Just keep swimming

October 22, 2010

The other morning I had one of those moments where you feel all the doubts start to come flooding in. I know what a dangerous thing that can be, how it can swallow you whole and leave you defeated before you even started. I went to distract myself from the monster named ‘doubt’ lurking outside my door. I clicked on a link in my email and when the screen loaded, there it was in big BOLD RED type, “DON’T GIVE UP.” I took a screengrab and saved it. Then a friend’s fb status said “just keep swimming.” I started to wonder when we get these signs, these messages at just the right moment, where do they come from?

Is it our own internal filters at work? Is it the energy wavelength we are plugged into? Is it quiet support from our loved ones gone? Is it intuition? It got me thinking about the movie “Always” with Richard Dreyfuss & Holly Hunter. Anyone seen it? I love that movie very much. It’s a beautiful and sometimes funny story about life and love and the little voices that encourage us in those moments where we start to falter. I love Audrey Hepburn’s role as “Hap” the angel who mentors Richard Dreyfuss’s character “Pete.” It was her last starring role.

Do we all have a “Hap” or a “Pete” talking to us even though we can’t hear their voices? Can we at times be a little voice of encouragement to someone else? Two days ago, a lovely letterpress shop here in Colorado, www.birddogpress.com, posted on facebook that Apple’s iphoto was now offering letterpress cards and she didn’t know if she “should be thrilled or throw in the towel.” Knowing the Doubt Monster had come to visit this delightful shop, I stepped up and voiced ‘Don’t give up! You are not in the business of creating mass-produced cookie-cutter cards! Speak to your strengths and what it is you offer that they don’t: personalized, hand-crafted, small-batch cards from an artist’s soul.’

I know of no cure-all for the Doubt Monster, but I do know that even small little doses of encouragement – in whatever form they show themselves, is enough to keep that Monster from coming through the door and swallowing you and your dreams whole. Be kind to yourself and where you are in your life’s journey today. Celebrate the little things and lend some encouragement to those you see in need. Be someone’s “Hap.”

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I have failed this year. I was going to blog everyday. I was going to say no to things before my plate got too full. I was going to stress less and have more fun. I failed at each of things and others I won’t admit to here. The good news is that I am finally able to break down my perfectionist tendencies and learn that failure and success are both outcomes of the same process. By at least trying, I am getting closer to success each time. When I fail and choose to get back up and do it again – making adjustments for what didn’t work so well the last time, I find success is not a matter of ‘if’ but a matter of ‘when.’ Besides no one becomes an astronaut on accident.

I have chosen to invest in myself and my new business this year. I have been reading and absorbing all I can about business, entrepreneurship, e-businesses, creative businesses, connecting with other artist-entrepreneurs, inspiration, and more.

I have decided I am going to chronicle the trials, tribulations and ultimate success of creating a new business here. I expect there will be joy, frustration, failure, tears, love, accomplishments, curve balls, surprises, laughter, plateaus and challenges on this journey. It’s a journey I’ve already begun and like many good stories, we begin where we are today, not where we hope(d) to be or where we were yesterday or 2 months ago. We start where we are right now.

Right now I am working full time at a small adaptation and animation studio in Boulder, CO. I came on as a designer and have migrated over to the business side managing clients and accounts and evaluating processes, prices and procedures.

Right now I am working 2 nights a week teaching Photoshop CS5 to young minds at my alma mater, RMCAD. I love teaching, it feeds my soul. I think it’s my in my blood too as my father taught high school math for 30+ years. Ideally I would teach half-time and nurture and grow my business the rest of the time. That would be a wonderful balance.

Right now I am supporting and encouraging my husband as he prepares to make his next short film, My Little MVP. Principle shooting is this upcoming weekend at a gorgeous park in Arvada, CO.

Right now I am 32 years old and have been a graphic designer for a decade since graduating summa cum laude in 2000.

Right now I have a handful of prototypes for business but a serious lack of time to put these prototypes into production, post them for sale and market them. This is the most difficult thing right now. Having something that I want to share with the world, something those who have seen respond well to, and failing to take the next step and put this stuff out there.

Right now I need to find the time and courage to take that next step.