Who were you 15 years ago? What did your life look like? What kinds of dreams did you have for yourself? This month, Simplified turns 15, and Emily and Bryan are going down memory lane to think about all the wins, fails, and lessons they’ve learned over the past decade and a half. And Emily realizes one important truth: on every path, it’s going to get dark. You may not know which way to go. But if you trust yourself, push past your comfort zone, and surround yourself with people who can lend you wisdom and a hand along the way, you’ll find the road that’s meant for you.
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“I've learned over the years that I could take simplified so far. Like there was only so far that I could take it on my own. And when I realized that what I needed to do was not like it wasn't like stay up later. And, you know, instead of getting 4 hours of sleep and I get two, it was like, surround yourself with people who are going to bring a whole other layer to this thing that propels it in a way that you couldn't do on your own.” – Emily Ley
“When I started this company, from the beginning I was looking for, What's the message here? What's the story? Why does this matter? If I can't connect with the the actual meaningful part of it, I have a hard time selling it or building any sort of community around it. And to me, the community piece is the most awesome part.” – Emily Ley
“We have made ginormous mistakes with the company. The worst was a six-figure mistake, and it was 100% my fault. All of our planners—six months of inventory—had sold out in days. It completely blew our minds, and we got the opportunity to make more. Our manufacturer was like, “Yes, we can do it. We're going to have to use a different type of paper that’s more readily available.” And I was like, “Okay, send it to me.” The samples are printed on one side. I checked the color, the thickness, gave the thumbs up, printed a whole bunch more panners. And when they came, the pages were completely see through. We had to recycle them.” – Emily Ley
“If we could all figure out how to bat .1000, we would only make the small mistakes and we would get the big ones right. But it just doesn't work that way. You don't get to pick and choose. So what you have to do is you have to take risks and swing the bat. You have to make decisions you think are directionally correct and hope you’re going to have big hits.” – Bryan Ley
“If I could change anything, I would just go back and tell my younger, more inexperienced self that the hustle and grind you're doing right now, it's okay to do that. It’s good to do that, don't feel guilty about it. But there are times when you need to take a beat. And you should do that too. That's important as well.” – Emily Ley
A Blessing for Your Week
Today, may you look back and realize how far you’ve come.
Look how far your body has taken you,
How strong your legs are to have carried you to this place.
Look at the beautiful life your love has helped you build,
Where your courage has pushed the boundaries of your experience
Farther and farther than you could’ve dreamed.
If you need a reminder for how brave you’ve been,
Just take a minute to turn and gaze behind you.
I bet you see the outline of those following you,
Walking in the path you have cleared for them.
Simplicity Tip of the Week
Sometimes it’s hard to see how much you’ve grown. If you’re in a season where you feel stuck, or you just need a little bit of a pick-me-up, have a conversation about how much you’ve grown with someone who’s been around you a while, like a partner, a parent, or a good friend. These convos are great to have late into the night, with your favorite beverage in hand, or side by side while you’re on a walk or you have some time to kill during a road trip while the kids are asleep or occupied.
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