To Austin With Love: Lessons from my First Year

This content is provided by honey comb creative consulting and was originally posted on May 8, 2017.

Written by Callie Kerbo, who is a member the Austin Young Chamber and a local entrepreneur.

Hey y’all, Callie here! I wanted to get a little more personal on the blog today and speak about my time here in Austin so far. Today is officially one year since I moved to this incredible city. This past year has been a wild ride so I just wanted to share a little bit of my journey and what I’ve learned along the way. 

1. Jump right in. 

When I first moved here I didn’t know anyone, anything about the city or even much about my new job. A fresh college grad, this was the perfect city to start my adult life. Before I moved, I briefly googled something along the lines of “professional networking organizations” and stumbled upon Austin Young Chamber and decided to sign up for a membership. As it turns out AYC has played one of the biggest roles in making Austin feel like home, more on finding your people later though. When you don’t know anyone in a new city it can be overwhelming to make new friends, start a new job and figure out how to balance life with work. My goal every week was to try one new place and meet some new people. After discovering Meetup and finding some more organizations, my schedule quickly filled with networking events and socials. Before I knew it, this city started to feel like home and my network was growing faster than I could imagine. My advice if you’re moving to a new city: immerse yourself in the culture and fabric of the town. You will amaze yourself at how quickly you find like-minded people. 

2. Look up and talk to a stranger every once in a while. 

My second week in Austin I decided to go out for a drink and explore the city a bit. I found myself sipping on an Old Fashioned watching some baseball when a stranger sat down next to me. We started chatting about writing and what I did for a living. It turns out he’s from LA and only in Austin for the weekend. Our brief conversation turned into an unexpected friendship and one year later we still keep in touch. This might be the biggest lesson Austin continues to teach me: when you show up to Life and look up, good things happen. 

3. You might as well just start now. 

A few months before I was set to graduate during a meeting with someone in my department mentioned that I might consider consulting. In my head there was a voice screaming “NO” at the top of my lungs. Consult? Are you kidding? The idea of jumping straight into entrepreneurship seemed so daunting. I wasn’t ready so the thought was pushed in the back of my mind. Once I moved to Austin and settled into my job, there was a deep desire to do more. My job was great and challenged me, but I’ve never been comfortable with “good enough”. About a month after moving I found myself in the county clerk’s office filing for a DBA and Honeycomb Creative was born. It’s certainly not been easy and at times it’s been absolutely frustrating. However, there is nothing that compares to the feeling of having something that is your own. So whatever thing you’ve been pondering, that idea that keeps you up at night…you should really just go for it. Jump and see what happens. You, like me, just might surprise yourself. 

4. Find your people. 

I cannot say enough how important it is to find your people, your cheerleaders, your mentors. This past year wouldn’t be possible without the support of so many people. I could write a whole post on all the people that helped and supported me over the last year. However, finding your people isn’t just about celebrating those that support you, it’s finding people who will go through life with you. For me that was making incredible friendships through AYC, Team Austin and AMA. I’ve not only built strong business partnerships and relationships, but found strong friendships through these organizations as well. It can be scary to be part of community because it means being a little bit vulnerable and opening yourself up. However, it’s a really beautiful thing to be part of a community that cares and invests as much into you as you do with them. 

This year has truly been a whirlwind. From running my business as a side hustle to now being fully self-employed. I am truly grateful for the support and lessons learned in this first year. Here’s to living in my favorite city and many more years of calling it home. 

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