I feel like I just woke up this morning and realized that an entire year has passed. What? Where did 2012 go? It has been quite the whirlwind year! This has been an incredible year of growth for my lil ol’ company, Mabel & Elodie, and, quite frankly, for me. I had no idea what this year was going to look like when it began. I had been a big traveler for a number of years. I am often on a plane at least once a month going somewhere other than home. I love to be in airports and on planes. I love to put my earphones on, buy my cheesy tabloid magazine, and grab my go-to travel snack- peanut M&M’s – off I go! Nothing makes me feel more free than sitting in an airplane and looking out of the window at the clouds whirling by.
However, this year, I did no such travel. At the end of December 2011, I had decided that if I was serious about trying to make a go of my side hobby/business – I was going to need to trade in my wings for a firm grip on hard work and reality. It was not an easy decision. I wanted to do it ALL. I wanted the financial security of a full-time job, a fabulously supportive soulmate romance without drama or strife, a healthy and super-fit body, adventure and travel, AND a wildly successful business. Oh yes, and peace and serenity. Totally and completely feasible in my mind. So I tried it. I was training 4 nights a week in MMA (mixed martial arts), teaching full-time during the day and one class twice a week at FAU (local university), preparing for several shows and Fab.com sales, training for a half-marathon with one of my best friends – all the while maintaining my spiritual and emotional well-being with various practices - and attempting to have an active social life…….
Yep. I crashed and burned. I was able to hold it all together until about mid-July. I had been fairly successful juggling it all and robbing time from Peter to pay Paul… until I ran out of creativity. That is the funny thing about being an artist – you have to fill your bucket. You can’t run on empty for very long without completely using up all your creative reserves. It happened one day when I walked into my studio for my scheduled work time and I simply could not think of one thing to make. Not. One. Damn. Thing. Zip. Zero. Nada.
It had happened. I was smack in the middle of the realization that I simply could not do it all. Something had to give. In retrospect, it was one of the best days of my life. I realized, in that moment, that I had limitations and I needed to re-prioritize my life – and fast. So I stripped down. I pulled out a piece of paper and made a list of everything that I absolutely cannot live without. Art. Love. Spirit. Ability to pay my bills with relative ease. Meaningful relationships. Adventure. Health and regular exercise. Laughter. Lots of Laughter.
Just about this time, I connected with my old friend Chandler. Chandler and I were BFF’s while I was living in Boulder and attending grad school. Grad school was one of the most meaningful and rewarding periods of time in my life and Chandler and I laughed our way through many nights while I was living in the magical world of Boulder, Colorado and making tons and tons of art. It was Bliss. Chandler has since grown up a bit – with two beautiful kiddos, a fabulous hubby, and a thriving Etsy business. My hilariously fun friend has created a wildly successful empire of adorable handmade baby blankets on Etsy. She is my go-to gal when it comes to the nuts and bolts of entrepreneurial expertise. So when my Save-The-World-And-Make-A-Gazillion-Dollars-And-Be-All-Balanced-And-Peaceful shtick went out the window – I called Chand.
“Balance? Balance is for amateur jackasses. I haven’t worn anything but sweatpants and my husband’s t-shirt in weeks. Anyone who is trying to get something great off the ground will tell you that balance is a pipe dream. Forget about it. Follow your passion and buy this audio book by Danielle Laporte. The Firestarter Sessions. Go now. It’s amazing. It’s the best book I have heard on this exact subject. Balance is bullshit. Forget balance – and go kick ass.”
And that is exactly what I did. For anyone starting a business and following your bliss, Danielle Laporte is the voice you want in your ear while you are in the ring. I personally don’t trust anyone giving me advice unless they throw in a few expletives for sport. Then I know we speak the same language. My tribe is a feisty and sassy bunch who could probably use a few lessons in etiquette and appropriate language usage from Dear Abby (is she still around?). Ms. Laporte does not disappoint. She is refreshingly honest about what it take to be an entrepreneur and how to push through the nagging fear in the back of your head that whispers “You may not have what it takes to do this……” Oh shut the hell up! I’m good. I got this one!
Go and take a look-see for yourself here. Stay tuned… tomorrow I’ll dish about how my not-so-graceful-but-oh-so-lively shift from pleasing the world – to finally making myself happy went. Here is a lil hint… stumble, stumble..trip..trip.. got it.. oh damn.. she’s down … nope.. She’s Back up! And the crowd goes wild…..wwwahhhoooo!!!!