I love what I do.
It can be stressful, without doubt. I have shaken my fists at the heavens when my computer went in for repairs, my website glitched, deadlines weren't met, or distractions derailed me. But every day I'm thankful for the opportunity to do it, to share my passion and spirit with those who would have it.
But, in the spirit of transparency, especially towards those who wish to have a go at similar dreams, I have my struggles. As do we all, I imagine. My personal shadow... that one challenge as a business owner that comes at me in the dark and places it's hand on my heart, wraps the tendrils of its fingers around my fears and doubts and insecurities is this: time. And the sacrifice of time. Even to time.
Oh, there's a strong word, right? Sacrifice. It evokes images of virgins at the mouths of volcanoes, Aztec altars or even just the loss of simple creature comforts in pursuit of greater things. It suggests you can't have one thing without giving up something else. This is a perception often tied to the hopes and dreams of many small business owners... that we must sacrifice.
"Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals." Martin Luther King, Jr.
And it's not an untrue statement. Sacrifice is often required. But it's how we perceive the importance of that sacrifice that matters. And it's how we manage the impact of those sacrifices on our lives.
I am an introvert. I have social anxiety. My home business has often provided me an excuse to indulge in my need or desire to be alone. But this has sometimes been at the expense of experiences with others. While I can pound out five pieces of jewelry in a single feverish night of work, I am also aware, at the end of the day, of experiences and interactions with others I've missed as a result.
So where is the challenge? In finding balance. In understanding that I can't allow business to derail me from spending time on family, friends, myself even. I must challenge myself to step into some discomfort for the betterment of my spiritual evolution, to recognize when it's necessary to set my business aside for social enrichment.
The challenge is in breaking free of my social anxiety, as well, and in recognizing when I'm using my business as a crutch to avoid spending time outside of my solitude. And this, while also not sacrificing my income! We all have bills to pay, need food to sustain us. These are real concerns. Real needs. But when those needs become a catalyst for our anxiety, unnecessary sacrifices are made. Sacrifices bred by fear.
So, why am I telling you this? Because it's important to know we all struggle with our sacrifices, with our perception of the sacrifices we believe we must make, with finding balance between those sacrifices and the consequences of them. It's important to know that, through it all, there are those who support us and that we are never an island unto ourselves.
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