National Scrapbooking Day is coming up next weekend- and while I would LOVE to spend the day in my craft room, latte in one hand, glue stick in the other- I don't think it's in the cards. Liam will be making his First Holy Communion that weekend- so, it's a happy reason- but between you and I, I am a little bummed to be missing out on a few of the online scrappy reindeer games that will be taking place. The upcoming event had me a little nostalgic late last night. As I was at the drawing board getting something lovely ready for the Scrap Orchard Farmers Market, I stared to click around in a few of my files that I haven't really gone through for awhile- the very first attempts I made as a designer. My first papers, ellies and kits- and whoa!! It was like looking back on my prom photos from the 80's! What was I thinking?
But as I looked in horror at my first bits and bytes- I clearly remembered how I was, at the time, very impressed with them and how proud I was to pack them up and actually apply to shops as a designer with them! Thankfully, those first few people I opened up to and shared my work with were amazing women, and offered invaluable advice and guidance to me to make the rejections a good thing.
Actually, those early rejections were the best thing that ever happened to me in my design career. And yes, they hurt a bit- (a lotta-bit) but you know what? When I sent out my first applications, I was pretty sure I would fail. And, yep, I knew I was setting myself up for a hurting. But I also knew that I would not take no for an answer. But- here's the thing- it wasn't a "yes" that was necessarily the answer I was was looking for- it was a "why". Why was I not ready for prime time? I had to push for that sometimes, because giving honest criticism can be uncomfortable- but once I assured people that I wasn't taking it personal- but needed to hear the "whys" as a tool, then the world opened for me. And that's what I often offer to people who write me for advice about starting their business. (There's actually a terrific article about this called, "Screwing Up on Purpose, the Beauty of the Deliberate Mistake)
No matter what new journey you are hoping to embark on, I offer you this: plan to fail. Embrace it- learn from it. But take the chance and give it your very best- that way, if you do fail, you'll know it was not due to effort- but to a skill. Skills can always be learned. But dance. Like no one is watching, dance your heart out! And then, when you are done, if it a dancer you what you dream to become, bravely turn to your audience and ask- "what could be better?" Listen gracefully.
And dance again.
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