Two years ago I was driving around looking for some barn wood to build a couple of farm tables. I know, Who does this! Life sure is different today. It has taken courage, risk and determination to get through the past two years. I’ve had to look past my roller coaster bank account balance to see the possibilities that lie ahead. Sometimes those possibilities seem like mirages that people find themselves moving toward in the desert after days with no water. Mirages are everywhere. Equipment that needs to be purchased, employees that need to be hired, endless marketing options. All great ideas; but are they? Doubt is around every corner. Will the investment payoff? I have so many big ideas.
Courage runs strong some days and others not so much. I feel like that lion in the Wizard of Oz, scared of my own tail. It only takes one instance to drain all the courage from a person. Luckily it only takes an instant for a person’s courage to be regained. An angry customer versus a positive facebook post. A project that costs more than quoted verses an opportunity to help a husband create something special for his wife. The endless ups and downs can be exhausting. Quitting is an option. I know that no one says that out loud at commencement speeches, but it is. And every day I have to make a choice. Well let’s be honest, several times a day I have to make a choice. Fear and doubt are everywhere! Do I have the courage to move forward? After all the lion had courage within himself the entire time. Do I?
Risk is scary. It is scary because it could lead to failure. But it could also lead to success. It is this belief that I will succeed that keeps me going. I have to be honest though: It is all my failures that make the risks less scary. I have failed in everything possible in the past. And yet here I am still taking risks. Maybe I have blinders that keep me from seeing the failure like the race horse that cannot see what surrounds him- only the finish line that lies ahead. Maybe it is the knowledge that you can get up, wipe yourself off and try again, that allows me to embrace risk. I know that no matter how often or big my failures there is always a new beginning. A Mulligan if you will. A fresh start. Because of my failures, I am smarter. I am stronger. And I know that there will be more failures in my future.
When this journey started, it took a great deal of determination to take down a barn. No equipment, no knowledge, no crew, and no idea what I would do next. So all things I have come to compare to this. When it came time to expand to the shop for example, I thought I can do that. I took down a fifty five foot tall gambrel barn. If I can do that, I can open a shop and fill it with the right equipment. It is my yardstick for most things that come up. Is too much determination dangerous? After all Kennedy didn’t look at the moon and say- that is too far- that cannot be done.
I am excited that new things are taking place. New opportunities are presenting themselves. I have left my corporate life. A few people have been hired to take down barns. And Reclaimed Barns and Beams has made it to the two year mark. I hope that the courage I hold desperately to carries me through the risks that will come, because I know they will come. I hope that I am determined enough to grow and see all of the possibilities that lie ahead.
I still have a lot of big ideas but I have removed the blinders and cannot wait to see what they grow into. Join me won’t you! What are your ideas? Fight the lion that hides inside of you. Be courageous. Take the risks. And with all the determination you can muster up reach for the moon!