Connecting The Dots

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Steve Jobs once said “you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

I heard him say this at a commencement speech he gave at Stanford University, and it really stuck with me.

Since the age of 13 I’ve always wanted to be a fashion designer. I did all the things that would lead me in that direction, I went to college and studied all types of Art & Design, yet it was still Fashion I was interested in. I studied Fashion Design at University where I spent my third year in the industry.

It was through that placement year, I landed my dream job as a design assistant at plus size designer, Anna Scholz. Finally my dream since age 13 had become a reality. Only it went slightly off course. With a few months of my being there, Anna appeared on a primetime TV show and our fairly new online shop crashed due to so many people finding out about the brand. Overnight I become the website and newsletter graphic designer.

Arghhh, this what not part of my plan! I hated my new found role, I would moan every time I had to do anything that would take me away from designing clothes and beautiful prints to adorn them. Instead I was stuck teaching myself how to design websites.

Then something really weird started happening, I'd start moaning and putting off having to design the collection - I just wanted to be in my website world.

I started taking photographs of Anna for social and blog posts, I was capturing our latest collections on models in our campaign photoshoots, friends were asking me to take photos at their weddings or when they'd had adorable little babies.

All of these different things were happening in my life that weren't part of the plan I'd dreamt up so many years before and thought would be my future. I didn’t quite understand what was happening.

I was frustrated that my friends were always moving jobs, specialising and getting further and further along in their careers. Whereas I was still at the same job doing a million different roles, and not feeling expert enough to do just one thing somewhere else (I now realise that’s total BS and self-doubt talking)

But now I can so clearly see it was all happening for a reason, just like Steve said. It’s only looking back that you can connect the dots. All of these different roles were preparing me for becoming an entrepreneur and starting my own business.

I recently read an incredible autobiographical book by Michael A Singer called The Surrender Project. The author is a very spiritual person and he talks about how he let go of his personal preferences and just let life call the shots. He was a 70’s spiritual hippy and ended up creating a billion dollar software company all without leaving the thriving spiritual community in the forrest that he’d built.

I feel like in my life where I've resisted and finally let go off are the things that brought me the most joy.

So if you have some friction towards a change in your life, maybe just let it go and see what happens.

It could just be the best thing you've ever done.

Liz ElleryComment