What do you do when the door to something you’ve been working long and hard on closes? Your business idea flops, you don’t get that breakthrough you were hoping for, your dreams are dashed.
It’s so easy to get stuck in a place of discouragement and feel like you’re the victim. I know, I’ve been there. I’ve learned it is critical to not give up hope. It’s better to believe the door closed for a reason and something better will come along.
A few years ago, Claudia and I were working towards buying the business I was working for at the time. It was a small guitar shop and the owner was looking to sell.
I read this sentence about 9 months ago and was affronted by its bluntness. “You don’t understand,” I wanted to yell at the author who wrote it! “That is just the problem, I DON’T have the time to do what I want to do!”
Then an unexpected thought crept into my head. “What if he is right?” I blinked, scowled, and then let the phrase plunk into the depths of my subconscious and waited.
“Is he right? It can’t be that simple! I mean I have real things that are really taking up my time! I don’t even watch TV; how could I be wasting my time?”
We affect more people than we realize. We affect the barista at Starbucks when we buy our coffee, our clients and coworkers, and certainly our dearest loved ones. This is a powerful blessing and a huge responsibility and needs to remain in the forefront of our minds.
Claudia reminded me of this just the other day. We had about 100 people together for our music school’s Spring concert. The afternoon was wonderful. The students did a marvelous job and the time was a real joy for me as a teacher and a business owner.
Claudia pointed out how I am impacting all those people. My students, their families, our teachers, and even the grandparents indirectly. This realization gave me a deeper appreciation for what I do and also a sense of responsibility to use this influence to bless others and make a difference.
The story goes, a famous trapeze artist was instructing his students on how to complete a performance on the high bar. After finishing his talk, he asked his students to demonstrate what they had learned. One of his students stood looking up at his precarious perch, pictured himself falling, and become completely frozen in fear.
“I can’t do it. I can’t do it.” he gasped. The instructor put his hand on his shoulder and said these words:
“Throw your heart over the bar and your body will follow.”
For a year and a half now, Michael and I have been on this adventure of entrepreneurship and praise be to God and a LOT of hard work we are doing it!
Well, the time has come for me to embark on another adventure; to throw my heart over a new bar.
I recently donned my door to door salesman hat and was extremely successful selling ad space to local businesses for our music school’s spring concert program.
In the video below, I share five key elements which helped me cover our $400 concert expense, get FREE water ice for 100 people, and get FREE printing for all our programs. All this in only 3 hours of my time!
There’s one thing I don’t mention in the video that was super helpful in coming up with the five key elements.
Before starting, I thought about how I would want someone to approach me as a business owner and ask me to buy ad space. I knew I would want someone to be clear and to the point, quickly explaining the opportunity. And, I would not want to feel “sold” to.
My first encounter with The Rift was when I danced wildly across a stage in high school. I then encountered him while embarking on a journey alone to Colorado. I glimpsed him again while driving through the mountains into Tibet, and later in the red dust of Australia.
Then, something happened and I turned away from The Rift. He disappeared for quite a few years. I was disgusted with myself for letting him go out of sight but it gradually became easier to avoid the places I knew The Rift would be. I never went towards challenge, or fear, or anything new. I never went towards the things I was afraid of and neither did I move towards forgiveness. I new The Rift would be there.
I carried things, heavy things. They rolled around in my head and weighted my steps. I let them fill my mind with doubt and fear, anger and indecision. I let these things distort my thoughts, my marriage, my life.
Recently, I gave a free class at one of our local libraries. My purpose was to build the student base at our music school. I have done these classes in the past and they have been extremely valuable for us. We have actually gotten more than half of our students this way!
The classes have worked out so well because they are a win-win all the way around, for the students, the library, and our music school.
For this particular class I had been preparing for a couple of weeks. I was planning on doing something a little different and had thought through how to add more value for the students and parents. I was excited to see how it would work out.
Did you know there are some brackets of people who tend to live longer than others? These people are often farmers, teachers, writers, or anyone else whose work continually begins anew. Why do they live the longest? Because they constantly feel both useful and needed.
A teacher needs to prepare for a new year of students, a farmer needs to plant new crops and feed hungry animals, a writer finishes one book and begins another one. The cycle continues.
Eleanor Roosevelt in her book, You Learn By Living, says feeling both useful and needed are the necessary requirements for happiness.
“Usefulness, whatever form it may take, is the price we should pay for the air we breathe and the food we eat and the privilege of being alive. And it is its own reward, as well, for it is the beginning of happiness, just as self-pity and withdrawal from the battle are the beginning of misery.
Claudia and I just made it back from a conference in Chicago on internet marketing. We had a great time meeting new people and attending the great seminars. Not to mention, we got to spend time with one of our mentors, Dan Miller.
One of the things we realized once again on this trip was the value of meeting people in person. Blogs and social media are great and all, but your relationships and opportunities strengthen and grow when you share a cup of coffee or a bit to eat.
Watch this short video to find out with whom we had the opportunity to spend time!