Updated: Nov 1
When I wrote my last blog, I announced my move to New York City in early February. I was excited to be relocating to the city that never sleeps: a new challenge ahead and a new mountain for me to climb.
Today, here I am, in early November, sitting in Charlotte, North Carolina, writing this blog after a full day's work on The Hedrick Project, taking some time to reflect and think back on my adventures over the years.
That is what we are going to talk about today. The evolution of interests, accepting change and letting go of past dreams.
If you're reading this, I assume you know my story. In 2018, my brother and I launched our first company, Hedrick Custom Designs. We built custom furniture for about two years - and I enjoyed it. This was my first step into the world of entrepreneurship and the addictive nature that is this profession.
It has to be one of the most challenging endeavors someone can do - building a successful business from scratch. Over the years, I learned more than I would have ever believed, and I am beyond grateful that I could have that experience at such a young age before I graduated high school.
I started to get tired of furniture in my first year of college. I was never really interested in it. I enjoyed the business aspects and the ability to work on something independently. However, I had my eyes on the next venture - real estate.
To cut the story short (if you want to hear the whole story, watch this video) I worked in real estate while in college in NC, launched my firm, and sold some large homes along the way.
Now we're getting to the point of the blog. I had always dreamed of going to New York City and doing real estate there. I could see myself sprinting up and down Manhattan hopping from one $10M penthouse to the next. If you wanted to be a successful broker, this was the place to be. I wasn't going to give it a shot. I packed my stuff, and off to NYC, I went.
After about three months there, I fell out of love, not only with New York City but with real estate. Real estate more than New York City.
This realization was terrifying.
This was different than when I was a freshman in college, going from furniture to real estate. Then, I knew what I was going to do next. I also was in college with no bills to pay.
Real estate was three years of my life. When I say three years, I mean three years with no days off, building my entire life and identity because I was a broker and ran my firm.
I held keynotes, produced media, and networked as a real estate broker. Everyone knew who I was and what I did. This wasn't going to be anonymous, which also scared me.
In addition, I was lucky. I'm not sure many have had the opportunity to pursue their entrepreneurial ventures right after college, and I was just no longer interested. I tried to force myself to stay in real estate for a while - the amount of time, effort, and money I had put in to get to this point seemed extremely stupid to throw away and start something new. But I've never been good at doing something I am not interested in.
I couldn't force myself to stay in real estate. The more I thought about waiting, the more I disliked it. However, I was struggling. I didn't want to throw away this dream, this idea that I had crafted my entire identity on for the last three years of my life. I didn't know what to do.
Eventually, I packed my things and returned to North Carolina - unsure I was making the right decision. No plans are other than I knew I wouldn't be working for anyone else.
This is the part in the story where I talk about the wonderful advice I learned along the way and how you can avoid putting yourself in my situation. However, I don't have much good advice to impart to those going through an identity crisis - those letting go of a dream.
If I were to say anything to anyone changing careers, shifting paths, or considering, I would tell them that it would be scary.
There is no way around it, either. This is the unfortunate price you have to pay for diving so deeply into a career, especially those starting or running their businesses. It's your identity, your child, and letting that go will not be easy.
There were plenty of moments of regret and confusion. Trust me, I'm still plenty regretful and confused. No matter how much I love what I am doing now - that's how life works.
Not only life, but that's also the curse of passion - the curse of love. When you allow something or someone to become an essential part of your life, it will be tough to say goodbye. Still, sometimes that will be what happens, and you'll have to accept the risks of being a passionate individual.
So, if you are like I was a few months ago, fading away as you see your passion and interest in your dreams wither away, the only thing that I can say is, embrace the confusion. Embrace the hurt. Embrace the fact that you are changing and evolving.
Take some time to dig deep into who you are and answer the questions that matter to you - what will fulfill you, who you want to be, what you want to do? Letting go will never be easy, but what you do after you have let go will change your life significantly.