Taylor Made Volume 9: Life is about how you see it

Posted by Taylor Barkin on

Perspective is everything.

Last month I walked through the idea of getting after that thing that you always (or recently) wanted to go after. I talked about wanting to take some of the next series to talk about going beyond the idea of starting because it doesn't just end there! Starting is one thing but what happens after that? How do you take the first steps after starting to actually grow the damn thing? What tools can you learn to make your life more manageable and organized? We'll get there. There's so many exciting things I want to walk through but you can't get to any of that without starting with your mindset (I promise this won't feel cheesy and I'm not going to sound like Tony Robins or anything).

Sometimes the most random conversations can inspire so much more than one would think

The beauty of having a small team is that you become close pals and have really good conversations with your people. I’ve had a few conversations in the past week about this topic with different people. This got my gears turning about wanting to talk about how perspectives shape your life and how the power of positive thinking can make life a better world for yourself.

Last week I spent an entire afternoon talking about this topic with one of our long time production team members, who is 19. The year has been hard on everyone, him included so to see him excitedly talk about the hardships he’s navigated coupled with his positive perspective made me so appreciative to listen to what he had to say. I think about these things often but the key word here is think. So to have hours long conversation about this was something that motivated me not just in our personal & professional lives but to also make this my next topic for Taylor Made.

During this conversation, we spoke of times that were hard and how we didn’t let those shape our lives in a negative way. Everything we spoke of could’ve resulted in a response along the lines of poor me, there’s just nothing I could do, blah blah. Yeah, those times we’ve all been through have been hard but perspective is everything. We can turn this around and make our world and our life a better place. We’re here living, in the life we were given and we have the power to make it good or the power to make it bad. While many things are outside of our control, there are more things than one might think that are actually in our control. Truly.

This is a simple concept. The way you think will directly affect how you run your business and your life.

It can positively propel you forward day after day or destroy you. This blog is all about perspective and how life, and your business is how you see it. It might sounds simple but training yourself to think positively will change how your entire life runs. It will make you a happier human, a fun person to be around and a good business owner and partner to others. If you can think positive, you will not only be happier and more content  but you will find it easier to stick to your goals, habits etc. 

I used to laugh at the whole concept of the secret and creating a vision board for your future but I actually started realize the positive power all of these things can hold. I started to realize that if you start putting your goals out there whether on a board or by saying them to yourself or an accountability partner often, then you will actually start to accomplish exactly what you are looking to do, whatever that means for you personally.

 Want something really bad? Try putting it out in the universe or telling someone you know will hold you accountable to reach what you want to accomplish. Give it time, be patient to see it through, yes it could be years and see how the power of your own thoughts can positively help you thrive. On the other hand, I also encourage you to think about the opposite. If you feel like absolute shit over something or down in the dumps for an extended period of time, think about why that might be the case. If you’re blaming others for feeling down (I mean sometimes it is definitely someone else’s fault) but think about your attitude and the thoughts you’ve been projecting outwardly towards yourself and others. 

When you believe you are a badass than that's what you will be.

When you tell yourself you aren’t a business owner because you have imposter syndrome and think you don’t know a lot. Guess what? You will be likely to fail. Just because you might be new or inexperienced in that journey, that doesn't mean that you should accept something like that as a fact. 

 I’ve realized over the years that having a good attitude will get you a lot further than having a bad one. I’m not going to sit here and say every day is happy and jolly because it sure as hell isn’t, especially this year. I'm also not going to sit here and say that you should ignore problems and think everything is dandy because that isn't realistic either. What I will say though is that there is a way to find a positive balance between the two.

It took years to get to this place of thought but I frequently remind myself that everything will be okay. If I remain an honest, ethical, compassionate, hard working person and pay my taxes than karma ought to work on my side, right-ish?  And if it doesn’t, I will take it as it comes and deal with it then, there is no point in fearing something that won’t be certain. I am a firm believer in what you project is how the world will treat you. I’ve heard people say they don’t have any friends or that they will never go anywhere and suddenly it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We don't want that.

What you give is what you get (after you get knocked down a few times) and you are what you tell yourself 

I am a firm believer that if you tell yourself you can then you will. And if you tell yourself that you can’t then you won’t.  Growing up I always felt like I could do whatever I put my mind to. 

 In many ways, I was naïve and didn’t understand truly what it would take to get to the goals I set for myself. I always pictured myself running my empire one day but I never truly thought about the reality of the true hard work it would take to get there. I was always willing to give my all, but I didn’t know how difficult starting and growing a business would truly be. When it’s all said and done, I’m glad I didn’t know. I’m glad I was young, naïve and fearless beyond belief because that is what’s gotten me where I am today. 

When I was a kid I told myself I could do anything I set my mind to. When I was a teen, I naturally had some self doubt until one day I decided it wasn't worth it. There was always something in me that just wiped any sense of fear out of me. I can't really explain it but I know that isn't always the case. Despite all of that, remaining positive, especially in a year like this one takes constant work and dedication.

 I have spent countless hours speaking with business owners and people that want to be business owners and one of the biggest struggles they face is fearing failure or fearing that what they build won’t be good enough. And I know it’s easier said than done but if you can shift your mindset to think that you can and that you will accomplish that thing then hell, it will be exhilarating to see it through. 

Imposter syndrome.

Ever heard of this idea? There's plenty of well written articles about this out there that can talk about this better than me but in a nutshell, it means that you feel like you aren't worthy of the accomplishments you've made or maybe you feel like because you haven't run a successful company before, you aren't qualified to start and run your own business.

These are all very valid feelings but that doesn't mean they should dictate your future and your ability to go after something.

If I let imposter syndrome rule when I was 16, I never would’ve started and got where I always wanted to. I’ve at times felt imposter syndrome even sharing all of my so called advice through this blog because I’ve questioned if my opinion matters or is right. That said, I cut the shit and tried, I put myself out there, felt confidence in myself and didn’t let the doubt rule my actions. Will this resonate with everyone? No, probably not. Does that have to make me feel like I’m not qualified or worthy? No. Do I question it? Yes, sometimes. Despite all of that, do I look myself in the mirror and tell myself I’m a badass bitch and try to crush it anyway? Yes.

Don't let the idea of imposter syndrome make you feel like you can't or that you are not good enough for something, because it's not true unless you pull a stunt like Elizabeth Holmes -that's just an entirely different conversation, don't take it that far.

Write down 5 things you admire about yourself:

If you constantly tell yourself that you aren’t good enough for something or that you can’t accomplish something then you probably never will. If you always focus on the negative things about yourself then you are only sabotaging your ability to be happy in life and go after what you want. 

I agree, it’s easier said than done but try practicing focusing on the things that make you absolutely awesome. If you can become confident with yourself then you will become a confident, and strong business owner, partner and human.


Stop right now and find a piece of paper  and write down 5 things you love about yourself. Post it somewhere and read it to yourself often.

Here are 5 things I love about myself:

1.     I am fiercely independent. I have never felt like I NEEDED somebody to depend on. I have had a partner in life since I was 14. We are not only in a relationship together but run a business together too. We share most of our life together but I still take time to have my own friends, see the world on my own along with doing things myself in every day life. I enjoy sharing my journey with someone as a strong, independent woman.

2.     I care deeply for others. The people close to me will be treated as well as I possibly know how. I hold my people close and am grateful for having them in my life.

3.     I have the ability to run after things fearlessly. Sometimes it’s harder than others but when I want something in life, I make it happen without any excuses.

4.     I work my ass off without complaining. Some days it’s hard but I don’t know if anybody that knows me would ever say I’m a lazy bitch. 

5.     I do what I can to see the good in people. I always approach relationships as good until proven bad. Trusted until proven a liar. I am able to get along with people that many others can’t because I approach them with kindness and more often than not receive it back.

Wow! Doesn't that feel good to do? We are all amazing in our own ways so let's stop and celebrate those things. Looking at the good doesn't make you selfish, it allows you to focus on the good that you see in yourself. When you can see that, you can start to use that to propel yourself forward instead of constantly dragging yourself down.

Let's do one more exercise because this year is hard and this one has really helped me

What are some things you can you think of that absolutely suck right now and how can you look at it differently? Here's my example:

  1. We are small business owners in a pandemic. We typically make most of our money at community events. They are all shut down, we can't make money that way and can't connect with our people. Sad.

    1. How I could see it: Well, everything is shut down, there's no way we can make money anymore, our business will fail, our dreams will be crushed and that sucks. But, nothing I can do! Shit.

    2. How I should positively see it: Okay, this is simply the reality of the situation we're in but we've worked too hard to let it all just die. We have the ability to navigate out of this, we just need to think a bit differently. What do we do when we are sitting with a 6 figure loss because we can't be at events this summer? We pivot to make that money a different way. Oh how can we switch our manufacturing? We can sew masks to pick up and account for that revenue dip so that we are at least not struggling financially. But what about the fact that we can't actually be at events? That's sad! How can we look at the bright side? Now we have weekends off. For the first time in 7 years, we aren't working solid 7 days a week. Suddenly we are forced to be real humans, take time to actually recharge. Now we aren't constantly feeling burnout and that fuels our creativity. See it as a blessing in disguise that we really needed.

What's yours? Stop. Get a piece of paper and write it down. Share it with me if you'd like!

Ignoring your problems doesn't lead to a positive world- embracing, feeling and conquering does.

I had a conversation with my sister a few weeks ago about positive thinking and something stuck with me when I said the words “ you just gotta be positive.” Then  she said to me that you can’t just always be positive and shove the shit under the bed though, that’s just not realistic. It made me think about that statement a bit differently. My definition of positive thinking differed from that of others. To some, positive thinking might consist of looking at an awful situation (take covid, clearly devastating and hard for everyone) and saying everything is fine, we’ve got nothing to worry about. But what happens there? You aren’t facing the thing in your way that is hard and moving forward with it. You’re just ignoring it.

But Then think of it this way. Shit, we are faced with covid. It’s really hard. It’s been a tough chapter, the world is heavy, I’ve had to go through a lot of exhausting things. But I learned from them, I grew from them and I can accept that and move on. I can take the hard time and look at the good that came from it. I can hold onto what’s good despite the hard time we’re going through. I'm not going to sit here and say poor me. I will dig for the things I’m thankful for instead of dwelling on what’s terrible. This takes constant practice and mindfulness for the rest of your life, truly but I guarantee that if you can reshape your focus to look at the brighter things in life and business, you will be happier and the people around you will feel that and life will reward you.

Then think about if you never had a positive perspective. Covid destroyed my life, there’s nothing I can do, I hate everything, I blame everyone and I’m angry and lash out at people because I couldn’t ever look at the bright side, it all just sucks. Who does that help? Nobody

The reality is that life is hard and will always present its challenges. Some people have it worse than others, some days we have it better or worse than others. But there will, at some point always be those moments where it flat out sucks. Embrace it, feel it, cry about it, talk/vent about it (ah that can feel so good sometimes) and then reflect on the positive that can come from it. If there isn’t a positive on that particular situation, look at the grand scheme of your life, give it all some perspective and find that positive thing.

Next time you get down, mindfully stop and look at the situation. Ask yourself why you’re feeling such a way? 

Now, flip it around and say what is the bright side of this?

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

Nurture the grass you have, repair the brown spots as you go and love those improvements you were able to make. Don't try to replace the entire lawn or buy a new one because that one will only start to deteriorate without the love you should give it with time.

I'm saying it again here because I tell myself this almost daily: If you tell yourself you can, you will. If you tell yourself you can’t, you won’t.

Now, look yourself in the mirror (I'm not kidding, get your ass up and walk to the mirror). Look yourself dead in the eye and say "You are a badass and you got this"

You're amazing, embrace it.

Until next month,



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