Be the heroine of your business story
I always wonder – if entrepreneurship is solo travel, why do we not hear more autobiographical tales of the voyage? Tales with real life drama, pathos and surging joy. Surely, sharing personal stories of how one made it in the business world must be important too. But no, conventional logic rules in business, a domain that is all about being human. So keep your emotions aside. Focus on the objective, the rational and the soul-numbing, forced “professionalism” that rules modern day business sagas.
Its time to change this. And what better day than today! International Women’s Day, 2017. So here goes my story.
In my business, I tried, I fell, I survived and today I thrive. It has not been easy. But it has always been satisfying.
Over the past year, I lost my father (that was huge), my business trajectory changed abruptly (that was big), I became the primary caregiver for my elderly mother (that wasn’t a surprise) & my son’s career choices swung from being an academic to becoming a mercenary (that was interesting)! Not to forget, I had a business to run. My life had more drama and woes than I could handle. In and through all this I morphed into something quite spectacular. How effortlessly I did this amazes me! But then, I’ve always lived my life thinking “better-an oops-than-a-what-if”.
I found myself one morning, just like that, when I opened my bedroom window and smelled the fresh jasmine flowers blooming in the pots I’d planted them in. I ran outside, in the weak winter sun, arms outstretched. Nothing had felt that warm in a long time. The rays of the sun on my skin, the nippy morning breeze ruffling my clothes and the patchy green grass beneath my feet, nothing had been that normal for so long.
I found myself in the books I read and the journal I wrote, in the strains of the music I heard as I completed pieces of needlepoint. I found myself while walking down busy city streets and returning home amidst multi-hued sunsets.
It was beautiful to wake up really early in the morning, spend time writing & sketching in pristine solitude, watch the sun rise over the Taljai Hills near home, and hear my beloved city, Pune, stirring to a new day. I found myself , just like that, while trying to tie my curtains up. I made myself some hot tea and I thought , “Hey girl, I’m going to be alright”.
I found myself while pacing up and down, alone, in my beautiful but now empty office. And I laughed under the stars when I remembered that this world is much bigger than I am. There is so much more out there than what I had. So many customers to serve and so many folks who’d love to hear my voice. I found myself while tracing back my footprints along the sand and listening to the water rush along the creeks in the Sahayadri forests.
I found the warmth of living and breathing after all the tribulations & the tragic. I found the person I was before I realized that bruises weren’t just physical, they were internal too.
But I found that person again, who still believes that life is good. Like the poet & painter Erin Hanson puts it:
This life is but a garden bed, the rain it comes and goes, But you can prick yourself on all the thorns, or you can learn to love the rose.
As I simplified my life, stopped faking “happy” and realized I wasn’t “alright” but I was still OK, was the moment I reclaimed my personal power. Both in the familial & the business spheres (they are always intertwined for me!). The only person who saved myself was ME. I did this much in the same way as do the sun, the stars and the sea….they know beauty and strength can’t be taught. It happens when you simply BE.
Pay attention, peeps! Its the little things in life, which are often free, that speak the loudest<3
Your turn now to share story. Do tell your tale in the comments section below. I’m eager to hear it.