I didn’t start blogging seven years ago because I thought it would be a good business move. Or because I wanted to find community. Or because I wanted to share my photos or art.
I started blogging because I simply wanted to document my story. When I started blogging my story was pretty simple: I was 29 years old. I was married, no kids. I had a full time job. I didn’t have any hobbies or passions (but was searching). And I most definitely wasn’t an artist.
Blogging, though, as it would turn out, was simply my way into finding my voice. We all have those opportunities to really practice who we are, how our voice comes through, and blogging was my way into that process. Of course, eventually claiming my voice led to making art which led to starting a small little Etsy shop in 2006 which led to bigger and bigger opportunities.
When I began down the path of opportunities, I wasn’t expecting to find myself in a sometimes frightening world of entrepreneurship and business. Honestly, it was the last place I thought I would land. No MBA, no biz saavvy, no marketing experience. Just a full heart and a willingness to simply begin – one step at a time until I found my way.
The truth is I’ve made a million business mistakes along the way. Tax mistakes, networking mistakes, workshop mistakes. Many more mistakes have been here on this blog: overly promoting, under promoting, under pricing, over sharing, under sharing. Lots of missed opportunities and misjudgments. It happens just about constantly. But I’m proud of myself for moving along, recalibrating, learning from my mistakes, and figuring it out as I move along. That’s what we’re all doing anyway, from the super seemingly skilled to the newbies. We’re all just figuring it out as we go.
The other day I found myself at a Kelly Rae Roberts LLC business meeting with a team of attorneys and important business advisors. At one point during the meeting I thought to myself, “Holy smokes, Kelly Rae, you are now offically a grown up.” Never before have I felt more scared or empowered when it came to my business. As my friend Leigh would say, I most definitely had on my big girl pants.
As much as I didn’t expect to find myself here, the world of art + business has turned out to be a beautiful playground in which to practice my values. I think ALL jobs are playgrounds in which to practice our values – whether it’s our dream job or our day job. Will I tell the truth even when it’s uncomfortable? Will I speak up and use my voice in a room full of suits? Will I remain unjudgmental? Will I practice courage, grace, faith? Will I give back? Will I trust that this job is a gift and has an important lesson to teach me? Will I push myself toward excellence, but also toward self-compassion? Will I soften and keep my heart open? Will I trust that what I’m doing matters?
These are the kinds of things I’m thinking about lately: work, and values. And how they’re connected. And how grateful I am for the unexpected landing spot in which I’ve found myself. It turns out the world of business is a tough one. Questions and decisions at every turn. To scale or stay small? More is more or less is more? Push through or step back and take a break? Sub divisions or whole new brands? How many employees? But with every question faced, I’m turning more and more toward my values for the answer and less and less toward my fears.
That’s what’s is about, I think. Allowing our values to show up so they nurture and sustain our voices, while also nurturing and sustaining whatever work we do in the world, whether it’s being bank teller or a CEO. It all matters. And it’s all amazing.