There's a line a film I heard recently that set off a train of thought in my overloaded brain. It goes something like this:
"Yeah, I know all about the American Dream.
That's where you take something you love to do and twist it and wrangle it into something that will make you famous or make you money, and it ends up sucking all of the life out of you...and pretty soon, you don't want to do it anymore. Some dream."
Harry Connick, Jr.'s character delivers that line in the film 'Hope Floats', when Sandra Bullock's character says to him, "You could do so much more...". I know, it's a chick flick, but regardless of where it originated, that's a hard-hitting line for anyone in business. (Kind of like the new ad slogan that says "In small business, there are no small decisions". Too true.)
So let me ask you this: Are you living a version of your dream, or waiting for a dream to appear, or has what was once a dream been choked out by fighting to survive? And where do we all go from where we are?
The Diva has days, my friends, where she questions the sanity of having a business at all. It would be so darned easy to get a job creating fab displays for a retailer like Anthro, or Macys, or Nordies. Go in, punch the clock, do the work for eight hours, punch out, go home, have wine, relax. Know exactly how much $$$$ was coming in the paycheck each week. I'm not talking a creative director's position, oh no, I'm talking an hourly schleppin' haulin' hard workin' crew member position. Yes, I do consider it sometimes.
I always decide against it, though. Why?
Well, to answer that is to answer a question I received from Deena in Utah, who wants to know what my passion is and do I live it?
My passion isn't just designing and creating gorgeous displays of products, or welcoming environments, or stunning event decor. If it was, I'd probably have done the 'fallback' thing by now. But my true passion, beside and beneath all of the decorative stuff, is helping small businesses. I want to share and give what I can to equip and encourage you to succeed, even in an economic climate that is questionable at times like this.
My mission statement reads 'I achieve success by supporting and educating independent merchants and small businesses, and contributing to their success.' I want to see you reach your goals, attain your version of your dream (American or otherwise), and grow a successful business. So the blogs and the videos and the articles and the seminars and the trade show displays I do all boil down to me wanting to contribute to the community of small independent mom n' pop businesses that are the heartbeat of our American economy. To share what I learn, to teach what I know, to consult and help at reasonable cost because it's all connected. You succeed, I succeed, WE succeed.
So yes, I DO live my passion. And the coolest thing about it is that it's growing, changing, embracing new ideals and heading in new directions. Most of what I am already doing is a part of the future, along with so much more. I am excited and can't wait to get my feet on the ground and start running with it all. I've given myself permission to dream again, to take that thing I love to do and do it - without twisting it or wrangling it into something that doesn't resemble my dream at all anymore.
I've untied my own knots, so to speak!
Thanks, Deena...I appreciated your email.