blonde chinese woman smiling with coffee
Credit: Kristin Cofer

As of today, it’s been exactly a year since I became, as career coach and friend Michelle Ward calls it, a Woman of the World. A year ago, I signed the exit forms for my last day at my position as a full-time editor and copyeditor at a fashion company; after I left the building, I was on my own.

Listen to me read the below here:


 

As of today, it’s been exactly a year since I became, as career coach and friend Michelle Ward calls it, a Woman of the World. A year ago, I signed the exit forms for my last day at my position as a full-time editor and copyeditor at a fashion company; after I left the building, I was on my own.

In the last few years, I’ve grown to love the mark of new beginnings. New Year’s, formerly one of my least favorite holidays (the parties always disappointed), is now something that I eagerly anticipate and plot for; Chinese New Year’s is another opportunity to start fresh; every month has a new moon for me to ritualize; Monday mornings are spent by planning the rest of the week while I drink milky coffee. When life seems to be throwing curveball after curveball, new beginnings become valuable currency. In Tarot readings, I always rejoice to see The Star.

My first year of business included the following:

  • creating and teaching an online course, Rawness of Remembering: Restorative Journaling through Difficult Times, to a full student load
  • releasing the e-book Radical Sincerity, which inspired new conversations about authenticity in life and work
  • being interviewed on both The Lively Show and The Unmistakable Creative podcasts (both dream interviews of mine)
  • mentions and publications in The New York Times, the New Yorker Online, Clementine Daily, and Salon
  • debuting a new website in March with the help of Jo Klima of The Darling Tree and Lisa Wood of Sprout New Media
  • positioning myself as the go-to book editor for visionary entrepreneurs
  • working with some dreamy clients to help them birth their extraordinary products
  • writing and publishing Light Gets In, a book about living well, and compassionately, with mental illness
  • rebranding my e-letter (with the help of The E-Letter Atelier — an affiliate link, but I’m an affiliate because it’s fucking good) to become Legacy Notes, which has become my way of holding a more intimate conversation about how we leave our mark in the world
  • giving a brief talk at the World Domination Summit in front of 3000 people
  • introducing myself as a speaker, giving talks around San Francisco and, coming up, at Bullish Conference in Miami and the Out of the Binders Symposium in New York

Was it all sunshine and rainbows? No. Without hesitation, I will say that the last few years have been the most difficult years of my life. Navigating life as an entrepreneur is one thing; navigating life as an entrepreneur with multiple chronic illnesses is another, and the learning curve is practically vertical.

The next phase of Esmé Weijun Wang Productions is taking shape, with two major gift-wrapped endeavors gestating as I write this: Early Morning, an online magazine comprised of top-shelf writing about what comforts the disturbed and disturbs the comfortable, and Book Kickstart (also known as Legacy Sessions), a live and online intensive for entrepreneurs who’d like to begin to write a book, but could use some support and guidance on the path. Both of these projects are where I’m beginning to feel myself moving into, as Jac McNeil calls it, my zone of genius; I hope that you’ll come along.

I haven’t done this alone, of course. Building a business, especially one founded in solopreneurship, involves the help of other people, whether it be through friendship, mentorship, services, or some combination of the above. I’d like to both thank and share some resources that have been absolutely invaluable to me:

And… to really lean heavily into my penchant for corniness: you’re a part of that list, too. All of you who’ve been following me — reading my work — emailing me with “Me too!”s and “Thank you”s and “I totally felt alone before I read your work, and now I know I’ll be okay” — hiring me to work for you — all of you are a part of this. All of you are a part of what I make.

Thank you. Humbly. Sincerely. Thank you.