Where are you falling short?

 

I'm here...now how do I get there?

 

Today marks the end of our “Living with Intention” series here at A Maker’s Guide. Not to worry, we will be embarking down a brand new avenue in this entrepreneurial journey next week! Before we officially close this chapter however, I would like to leave you with a few simple nuggets of insight.

After 5 strategic weeks of delving into your daily habits, I am quite certain you have uncovered a place or two where would say you are “falling short”. Whether you feel short on time, energy, results or follow-through know this one thing..we all are right there with you! Though uncomfortable, acknowledging the realities of who you are and what you do in the present circumstances, reveals who you are headed to become.

 

"You become the company you keep, so choose the relationships you want to nurture wisely." -Claudia Chan

 

I like to think of everything in my life as an asset. My time, education, possessions, relationships, current projects, work history, past experiences, past accomplishments, and so on are all included. When you begin to break apart your shortcomings as well as your successes, you see the invaluable outlets as well as those pesky stumbling blocks. Now ask yourself this: Are you putting too much stock into your weaknesses and not enough into your strengths? This question can quickly become two-fold.

  • Take Facebook for instance, this social media outlet is both a distraction and a networking asset. Are you putting too much time into the “entertainment” portion and not enough into the business networking services it provides?
     
  • What about your website? Though this will be the first place a potential clients will look for your information, are you struggling to produce the quality web presence your business deserves? Is it time to delegate these crucial duties to a someone who can make your site a priority?
     
  • And then there is the often overlooked "practice and training" portion of your business. Are you allowing yourself to be taken over by too much paperwork and not enough hands on training? Continuing to fine tune your craft is the only way you will stay above the competition! Allow yourself the time you need to become the sharpest you can at your trade.


This examination process put into practice is called “Edit and Focus”. Trim the fat, then do what only you can do is how I like to think of it. We’ve brushed up on this idea several times before, but this lifestyle is the number one revelation I want you to leave with for today. If you are destined to become who and what you surround yourself with, what are you threatening to become? What are you guarding and what are you focusing on? Are you allowing nonsense to creep in and steal your precious attention?

Every one of us falls short in an area at one point in every day. Yes, I said day. That is one of the beautiful flaws of humanity. None of us comes ready for “The Big Show”, but rather those who see success have chosen to give themselves over to the discipline that brings about refinement.


“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” - Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group.


Take the time to come back to this place and examine your current status often dear maker. Where you fall short, begin again. Whenever I see shortcomings rising in my life, I acknowledge two things: gratefulness for everything I have been blessed to experience and the undeniable desire to accomplish so much more. That is your roadmap. The beginning and then the end. Everything in between is found in your willingness to edit, focus, trim and begin again.


“There’s lots of bad reasons to start a company. But there’s only one good, legitimate reason, and I think you know what it is: it’s to change the world.” - Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote.

This is a big deal dear maker -- you on this journey to find your dream. I know it, you know it. Just when you start to feel like it might be too much, remember that your purpose isn’t to pursue benign success, but rather live in the conviction that YOU are working towards a greater good. One that fills a need and encourages others just like you.

Until next time.

XOXO

Amy

 

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Long-Term Planning

 

A comprehensive strategy builds an indisputable foundation for your future success.

At times thinking too far ahead into our future can feel like a waste of time. After all, we’ve seen that our lives have taken so many unexpected turns over the years (for the good and bad), thinking we could ever stick to a hardcore plan for our future seems impossible.

“Sow an act and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny.”   - Charles Reade

Long-term planning isn’t actually about controlling your future, but rather being prepared for the days ahead. Much like planting and harvesting, the preparation you sow now provides for your future. The end result is never about controlling the outcome, but rather taking pride and satisfaction in every seed you planted and the care you provided for it to grow into a thing of wonder.

Long term planning is all about the long-term goals of your dream.

In general, a long-term plan will look ahead 1-20 years to spell out your deepest desires. When you attend a school you are fleshing out a deep desire to have an education. When you save money you are fleshing out a deep desire to make a large purchase or attain financial security. When you plant your garden, you are seeking to nourish your unwavering appetite. When you spell out a goal and then lay out a plan to get you there, you have a tangible accountability tool to give your future hope and purpose.

“The main concern of a person is not to find pleasure or avoid pain but to find meaning and purpose in life.”  - Oswald Chambers

Always begin with  your current status to find out how to end with your projected status.

In Navigating Change, Gary Gore shares a valuable lesson with his readers: “In navigating through the forest, it is fundamental to know our location before we set out in any direction. If we do not know our location, we should stay in the same general area until we know where we are. To venture out only leads to confusion, and it makes any action plan we may have developed worthless or needlessly risky, compounding the problem. Our location is who and where we are.” The premise of your long-term plan is to flesh out the path that takes your dream from the starting point to the finish line. In your business, this is your tactical and operational plan interlaced with interim goals to create a landing block.

When you start with a vision for your future, you can begin to nail down the tangible achievements your dreams are meant to be made of. First, spell out your goals and objectives within your big dream. Next, assess what roadblocks are already in place and which ones you project to come. Most entrepreneurs find that education or training is often their number one roadblock, right before funding. What are your solutions or alternatives to these hurdles? There will always be one or the other dear maker. If you can’t overcome it, can you jump over it? By assessing your market, assets, opportunities and competition you can devise a plan of action through or around these.

Once your plan is in place, it’s ready to be met with action. As you continue to flesh out your plan, an operation will develop. As you monitor your progress and extinguish weak links, your policies will develop. Unsinkable businesses implement defense strategies they have devised in the face of the sneaky, but expected roadblocks and written them into company policies.

Entrepreneur.com leaves readers with a valuable end to devising and implementing a long-term business plan: Prioritize, delegate and execute. I quite agree. Without first knowing the end to the plan, you can’t begin. What looks good on paper may be all too unrealistic once real-life takes hold. That is where the beauty of these last few steps really begins to shine. Life is lived by first and foremost prioritizing the tasks laid out in front of you. Take on what only you can do first. After that, assess where you need to bring on help. No journey was ever meant to be conquered alone. Even Olympic gold medalists attribute much of their success to their coaches.

In A Maker’s Guide, I gave an example of what my long-term planning looks like. I prefer to break my goals down into 4 segments: Short -term (3 weeks to 3 months), Medium-term (3 months to 1 year), Long-term (1-5years), and Life-long (No limitations). The common thread throughout all of my planning is that it begins with a goal, it is held together by my plan to overcome costs and roadblocks and ends with a very specific completion date. These threads keep my feet moving towards the finish line no matter the terrain.

Advice for the road: 
Keep your steps orderly, succinct and real. Make your dreams meet the road.

What you do every day makes all the difference for the big picture. Chipping away and being consistent with your mission ensures your long-term success. When dreamers begin to do, they become world changers. The seeds you are sowing today will bear great fruit and therefore purpose in your future. You can do this!

 

Until next time.

XOXO

Amy

 

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Theming Your Days

 

Start at the end.

Many times, the starting line of any journey feels a lot like running with all of the vision in the world while wondering where the tools you need to get you to the finish line will come from. If I had to guess, your attempts to organize your daily tasks have been a beautiful conglomeration of relief, stress & tremendously focused effort thus far. I want to first applaud and encourage you in the truth that your dedication is the universal key that unlocks true success. This is just the beginning after all.

Today, I want to offer insight on how to expand and make clearer sense of your daily organization tactics.

 

Theming is all about your focus.

Theming your days is the practice of assigning subject focus to every task you complete. This includes your days, your weeks, your months and even your years. During the first few seasons of your business, your efforts belong in the “startup” category. A seasoned entrepreneur understands that it is in your best interest to go ahead and assign a theme to the first two to three years you are in business. Theming gives your mind the focus and freedom it needs to weather the rocky terrain that accompanies any start up. None of us ever assumes success will automatically come. The truth is, you plan for success and then for every obstacle that is promised to try and stand in your way until you see it.

The first year of your efforts could be themed as “internal growth”. Your focuses could be on building a loyal clientele, an audience of followers, your bank account and the training you need to compete in the market. The second year could be themed as the year of “external growth”. Gaining a brick and mortar space to welcome your faithful clientele into, partnering with like-minded businesses to further local influence, and building up your retail stock or in-house equity. The third year could be themed as the year of “sustainability”. Your focus this year could be stabilizing all of your growth thus far. Once your fiscal year maintains a healthy bottom-line, you are ready to call your “startup” a bona fide full-time career!

Not only does theming your yearly calendar promise to bring comprehensive results to your organization efforts as a whole, it eases your mind as you plan for the days that make up that year as well. Imagine if your next three years were assigned a steadfast focus. The months, weeks and days it encompasses can naturally follow suit.

 

Where the breakdown begins.

 

Each month of every year has a natural ebb and flow. As such, so will your business calendar. The winter months should have an entirely different market focus compared to the summer months. Your clientele is after a different supply during the rush of Christmas than they are in the heat of August. Wrap your focused planning, or better said theming, around the market pattern that is already in place. If you are planning for your first Christmas as a startup, you might want to dedicate October and November to establishing market authority so that come December you are an automatic go-to for holiday shoppers. Some businesses experience a lull in sales during the summer months. If you know your sales will be dipping at any point, schedule service based offerings such as group classes or personalized appointments to fill in the expected revenue gaps. Preparing for your winter rush means that your front end work actually happens during the late summer months and preparing for a summer lull means that you are already working ahead in February. For example, the brand new summer stock you just unveiled was actually a project you prepared for during a January photoshoot and the infamous Christmas rush is actually the unloading of the stock you made up during the summer months. Your plans will always require you to be sensitive to your needs & the needs of others around you, particularly your clientele.

Zooming your lens out means that every effort in your daily tasks in centered around and pointing you to a much bigger plan. You can now see where you are headed and that you in fact do have every tool you need to get there or at least there is a plan in place to obtain it.

The end will always be in sight--because you’ve planned for it.

 

"Theming isn't about saying no to anything, but rather growing disciplined in your focus." - pg. 60 A Maker's Guide

 

Once your years and months begin to take on a theme, your weeks and days inevitably fill themselves in. Much trial and error will be had before you find your perfect daily routine, so don't let yourself get too discouraged too quickly. Try a few different tactics on for size before you dedicate yourself to a steadfast practice. Once you find the perfect fit, run with it dear maker!

 

Until next time,

XOXO

Amy

 

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Daily Agenda

 

Never underestimate the power of a writing everything down.

 

Just hearing the word Discipline can make some of the most capable visionaries shudder. Creatives are often victims to their own busy minds. Hopping from one thought or task to the next, whenever the mood strikes, is just a way of life for many artists. Staying true to your creative process doesn’t mean you have to completely throw organized living out the window either.

If you are one of the many who wake up with no written plan to guide you along your day, you are likely living amongst the aimless in more ways than you realize.

What does it mean to live every day with intention?

Living with intention is utilizing every day in the conscious understanding that today--and all that it holds--is a gift. You don’t know what tomorrow will bring and for good reason. Worrying over 24 hours, one hour at a time, is enough for you and I both. Plan, hope, and dream as though you have no time limits, but live like you only have today! 

 
 
The secret to your success can be found in your daily agenda. Likewise, the guarantee of your failure is in the absence of one.  
- A Makers Guide p.52

 

The first thing I do before I start my workday and the last thing I do before it ends: my written agenda.

 

Remember how powerful it was to see your daily steps laid out in front of you? How eye-opening was it to recall your life with a tangible and detailed account?

Accounting for your day before the hours have been used up is the proactive approach to reversing the "buyers remorse" we have all been plagued with after too many wasted hours have passed. Dear maker, if you aren’t consciously choosing your steps, your steps are choosing for you. 

When you plan out your day, nothing falls through the cracks, not even your downtime is deemed wasteful. Work, family, that mile long project list...it’s all accounted for! 

 

 

 

Where to start?
Write a to-do list. Everyday. 

 

Everything that needs to be accomplished for the day should be on your list. Business, personal, big and small. Generally, your responsibilities will fall into three categories: People, places, and priorities. 

Hour by hour, begin to place your tasks into appropriate time slots. Start with your most creatively demanding tasks first. Studies have shown that our brain function peaks in those first hours after waking.

For the remainder of your hour bank, simply place a task where it makes the most sense. Place the more mindless tasks when you are around others. Allow your hyper-focus hours to be spent on the tasks only you can do.  If there are tasks, that would better fit into a different day's agenda, move it! Never be afraid to be choosy with your agenda. I like to call this practice:  edit and focus.


My number one rule:

Every day should start with personal time. You may choose to journal, read, meditate, pray or study. No matter how you utilize this alone time, it should and will become your well of character and stamina. You will be able to tackle the rest of your day through the strength found in this time.

Insider thoughts:
Breakfast, coffee, exercise can all be scheduled in and around this sacred morning routine.
Don't be afraid to maximize each and every hour of your day.


Dear maker, if you aren’t consciously choosing your steps, your steps are choosing for you, and I can almost guarantee your goals aren’t being met. You might have since been known for being late, forgetful or scatterbrained; this is the very influence-killing baggage it's time to shed. The discipline your journey is built on is built on how you spend your time. Every single gifted hour.

Until next time,

XOXO

Amy


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Time Management Pt. 2

 

The plan is in the planning.

 

Last week, I left you with a mighty task. Documenting your daily comings and goings is a big undertaking. Doing so every 15 minutes, for three days, is a feat born only in determination! I want to commend you, dear maker! My hope is that you have gained not only insight but enlightenment after seeing the results from your challenge!

Our creative energy is a very sensitive part of us. The creations we make are precious. We hand ourselves over to our deepest inclinations, convictions, and passions in our private creative process.

When the best of us is being used up in that infamous tornado of monotony, stress, and fruitlessness, we are left wasted, tired and wondering where the best parts of ourselves have gone.

 
 
 
“I believe the answer to your lack of results, thus far, is found in the choices you make every minute.” - pg. 48 A Maker’s Guide

 

I, Of course,  don’t know what your results were, but if you are anything like most of us, you have been spending way too much of your time in front of the television, on social media or even possibly “thinking” about all of the amazing things you are going to accomplish.

It’s not that you are a terribly wasteful person dear maker. No, you are just like the rest of us. Prone to wander where the unbeneficial things are found. Drawn to the easy, entertaining, unchallenging parts of life. And really you are altogether lost without a reliable plan to guide you.

The answer to any of our shortcomings is almost always centered in a lack of guidance. Like a traveler who was never handed their map, aimlessness will soon take over.

Do the hardest things first.

For as long as I can remember, I have started my day with at least 45 minutes of quiet time. Just me, my thoughts, my prayers, and my journal. Why? If I don’t make myself do it first thing, it will NEVER get done. Not just that day, but ever. When you are running a company, you will inevitably be busier than anyone ever imagined possible. It is crucial that you, first and foremost, maintain a healthy you. Mind, body, and spirit.

 

Lace your time management with passion.

I am passionate about all things art history, interior design, textural and timeless. What keeps me going, even through the daunting task of expense reports, is that I am centered in the why of it. "Why am I doing this?" Your answer and propellant should always be, "Because it’s centered around my passion!"

 

Prioritize

Though “taking your time” or "working out the kinks" can seem like a natural progression toward planning and order, "taking time", might actually end up in wasting certain amounts of irreplaceable time. Too much of our free time is spent browsing the internet, social media, candy crush saga and the like. When you spend your best time on something that isn’t beneficial, it should be considered wasteful. It order to guard against waste, make a list of your top priorities--Work and personal. Some need to be accomplished while others can be segmented into weekly, monthly and yearly focuses. No matter where in your life these priorities fall, make sure your have allotted appropriate focus time for each before you head over to the mindless tasks. That way candy crush is now considered “downtime” rather than the monster that ate your best hours!

 

The most promising opportunities can be seized in your singular steps.

 

Time management is rooted in accounting for everything & ensuring everything is worthy of being accounted for. I make sure to schedule out my work & play times. Time to push myself harder that before & times to rest & enjoy what I’ve been given. Once you understand that your time and health are not only vital to your success but a precious gift, you start looking at your tasks a lot different.

 

And remember, don’t try to be perfect too soon. This is a journey, dear maker. One step at a time.


Until next time,

XOXO

Amy


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Time Management Pt. 1

Today we are starting a brand new phase in our blog series! Now is the perfect time to look at the practical implementation of your daily efforts in a way you might have never tried before!

 

What is the value of managing your minutes?

Time management has been a part of all of our lives since we were first entrusted to complete even the smallest of tasks on our own. Homework, tests, getting to one place from another, just getting out the door on time...all of these seemingly menial tasks are a part of your personal time management. Planning out how long it will take you to do something and then implementing the appropriate choices to get there, has been a huge step into maturing your lifestyle. If you can look far enough into the future to see that you will inevitable have to choose very specific steps in order to get to your desired destination, you have successfully stepped into the land of time management my friends!

Time management sounds like such a dauntingly painful task when the only thing you are yearning for is freedom of choice. When you are already cluttered with responsibilities as it is, the last thing we want is another “how-to tutorial” to focus on, right? Believe it or not, the secret to living in freedom of choice is actually hidden in your time management. The clutter that is holding your time hostage is exactly where you have to begin.

As the sole chooser of your daily tasks, you are the top executive in charge of your future. Yes! In these beginning days, you are your very own CEO, CFO, COO, CRO and so on. You make the calls, you make the cuts & you keep this machine running. Managing your time is simply another avenue of managing your choices. When you see that the 4:30 appointment with your client falls directly in the wake of afternoon traffic, you make the choice to allow for extra time. When you see that you need to take a certification class in order to be licensed in your state, you sacrifice those few evenings to make it one step closer to your dream. When you see that your evening routine is using up those few precious ounces of creativity you have left...you turn off the TV, shut down your internet & work on your passion. These might not seem to be easy choices, but they are simple ones. The choice to empower and invoke character in your entrepreneurial journey should be a no brainer.  

Secret of Success

Most people could not keep the schedule I hold these days. Traveling, television appearances, teaching workshops, book signings and team meetings all take place during my week--including weekends. I didn’t leap into this high-capacity schedule all at once though.  I want this to be a personal testament to the fact that it took a lot of practice! I have lived most of my life choosing my own path, my own tasks and my own focuses. Why? How? I started living this lifestyle years ago when I chose to make room for my most precious priorities: my passion and my peace.

15 minute challenge

15 minute challenges are taking workout routines by storm. Everywhere you look there is a different type of challenge someone wants to pack into 15 minutes of your day. My approach is quite different however. Instead of packing something beneficial into a short amount of your day, I would like to challenge you to take a closer look at what you are already packing in...every 15 minutes, for 3 days. Yes, yes, I know...writing something down every 15 min seems like a tremendous undertaking, but really it only takes a few minutes out of your day and the results are life changing.

 

The challenge is simple. Grab a pen and notepad. Every 15 minutes write down what you do. Just a brief account. Simple as that.

Your notes might look something like this:

6:30 make coffee & breakfast

-45 read news app, check Instagram

7:00  lookup museum schedule

-15 check facebook, finish coffee

-30 pick out clothes, iron

8:00 watch news

-15 get dressed, finish hair

-30 pick out clothes, iron, finish hair

-45 get dressed, shoes, grab work bag

9:00 leave for meeting

-15 drive/radio

-30 drive/radio, arrive

-45 prep spreadsheet, break room, check email

10:00 check facebook

-15 work

-30 work

-45 shop online

11:00 emails

-15 work, talk with colleague

-30 work, bathroom, talk with colleague

-45 reorganize desk clutter

12:00 leave for lunch...

 

I recommend setting a timer on your phone for extra support. At the end of three days and no sooner, look at your results. The account will send your mind spinning, but not to worry! Next week we will break apart your results and see where to go next.

It's always going to be a temptation to say we don't have the time we need to complete the tasks ahead of us, but these are the excuses that will keep you from your dream. So many talented beings stay in the miserable positions they despise just because they have succumb to the belief that their time isn't theirs to choose what to make of it. Don't buy into that lie dear maker.

Until next time,

XOXO

Amy

 

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Committed, Pt. 2

Lace Up Your Running Shoes

 

Find Pt. 1 HERE

Have you ever come to the end of a busy day, and you know that it’s time to close your eyes, shut off your mind, and re-charge for the night— but instead…you just can’t shake the feeling there was so much more that you wanted to do? 

Maybe, just as those feelings rush in, you think of how you want to be doing what only you know you can do, but you just can’t seem to figure out where to start?

Loving your gifts is as natural as breathing, but what is the key to undoing the stronghold that keeps you from a deeper pursuit of your gifts?

Last week, we underlined the importance of committing to the Long Haul. This week, we need to talk about where to go next. 

Let’s talk about fear. 

 

FEAR

I have found that the only, ugly thing that stands between you and what you love is fear. There is a gallery of fears that comes along with your dearly-held dream. Fear is the reason that you have kept your dreams hidden all these years. 

The fears that plague most of us seemed to be masked by practicality. They make so much sense, don’t they? You know, the, Oh I don’t have enough money to start, or, I really need to take my time and gain some experience before I start putting myself out there. This kind of talk covers up our procrastination with a blanket of logic. 

When we love something as dearly as we do our dreams, it is always easier to hide, rather than live vulnerably. Think of your dream as your new baby. You want to protect this precious part of who you are, to shield it from judgement, misinterpretation, or maybe even rejection and failure. Though vulnerability can be one of the hardest things you will (continually) walk through, you have to allow your efforts the exposure they need in order to grow.

“The fear of living a lie has to be bigger than the fear of falling on your face.” -- "Committed", A Maker's Guide, pg. 40)

Commitment brings results, dear maker. In fact, it may be the only thing that you have been missing thus far. But vows and promises only mean so much without action. Real commitment--the kind we are talking about--is actualized by your choices. What is your dream worth to you? Hours, money, sweat, and prioritizing is the gasoline for your journey in commitment. This is what the road will look like from here on out, dear maker. 

 

 
 

 

CHOICES

Before you start thinking this is all too much, let’s break this down a little bit differently to help you realize that this is actually the freedom you have been looking for. These choices don’t have to be to “lose-lose”, or really even as hard as you might be imagining. The types of choices I am talking about are the ones you want to make, but maybe you’ve been too hesitant and fearful to make thus far. I’m talking about choices like the one between a few hours of work versus watching TV. Maybe choosing to spend your vacation time attending a conference, instead of going to the beach, for the 11th year in a row? What if you saved all of your eating-out money for a month to make the first equipment purchase towards your work? 

Albert Einstein defined insanity as, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Now, most of us would never call ourselves insane, but Einstein was right...something has to give if you ever want to see real change, dear maker! Maybe this go’round, instead of living life status-quo, stay committed to what it takes, in order to see the results you are so hungry for. You might be comfortable in your lifestyle, but if it’s not encompassing your purpose, it’s not life-giving. See, that is freeing, now isn’t it?! Why lay awake at night, wishing you could be doing so much more, when the solid rest you crave is rooted in the peace of working hard toward your passion? 

There might be a few fumbles and falls here and there, dear maker. You might even get a few uncomfortable looks or questions from those who just can’t understand your passions. But in the long run, your fervency and your fire will inspire them in a way you or they can’t explain. You setting aside the time and efforts this journey requires already sets you apart from most dreamers. 

 

It’s what we all want, we just need to give ourselves that running start. Lace up your shoes and go!

 

Questions for your road:

  1. What does it look like--right now-- for you to practically live committed to the work of your dream?
  2. What forward steps will your commitment take?
  3. Most of us creatives have been “dabblers” our entire lives. Never landing anywhere will cheat us out of seeing the gold of our potential. How will you know when you've "arrived"?

 

Until next time,

XOXO

Amy

 

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Committed, Pt. 1

The Tunnel And The Light

What if, after all these years, the difference between your successes and your failures lies within your decision to stay committed to your journey?

Not matter if you are a painter, a potter, a blogger or a store owner, I believe that at the heart of our dreams is the desire to succeed—to be someone who makes a difference. Although you probably have acknowledged your talents and passions since you were very young, not many of you would say your gifts are exactly where you want them to be, or ever thought they would be.

Every professional road endures bumps, gear shifts, and short cuts that end up unfolding into long treks. That ever elusive “light at the end of the tunnel” just keeps moving farther and farther away. What if you have been chasing your dream of success so fiercely, that you never realized you were chasing the wrong end of the tunnel?  

To fully understand the effect complacency has your perception of personal achievement, you first have to recommit your time and efforts to your passions. 

A key aspect of your happiness, perceived or actualized, will always be directly linked to the amount of time spent utilizing your strengths and passions. All these years spent wondering where you went wrong, or why you haven’t been more successful, may not be tied to the fact that you chose poorly, but rather that you have been dabbling here and there to find your perfect fit. Instead, shape yourself to perfectly fit your purpose. 

In other words: 

 

You know your dream…

 

You’ve spelled out your purpose

 

...YOU are the next piece of the project. 

 

My dream has always been to provide my customers with beautifully rare and one-of-a-kind luxury furnishings. Throughout the life of my business, however, there have been innumerable changes that have resurfaced the face of what I actually do. If you were to take a peek at the “Amy Howard Timeline”, you might think I am living out an entirely different purpose, when compared to how I started out. In actuality, my dream has not only remained the same, but it has evolved into a clear, more refined version. Not only have I been able to build and refinish glorious furnishings, but now I provide my customers with the same professional products and processes I used for all those years. Today, I have the privilege of teaching other creatives how to use the products and create brand-new furniture designs so they too, can make a living. My dream has been fulfilled in more satisfying ways than I could have ever imagined!

You may be familiar with the fact that in his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell tells us that it takes roughly 10,000 hours of education, practice and implementation to experience authority and excellence in your field of study. Mozart, The Beatles--you name it. Natural talent, nor luck, had anything to do with the level of mastery his research subjects had achieved. 

The lack of dedication to the “no matter what” aspects of your dream will be a direct detriment to your ability to achieve excellence in your field. 

 

Are you all in?

 

I believe the only way I have kept up my endurance after all these years has been my focus on the broad picture, rather than squinting at every hurdle in front of me.

What would it look like if you decided to jump into your journey for the long haul? The kind of commitment that says, “No matter the terrain, I know the bottom of my purpose-ladder feels a whole lot better than the top of someone else's.” If I can encourage you in any way, dear maker, it would be to ask you to stay committed to your journey. If there needs to be changes, shifts or U-turns, let’s call it “part of the adventure”, rather than a mistake

No story ever really ends. No passion ever really dies. No life truly lived was ever wasted. Everything you are working to set in motion will directly influence, impact and inspire the customers, team members and generations of followers that are soon to come!

 

Until next time.

XOXO

Amy

 

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