Late one evening back in 2015, all was dark and quiet in the house.
Dark because the power had gone out and quiet because all the kids were sleeping, lol!
The power outage forced us to relax a bit, as there was no way to work on fulfilling orders in our basement office with no electricity.
All was peaceful—until the roar of thunder approached.
The rumbling sound was clearly coming from our downstairs’ office. It soon turned into loud banging and crashing… who was in the house stealing all our beads, lol?!
When the racket quieted down, Cara slowly crept downstairs with a phone flashlight, and when no criminals dashed away in the darkened basement, she decided to approach the office where the sounds had come from.
She dared to OPEN the door…
…took one scan of the room with her phone-light…
and then dared to CLOSE the door.
Beads were EVERYWHERE. Mounds of intermingled color piled all over the carpeted floor. Mounds of beads laughing up at us with cheerful color.
When we first started the business in our small downstairs’ office, we didn’t have much stock. But as business grew and stock increased, we had kept piling it onto our shelves, oblivious that they were not set up to support all the additional weight!
The weight of our beads had literally pulled the shelves out of the wall.
It felt as if, along with our beads, our business had come crashing down.
LESSON 4: Running your own business is shaping your character!
We were frozen in discouragement. So much wasted stock that had to be thrown out for obvious sanitary reasons, hours of extra work, and a huge loss of money for us in discarded inventory. The piles of bright beads seemed insurmountable mentally…
But over time, we have realized that no business ever comes without obstacles or discouragements. At first, a lot of the challenges we faced sent us into a panic. Worry would quickly overwhelm us. When neither of these reactions changed anything, we re-focused and have consistently tried to approach challenges that come our way with a sense of calm and objectivity (and we fail often, but at least we are cognizant of when we are straying from our goal in this area!!). No business in the entire world forever runs smoothly or uninterrupted by the ebb and flow of life, so it’s how we react that will make all the difference.
We’ve tried to continue working on our character when we hit difficulties. As a team, we try to encourage and support each other in this way as well (Matthew 6: 25-34).
LESSON 5: KEEP PERSPECTIVE
More importantly, grasping this helps us keep perspective. Owning/starting a business is thrilling and scary all at the same time. Overcoming challenges with creative thinking, hard work and perseverance can make the gains much sweeter. But investing your own sweat and tears can make the negatives extra painful.
Keeping perspective is key. Your small business does not totally define you. Our small business is also not the “be all / end all” of life.
Think about our current circumstances as communities and countries around the world right now. The coronavirus epidemic has hit everyone hard and fast. The beads crashing down in our office five years ago seem so insignificant when we consider what the entire world is facing. There is so much uncertainty, loss and devastation.
When we look at our current challenges in perspective of other people’s suffering, it can help us reorient ourselves to what is important in life and to face the challenge with an appropriate mindset. This doesn’t negate the fact that a current challenge could require a lot of work and maybe even a lot of stress...but it does help us grasp onto things to be grateful for. And most of all, it reminds us to be empathetic and compassionate to others who are experiencing much more hardship than our current crisis.
So, when the beads come crashing down, pause first to remember that growth in character, perspective and empathy are more important than the current disappointment staring at you! Be encouraged, friends!
(The bead spilling still happens sometimes... ;)! )
What are some of the small and beautiful things in life that have helped you keep perspective this week? Share below!
Missed Part 1 of Our Story? Find it here!