Lately, I have been swamped. So, I decided to take a break and chose to go hiking on a trail with one of my best friends, Zundra. AND… We got lost. Majorly. The worst part was, we didn't even know we were lost until we ended the almost 10 mile hike and discovered we were another hour and a half minimum away from our starting point, IF we walked the main, and potentially busy roads back. Needless to say, I was immediately perturbed. Why? Well, it wasn't because we were three miles from our starting point, because three miles compared to what we already hiked wasn't anything. It was the fact that it wasn't in my plans to have detoured without knowing. Result: I literally almost hyperventilated. What made it almost worse in my moment of panic, was that Zundra was utterly and completely fine with it. She was laughing and enjoying the moment. I wondered how in the world was she okay knowing that we had gone a totally different path and could have easily been a couple of lost hikers overnight, with the bears and coyotes, mind you, having no idea where we were.. I was mad. Then, after being rescued by my amazing husband, I went home and thought.
When I relate the events of last Tuesday to my business life, there's a lot of consistency there, actually. Earlier, I mentioned I have been swamped. It's true, I have. I am in school full time, aiming to finish next weekend (Woop!), still running my business, now in a brick and mortar location, while continuing to manage a household with a toddler, and a husband whose job requires him to be gone for up to days each week. Yes, I am a busy woman. Taking the time to try to focus on three dreams at one time gets pretty exhausting. Sometimes, things have to give, and for me, it was having to put my business into part-time mode while I tried to maintain everything else. Marketing, gone. Social interaction, nonexistent. It wasn't the initial goal, but something had to be done. For a while, I thought I was crazy for taking on so much, and wondering if I was shooting myself in the foot. And, I know I am not alone with all the other creatives who do the same things everyday, which brings me to this.
For what seems like eons, has only been almost a year that I have been balancing all of these hats. For the better half of 6 months, I thought I was failing in my business. Turns out, I wasn't. My professional life was taking a detour like in my trail experience. I was continuing down one trek with this "idea" of what I needed to do. At the end of my school year, when I can pick my business life back up to full speed, I am realizing I am not on the same path I thought I was. This time, I am not scared or going to hyperventilate. Why? Because now, I am recharged and ready to go. I like the new direction of my brand. I realize it is completely okay because my business has a new breath of life, and I am ready to focus on what I need to do.
The truth is, it's so easy to get caught up in thinking we have to follow this straight and narrow path, and if we detour, we fail. That's not the case. The detours are why we flourish. To be fluid in an ever evolving creative business world, we have got to adapt to the bears and the coyote situations and think of the detours as opening opportunities. As many other creatives, I identify as being a perfectionist. If there is a plan, it has to be followed through entirely. Otherwise, it's a scramble to pick up the pieces. Accepting a change of direction is growth, and I failed to recognize that until last week. The choice was to either break down, OR regroup. Getting "lost" is not a bad thing if you take it head on and follow through anyway.
And my friend Zundra? She's amazing at that. She told me a couple days ago that last Tuesday was amazing and how exhilarating it was. You know what? Looking back, I agree with her wholeheartedly. Initially, I was frustrated, but it was an opportunity for a perspective change. We could've been without cell service. We could have been mauled by bears (obviously there's a lot out there. I didn't know, I swear). We could have been out there overnight in the rain. Thinking of all those could have's makes the situation so much more intense. But, none of that happened. And metaphorically, that's everyday life. Whether it's being overwhelmed at the wrong time, equipment malfunction in the most important moment of an event, or even a failed styled shoot after months of planning. Fluidity is paramount. As a business owner, I learned that this past week with real life experience attached, in the most unusual and memorable way. I share this with you because maybe you're detouring and not even aware. And when you do realize it, don't fret. Go with it. It's probably one of the best things that can happen to you because of where you will end up on the other side.
Please tell me I am not alone after all this. Is this something you can relate to? What did you experience?
PS - Photo cred goes to BFF Z for taking pictures since my camera wasn't on me this trip.