How Change Fuels Growth: What I learned my First Year in Arizona

IMG_2126As of September 25, I've been in Arizona exactly one year and what a year it's been. To say I've learned a few things is an understatement. Here's what I learned in my first year:

  1. Prepare for the worst and when the worst happens be prepared. This applies to several incidents. The first was my rental flooding back in March, being away from home and family, I felt pretty stranded in a new place. Luckily, I had some new found friends who stepped up and offered some couches, beds and homes to a girl and her dog. The second incident was my "dream job" not being the right fit and having to change my plan. I'm happy to report I have a new job that's a better fit. What is it? Marketing Director for Bob's Custom Saddles. 
  2. Be flexible. When it comes to plans, living spaces, tasks or otherwise. My quote to live by has become "Be firm in your goals but, flexible in your methods". There's always another way to do something.
  3. Build a network.Horse family is a great base. There's not much to add here other than they come in handy when you need a couch to crash on, a shoulder to cry on, or a second job in a pinch.
  4. Work, work, work.Expand your knowledge base. As they say, "Rise and Grind".
  5. Have fun too.Find activities outside of work but enjoy your job too. I'm lucky to be able to travel with my job, network and interact with some pretty great people and have some outstanding experiences.
  6. Do your research, be firm in your negotiations and stick to your guns.Basically, know your worth. Moving to a new state, be sure to research costs for everything. EVERYTHING. Food, housing, oil changes, gas (in my case horse expenses). Moving from Utah to Arizona, I experienced a huge hike in price on all of the above, most things were double.
  7. Ask for clarification. I've yet to find anyone who can read minds. If you aren't sure, if you're meeting expectations, clear on what your role is or are uncertain in any aspect of life. Ask questions, get clarification.
  8. Be gracious, be kind. When leaving a job, a housing situation, boarding facility or otherwise understand that everyone is looking out for themselves and their best interests. Do your best to leave everything and everyone on a good note. Business is business; it's nothing personal. Shake their hand, say thank you and go about your merry way. You never know when you'll cross paths again, need a good reference or what can happen in the future.
  9. Pick up the Phone. Call a friend, call your mom, call your grandparents. Call them all! It's so easy to get wrapped up in life, we forget others are growing older, having babies, getting married. A simple call can make someone's day or help to brighten your own.

For those of you wondering where I stand today in Arizona, I'm working as previously mentioned at Bob's Custom Saddles (I started July 12).  I'm still working part time for Ashley Wilson-Hammer of Equine Performance; creating my miscellaneous craft projects (most recently mohair cinches and breast collars) and of course sharing my advice here on The Western Fashion Paige.

Arizona has been a wild ride so far but I'm looking forward to another year of experiences.