In It’s Time to Hit the Go Button, we talked about how to define our own success, pursue our passions, and get started right where we are. But once we’re on our path, we soon discover that staying the course can get a bit difficult.
We have big ideas at the start! But then life happens and our best-laid plans get thrown in the drawer of unrealized dreams.
It can be so frustrating! Especially when you feel like your life was designed for so much more. Believe me, I know how it feels. I’m walking this journey right beside you.
From 2002-2006 I ran an online retail store selling gifts, collectibles and home décor. It was fun, but my real passion was Christmas. I loved black Santa and angels.
After a couple of years in business, I had an opportunity to expand. There was a local company that produced really wonderful black Santa ornaments. One day the owners told me they were retiring and offered to sell me their existing line of products. They would also mentor me while I got established. It was a dream come true! There was only one problem.
My husband at the time saw my small online store as a hobby. He didn’t think it would grow so he wanted me to get a job so I could have a “guaranteed income”.
I cannot tell you how long we argued about it. But I finally stopped trying to explain when I realized when God gives you a vision sometimes you have to be at peace with being the only one who can see it. So since I couldn’t win him over my dreams were deferred. Instead I pursued a full-time job and ended up at Susan G. Komen.
Now that could have been the end of the story, but God often takes our most bitter disappointments and turns them into stepping-stones toward our glorious future.
You see my job at Komen was to lead a team that managed at one point over 200 corporate partnerships. We studied nearly every kind of business model you can imagine! Every day I was learning something new and I was having a blast.
Bear in mind, this wasn’t the life I wanted. I saw myself as an entrepreneur building a great company that sold millions of products across the country. But here’s what I quickly learned:
When we can’t get to where we want to go, where we are has what we need.
We don’t know what we don’t know until we know it. And then we wonder where we planned on going without it. Just imagine what I know now that I couldn’t even imagine back then? By redirecting my course God opened my eyes to a world I never even knew existed.
He also changed my heart. It’s difficult to look in the face of need and do nothing. It was at Komen that I truly understood the impact of making a difference. Not just in places with abundant resources, but in communities where what we take for granted is often a struggle for survival.
All my life I’d had the urge to make a difference, but now I was called to inspire others to do the same. I used to tell people – it’s not about you. But then I realized, it really is about you.
Your life is about what God can do with you and through you.
To believe anything else would totally negate our responsibility to answer the call on our lives, to be the person He has designed us to be, and to achieve the goals He has set for us.
The funny thing is once I realized that, my dreams to start a business came rushing back – only bigger! It was no longer simply selling millions of products. I now wanted to start a company that was created to do well while doing good.
My mind raced with ideas! I was still employed and happy, but I could feel the winds of change picking up.
Then suddenly, I was no longer working at Komen. Not the timing I had planned, and certainly not the transition I anticipated. But yet I knew it was time to go. Even in departing I learned a lesson about success.
Always leave with grace, dignity and goodwill. For the very people you’re leaving may be the ones God uses to get you to the next level.
My first clients for my consulting practice came through connections at Komen. That income has allowed me to begin building my dream company – with a lot more knowledge, wisdom and compassion than I had 10 years ago.
I know this seems an unlikely topic for a blog called Loving on Me. You may wonder why I’m spending so much time on success. Well, it’s simple. We are all hardwired to want to be successful at something. The question is will we love ourselves enough to believe the vision God has given us for our lives, and trust Him enough to achieve it?
I genuinely believe that we all have a special purpose. But I don’t just want to discuss it. I want us to explore how to live it. Life can be messy, frustrating, sweet and inspiring – sometimes all in one day. My prayer is to share practical lessons we can apply in our lives right now to inspire us to keep going.
Have I realized my dream yet? No, but I believe it will happen. Because I now understand the first opportunity – which I thought was my dream come true – was merely a vision of what was to be. It was too small for what God ultimately has in store.
However you define success, don’t you dare give up on you! Keep the faith, and look for the lesson in the right now. What seems like a detour may be a shortcut to your destiny. The bigger plan is always grander than the confines of your circumstances.
Love you like God loves you. Believe in Him the way He believes in you. Trust that no matter the circumstances success is still within your reach.
Drop me a line and let me know what you’re dreaming of and I’ll add you to my prayers when I talk to God about my own.
We can do it, together!
Loving on Me as I Love You! ❤