30 Things I Learned Before I Turned 30

30 things I learned before I turned 30. When you enter a new decade you feel a little sentimental about that last one. I think it’s always good to reflect, learn and be proud of what you’re leaving behind. My 20’s were very much about self exploration. I learned so much about myself and think those years were so important in preparing me for this new chapter in life. And today I’m really excited about what this new decade has to offer! I thought it would be fun to round up some of my top learning lessons these last 10 years. Beware, this is a long one, but there’s lots of good stuff in here. We’re talkin’ life, relationships and business, all important things I’ve learned along the way. Grab a coffee and let me know which ones are your favorites!

30 Things I Learned Before I Turned 30

{click the photos to go to full outfit posts} 

Life…

Confidence – Somewhere along the way of my 20’s I learned what true confidence was. To walk into a room, by myself, and feel confident. It has been a work in progress (and still is!) but I can say that I know who I am and I can own it. And that’s a great feeling.

30 Things I Learned Before I Turned 30

Nothing will change unless you change – This is so simple, yet we just keep thinking something different will just happen one day. News flash. It doesn’t. So go ahead and make it happen.

One small step is a step in the right direction – Making a BIG change is overwhelming. Take one small step in the right direction and continue to do that every day. Big changes are a result of small everyday changes.

What I actually like versus what I feel I should like – It’s easy to get caught up in what everyone else likes and does and has.  I’ve learned to listen and learn. What I actually like is all that’s necessary.

30 Things I Learned Before I Turned 30

How to listen to God – Like really listen to what he’s telling me. I love my quiet time and I’ve really tried to make it more of a priority lately.

How to beat the comparison game – Ok, this is a reallllly hard one. But I’ve learned enough about myself to reign this one in. Happiness does not come from looking at others. period.

Self Love – Another one that’s really hard at times. But I’m all I’ve got. Might as well love what I’m working with everyday.

30 Things I Learned Before I Turned 30

Stop looking to the future for happiness – I had a bad habit of thinking if this happens then everything will be perfect. When this happens, I’ll do this. But I’ve learned to love where I am now and to be happy now. {More on that here}

How to listen to myself – I’ve become much less of a go with the flow kind of person and have really learned to stop and listen to myself. Learned what I like, what I don’t like and who I really am.

Go – If and when an opportunity arises, go. You never know when the opportunity will come again. When trips with friends and family come up, you can go and experience or you can completely let it pass you by. Save the money, take the time off, and go.

30 Things I Learned Before I Turned 30

Business….

The key to growth is learning – This quote changed the way I look at business. “Wherever you find excellence, you find continuous learning. They go hand in hand. Wherever you find that continuous learning is missing, you find mediocrity.” Life. Changing. (This quote is from the book Resisting Happiness by Matthew Kelly)

There’s no secret to success – Business is hard, the retail industry is hard, the blogging industry is hard. You’ve gotta know your brand, be your brand and work your butt off. Success doesn’t show up knocking at your door.

To let go of things I’m not good at – For SO LONG I’ve believed I can literally do it all. I don’t need help. I’m capable. But recently I’ve realized there are quite a few things that I hate, that I put off, that I don’t do, that I’m not able to do. And that’s ok. It’s ok to get help. I physically can’t be a photographer, graphic designer, social media expert, content creater, accountant, stylist and everything in between. I can do a lot, but I can’t DO IT ALL.

The importance of scheduling all the things – Schedule your priorities. I find when I write my workouts, my grocery store runs, my dreaded errands, even a reminder to send that email, etc, in my planner, they get done.

Stepping outside your comfort zone only has to be as uncomfortable as you make it – We all tend to work things up more than they really deserve in our heads. We’re all insecure about things or nervous about trying something a little uncomfortable. But it only has to be as uncomfortable as you make it. I try to just not overthink and dive right in because….

There’s magic in stepping outside your comfort zone – I’ve tried to take on new things that I would never feel confident enough to do just because I know it will make me a better a person. Those hard experiences are what make us stronger. Ya know that time Caroline & I asked two of our girlboss idols to come to our little store in Madisonville, TN? AND THEY CAME. Yeah, that was scary, uncomfortable and SO MUCH MAGIC. {More on that here}

30 Things I Learned Before I Turned 30

Done is better than perfect – I’ve been listening to a lot of Jenna Kutcher’s podcasts and this is a very new one for me but something that I’ve realized is so true. I’ve been practicing this on a lot of different things lately. Getting it done is better than getting it perfect. If you wait for perfect it literally might not EVER happen. Just get it done. Then on the next, try to do it better. Then the next…..see a trend?

Google is your business bff –  In business, lots of stuff goes wrong on the daily. Google EVERYTHING. I worked for a woman owned business as my first job out of college and while I didn’t realize it at the time, but I learned SO MUCH from my boss. She was in charge of everything. She did all the regular business stuff but when a computer went down she had to fix it, when the bathroom broke, she was the plumber, any question I ever had, she had to answer it. That’s dang hard! So when a breaker trips, the toilet overflows, our point of sale system goes down or motor oil gets all over the new carpet, we’ve gotta figure it out! How did Jess do all that when I worked for her? She googled it. And that’s what a girl’s gotta do.

Girl power goes a long a way When you’re in an industry with a lot of women owned businesses (blogging and retail) it can get a little catty. If you stop competing with the next girl and own Y-O-U, you will go a long way. Support other girls, lift them up, celebrate their wins, and you never know how much they could help you out in the future. There is enough room for us all.

Relationships….

Parents are the bomb – You might drive them crazy, they might drive you crazy, but if there’s anything I’ve learned over the years is they’ll always have your back. When the going gets tough, it’s so great to know you always have someone on your side.

30 Things I Learned Before I Turned 30

Show up for your friends – there’s not a worse feeling than no one showing up for your birthday party, right?! I try my hardest to show up. It’s not always easy, and I don’t make it every time. But it’s something that’s important to me. So I show up.

Everyone’s lives unfold at different paces – about a year out of college it’s like all of a sudden everyone is different. Some are still in school, some are killing it at their careers, some are getting married and even having kids, some are still acting like they’re in college, and some are just normal career people.  But it almost seems like everyone is at a different stage of life. It’s hard to grasp sometimes, but it’s something that you’ll have to learn to deal with for the rest of life. Everyone will always be at a different point.

When you find someone who pushes you to be a better person, hang onto them – Hang on tight. Not many people genuinely want the best for you but I’m so glad I have quite a few in my life. This goes for friends and significant others. Jared is always asking what I’ve done to be better and is always pushing me to learn more and work harder.

Celebrate your people I think it’s so important to take time to celebrate your friends, your family and their accomplishments! I’m so lucky to have wonderful people to celebrate with. Even little victories should be celebrated!

My relationship with God affects all other relationships – Put Him first and everything else will flourish.

30 Things I Learned Before I Turned 30

Stuff You Know But Need Constant Reminders…

Wear the sunscreen – I’ve realized sun spots are just as bad as wrinkles. Wear the dang sunscreen!!!

Always wash your face before bed – I don’t know why this is so hard but it is. I basically have three different night time routines depending on tiredness. There’s really no excuse not to.

Be nice to people – Life isn’t easy for anyone. Don’t make it harder. Be nice, smile and make someone’s day brighter. It’s so easy.

Smile as much as possible – Smile at everyone, it lifts their mood and yours.

The importance of eating well & exercising – It will boost your energy levels, your mood and in the end make you feel less grumpy about eating well & exercising… ha!

30 Things I Learned Before I Turned 30

Filed In: Life
  • I love this. I hope kids in high school and college read these and take notes.

    • Thank you so much!! I hope they do too!!

  • These are such wonderful life lessons! Great post!

    xx, Elise
    http://www.sparkleandslippers.blogspot.com

    • Yay! So glad you liked! Thank you, Elise!

  • Brooke

    Love this! Such a great post!

    XO,
    Brooke
    Charmedjerseybelle.com

  • Katie Stinnett

    Katie, what an amazing blog post! Love it! And I LOVE the new photos of you! Happy 30th! ❤

    • Awww yay! Thank you so much Katie!! xo!

  • Beautiful post! Love it Katie! Happy 30th!

    • Thanks friend!! xo!

  • Macie M.

    Amen sister! Love it all. ❤️

    • Yay! Thanks Mace!

  • Amy

    I just love and adore you and your family! So very proud of you!

    • You’re so sweet! Thank you so much , Amy!

  • Charlotte Lee

    As someone that is a few decades ahead you you, I love this!!!! Thank you for taking time to share and inspire.

    • Aww yay! Thank so much Charlotte! 🙂

  • love love love. feel like I’m right in the middle of all this, and it’s so cool to know everyone’s been there.

    • awww yay!! So glad you liked it! And yes, everyone’s been there. Sometimes you just need that reminder!

  • Love this Katie! So glad I have another girl boss to be 30 with!

    Love love love,

    Lacey
    http://www.theglittergospelblog.com

    • Yes!! Bring it on! Hope you had a wonderful 30th too!! xoxox!