The Year of the Hustle

year of the hustleToday I turned 26 and unlike birthdays of yesteryear I’m actually really happy about growing a year older and wiser.

What I realized was that when I didn’t know what I was doing with my life, every birthday over 21 seemed frightening.

Now that I have a clear vision of my future, set goals that I’m gunning for and an overall positive outlook on life – another birthday is only reason for celebration.

Last night as I celebrated the end of 25 I sat deliberating on what kind of year 26 would be – that is May 27th, 2011 to May 27th, 2012 – and it came to me in a flash. Twenty-six will be the year of the hustle. 

25 in rewind

Exactly a year ago I was celebrating my birthday in Riverside, California. It was a great time and I really enjoyed it – but what I wasn’t enjoying was my social and web work for various clients. My old company (painfully) named Oracle Launch (i know, i know, it’s gosh awful) specialized in a variety of media things and effectively spread ourselves too thin.

I was working on 3 or 4 “projects” at once a year ago and it made for one incredibly un-effective Maren.

I also had just moved back to Reno, Nevada from Vegas – the home of my alma mater and a city I’ve had a love hate relationship (mostly hate) since I was 18. I made this choice because I hated Vegas even more than I hated Reno and because I was too scared to make a big leap and move out of Nevada, my long time home.

Do I regret my time in Reno? Absolutely not. I have many, many great friends there and the community is rad.

But… I knew deep down I wanted to be in San Francisco over a year ago, though I never had the pears to make the move.

By October I had joined Founder’s Institute since I knew if I was accepted it would force me to spend a lot of time in S.F. and decide if it was the right city for me. From November to February I commuted every week between Reno and the Bay Area – staying in hostels, hotels and airbnb several nights a week.

The traveling killed me but getting through Founder’s made me stronger in a variety of ways – and it opened my eyes to how badly I needed to make San Francisco my permanent home.

After another month of traveling in March (exhausting!) I moved into a place in Polk Glutch at the end of April.

Fast forward

… like, a month… and we’re here. I’m sitting in a Starbucks that I ran off to in the midst of my b-day celebrations to right this post. I did so because I wanted to write, not because I felt like I had to. I really, really love writing this blog.

I’ve spent the last 6 months working on Zirtual to get it to the point where I can be proud of it and where I know it has a massive value add. I also now believe with my whole heart that Zirtual is the company that will take me to my massive goal by age 30.

I could not be happier. I don’t know how to explain it.

What did I leave behind in Reno? A very, very supportive boyfriend and an adorable little kitten. Was that decision hard? Abso-freakin’-lutely.

What did I gain by coming to a big city by myself and starting from scratch? Confidence, an ability to be happy alone and a strength of will I didn’t previously know I possessed.

The lesson

What’s in it for you? What lessons can you take from the last 365 days of my life?

My suggested lessons would be:

  1. Set huge goals
  2. Strive to be happy by yourself
  3. Take big chances in pursuit of your goals
  4. Don’t be a chicken, push yourself far beyond your comfort zone and see what happens
  5. Set either a birthday goal (from X date to X date) or a year goal (2011) and sum it up in one concept, mine is hustle

The year of the hustle

Zirtual has been redesigned and revamped over the last few months and went “hush hush” live two days ago (meaning no press or marketing has been done but it’s active and taking orders). Now that I have a product, team and website I can be proud of – it’s hustle time, in a big way…

Hustling means pulling out all the stops and working as hard as it takes to get to where you’re going. Your year goal may be something like:

  • The year of the decision
  • The year of the diet
  • The year of escaping my 9 to 5

I’d love to hear about your year goals and/or suggestions on how I can best “hustle” towards making Zirtual great.

I love you all – in a weird, bloggy way I can’t really explain in words – thanks for always being there to listen.

*photo credit