Start Something . . .

"We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success." Henry David Thoreau

We are somewhere in the middle of the beginning of our leap. When we entered The Start Something Challenge, our business idea was fledgling. We had purchased a caravan in need of some serious construction. We had no clue where to start, but we inched forward piece by piece with the help of our friend, John. We measured and sanded. We made endless trips to Home Depot. We bought pipe and fittings and screws and gallons of acetone. Maya used a YouTube video to teach herself electrical wiring. We studied photographs of vintage camper trailers. We made decisions about fabric and hired our neighbor Debbie to make new cushions and curtains. We chose paint colors and learned we could spraypaint the whole thing ourselves (provided there wasn’t a breath of wind). And that was the easy part. 

Because while this was happening, we were busy raising teenage boys (no small feat) and feverishly planning a menu of offerings for our business. We wrote draft after draft after draft of our ideas for classes and workshops, brainstormed themes for parties and other celebrations, crafted team-building exercises, and figured out a way to offer our caravan, Maude, for photo shoots. And at the same time, we were building our web site brick by brick. 

There is a sense of never-ending minutiae that goes hand-in-hand with building anything from scratch, and making a website to represent a business is no exception. We tested design templates, launched them, then scrapped and revamped them. Style elements were enlarged, reduced, moved and shifted from page to page. Copy was written and rewritten and re-re-written. A little bit of hair was torn out. More than a few sheets of paper were wadded up (we always write our first drafts on yellow legal pads). Tissues were always at the ready for unexpected crying fits. There were more design ideas. There was more writing. And a few more sheets of paper and tissues and some rough nights of sleep. 

And all the while, our brilliant designer, Joanne Rose, gently and lovingly coaxed and cajoled us, pushed us to work harder until we had something we were truly happy with.

And then it was done. 

 

A week later, we got an email notifying us that we were semi-finalists in The Start Something Challenge. Then, just two weeks after that, and with some serious help from our Facebook community, circle of friends, colleagues, and many others, we made it to the finals. Tonight, we head to a Pitch Tutorial that will help us refine our message for next Monday night, when we speak about our business plans in front of a panel of experts and vie for the $10,000 grand prize.

 

 

We are still in midair, but we are realizing that with each move forward, we no longer need a net. Our community of supporters and cheerleaders is growing. We aren’t afraid anymore. We know success isn’t just in front of us. It’s inside us. We’ve been carrying it all along. 

You can do it, too. Start something. Take the first step. Then another, then one more, then surge forward. Now leap.