When I started Dragonspit Apothecary it was at a time my life was burning up in huge piles of shit in all areas. This was the exact description I used about my life at that time. Everything was in big piles and it was on fire. I was tired of being taken advantage of, chosen over, stabbed in the back and being given empty promises never held up in my career. You know, just the typical corporate politics game where you should put on a pretend tough backside, take up drinking to cope and call it career growth and success. I was over it. My husband had just been diagnosed with PTSD and our life was hell at home. Our son was struggling in school and I was on the road traveling for work. Life sucked. Everywhere. It felt like it had all just imploded.
If there could have been a worse time to start a business I cannot imagine it. It was in the middle of all these crisis that I said do it now. I needed relief and for something to be good in my life at that moment. I wanted something I could say was ok. There probably was a million other things I could have done in that moment to fill those needs but I chose to build something new, ground up, all mine. I had no goals, lacked a business plan and had no clue what I was doing or where it would go. I figured at least this is something I can control or maybe I was just numb from the lack of controls from everywhere else in my life that this seemed normal now. Didn’t matter I was still going to do it.
I think in life we often don’t consider our opportunities or what is possible until our life is in shambles and coming down around our feet. We tell ourselves we don’t have time or are too busy to think and do anything else. The truth is that is an incomplete sentence, we don’t have time until things blow up and we get the reality check that we need to make time for it. Until it becomes a priority and even urgent with hopes it’s not too late for a recovery. This applies to our job dependency, health, relationships and literally every area of our lives! When the bad things happen, we want to believe that knight on a white horse will swoop in to save us and we wait until our castle is on fire to realize he is not coming.
Then we are in reaction mode trying to deal with the mess and save our lives or livelihood. Most of us just float between just surviving, trying to avoid bad stuff and dealing with crisis through most of our lives. When my life was in full crisis spiraling down in fast speed I knew I did not want to ever repeat this again. Things had to change and I had to be my own knight on a white horse. It had to be true that there was more to life than just settling and surviving. I wanted to shine again or maybe for the first time in a true authentic way beyond the surviving waiting for the next shoe to fall.
I used to think direct marketing wasn’t a real business opportunity. It was for people who just wanted some cool products and a couple hundred bucks to cover their costs. I found out, after I stopped being a snob about it and letting others opinions think for me, there is legitimacy and merit to this type of business. Where people say negative things like it is a pyramid scheme or they don’t make any money on it is usually because they haven’t approached it like a business owner. We are often taught and have it ingrained in us to think as an employee not an owner so it is difficult to think about our responsibility in ensuring success. What I also realized above all that, is it started to rebuild my soul shine in a way my 30 plus corporate career had effectively worked to remove it from my soul. That was a feeling I wasn’t willing to let anyone take away from me every again.
Once I felt that sensation relighting my soul I knew there was no going back. It didn’t matter how long it took me either. I was investing in the long haul of making more of what supported me feeling like me. It was like wearing the outfit that made me feel my best, most confident self. I could shine, be creative, actually help others and pay it forward. I could actually apply my skills and education in something that actually paid me, left me feeling good and didn’t leave me with nothing left to give my family at the end of the day. Sure, I still have to work in the corporate space, for now, but with this new shine it felt like a secret weapon that was going to ultimately save me.
As we wind down this year of turbulent times, uncertainty and challenges I think it is time we admit where we are just surviving instead of thriving. Where have we settled and just put up with something when we know even if it is hard we could do better for ourselves and our family. If my own experience with crisis have taught me anything it is that I can’t wait until things go wrong to live a better life. I deserve to shine and so do you.