Taking the initiative to actually start a new endeavor or business is exciting, and it should be celebrated. But it's just the first step in what's sometimes a very long, not-so-exciting journey.
As I mentioned in my last post, Tallawah Collective has been on my mind for years, long before I came up with the name or the branding. Even before all that, I had a strong desire to "do my own thing", and over the years, I conceived countless "brands" that looking back were nothing more than a logo and a random name. Needless to say, those ideas never really went anywhere, in large part because there was no real purpose behind them.
So what makes Tallawah Collective different... Why am I passionate about this brand? What about it will keep me going on those days when I'm just kinda over it?
What is my "Why?"
Tallawah Collective is the manifestation of my passion for design and people.
I've been doodling on any scrap piece of paper I can get my hands on my whole life. My Legos were my prized possession growing up, and while using the instructions they came with was cool, bringing my own ideas to life was way more fun for me. I love to create, and I always have. I designed my first t-shirt for one of my high school's community service events, and seeing every student rock a design that I created was more exciting to me than I'd imagined. Full Disclosure: The design itself wasn't particularly impressive, but it was mine. Despite the exhilaration I felt in that moment, it never even crossed my mind that pursuing a career in the creative space could be a viable option for me, and I was on my way to the University of Florida as a Mechanical Engineering major (Go Gators!) just a few months later... Tragic, I know, but fortunately my story has just begun... You're probably wondering why I included that corny segue - the irony.
The second, and by far the more important component of my Why is People. While I love the creative process that goes into designing products, my primary goal is to create a community of individuals with unique talents, personalities, interests, and ideas that can collaborate to inspire and more importantly empower others with the tools and information they need to succeed. Of course there is a long way to go before realizing that vision, but I wouldn't have started this if I didn't think it was possible and necessary. I believe that we can do a great deal to help others as individuals, but collectively our impact increases exponentially. Beyond that, I hope that my own pursuit of passion at this stage of my life and career will help others realize that it's never too late to get started. Maybe this venture will be successful, maybe it won't be, but if it inspires someone who in turn does succeed, then it will all have been well worth it.
"Why?" is a very simple, but powerful question, yet so many times we refuse to pause for a second and ask it of ourselves until it's too late. Not only can this question spare us from dealing with the consequences of making incredibly bad decisions (Worldstar, for instance, might not even exist if people just asked why, but I digress... ), it can also be a tremendous source of motivation when we need it most.
Think about some of the things you dedicate the most time and effort towards, and ask yourself why? Do the answers motivate you to keep pushing, or is it time to change direction?