I never envisioned myself as being a business owner. The thought of having that much responsibility never appealed to me in the least. Its so much easier when someone else has to make the big decisions, right?
Unfortunately, easier is not always better. I am working on this one with my kids right now as we learn accountability, integrity and being proud of your work. I am a firm believer in modeling behavior as an integral means to teaching and shaping behavior. Thats the psychology major in me. This idea alone is a huge piece of what compelled me to start my own company. I want to show my kids if they have a dream they should pursue it. Its going to involve a lot of hard work and tough decisions. As scary as those tough decisions can be we can also flip the coin over and create an opportunity for growth.
Fear has a tricky way of holding us back. Sometimes its easy to recognize and sometimes its not. My brother-in-law, Alfred refers to this as "the committee." The voices or the script that replay in our head and help us hold on to self-doubt. Self-doubt coupled with the fear that I wouldn't be able to manage a career and motherhood at the same time is what held me back for a lot of years. Now that my kids are getting older, it certainly makes it easier, but its definately not without its difficulties. I think we have this misconception that if its hard or we miss something then we aren't doing it right. I have to disagree wholeheartedly. If we got it right every single time when would we ever have room to learn and grow. In an ideal world all those lessons and growth would feel all warm and fuzzy but the reality is they don't usually feel all that wonderful. I'm not sure at what age we stopped giving ourselves permission to grow but that shit for sure needs to be revisited. Its as much a reminder for myself as it is for my kids when I tell them, "I'm not perfect and I don't expect you to be either." We need to practice giving ourselves permission to learn as much as we give that to our children. And hopefully the more we practice the less we fear making a mistake and the more we can embrace growth.
I had the chance to embrace some growth this weekend. I started looking into some possible advertising opportunities at the local Home Shows. I was shocked to find out just how much a 10 X 10 booth is to rent. But the design Gods (if there is such a thing) were shining down on me and I chased an opportunity to work with a company who already had a space at the Home Show that needed designing. Mind you, I have been doing some rooms here and there and mostly all for friends, so this was a HUGE chance to gain some exposure and showcase my abilities. This was both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. There is definitely a certain amount of vulnerability in sharing your creativity with the world. I now have a far greater admiration for artists sharing their craft with the world.
I was asked to create a "Zen Den" for the Home Show. So I did. I chose my colors, my textures, my layout within the constraints of a 9 X 14 foot space. I measured out the space in my garage and got to work putting together my vision. After numerous trips to At Home and some loaner furniture from my friend Tom at Tomelly Designs I was ready....or so I thought.
After an arduous set up of waiting for the actual structure to be completed and wired for electricity and my dad and I assembling furniture, I finally had the chance to put my space together. The butterflies were ever present throughout the day. Mine didn't look anything like the other "Zen Dens," so I wasn't sure how it was going to be received. The only comfort I had was knowing I did my best and was proud of finally being brave enough to share my work with A LOT of strangers.
I had asked my dear friend, Sonya who also happens to be amazingly talented behind the camera if she would come and take some pictures for me. We went down Friday evening to grab some pictures and I had the chance to see, hear and feel the response to my room.
I was not ready.
I still might not be ready.
Its hard to write this without getting overwhelmed all over again.
Because people LOVED it. I would have been happy with pleasantries and niceties but the people who came by as we were taking pictures were in awe. I am still in awe of their awe.
And Sunday when I showed up to break down the room their were three people from the show waiting to present the award for "Best Zen Den."
One of my favorite movie references of all time is from Shawshank Redemption when the main character, Andy Dufrane ends up chiseling a tunnel the length of a football field with a rock hammer to escape prison. He had to tunnel through fifty yards of shit to come out clean on the other side. I kind of felt like Andy Dufrane on Sunday because I had to tunnel through a lot of shit in my mind... a lot of self doubt that the committee wanted to hold on to before I got to come out clean on the other side. But I did it. And I will continue to keep doing it. Pushing myself to take the risk. To move into uncomfortability. I doubt they will all pay off as greatly. In fact, I hope they don't. Because I am okay with learning...
That little award has me believing more and more each day that growth is happening.