The Skill Set: 7 Ways to Survive a Tough Time

Inspirational jewelry designer Erin Pelicano shines light.

Erin Pelicano's brand is rooted in her heart. When she tragically lost her only brother in 2004, Erin felt compelled to find a higher purpose. After getting laid off from her engineering job in 2010 after a decade in the field, she used her downtime skillfully and launched a jewelry line with a message. Her goal was to connect people with those they have lost and those still living while also commemorating real life events, both happy and sad. Her meaningful pieces are engraved with mantras (wish, namaste, worthy), mark moments (retirement, adoption, graduation) and acknowledge loved ones (flower girls, angels, yourself). Learn the stages of recovering from a hardship below. The Skill Set: 7 Ways to Survive a Tough Time


The Skill Set: 7 Ways to Survive a Tough Time

1. Give yourself time to recover

Allow yourself space to grieve, but don't let it consume you. Turn that grief into action. Following my layoff, I think I probably had a week of being upset and then it was time to come up with a plan. 

2. Keep the hope alive

Following the death of my brother, having faith in something greater than us and hope that one day we’ll see him again helps me overcome the sadness. Whatever your religion is, that is how you get through it on a day-to-day basis because there is nothing you can do to change it. 

3. Find a higher purpose

Losing my brother truly does motivate me in my business. So much of what drives my brand is wanting to connect my customers to people they have lost or the people that are right here with them, right now, when they have the time to tell them how they feel.

4. Do things that make you happy

Find the thing that gets you through the hard days and brings you that little bit of joy to motivate you. For me, it’s drinking a hot cup of tea in the morning and going for a walk after getting the kids on the bus. 

5. Don't compare

It is never a straight line to success. It’s easy to have a false narrative in your mind and compare yourself to others but you have no idea what they had to go through to get to where they are. 

6. Let the tough times guide you

It’s okay to have setbacks. I don’t need to feel embarrassed, ashamed or horrible about myself because of it. I just need to say, “Okay, that’s a part of life. What can I learn from this and where do I want to go?” We have a lot of goals for the business next year as far as expanding and I know where I want to go, but I know there’s going to be a lot of learning along the way, for certain.

7. Watch for something good to unfold

We would not have this brand if I hadn’t lost my job. A lot of times, you don’t know what the silver lining is going to be, but you must accept that there is one—you just don’t know what it is yet.


Images courtesy of Ivanka Trump Photographer: Kenneth Grzymala