How Not To Be A Business But Still Make Money
Published on July 7, 2011
A year ago today I had officially quit my job. I handed over a letter of resignation and walked away from a steady paycheck, full benefits including dental and retirement, and paid vacation up the kazoo. I left children I had joyfully witnessed grow for the past few years–and colleagues who I had become very fond of. I left my comfort zone–a position in which I was really, really good at. Where I won awards and the hearts of kindergartners. I left a job that when I told people what I did their eyes would light up and they always gushed about how lucky I was. I left my own classroom, an art supply budget, a desk, and file folders stuffed full of lesson plans I worked very hard on for years.
And yes, I left things that were much easier to leave behind. That helped fuel my decision to walk away. That were the catalyst many times for my unhappiness.
I left one life to embrace another, all over an exchange that lasted an hour.
And now it’s been one full year.
My main reason for going out on my own was to follow my heart–to listen to my innate wisdom–instead of caving in to fear.
I had to. I’m the leader of the FEARLESS™ Painting Revolution.
How could I truly teach and inspire others–if I wasn’t living what I was preaching.
And I’ll tell you the truth, this last year I learned more about myself than any year past.
The most interesting thing to me has been the transformation.
When I started this journey a year ago today I thought of Dirty Footprints Studio as my business. I instantly started reading every business book I could grab–following business blogs–and researching and observing very closely business owners that I deeply admired. I was so very intrigued.
And then I was blessed. In October I was invited to speak at the Joyfully Jobless Jamboree in Austin, Texas where I met other inspiring, passionate, and very creative self employed individuals. And the best thing about this conference was how fun it was–how the talks were interesting and uplifting. It wasn’t about business…it was about creating a life.
And the real truth is–that’s what all of this is about for me anyways. Deep down.
I have no real interest in business. My first-born, very driven, Capricorn-in-the-first-house mind ate up all that business jargon like candy–because it loves a challenge–and even more–it loves to succeed. But honestly, my heart didn’t buy it. My innate wisdom kept screaming at me something so very different. And most of this year I spent in conflict with myself because of this.
When I think of Dirty Footprints Studio as a business–things spiritually start to crumble for me. I start to act on ideas purely out of momentum and I feel that I always need some kind of plan or destination. I push. I force. I move quickly–and mindlessly. And I lack trust.
When I let go of the idea of Dirty Footprints Studio as a business, and think of it more as a platform for me to share the gifts I know whole heartedly I was granted and as a way to be self sustainable–things simply flow. They happen on their own and they come from this place of such truth–that when I do release them, I don’t just feel confidant and all high on accomplishment–I actually feel whole. I feel connected to Creative Source.
You see, the thing with me is I get an idea and I do one of two things with it.
1.) I act on it quickly and full of such verve that momentum takes over and I just go along for the ride.
2.) I let it sit with me and unfold naturally. I support the idea by working on it mindfully–by exploring it as I create it.
But here’s the thing–there’s a huge difference between working from momentum and staying in the flow.
Most online businesses I see work from momentum. They’re spitting out content, e-books, workshops, and art like a well oiled machine. Boom! Boom! Boom! BoomBoomBoomBoom!
Most (not all) business books, blogs, and what have you champion momentum over flow as well. It generates money, it’s energy pulls in others quickly, and it can even be addicting–the whole accomplishment high. I get it. I so get it.
But it’s not me. It’s not what I was put here to do and that has been the greatest lesson I learned this year.
Three fourths through this year I stopped reading business books, blogs, and jargon–and started reading books about leaders. About people who lead revolutions, who ignite change–who are activists and voices for those that lack power to speak. I started acutely observing the way change happens–instead of how money manifest or how marketing works. I started looking at organizations that are focused on finding answers, shifting perspectives, and promoting wellness–individually, in communities, as well as world wide.
These leaders and organizations–there’s nothing glittery and sparkly about them. They don’t work like well oiled machines. They don’t make things happen BoomBoomBoom.
They can’t be fucking around with momentum–they have to be mindful. They have to trust something so deep that drives them–rather than rely completely on strategy or other people’s successes or following an idea just for the sake of seeing it happen.
I spent today being very reflective on the fact that it was my anniversary. I didn’t sit and write a business plan or go over my financial goals. Instead I prayed.
I’ll be really honest with you…sometimes I get down. I feel even a little lost. I don’t see others online that I can relate to–that are doing what I know I need to do. It was easier last year this time. It was easier when I thought all I needed to do was rock out Dirty Footprints Studio as an online business.
But what about if you know you’re here to make change happen. That your path is purely spiritual–and that just throwing the word sacred around doesn’t kick it for you. What if your desire is not world domination or thousands of followers or even millions of dollars. What if your heart is telling you that your true path is of a leader–that your actions need to unfold–that your plan has to be to trust? Who’s writing those e-books? Who’s making those workshops? Who’s got the market on that brand?
So I’m starting a new year and I’m letting go of a lot of things. I’m willing to risk the comfort of keep doing what’s been working so well for me this past year–to at least keep asking these questions. To keep searching. Most especially–surrendering to the flow–and not letting myself be swept away by momentum.
I know deep down that FEARLESS™ Painting–and all of this Dirty Footprints Studio stuff is a big blessing in my life–but it’s not the end all.
It’s only been the force that made me finally wake up.
And I wonder what it will mean to me at my next anniversary. I guess I just have to trust.
Join The Paint Wisdom Newsletter!
My weekly newsletter is filled with studio updates,
announcements,& short musings intended to nourish your Artist Soul.