Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lighting Your Fire

Post by Beryl Ayn Young for the Kindness in Business series.

photo by Beryl Ayn Young

Lighting Your Fire

When you became an entrepreneur, did you think that erecting a business was a bit like lighting a match?

Once that website went live and you set out into the depths of world wide web you might finally be able to set up camp and ignite a fire so fierce that you’d kiss a day job goodbye forever.

Instead, perhaps you’ve discovered that being an entrepreneur is less like lighting a match and more like rubbing two sticks together waiting for fire to magically appear. Oh there's a fire inside of you for sure -- passion is what started you on this journey in the first place, but getting it to ignite and grow and spread like wildfire is where you're stuck. Stuck in the middle of the woods, with the sun is going down, a chill in the air, and growing more discouraged by the minute.

If you've ever been there, let me assure you -- I've been there too.

Last year, instead of being stuck in the woods, I felt stuck at a day job that wasn't serving me or my family and I desperately wanted to be done. I was burnt out (no pun intended): waking up to an hour long one way commute to teach at the local elementary school, trying to be a fun and lively mama to an energetic toddler, and working late nights to build my heart work creating mama centered photography courses on the side.

I'd tell myself -- If only I could get these two sticks to ignite, if only my message would spread like wildfire….then maybe I’d be able to finally do this meaningful work full time and be around for my daughter and family more.

That fire, once it spread would be warm and cozy. We'd finally feel at home in the woods.

But creating fire with just two sticks is hard.

Really hard.

There are other practicalities that keep that fire from lighting up your life. The rains come pouring down, the wind blows too strongly (or not at all), your sticks break in half.

With the sun going down on another school year for me, time was not on my side and with no matches in sight I had to make do with those two sticks and fight to find light in a darkness.

I began to realize how desperately I needed the health insurance my day job provided, I realized how much I do like taking home a steady paycheck, and I realized that I do love the teachers and students at my day job who feel more like extended family most days rather than colleagues. .

So right now I sit and wait.

Content with my two sticks, zero matches, and the fire in my heart waiting to be spread.

If you're waiting too, have patience dear friend.

On those days where you struggle to find the balance between your dream life and your practical life take time to pause. Find gratitude in the here and now. Even when it’s cold, dark, and a bit uncertain there is still light. You might have to build your dreams a bit more slowly. Or possibly stow away some of those big ideas for later.

Soon it'll be your time to shine.

Just keep on rubbing those two sticks together as fast and furiously as you can. When the stars align just right, the seasons change, and the wind blows the right way, that spark with ignite and spread your message all warm and cozy - your wildfire finally burning bright.

Beryl Ayn Young is a wife, mama, teacher, and photographer who offers photography lessons to nourish the mind, body, and soul over on her personal blog. Beryl believes in lifelong learning, photographic healing, & a glass half full perspective. She teaches e-courses and and provides photo coaching aimed at teaching you how to improve your camera skills and cherish life’s journey. Get inspired on your photography journey with one of her many freebie lessons or classes right here.
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Anne-Sophie said...

Thanks for that important message. I think all of us entrepreneurs need to hear it every once in a while. I'm at a point now where I need to get a job in order to fully support myself. I've just separated from my husband and my situation has changed. Yes, I wish my biz would support me 100%, but it doesn't just yet and that's fine. I also believe that in patience, we learn so very much. We start being creative and think of new ways we can expand our business. And having a job gives you the freedom to do so.

Mirta_S said...

This describes me to a tee. I launched my blog at the start of this year and went like gangbusters until June. I was selling my work, entering and winning contests, making a bit of a name for myself. All the while I was despising my day job but needing it like crazy, especially for the insurance since what I make there makes me feel like a volunteer! I have a chronic illness and all of a sudden, I was beat. Just so done with everything. I had a car accident, my car broke down twice in as many days and the fight for my life is on like donkey kong. The blog has gathered dust and I haven't created a single thing since maybe end of September. Just. So. Tired. I've lost my sticks.
BUT. I have six days off coming up next week and I intend to find two new sticks and rub and rub and rub!
Thanks ever so much for this article!

beryl ayn young said...

I hear you girl! It's sooooo hard burning the candle at all ends - eh? I too have a chronic illness and when I'm in remission I'm good. So good in fact that sometimes I forgot its there. But the insurance is HUGE and I need to remind myself that really the day job serves an important purpose in my quality of life. Good luck. xo.

beryl ayn young said...

Thanks for your comment Anne-Sophie. I have to remind myself to be patient daily. It cab be such a struggle so glad I'm not alone! xo.

www.katrinaannewillis.com said...

Thank you for this. It came at a perfect time for this novel writer whose copywriting gig pays the bills and provides the insurance. Best to you and your big, fiery dreams!

Sherry Richert Belul said...

This is great advice for all kinds of places in our lives. It reminds me of my fave Zen saying about just chopping wood and carrying water. Just keep doing what we're doing and paying as close of attention as we can. Patience, patience, patience. And joy all along the way. Thank you, Beryl!

beryl ayn young said...

Thank you! Glad to hear I'm not the only one who struggles with this. xo.

beryl ayn young said...

Thank you Sherry. I love that Zen saying! Patience and persistence are needed when building our dreams. Much love to you. xo.

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