Wanderlust Framed Painted Leaf

Etsy #DifferenceMakesUs Small Business Contest

I recently entered Etsy’s #DifferenceMakesUs small business contest for a shot at winning $10,000 to put towards advancing South Ranch Creative. It’s a long shot. A very, very long one, and yet one I need to make. I pushed off applying for weeks with the thought in my head that there was no chance, so why waste the time? That my shop wasn’t real enough, big enough, or successful enough to be deserving of a $10,000 prize. But I was wrong. This is the year I want to stop telling myself I’m not ready or not successful enough yet. So here it goes.

The contest required a simple answering of three questions, upon which I would receive a url to share and start gathering votes for my shop. The shops with the 1st and 2nd highest votes at the end of the contest (April 6th, 2017) will win $10,000 and $3,000, respectively to put towards their shop. I wanted to share with you all my extended answers to the questions after realizing that I was only allowed 1000 characters per question on the actual application… I had typed almost triple that for each…

 

Briefly tell us about your business and what makes it different. Details could include how you got started, what makes your business stand out, or how difference has helped your business and others.

I’ve always been a creator. As a toddler, I drew a yellow cat that was actually recognizable as such. It had ears, stick legs, even whiskers. In elementary school, I blew around ink through a straw to create trees. In middle school, I wrote poems and made trompe l’oeil drawings and drew funny dragons. In high school I learned film photography and how to paint in oil. In college I studied graphic design. I learned screen printing, made sculptures, built furniture, laser cut posters, and started growing all the plants I could fit in my temporary home.

I’m not an artist. I’m not a designer. I’m a creator. It’s in my blood to take pieces, to take materials, and to create something new out of it. And until college, my motivating factor beyond personal satisfaction was simply to create what the world deemed “beautiful”. To create awe and wonder. But two moments in college changed me. Though I am a creator, to create is not my purpose. It’s a means to my life purpose, something which I am still in the infancy of learning. And learning that purpose began freshman year when I discovered a nonprofit, Invisible Children, and took an environmental class on climate change. These two events were significant at the time to me no doubt, but I certainly did not realize just how much the course of my life would be changed by these events over the next five years. It perhaps was not seen to the naked eye, but my heart was changing. My mind, once solely focused on the narrow scope of my own existence, was now obsessed with humanity, past and present, and the preservation of future life in a sustainable and peaceful way. Everything was about more than just me. I became an activist. I volunteered. I started making lifestyle changes to be more sustainable and create less waste. I paid attention to the things I bought and what they supported.

At the end of college I knew working for a big agency wasn’t for me, but I realized that if I were to be so critical about the brands I was already purchasing from, I had to make sure that anything I sold didn’t negate my own views on environmentalism, sustainability, and human rights. I started South Ranch Creative in 2015 as a means to sell my creations. My creations varied: paintings, wood burned home goods and art, screen prints, natural wall art, and more. But what brought and continues to bring my work together now is my love of nature and my interest in empowering individuals and advocating for the causes I care about.

I create because I like it. I create because it incites awe in others. I create because I can send a message. But the reason I sell my creations, and hope to turn it into a full time occupation, is because I want to redefine what it means to sell things for a living. After listening, relistening, and listening again to Charlie Kaufman’s Screenwriters Lecture, I’ve found such a powerful truth in these words about what it means to sell things for a living:

“People are starving. They may not know it because they’re being fed mass produced garbage. The packaging is colourful and loud, but it’s produced in the same factories that make Pop Tarts and iPads, by people sitting around thinking, ‘What can we do to get people to buy more of these?’ And they’re very good at their jobs. But that’s what it is you’re getting, because that’s what they’re making. They’re selling you something. And the world is built on this now.”

And it hurt me as a creator to listen to these words but at the same time I recognized just how true they were. And I don’t want to be part of it.

 

How would you use the Etsy Small Business Contest money to scale your business in a big way this year?

I would use the Etsy Small Business Contest money to scale up my ability to do more than just sell my work for a living. My dream for South Ranch Creative is eliminate the stream of waste in packaging, create products that use natural or reclaimed materials whenever possible, and develop a business model focused on creating quality products that last and will be cherished for years to come, thus reducing a consumer need/desire to constantly buy new things. While I am currently working towards some of these goals already such as using biodegradable packaging tape and materials or organic natural fiber clothing, with a limited amount of funds to invest in my business, I am not currently able to go as far as I would like.

This money would help me research the best ways to create art without creating waste, and then implement those findings. Because much of what I sell is online and must be shipped, I am most interested in using a portion of these funds specifically to invest in entirely recyclable and/or biodegradable packaging for my products… both for shipping and any display packaging or labels. Secondly, I would like to invest in my screen printing equipment and supplies to ensure that I won’t be using excess water or energy, creating excess waste, or flushing chemicals down the drain during my process of creating. This includes a filtration system for when washing and cleaning my screens and a chemical recirculation system that would allow me to reuse the same chemicals again and again. It would also include research and application of the most sustainable and eco friendly inks and paints to work with. For screen printing, this means finding the best non-toxic, water-based inks to use on only natural fiber fabrics. For painting in oil, gouache, or acrylic, this means avoiding paints that use highly toxic pigments to create their color and finding safer alternatives.

Creating a business model that isn’t dependent on creating needless waste is by far the biggest and most important thing I can do this year for my business.

 

Describe a truly special moment you’ve had with a buyer. Did they request an extra special item? Inspire a successful new product? We can’t wait to hear!

My most special moment with a buyer was actually with several buyers. My hometown is in rural central Maryland and in late July 2016, a horrible flood ravaged the nearby main street of Historic Ellicott City. Old Ellicott City had always been a favorite place of mine to spend weekends shopping at the local small businesses, go hunting for antiques with my mom, and peruse the various art galleries with pride at knowing some of the great artists within them. Main Street was home and meant so much to me and I know countless others. The destruction of this flood was astonishing and numbing. Two lives were lost. So many shop owners lost everything. They are still rebuilding.

But the aftermath was also one of the most beautiful outpourings of support I have ever witnessed. The community rallied in every way to raise funds to rebuild, help with the cleanup effort, and donate supplies and services. I wanted to do my part and that meant creating. I illustrated what Old Ellicott City meant to me and sold posters and tshirts of my illustration of some of my favorite buildings and landmarks… including the man that blew giant bubbles outside the toy store every weekend since I can remember. I donated 80% of my profits to the Ellicott City Partnership to help rebuild and was able to raise over $2,600 for the cause. While this is a tiny fraction of what was needed to rebuild, I could see just how much this meant to those who were buying my work. I received so many words and messages of thanks and appreciation and nostalgia over some of the landmarks pictured in my illustration. It was so incredibly heartwarming to how I could use my art to truly make a difference not only monetarily for this cause but also emotionally. This event has since inspired me to begin another series of works focused on particular issues I care about that donate a portion of the proceeds towards related nonprofits.

 


 

Thank you so much for all the support over the last year and a half, and I hope you can support me and my dreams for bettering South Ranch Creative! In order to vote, all you need is an email address and you only have to vote once! It ends April 6th, so if you’d like to vote and/or share, it would mean so much to me and you can do so here: http://wshe.es/7YXq6zJs

#DifferenceMakesUs

-B

Martin Luther King Jr. Quote on injustice from Letter from a Birmingham Jail | Quotes that Matter Monday

Quotes that Matter Monday | Honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.”- Martin Luther King Jr, Letter from a Birmingham Jail

 

It scares me how relevant this quote is today. “Anyone who lives in the United States can never be considered an outsider within its bounds.” Anyone. Sick. Poor. Of any religion or no religion. Of any race, gender, or sexual orientation. We cannot keep alienating our people. Because they are OUR people. Our criminals are ours as are our smartest scientists and our richest business persons. The law doesn’t change based on of these differentiations. Because “we the people” should mean all of us.

 

I read Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail for the first time in it’s entirety today. I’m not proud that it’s taken this long, but I have a series of other quotes just as powerful as this one that I can’t help but share as well. These are but a few and all from the letter, but they are the ones I find most hard-hitting and sadly still very relevant today in more ways than one. I encourage you to read the full letter here.

 

“My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain in civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.” – Martin Luther King Jr, Letter from a Birmingham Jail

 

“We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” – Martin Luther King Jr, Letter from a Birmingham Jail

 

“Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say ‘wait.'” – Martin Luther King Jr, Letter from a Birmingham Jail

 

“We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.” – Martin Luther King Jr, Letter from a Birmingham Jail

 

“So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice of the extension of justice?” – Martin Luther King Jr, Letter from a Birmingham Jail

 

I want to say more, to yell and scream and fight for others to see the injustices going on in America still today, but shouting before understanding can be a harmful thing. Today I just learn and reflect. But I will always stand up for what is right. I encourage you today to do more than just share a picture or an overused quote. There’s so much deeper. Look for it. Read. I am leaving only this here so that I may keep learning the rest of today. And every day.

 

Keep fighting.
-B

"The world's big and I want to get a good look at it before it gets dark." -John Muir quote

Quotes that Matter Monday | The World is Big

Sometimes fear takes over. It is paralyzing. It is big. The world and life can be overwhelming at times, and that’s before any extra hardships are added in. This week’s quote that matters is by environmentalist and author, John Muir. You know that quote, “The mountains are calling and I must go”? Yeah, that was a John Muir quote.

 

“The world’s big and I want to get a good look at it before it gets dark.” -John Muir

As part of my new year’s resolution, I’m trying not to let the world get the best of me. I want to just do. Not debate. Not consider. Not imagine. I will have already missed the moment if I stop to do these things. And this year is about living.

 

So whether you’re a creative, a dreamer, an adventurer, an activist, or all of the above, never loose track of what excites you. Keep exploring. Keep wandering. You will never know everything about the subject you are passionate about, so always keep looking. It will keep you strong and open-minded and humble. Take criticism, but don’t be crippled by it. Your haters are your biggest cheerleaders. Dream big, but don’t lose sight of the ground. The ground is where you will grow and make progress.

 

Stay curious.

-B

Over are the days of comparing myself, degrading myself, and wishing I was different from the person I am. If I want to change for myself, then I will do it.

A Year to Do No Harm. My 2016 New Year’s Resolution.

Ironically, a couple of weeks ago, as I was scouring an antique warehouse (as I like to do in my free time), I came across a set of wood-carved monkeys. One had its hands over its eyes, one had its hands over its ears, and one had its hands over its mouth. See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil. They were sitting on a woven patterned placemat on the bottom shelf of one seller’s block in this giant warehouse. Invisible. I bought them on the spot, and the woven placemat too.

 

I had been mulling over my New Year’s resolution for some time now, and had gotten tripped up by the idea of “do no harm.” It was simple, but multifaceted. Do no harm to myself. Do no harm to others. Do no harm to my environment. See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil. But what did it have in common? Why was I drawn to it? What did it mean to me?

 

The three wise monkeys, Mizaru (see no evil), Kikazaru (hear no evil), and Iwazaru (speak no evil) originate out of 17th-century (or earlier) Japanese artwork and carvings. I don’t know for certain much about these three little guys other than that they were messengers, reminding people to remain good and just and moral. Strange that today we often twist the concept to support turning a blind eye to things that are not good, unjust, or immoral. The world today desperately needs a resurgence of the exact opposite, which is why I will focusing with more awareness and intensity on what is right, what is just, and what is moral in 2016 and onward.

 

So how do I bring it together?

 

See no evil in how I look, talk, or act. Over are the days of comparing myself, degrading myself, and wishing I was different from the person I am. If I want to change for myself, then I will do it.

 

Speak no evil to myself. It is easy to be one’s hardest critic. It is hard to show oneself the respect and support you would to a friend, family member, or even stranger.

 

Hear no evil towards myself. Don’t let others’ negative words towards me affect what I think and how I view myself.

 

See no evil done towards others. Volunteer. Help a friend. Be kind. It is so easy to fall into the trap of self-absorption, and putting others creates a chain reaction of selflessness over selfishness.

 

Speak no evil to others. I can be quick to react sharply when annoyed or provoked, but there is nothing positive that comes out of speaking negatively about others. Whether it is to their face, behind their backs, or in my head, it is often harmful to the other person and always harmful to me to speak or think that way.

 

Hear no evil towards others. It’s not enough anymore to just oppose racism, discrimination, sexism, human rights abuses. I must speak up when I see wrongdoings in order to make progress and change.

 

See no evil done to Earth where I do not consider what a more sustainable alternative might be.  Put as many in practice as I can.

 

Speak no evil by giving a voice to my purchases. With every product I buy, I am inherently supporting that company and its values. Be conscious as to what I buy and who I buy it from.

 

Hear no evil spoken in lies. Be more knowledgeable. Fight ignorance and hate.

 

So that is it. Nine resolutions. A year of the monkey. A year of doing no harm. Thinking about it now, this is an incredibly lofty goal, and I will make mistakes, and I will forget things. But it is a set up for a future that is bright and one that I want to move towards. I will apply this in business. Life. Everywhere. And I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

I’d love to hear your resolution for 2016. Do you even make a resolution? Have you followed through with one? I’ll be mulling over my biz-resolution in the coming weeks and set some important goals that I will hold myself accountable for.

 

Until then, have a happy and hopeful New Year!

-B

None of us were born hating our bodies. Our skin color. Our sexual orientation. Our personality. None of us were born hating ourselves. We were taught it.

An Open Letter to Anyone Who’s Ever Felt That They’re Not Enough.

Dear anyone who’s ever felt that they’re not pretty enough, not smart enough, not skinny enough, not muscular enough, not successful enough, not outgoing enough, or just not enough:

 

You are Beautiful.

 

You do not need a mechanized scrubby brush to clean the pores on your face. Modern-day humans have been around for approximately 200,000 years. Our ancestors have been around for 6,000,000. Just like Darwin’s finches evolved to suit their food sources and habitat, humans have evolved too. It would be naive to say that our species has become or will ever be perfected; that’s just not what evolution is. But 6,000,000 years is a long time. And we’ve had pores since the beginning.

 

Your skin is one of the most amazing and certainly the most beautiful organ of your body. So why do so many people hate it? Because you have too much acne. Because you have too many freckles. Because it makes you look too different. But without skin, you’d be a heaping blob of mush, and nobody, no matter what you have too much or too little of, wants that. It keeps the rest of your organs safe. It filters out toxins and dirt and gross things. It lets you feel.

 

Pores are really pretty spectacular too. You have actually evolved, from whatever we came from, to have pores that clean themselves. You heard that right. Sebaceous glands inside your hair follicles release something called sebum that travels up your follicle and out your pore, carrying out all the dead skin cells and moisturizing your skin while it’s at it. Oily skin? You would be a hot, dry, cracked mess without this stuff. It just wouldn’t work. You wouldn’t have evolved after all this time with pores and follicles and sebum if you didn’t need it.

 

Now as I said earlier, we are not a perfect system. Wouldn’t it be boring if that were the case, anyway? We may have needed our skin to produce more oil thousands of years ago to protect us against the conditions we lived in, and our body just hasn’t caught up yet. Maybe. Regardless, there is nothing wrong with wanting to have clean, healthy skin and you should feel beautiful no matter what your skin is like or how you take care of it. Because it is your skin. And you are beautiful. But next time a company tries to sell you something by saying that YOU need it to feel beautiful, clean, healthy, fit, successful, or confident, just realize that it is the company that needs YOU to buy its products. You are the boss-lady or boss-man of your own body, and you were physically made and evolved to do this thing called life. You were born for it.

 

You are Enough.

 

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” It’s hard to believe sometimes. Because people can be just plain mean. And you being affected by that viciousness just makes you human. It makes you beautiful because it means you rate the opinions of others highly. Even when they don’t deserve it. You value others, sometimes more than yourself. You may be more humble. You may be empathetic. Thoughtful. Passionate.

 

None of us were born hating our bodies. Our skin color. Our sexual orientation. Our personality. None of us were born hating ourselves. You may be be predisposed to depression or anxiety and I know that has other factors at hand. But by and large we were not born into hate. We were taught it. A parent might gasp at this, or feel offended. You might think, I would never teach my child to hate him/herself. It’s not that simple. And no one, no one, no one does it on purpose.

 

A child is told she must have her hair done and wear a new, uncomfortable outfit so that she’ll look pretty for her school pictures. Do you mean, then, to say that the child is not naturally pretty? What makes perfect sense to you means nothing to a child. A teenager starts to learn more about politics in school. He comes home to a father that goes on and on about how he hates those hippie, big government liberals that want everything for free and don’t want to work for it. Or those stuck up, religious, close-minded conservatives who support big money because they are big money. He feels that he can’t express himself because who he is isn’t right.

 

Let’s get a little tougher here. That homeless man with the sign at the intersection. You look away and your child asks why. Despite what the sign says, he’s probably addicted to drugs. He probably drinks. He’s lazy. He did this to himself. And you might be right. But you might not. If you knew of a friend or even an acquaintance that got laid off due to budget cuts, couldn’t pay rent and was forced out of his apartment and onto the streets where he couldn’t get hired because by the time he heard back from anywhere, because he had sold his car to pay for food and couldn’t clean himself to look presentable for an interview… would you spare a few dollars? Would you do more? What makes perfect sense to you means nothing to a child. Children are inherently trustful. And you’d better believe that cardboard sign has an impact on them. Are some people, even those lost, even those struggling with an addiction, not worth anything? What about criminals? Your child learns that some people are worthless. That some people could be him.

 

You Were Made for This.

 

Hatred has cousins and they probably live in the back of your brain. Envy. Greed. They are masters of disguise and they’re ugly. They make you human but they don’t make you you. The worst thing you can can do is deny them, pretend you never have envy, or greed, or hatred. Because you’ll be blind to it and thus breed envy, greed, and hatred. It’s hard and you don’t have to be perfect. I just hope you’ll try. Because when you see them, you get better at being you and not your emotions. And you is beautiful.

 

So next time someone tries to sell you something because you don’t have something or another that you need. The next time you’re told directly or indirectly that you’re not enough. The next time you envy someone for being what you’re not, hate someone who is different, or have greed because you want something that you can’t or don’t have. Remember: You are enough. You are a perfectly imperfect specimen and you were born to do this. You were made to get through this, to overcome, to endure. And nobody can tell you otherwise.

 

Stay true.
-B

Quotes that Matter Monday | Charlie Kaufman | "People are starving. They may not know it because they’re being fed mass produced garbage. The packaging is colourful and loud, but it’s produced in the same factories that make Pop Tarts and iPads, by people sitting around thinking, ‘What can we do to get people to buy more of these?’"

Quotes that Matter Monday – People are Starving

This is important. This lecture and quote are supposed to be about screenwriting but it applies to everyone. It really does. It’s a necessary excursion from the hum of daily life that we find ourselves trapped in. I actually listened to twice back to back. And then later a third time to write down quotes. I reconize I am a little crazy for that, and I know I’m a little behind because it’s from 2011 but that’s okay. You can read a transcript of the full lecture here or listen to it at the bottom of this post.

Charlie Kaufman, Screenwriters Lecture (September 2011)

 

“Here’s a recent quote that I found: ‘We do not talk, we bludgeon one another with facts and theories gleaned from cursory readings of newspapers, magazines and digests.’ That was actually written in 1945 by Henry Miller and I think it’s timely. I think what it says is that the world has been on its present course for a long time. People all over the world spend countless hours of their lives every week being fed entertainment in the form of movies, TV shows, newspapers, YouTube videos and the internet. And it’s ludicrous to believe that this stuff doesn’t alter our brains.

 

It’s also equally ludicrous to believe that – at the very least – this mass distraction and manipulation is not convenient for the people who are in charge. People are starving. They may not know it because they’re being fed mass produced garbage. The packaging is colourful and loud, but it’s produced in the same factories that make Pop Tarts and iPads, by people sitting around thinking, ‘What can we do to get people to buy more of these?’

 

And they’re very good at their jobs. But that’s what it is you’re getting, because that’s what they’re making. They’re selling you something. And the world is built on this now. Politics and government are built on this, corporations are built on this. Interpersonal relationships are built on this. And we’re starving, all of us, and we’re killing each other, and we’re hating each other, and we’re calling each other liars and evil because it’s all become marketing and we want to win because we’re lonely and empty and scared and we’re led to believe winning will change all that. But there is no winning.” –Charlie Kaufman

 

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Live intentionally,
-B

Have you ever lost hope in and felt like quitting your business, individual, or volunteer endeavors? I have too. Here's what to do about it.

What to Do When You’ve Lost Hope

As a business, individual, or volunteer

One of my favorite things about forward-thinking, millennial age nonprofits is that they have this unyielding energy and positivity about their cause. Disappearing are the days of showing a sad dog to sad music on television to guilt viewers into donating. Disappearing are the endless charades of phone calls and letters and “free” calendars. We have learned that people react to positivity and passion over scare-tactics and guilt trips.

 


“People are tired of being asked to do the least they can do. They are hungry to do the most they can do.” -Dan Pallotta at Fourth Estate Leadership Summit 2013

 

I am so excited to be living on Earth during this time when people are excited to do good, get involved in global issues, and make change. Startups, crowdfunding campaigns, and small nonprofits are popping up across my news feed every day, and at first they made me feel like I could do anything I set my heart to. I saw the wild success of Invisible Children’s viral video, Kony 2012, and believed with all my heart that I could do that too. With my own passion, I could start a fire.



In the time since then, I’ve started, become a leader of, or become a part of many ventures. I became co-president of my college Invisible Children club. I started a campaign selling my arts and crafts to raise money for charities. I planned a cross-country road trip with my high school best friend. I joined a friend to help her start a nonprofit for kids in foster homes. I planned with another group an organization that would teach young people how to become active global citizens. I became head graphic designer as a volunteer for a digital magazine devoted to telling worthwhile and relevant stories while giving back to charities. I started an Etsy shop and blog about the creative lifestyle.



As a self-proclaimed introvert and a generally anxious human being, I was so proud of myself for these things that I did. They took courage. They took stepping outside my comfort zone. But let me tell you what happened. The Invisible Children club slowly lost interest during my term and ceased to exist by only one semester after I stepped down as co-president. I stopped selling my crafts because I didn’t know how to continue and grow it into a real, legal business. We had to cancel our cross country road trip for money and scheduling problems. My friend decided the nonprofit was something that we would have to hold off on. The educational organization started seeming “too far-fetched” and “not the right time” and “maybe not a good idea,” and slowly disappeared into the dust.



The magazine and my Etsy shop–my newest endeavors–are still active, but I can’t help but lose hope sometimes during the times we are struggling. And with a new business or venture of any kind, you probably know that struggles aren’t hard to come by. I think to myself, is it worth it? Am I cut out to do this? Doubt creeps into my mind. Am I doing this right? Can I make it out of the rut? I want to run back to a 9-5 job and some stability. Why is this not working? Why won’t anyone help me?

 

You may know these feelings. Whether for a business, individual endeavor, or volunteer/activist cause, you may be feeling your own creeping sense of doubt. Sometimes it’s hard to look back at your past failures and say, “This has helped me grow.This has taught me these lessons.” instead of “I can’t do this now because I have failed so many times before.” To me, saying this is so hard because although my past failures have helped me learn and grow, a big part of me still knows that my natural state is not that of a leader. It’s not 10 miles out of my comfort zone or knowledge range. I don’t feel comfortable there. The odds are against me in these new endeavors and positive thinking alone isn’t going to make me succeed.

 

So what then, do you do when you’ve lost hope? Ask yourself what you’re losing. If it’s a business venture, are you losing money? Are you losing valuable time? Are you losing yourself? Look deeply at these losses and weigh them against your initial reasons for starting your endeavor. Many times I find that my losses aren’t actually so bad after all. I was upset because I was not succeeding. If you are simply not succeeding yet, then there is no reason to give up. Without any or substantial loss, your endeavor still has great value to you. After all, you started at zero, right?

 

Recognizing that I am just not doing as well as I had envisioned is an incredibly powerful tool to bring back my energy, focus, and dedication to a cause. It is my habit (and I’m sure a lot of yours as well) to have way higher expectations and goals for myself than I would have for someone else. So cut yourself a break. Look back at your expectations and think, I may not have met my goals yet, but here is what I have done and here is what I’ve learned. Because if I continue to learn more about my cause, continue to produce quality content, and continue to push my boundaries, I know that I will be able to grow and succeed and get better. It may happen slowly. I may later evaluate that my losses have become too high. But they are not that way today, and that is why I can keep going.



Keep dreaming,
-B