I once heard a saying that went, "Begin as you mean to go on". I have no idea who said it, or even where I heard it. I just know that it has stuck in my mind for years, and it seems like a pretty darn good philosophy.
These last two years have been really tough - from unexpectedly losing my job, to the house being robbed, to a huge tree blowing down and totaling my almost paid off car. From this struggle, though, I've learned just how strong I am, and what I am capable of, which has helped me along this journey to starting my own business. I think it would be safe to say I've found a different set of values and have a totally different philosophy than I used to have. I'm less materialistic and try to take a lot less for granted. I've learned that things I previously valued and thought important (like my laptop, jewelry, CD/DVDs, etc.) are really just THINGS, and when they are taken away, life still goes on. I've learned to be thankful for the "little" things like my health, the roof over my head, and the love of my family and friends. I've learned to ask for help when I need it, and to remember that I asked for it when I didn't care for the way it was provided. I remind myself daily that no matter how hard it seems, someone else, somewhere else is having an even more difficult time, so with each stumble, no matter how hard, I have somehow found the strength to keep going. Most importantly, amid all of these challenges, I've found something I didn't even realize was missing: faith. I've learned to let go a little bit, to place more trust in myself and others, and to have faith - Faith in myself and my abilities, and faith that things happen for a reason, even if we don't immediately know what that reason is.
Through all of this adversity, there has been one constant - the love and support of my family and friends. There have been shoulders to cry on and roofs to stay dry under, odd jobs to help out here and there, and always understanding. I've found opened doors, opened hearts, and best of all, open arms. For every doubt that I've had (and there have been many), I've had the encouragement I needed to get past it and move on. Through networks like Facebook, online and real life quilting groups, and even this wonderful blogosphere, I've found support I had never before really realized was available, and it has meant more than I ever could say.
A few days ago, I came across a comment credited to Walt Disney: "The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing". Now, I don't know if Mr. Disney said those words or not, but that isn't important. What is important are the words themselves. They are a great reminder - almost like an affirmation. "...Quit talking and begin doing". I'll admit...that is difficult for me. I am a planner, but I'm also a procrastinator. I love to make lists and brainstorm ideas, and talking is certainly easy for me, but doing...well, that's another story. I am afraid of failure, but I've realized that if you don't at least try, you'll never enjoy the feeling of success. Sooooo.....after 5+ years of wanting to start my own quilting business, 1 year of research and planning to start my own business, and almost 8 months after investing quite a bit of money into buying a quilting machine and learning how to use it, here I am. It's been a slow start, but so far every step has been forward, and THAT is how I mean to go on. :)