|Posted on February 8, 2015 at 4:40 PM|
I'm just going to say it. Bigger is not always better. Sometimes small is elegant and productive and spiritually rewarding.
I get helpful suggestions from inventive and imaginative peoplel all the time. "Here's how you could make more money." "Here's an idea that might work for you." "You could scale that production model and increase your income by _______________%." All well intended. In many cases, correct.
And. Not. Where. I'm. Standing Right Now.
I spent over 21 years with no less than one employee and, at one point, over twenty. I started at my kitchen table. I've built an 8000 square foot production facility. All and everything has conspired to inform who I am today. Many of those suggestions come to me because peoplel would like me to have the ease of wealth, the choice and option that lots of money provides. Because my friend and Publisher of MABEL MAG asked me to consider writing about money - I've been giving it a lot of thought.
I've been surprised to discover something about myself. I thought money was a real motivator for me. In the process of considering writing about money (which I did not do, by the way) I realize it is the capacity to fulfill my promises and obligations that drives me to earn money, the ability to respond to freinds and causes that need to oil of money to move forward, not the money itself. My prayer as a high school student was not, "God, I want to grow up and be a wealthy entreprenuer." I prayed, "I want to be an artist. I want my words to inspire myself and others." Without the measurement of money or bank accounts or return on investment ...I've been a success at my dream since the moment I started praying that prayer.
"You're kidding. It takes you HOW long to make each one of those?" Yes. I get asked that a lot. My monthly bundles consume a remarkably large portion of my month. They are limited in their distribution. They sell far below their retail value. AND they do everything that I love about my work. Keeps me constantly creating and looking for new ways to articulate my impulse to MAKE things that have meaning and value. It brings a dependanble and predictable financial structure to the unpredictable nature of being an author and earing my living by virtue of royalty payments. It connects me directly with people who are using my art and words to inspire themselves and others, via gifts. It becomes fertile soil for teaching others about making things, offering designs to my awesome license partners at Applied Insight. And the folks at Quotable, and my publishing partners at SimpleTruths, Conari, Viva Editions and Brushdance. They now do what I used to have to do myself. I get to do for them what I do best: make things. Not supervise employees, fill out forms, scrutinize P & L's or scrutinze the folks who are scrutinizing the P& L's!
I am fortunate that the things I would do if I were a full time corporate trainer as my "hobby" are actually what I do as my full time job. Has it happened to you? You've created something for the sheer joy of it and your friends adore it and immediately validate their admiration in this way, "You could make those and sell them." There IS a certain validation that occurs when something one makes is successful in the marketplace. And for those in the industry, that kind of success is indeed essential for sustaining the model of a business.
I was in my teens when I started making gifts for my friends instead of buying them. Over the decades I've learned from my friends that still the most meaningful gifts they receive from me are those that I make for them. When I started my company at my kitchen table I couldn't have predicted the path it would take and the various levels of international distribution I would attain. And now, that model is before my license holder, Dr. Deanna Davis. An author herself and trainer, she is harnessing her broad spectrum of gifts and taking the challenge of managing changing market place realities and shifting consumer trends. And me? I'm at what is, essentially, a larger than ever, kitchen table. Making things that bring me joy and relishing the capacity to say, "Here, I made this for you."
If the measure is authenticity, saying what's true and operating close to the core priorities of ones soul...than I can say, without hesitation, that I am more successful that I have ever been in my entire life. Scale. Circle. Right now they work together perfectly. And for you - I wonder if that whisper of longing that you held in your heart as a young person is answered in how you spend your time in your every day. And what would it take for you to move closer to that place if that is not where you stand? Just pondering...