I wish I could write a post that was like, “omg 20 days to go and only 20 more things..” but unfortunately .. it’s more like 20 days; 20 000 things!!!

So instead, here’s 20 lessons I’ve learned in the last 80 days; super quick to read but super hard to actually learn:

Opening a business in the first year of marriage is, like, a laughably hard journey!

Not working an actual paying job is emotionally stressful; It is so  easy to feel like I have no purpose or value aaand mix that in with a loss of independence and feeling like I’m contributing to our household – that’s a gross cocktail of emotions. Some days are easier, but most require a lot of deliberate thinking and self-preservation.

I am a total Instagram micro-manager. Jack and I often have eye-roll moments about me resisting any cringe-y self-promotion (urgh) and me being judgemental about his captions (sorry Jack, love you)

The coffee culture in Newcastle is getting more awesome by the day – I love being inspired by the local talent around us. Everyday there seems to be new places popping up (My tip for the day: check out Culture Club on King and Kids of Thunder in Mayfield)

We have an incredible community around us – okay, this one is not a new lesson, but we have been constantly amazed by the support and encouragement we have around us. We’ve had our fair share of people doubting us but the people praying, encouraging, cheering and helping us far outweigh them. Enough to make us think this thing is actually possible.

Finding commercial real estate is surprisingly hard.

I have a totally irrational fear of being the tough-guy over the phone; I am an upfront person right, which means I think of confrontation as an efficient communication method, but somewhere in the last 5 years I have totally lost my nerve to be a big, strong grown up over the phone. I’ve learnt that lesson, but I’m still trying to conquer my fear on that one.

Small business owners are the freakin’ power people of the world; much respect to the ones out there wearing all the hats!

Building a business from the ground up ideally takes a lotta money and/or a lotta time. When you are short on both of those things, you have to start being creative and work twice as hard!

The blog/countdown is a bittersweet way to do any project – some days I am totally devastated when it’s 11PM and I haven’t written a word yet; but it forces me to be productive, accountable and reflect each day on what has been done. Oh, and for the record I can not read my own blog *shudder* it’s like listening to your own voice! Eek!

Social Media is the ultimate productivity killer. (read this one again for effect)

When you use the word ‘schmear’ as a bagel topper – it’s not just the gross pronunciation of the gross word ‘smear’ .. it is an actual word (Scrabble permitted) that is used mainly for bagels. Still sounds gross.

God is so freakin’ awesome.

We really really want to open a cafe – we don’t want to do it as a money-making, stick-it-to-the-man kinda statement; I want to work my butt off, meet as many people of Wallsend as I can and create an amazing space for every single person and have an impact on our little wallsy-world.

It’s who you know. I’ve heard this so many times but it is actually a reality now – being a couple of extroverts has been an asset through this journey; for any miscellaneous problem, we ‘have a guy’ (a friend, old workmate, insta-friend .. anyone) who has helped us out beyond what we could expect.

Failure is actually okay. Having people know about your failures is also okay. Urgh .. writing this lesson out loud was just as hard as learning it in real life. But a little slip-up for us means a chance to refine, reinvent and regroup – and that is a really really beautiful thing.

I DRINK LONG BLACKS! (best lesson/evolution yet)

When you tell bakeries you want to stock their products, they always want to give you free samples #lifehack (and yes, my fat girl senses are tingling!)

If you can dream it; you can probably freakin’ do it (just try really hard)

Jack Bing is the freakin’ best partner ever (yep, you knew this was coming) – he is patient, determined and innovative. He is my greatest encourager, the irrational dream believer and he is really bloody good-looking, yep.

Twenty days to go. Woo hoo!

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