I just had coffee with my friend Annie.
Like many stay-at-home moms, Annie and her family have been hard hit by this uneven economy. And for the first time in years, since she traded in her corporate high heels for the mantel of “mom,” and more sensible footwear, she’s struggling with the question of either going back to work or starting a business.
Annie is bright, pretty and afraid. She’s afraid of the lack, afraid of the look on her husband’s face when he frets about money, afraid of whether or not she is relevant in this workforce, and she’s mainly afraid of what her life may look like if she doesn’t find a way to immediately supplement the family piggy bank.
“Well,” I ask taking a sip from my steaming hot café au laits. “What do you want to do? Go back to working for someone else or build a business?”
“Build a business!” She replied without hesitation. “I don’t want to work for someone else. I want to be here, at home, taking care of Joe and the kids.”
There was an awkward silence as she glanced out the window, her eyes started to tear and she let out a long breath, “But I’ve tried opening a business, and it’s been three months and . . . And, now I’m not so sure.”
I nod in agreement. Her story was familiar. Faced with financial uncertainly, she’d gone down the old-fashioned road in a new-fashioned way. Instead of trying to sell baked cookies, or Amway or hold Avon parties like her mother, she’d strung together beautiful wire and beads into her home designed jewelry and placed it on Etsy. But it had been three months and nobody was buying.
“I’ve seen your jewelry,” I said, and it’s great, “But Etsy can be like trying to sell one piece of candy in a candy store – too many products and not enough eyeballs. There are much better ways to approach your business. We first have to find out what you truly love and how you can serve.”
“Why?” she asked. “I really just need to make money from home. At this point, I don’t care how I do it.”
“I understand,” I replied. “But building a successful business is a spiritual venture. It’s a lesson in letting go of our fears and listening to a calling deep within our hearts. It’s a lesson in making decisions out of grace and love and confidence as well as a good business plan. It’s a passion towards growth and contribution….and it must produce enough fuel to navigate the rough seas start-up. THESE SEAS ARE NOT FOR EVERYONE.
This is the exercise I gave Annie to help her determine if building a business is her heart’s desire and now I’m giving it to you. I completed my dream board several months ago and here it is. Please complete the following lesson and share it with me. I’d love to see your unique finger print in this world.
Michelle Dream Board
SEED 1: BUILDING YOUR DREAM BOARD
Poster board, magazines, glue sticks, scissors, music that moves your heart, a quiet spot with room to spread out and time. (I also included a cheap frame from Walmart and a good glass of wine;)
Directions: Cut and glue whatever appeals to you. Try to use more many more pictures than words. Language often limits what our heart it telling us. Pictures don’t have the same constraints.