Friday, April 20

Owning your own business is a gift | Collecting receipts & Answering Emails is also a gift

I sat across from them feeling like a veteran, a seasoned consultant, an old shop owner who had years ago reached her peak. These two beautiful women were giggling over everything, gushing about their new business ideas and plans and some wild anticipation that this very dream job would fulfill them. I stared at them imagining I could bottle that enthusiasm and inject my heart again. The truth is, I was only a friend who had started my company a short time before them. I love being a photographer, but there is no doubt my enthusiasm about my hopes and dreams for my company paled in comparison to these giddy women. At what point on my path had my excitement for company become so familiar?

Gratitude solves all problems.

I meant to ask "Who is your dream client?" but instead what came out was "What's your dream job?" The more vivacious one looked at me almost confused and then said with a huge grin, in between sips of her margarita, "THIS is my dream job! We get to play with flowers all day!" I couldn't help but laugh when they laughed. My warm heart had no desire to weigh them down telling them I answer emails all day. It wasn't them who needed the reality check-- it was me.

Somewhere along this road, familiarity had jaded me. I came to expect more...

But more than what? We, you and I, who have been in this business for a bit, wake up to beautiful days, to coffee from our kitchen, to people paying our pockets instead of larger companies. We write our own schedule, meet with clients in beautiful locations and can be sure we choose our clients because we could easily be friends with them outside of this work place. Perhaps an outsider looking in thinks we just click and burn dvds, but we know. We know the mileage we have to track, the receipts we have to keep, the counselors we have to be, the nights the computer isn't shut off in the other room until 2am. Despite these miniature hardships, we also know that this job with all of it's idiosyncrasies, is a gift.

What if you had no job? Oh wait. We chose this job, remember? We used our freedom in capitalism to create a path where there was none!

"Change your perspective" my beautiful friend Kristen reminds me. She's so right.

I sit at my kitchen table now with a laptop clicking beneath my fingers. It's so quiet I can hear the refrigerator hum. Maybe if we both hold each other accountable we can be thankful for these opportunities each day presents to us, for people's paths that cross ours, the potential to make the world a better place through every email we write.  

It is a gift. Let's choose it back.


gina marie said...

well said, sista :)

abigail mortenson said...

Thanks for this. I just recently jumped into owning my business and I'm already feeling it. It's been challenging, especially in the things I'm not-so-good-at. One of my favorite quotes sums it up well. "Deep gratitude brings great joy".

Leita said...

Indeed, it is a gift.. It is all a gift. :). I just recently left the corporate world to "follow my dreams", and while I know it will have its challenges and differences, I choose to embrace the freedom of choice and allow my heart to sing. Thank you for this beautiful articulation! Xxx Leita