When you have an idea you just can’t shake, that’s a surefire sign you’re destined to bring that idea to life. Put away misgivings of what could go wrong and what others might think—just make it happen.
Jane Park, the founder of Tokki, did just that. Both of her businesses have been based on important messages she wants to share with the world. It all started back when she and her family immigrated to the United States from Korea while she was still very young. That experience literally pushed her to find her voice in all parts of her life. Navigating between the culture she grew up with and her new culture here in the US has proved to be similar to finding her way in new business experiences. What first seems foreign later becomes second nature when you learn to adapt by immersion and commit yourself to learning everything you can along the way.
Her entrepreneurial journey started with Julep, a nail bar for women that grew into a beauty sensation. Jane used her salons to help women find a way to express themselves through beauty. Her goal was to share products that could be a crayon box of possibilities with the ultimate message that women don’t have to follow any set of rules to be beautiful.
Twelve years later, she’s come back with a new concept of gifting with a digital twist. She’s created Tokki—a revolutionary gifting process centered around recycling. After all, who doesn’t recycle those mountains of gift-wrapping bags and paper?
We all have piles of them in the back of our closets. We just don’t talk about it. But recycling wrappings is a mammoth issue that needs a solution. Four million tons of gift-wrapping paper go to landfills because the paper is too shiny, too laminated, or too sparkly to recycle.
In this interview, we discuss how it feels to start over with a new business, the freedom you get with venture capital, the taboo topic business owners never speak about, and conveying the struggles of entrepreneurship in the throes of finding yourself.
This interview leaves my heart full. What I love about this podcast is the way we leave our “perfect Instagram lives” behind and truly connect. I think you’ll love this episode just as much as I do!
MY FAVORITE HIGHLIGHTS
-The big mistake younger women make when looking for a mentor
-Overcoming the vulnerability of starting a new business
-The taboo topic of trying to make payroll
-Letting go of feeling like you have something to prove
-Knowing which ideas you should invest in
MY THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS:
- Use moments of stress, anger, or frustration as a form of curiosity. Ask yourself what’s happening and wonder what you could be doing differently. Take what you reflect on and try to put it into play for future situations. I often curl up in a ball when I feel difficult emotions. Instead, I need to find new ways to handle those situations and make them better. This is a great reminder to breathe and grow.
- Even if something is fun in your business, is it really the best use of your time and energy? How can you delegate this to someone else so you can put yourself in a different position? Freeing yourself up from the little things will yield more growth—both for yourself and for your business. Busywork feels productive sometimes, but it’s not the best use of your time! I have to admit, checking off the little items on my to do-list can feel like a big success, but maybe I’m just avoiding the bigger, more difficult tasks. Gotta pass them on!
- People are a lot stronger than you think. Sometimes, we’re afraid to talk to others about the reality of what’s happening in our businesses and our lives. We think by not airing the difficult things, we’re protecting them. This really ends up creating more distance. Facing tough topics head-on can spark new solutions or lessen the tension in your work or personal relationships.
Do you feel like you connect to this story? I wish I could quote every part of this interview. There are a lot of great reminders I needed to hear!
Are you itching to find other people who are passionate about making positive changes in their lives? What are you waiting for? Join our discussion! Share your favorite takeaways on Instagram or our Lifepreneur Facebook Group.