’ve been wanting to do forever, I’ll be very happy. A huge thank you again to CLUSE for partnering on this post and inspiring me to share a few stories from the Retro Flame archives. I always love collaborating with brands who inspire me!
Hope you all have a nice Thursday,
*Post Sponsored by CLUSE