You’ve made the decision — you want to start your own business. How exciting! You feel the warmth of inspiration, that small ember within you that glows with hope. You can already feel that newfound sense of freedom: to set your own course, be your own boss, make your own rules, and make money doing what you’re passionate about.
There’s only one problem: you’re also, quite suddenly, befallen with an undeniable terror.
There it is, creeping on you, tucked in the darkness behind your excitement. Are you the only one who has felt this way? Is this murky fear of failure here to save you from utter disaster? Maybe it’s onto something. Well, yes…and no.
I’ve always been a firm believer in goodness, beauty, and truth.
I am the Queen of Enduring Hope. As a child, my Aunt took to calling me “Sugarcube,” due to my sweet disposition and tender heart. I played veterinarian to my Beanie Babies® and loved to pretend that I was mama to my precious little sister (who, by the way, was only a year younger than me). As an adult, I am a textbook ISFJ (known as the “Nurturers” of the Myers-Briggs world) which means that I yearn to believe the best in people, I live in a world that is concrete and kind, and I am very aware of internal feelings (both my own and others).
As positive and forward-thinking as I strive to be — as we all strive to be — sometimes life gets pretty intense.
People disappoint us, circumstances confound us, the world seems to grow a little bit darker with every attack and power-struggle. It’s all too easy to want to protect ourselves with a negative worldview as a result: don’t let anyone in so that they don’t hurt you; don’t trust anyone too deeply. It is no surprise that this beautiful analogy told by Saint Paisios has meant a lot to me ever since I heard it.
When Kira, a friend of many years and wonderful photographer, asked me to do a featured blog post on my small business, I was both excited and incredibly honored. We spent a beautiful morning running around town to some of my favorite spots, cataloguing my daily life as a full-time designer with a serious side hustle. Check out the interview on Kira’s website!
(Keep in mind that this interview occurred a few years ago, so some details about my life have since changed)
When she asked if I had a design that I would like to contribute as a giveaway, “Be the Bee,” instantly came to mind. If there is anything that I’ve learned in my seven years as a small business owner, this hustle takes serious grit. It’s also takes a heavy dose of enduring hope and decisive optimism. The entrepreneurs I’ve encountered who have had the greatest success are the one’s who adopt the bee’s philosophy:
“If we ask the bee to show us where the garbage is, it will answer: “I don’t know. I can only tell you where to find flowers, sweets, honey and sugar;” it only knows the good things in life.”
It is all to easy to focus on the tough stuff — the challenging projects, the insecurity of not knowing where your next paycheck is coming from, the difficult relationships, the late nights and early mornings — you can literally drown yourself in it. Today, commit to choosing better for yourself. Choose the good. Choose beauty.
Yes, challenges will come, but you are bigger than the garbage that you have to walk through as a business owner. Don’t wallow in it. Don’t allow it to become your home. Refuse to grow comfortable with that mindset. I believe in you. And if you get stuck, I’m here to help you find your truth again.
“Be The Bee”
“I know from experience that in this life people are divided in two categories. A third category does not exist; people either belong to one or the other. The first one resembles the fly. The main characteristic of the fly is that it is attracted by dirt. For example, when a fly is found in a garden full of flowers with beautiful fragrances, it will ignore them and will go sit on top of some dirt found on the ground. It will start messing around with it and feel comfortable with the bad smell. If the fly could talk, and you asked it it show you a rose in the garden, it would answer: “I don’t even know what a rose looks like. I only know where to find garbage, toilets, and dirt.” there are some people who resemble the fly. People belonging to this category have learned to think negatively, and always look for the bad things in life, ignoring and refusing the presence of good.
The other category is like the bee whose main characteristic is to always look for something sweet and nice to sit on. When a bee is found in a room full of dirt and there is a small piece of sweet in a corner, it will ignore the dirt and will go to sit on top of the sweet. Now, if we ask the bee to show us where the garbage is, it will answer: “I don’t know. I can only tell you where to find flowers, sweets, honey and sugar;” it only knows the good things in life and is ignorant of all evil. This is the second category of people who have a positive way of thinking, and see only the good side of things. They always try to cover up the evil in order to protect their fellow men; on the contrary, people in the first category try to expose the evil and bring it to the surface.
When someone comes to me and starts accusing other people, and puts me in a difficult situation, I tell him the above example. Then, I ask him to decide to which category he wishes to belong, so he may find people of the same kind to socialize with.”
+ St. Paisios of Mt. Athos, “Good and Evil Thoughts”
Kira is a photographer, learner, dreamer, doer based in Kansas City, MO.
“My photographic style is bright, bold, and authentic as I share my own creative perspective. I am most known for my natural light images, but have been intentional about gaining experience with on location night portraits and off-camera flash, along with some studio work as well. I’m quirky and spunky and try to make every session comfortable and fun. I am all about telling your story and capturing who you truly are, so don’t be shy in sharing thoughts or ideas because it’s all about You!”
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