The little slogan above is the basic gist I got from Managing Oneself (by Peter Drucker) — and a motto I’ve long believed in and have tried to work toward. If you are going to take the time to do something, if you are going to put your name on anything, then make sure to pursue excellence in that task. (or : That job. That project. That relationship…)
While that slogan has served my type-A, micro-managing personality pretty well over the years, a resounding message in this little book I read last week illuminated a big element to making that motto work to your benefit (rather than your over-worked and burnt-out destruction): that doing everything with excellence does NOT mean doing everything. In fact, it means very intentionally NOT doing a number of things. More pragmatically, a big secret to success (and to bolstering personal pride in your work) is to articulate your strengths as well as your weaknesses — and then avoid those weaknesses by playing to your strengths. Sometimes that will mean changing up how you get work done, delegating tasks you aren’t good at to others, and putting more rocks in the basket of things you rock at (pun most definitely intended!). So “it” really boils down to two questions:
Can you do “X” well? If yes, then do it up big time! If no, then don’t do a mediocre job at it just to get it done — simply find another way.
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I’ll sign off with a few direct quotes that spoke to me in case they might also resonate and inspire you this week, my hard-working ladies!
+ “Do not try to change yourself—you are unlikely to succeed. But work hard to improve the way you perform. And try not to take on work you cannot perform or will only perform poorly.”
+ “Knowing where one belongs can transform an ordinary person…into an outstanding performer.”
+ Results should be hard to achieve—they should require “stretching”…But also, they should be within reach”
And finally—ALWAYS remember:
+ “Wherever there is success, there has to be failure.”
Goodness, nothing throws a wrench in one’s sense of routine like a big move, am I right? Between saying goodbye to friends, packing up our lives yet again to move from Boston to Philly, all while transitioning the Millay Vintage shop from a home business to an exciting independent artist space, there has been a lot of unpacking, nesting, painting, setting ups of internet and electricity, battling the DMV, etc. etc. Why isn’t moving easier? And why must the DMV always be insufferable? And why can’t we get our only toilet in the apartment to function normally?
In any case, each day is getting easier, and this move has already forced me to more abruptly face my strengths and weaknesses, think critically and specifically about where I want to take the Millay Vintage shop both in the short- and long-term, and how important it is to carve out time to sharpen your skills on the daily (because no one else gonna carve out that time for ya, you know?).
This little book pictured above with its graphically-pleasing cover—MANAGING ONESELF by Peter F. Drucker—was a super quick read yesterday morning. To be frank, there was nothing too mind-blowing mentioned. The points were broad and general (as most business books tend to be), but sometimes it is good to be reminded of basic, fundamental questions that are important to answer for yourself. They can be a big key to your daily efficiency and long-term career success, and this little read was a good “back to the basics” and a simple reminder of the importance of knowing thyself (a task that is deceptively hard).
I’ll be back here Monday sharing a few good bits from this quick read, so stay tuned. And share some of your reads as well in the comments if you’ve got a good rec! Enjoy your weekend all you loves — xoxo.
Our Boston days are numbered, and our final days in this favorite city of mine are winding down. For a proper send-off, we’ll be having a fun little gathering at Olives & Grace in the South End tomorrow night!
What I love about these interwebs are all the amazing friends I’ve been able to make, and while I know many of you are not geographically nearby, if you do so happen to be in the Boston area, I’d love to see ya! I’ll have some Millay Vintage garments, accessories, and home goods (a few that haven’t been released to the site yet too!) available, and there will be snacks and drinks and general merriment to be had!
The event is open to anyone, so grab a friend and come say hello! I’ll be there from 6 to 8 tomorrow evening — hope to see you there my sweet friends!
JULY 16, 2014
6p to 8p
OLIVES & GRACE
623 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02118
A BON VOYAGE GET TOGETHER WITH SNACKS, DRINKS, AND PRETTY WARES
This is the part where I tell you, yet again, how much I love Boston. I love that I can don a little bit of an over-the-top outfit equipped with a massively floppy hat, frilly Edwardian antique dress and 1940s heels, jumping in front of white walls, and not have anyone take a second look.
Just a few weekends ago, I met up with the incredibly beautiful, witty, and talented Cara LLewllyn, who is a graphic designer and Instagrammer extrodinaire, and we sipped on cold coffee, spied on fat roly-poly bulldogs being pushed around in strollers (yes, this legitimately happened, and yes, it was undeniably adorable) and talked about our love for Charlottesville. And I left with the distinct urge to chop off all my hair and crop it just like hers. I’m providing evidence of said adorable pixie-cut below:
We wandered the streets of the North End a bit, had fun playing around in front of this wall, and then Cara ever-so-casually snapped those top two photos of me with her phone. Girl is amazing, right? She really worked that dark and light, and I love the movement you can see in that dress.
Summer is not a subtle season. It is filled with direct, strong sunlight on long and hot and muggy days. And this summer day in particular was one where I was perspiring nearly as much as my iced cup of joe. But stopping to enjoy it — EMBRACE it even – was something Cara made just a bit more enjoyable as she made me a believer of starkly contrasting direct light and harsh shadows. Dark and light indeed.
P. S . Don’t forget the shop is offering 20% off all orders until Monday July 14th! ;)
We’ve got some exciting news to share! Perhaps more exciting for us, but hopefully a little bit of a fun treat for you too…
We’ve been toiling away for the past couple of months trying to make the MV site prettier, easier to navigate, and more interactive. And today, we finally get to share the fruits of that labor. If you venture on over, you’ll have lots of new things to click through and enjoy, including a whole new collection of over thirty hand-picked items, a gorgeous lookbook, and an about page that details everything our shop believes in (and our philosophy is so very near-and-dear to our hearts, so we sure hope it resonates with you gals as well).
We’ll be releasing fresh arrivals via collections now rather than letting them trickle in a few at a time, that way you can peruse a whole loot of goods at a time and take your picks. Oh, and wanna be in the know on when new collections hit the shop or special sales are happening? Then you can join an MV newsletter now (just click on that envelope icon at the top left of the screen). We gettin’ fancy guys!
Another fun feature we’re excited to unroll is a little thing we are calling “A community of loveliness” — i.e. an official #millayvintage hashtag for Instagram where you can share how you’re wearing and using your MV buys and be featured on the site. Woohoo!
OKAY….NOW CAN WE GET A DRUMROLL PLEASE FOR THE LOOKBOOK? It’s finally here, and it’s a wonderful encapsulation of the romance and adventure that we strive to embody through all our shop’s finds.
So please take a gander, and if you find something you like, go ahead and take 20% off with the code ‘BONJOUR’ — this week only!
It’s officially here guys: SUMMAH (as we say here in Boston).
Days at the beach, hot dogs and peanuts at the local ball game, and the subtle scent of SPF all around us. I, for one, am looking forward to hitting up our neighborhood pool that opens today. After all, I’ve got a lot to cram in, since these are the last days of Millay Vintage being in Beantown. At this month’s end, we’ll be packing up and moving to Philadelphia, and while I’m thrilled to learn the ins and outs of a new historical American city, I’m beyond sad to leave this place that quickly became home.
But tears, you shall wait! For now, we celebrate! (#RHYMERHYME!)
We’ll be hanging around here for the 4th, soaking in the joys of what has to be one of the most patriotic places in America. Drinks will be had, fireworks will be watched.
Queen Bey knows her stuff, and these words are always a good reminder.
Also, I just watched the HBO documentary on Beyonce the other night (Life is but a Dream) and basically had my eyes glaze over into the shape of hearts for Bey. Seriously, she is powerful: hear her roar. She shares some awesome words about women that made me a fan all over again.
| ‘Women have to work much harder to make it in this world. It really pisses me off that women don’t get the same opportunities as men do, or money for that matter. Because lets face it, money gives men the power to run the show. It gives men the power to define our values and to define what’s sexy and what’s feminine and that’s bullshit. At the end of the day, it’s not about equal rights, it’s about how we think. We have to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves.’
| ‘We have to teach our boys the rules of equality and respect, so that as they grow up gender equality becomes a natural way of life. And we have to teach our girls that they can reach as high as humanly possible.’
And then you watch her performance from the 2011 Billboard awards (video below) and you feel like you just might be able to take over the world. And if it doesn’t leave you feeling like you can take over the world, it will at least leave you with confidence that you can take over this Monday.