Michal is the designer and founder of Michal Golan Jewelry.
If I could share 500 words of wisdom to
summarize what I've learned so far in life, these are the important
things I'd want to pass along to others...
Like pursuing a career
in the arts, building a small business is both incredibly rewarding and
utterly terrifying. There are no next paychecks, severance packages, or
safety nets for those of us who choose to go at it in the world of art
or entrepreneurship. Everything is uncertain.
At the end of the day, I
wouldn't trade this uncertainty for anything—the lessons I've picked up
coping with it have helped me become a more peaceful and adaptable
person in every sphere of my life. Whether you are working on an artist
commune, on Wall Street, or anywhere in between, these tips can help you
enrich your life and improve your performance where it counts.
First, live in peace with what you cannot change.
I learned early on in my career that, according to some people, jewelry
is not essential for life. Who knew! What this means is that when the
economy stinks (and it certainly has had its low points over the last
few decades!), our business suffers badly.
I used to go into a total panic every time the wave of a recession
would affect us. I would do everything I could to turn the tide and perk
things up again. Turns out one lone designer can't fix the economy.
Over time, I've learned to ride
the wave, rather than fighting it. Rolling with the punches—it's amazing
how much more you can do and how much happier you can be when you adapt
rather than combat. Sure, slow business is a drag. At the end of the
day, though, the economy goes up and the economy goes down--and so does
Instead of freaking out about
something I can't change, I've learned to use slower periods as times
for reevaluating, readjusting, and preparing to have the best ready for
when things pick up again.
On that note, you have to keep reinventing yourself.
In business and in art, I think that this is fairly clear. You won't
get anywhere if you don't innovate. But what about in life? I think that
reinvention is highly underrated. Reinvention isn't about throwing
everything away and starting from scratch. Reinvention is about
constantly changing your approach to all aspects of your life so that
when the time comes to sit down and take stock, you realize you've grown
noticeably and significantly.
You have to change your approach
constantly to keep making room for improvement! It keeps life fresh and
gives you a chance to think critically about what parts of your life
and your career are working and what parts can be improved.
Finally, embrace your successes.
Be proud of your successes. Own up to your successes. Learn from your
successes. But then go back and do the same for your failures. They are
so important in helping you grow and flourish, in showing you the path
to the life you want, and in having a few great stories to pass along to
For every smash hit success I've
had, I had several that fell flat. At the end of the day, eliminating
what didn't work helped me find who I was. So, do not be embarrassed of
failure. Do not hide it. Do not blow it out or proportion. Or minimize
it, either. We all experience it. We all learn from it. At the end of
the day, it makes us who we are.