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An Entrepreneur’s Year of Reflection

How I learned to not sweat the "small stuff" and find gratitude

Savvy Hires just celebrated our 1st anniversary, and to commemorate the occasion, I began to reflect on our past year of growth, learning and development. And though we’ve experienced some incredible achievements, I’ve seen the most development from a personal perspective. The following is an introspective look at the last 12 months and how I have personally developed, as a human, entrepreneur, and parent.

I’m so grateful – I’m so grateful I have the opportunity to follow my dreams and become an entrepreneur. I’ve tried to live my life with no regrets, and before I became an entrepreneur, I knew I’d always regret not trying. It’s a very comforting feeling – knowing I’m pursuing my goals and not holding back.

I’m so supported – when I first started Savvy Hires, I was frustrated we weren’t an overnight success as many companies seem to be (though none actually are). There are times, especially early on, that my spirit would sour over a bad day. Then my husband said something very impactful – “you’ve talked about doing this for so long, why aren’t you happier? It’s ok that you aren’t bringing in the income you need to just yet – we’ve got our savings. Stay positive, work hard, and you’ll be successful.”

Wow, I love that man. Sarah Blakely has said in the past that she told no one that she was starting spanx, as she was concerned her friends and family wouldn’t support her. I’ve had the exact opposite experience – my parents have been incredibly supportive of this endeavor, and help us so much. My in-laws, my friends, and so many peers and colleagues in the marketplace – your energy helps drive me forward on tough days, and your investment in my success makes celebrating the positive moments that much sweeter. THANK YOU!

I don’t sweat the small stuff – As an employee, if I made a mistake I’d harp on it for days, even weeks. And if someone didn’t like me, I’d spend an extraordinary amount of time preoccupied with why. Now, if something happens, I deal with it and move on. I’m too busy to sweat the small stuff. If it’s not directly impacting my clients, business or family, I move on.

I get a front seat to innovation – not only does Savvy Hires get to completely innovate Intern & Apprentice programs, but I also get to see and try the latest in recruitment tech. Whether it’s checking out Sparc and how they are modernizing campus recruitment, job descriptions, and communication with students, or talking to the good folks at WayUp about their massive growth, I get to be on the forefront of it all.

I’m a better mom – because I’m an entrepreneur, I get to make my own hours, which means more time with my girls (Mackenzie – 3 years, and Skyla – 15 months). Before, I was commuting to NYC, leaving by 6:45 am, and coming home at 7:30 pm. I was never the one who could pick my kid up from school if she got sick, and I felt like I was missing so many moments. Now, my days start at 6 am when my kids are up, and I’m with them until 8:15 when they are both at camp/ school/ day care. Then it’s off to work or getting a quick workout in, then I’m home by 5:30 to have dinner as a family and put both kids to bed. Then a few more hours of my work before bed time myself. It’s a crazy long day packed with activity, but it’s the activity I want, and I get so much more quality time with the girls than I ever got before. Because I control my own schedule, I have a rule that I’ll only miss one morning routine and one evening routine per week.

When my daughter plays with her toy purses and phone, she takes my old business cards to hand them out, and asks us to be quiet while she takes a “business call.” When I worked in NYC and wasn’t pursuing my passions this would translate to major mom guilt where clearly I was working too hard, and I’m a terrible mom, and what am I teaching my child, and I’m not around enough, and I suck, and the list would go on… I called myself a “weekend mom” and I hated it, and I hated myself for creating that life. Now, I look at this activity as a positive – instead of her playing “house” (which she absolutely still plays) now she also plays “business.” And I’m around to see it and play with her. No mom guilt here.

While I can’t claim I’m balanced, I can say that I work every day to ensure my most important activities get accomplished, that I have my priorities right, and that I’m completely present in whatever thing I’m doing in that moment. Especially if that means having a dance party with my girls.

I’m learning every day – I am pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and because of that, I’m learning so much. It feels like there is so much opportunity, I just need to figure out how to capture it. So I say yes to something new, and I research, and I ask people, and I try. I’m clear on my experience, I ask for help, I own up to mistakes, and I do my best to clearly communicate and set expectations. I used to think it was about being perfect – and to be clear, I put the unfair expectation on myself to be perfect all the time, but then I remind myself that’s not possible. I still harp on the mistakes, but I get over them quicker.

I’m so relaxed – seriously, I’ve never slept better. Though I’m making the least amount of money I’ve made since starting my career and I’m working harder than I’ve ever worked, I have a goal in mind, and I’m on that path. I have an opportunity to live and pursue my dreams, and that makes me feel really “at peace” with my life.

Felicia Fleitman is the Founder of Savvy Hires, a Workforce Development Firm that specializes in creating Strategic Intern & Apprentice Programs for businesses. They also specialize in creating inclusive hiring practices for professionals on the autism spectrum and creating Return-to-Work programs for women. Felicia lives on Long Island with her husband and two incredible daughters.

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