Here I sit – in a diner in New Orleans – on a gorgeous sunny afternoon, and I am, of course, writing. I sit here sipping on my lemonade and in a quiet moment of reflection I realized two things: 1. I love to write 2. Taking a chance on running my own business has been the adventure of a lifetime
Knowing that – I have to confess following your heart isn’t always a smooth ride. As a matter of fact, the first year of entrepreneurship is a series of ups and downs as you flip back and forth between thinking you have nothing really to hold onto and you are trying to build something that is a total dream and holy #$%^ I’m living my dream. There are powerful up moments when you have the chance to experience them, and then come the powerful down moments when you step back and realize that you will always have a tremendous hill to climb.
Sometimes the size of the hill is so overwhelming that you just don’t even know where to begin. You only have the energy to sit and stare out the window and wonder where this is all leading. A busy path is a great path as you have little time to stop and think but when life slows down, even for a day, and you have a few minutes to sit and collect yourself you realize, in the quiet, how fragile your first few steps really are.
I am in this moment. I am realizing that my first year has been absolutely insanely amazing and I am working hard to keep everything floating. I am working every day – every hour really as you never stop thinking about your business, the progress and growth and what to do next. I don’t know why these thoughts of “How will I go forward” and “What if I lose everything” are haunting me right now, but as with everything, you have to take the good with the tempered.
I am contemplating reinvention. I want to take my business in some new directions for year 2 and the thought of starting over (not completely as I will still be doing some of the things I did last year) totally floors me. However, in this moment I am waking up to yet another secret of this mysterious path – I’m coming to the realization that starting over, or reinvention, is a constant state as an entrepreneur. To keep going, to keep gaining business and staying current, you have to keep coming up with new ideas and presenting new offerings as much as possible. You rarely get a minute to sit down and just think. You are so busy catching up, trying to pay bills, wondering where your next client will come from and how you will produce what it is that your next client wants that you are way beyond the time when your dreams were shiny and new. You are now in it – way in it – and the shiny has somewhat – temporarily – warn off.
I became an entrepreneur to work for myself and to write my own future – I am still in hot pursuit of that dream. I am still working on various projects and I am often struggling to find the time and space to write my own material but what I have to do is find my way back to me. I am working on creating the environment I set out to create before the panic of the first few months took over (and it always will!) and I’m trying to find a way to understand that I can get there, even though there is a moving target. I just have to keep going. Keep pushing. Keep dreaming. 2018 is shaping up with a different landscape that excites me and terrifies me – as any new idea should.
What is the giant differentiator from where I sat last year is that I am no longer in the dreamy “What if” stage. When you are knee deep in the “What if” stage you have yet to taste the flavours of entrepreneurship and you are still standing looking at the closed curtain of possibility. Now, I have ripped that curtain down and I have sampled many, many, many flavours available at the entrepreneur counter. The “What if” is never what we think it will be. It is different, not more or less, just different. Taking that all in stride is the new normal and finding balance in it all is a challenge but one that I am proud to be part of. It is something that I fought really hard to get and now I am working my way through the maze with no map, no compass and no green lights.
Every day is a new day.
Until next time – dream, experience and love your life.
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