…Building a Business – Derailed (slightly)

I wasn’t going to start on the Building a Business part of the series until I was done with the Building a Home, but as I learn & go along here, I am experiencing things/feelings/events that are worth talking about when starting and running a business and today it’s derailment.

We all have those moments where we are minding our own business (literally), working our hearts out, striving for a goal we’ve made for ourselves when BAM! out of the clear blue comes a comment, an email, an interaction that takes us so off guard that we find ourselves hitting the cold, hard pavement. Ouch!

How do we react? Do we respond? Do we swallow it? Use it? Ignore it? Judge it? Judge ourselves? Change our minds? God-forbid DOUBT ourselves? Or maybe just get in a warm bed with a cup of tea and turn on reruns of the Golden Girls until we fall asleep and can deal the next day?

“Take a pause. Take a breath.” So says my DT (Dear Therapist!)

This English major does not know anything about business, but I know what it means to love something so much that you want to do it well and you want to do it every day and you want to talk and write about it and share it. And as fun as that sounds it also takes a lot of faith in what you’ve decided to devote so much time into. You have to have faith that you are moving in the right direction for you. Especially when you are running a creative business where it’s all heart and most of the time just YOU working on EVERYTHING. In my case, when there is only me to answer to as I am the buyer, the painter, the mover, the marketer, the seller, the accountant, the blogger, etc. it’s a lot of gut, prayer, and the kind encouragement of so many of you.  Of course there’s freedom that comes with this kind of intentionality because you create it, you can shape it. It’s freedom to make your business into anything you want to because it is you whose doing all the work!

Take a pause. Take a breath.

That email, note, word, call was from somewhere from that person’s planet and experience and it doesn’t have to be about you, who you are, what you are doing and where you are going. For everyone 1,000 kind words, there’s one sour one. My DT would warn me not to fall into the rabbit hole. Needless to say any reference to Alice in Wonderland works for me.

And after that, if I still need a soft place to land, my tears normally fall onto the belly of one of these orange friends.



  1. 3000+ facebook likes, is that right? How many blog followers? The lovers/likers far outweigh the haters. The haters are just louder. Remember what James Taylor sang, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

    How much satisfaction are you giving that one person that sent you a nasty gram when you write an entire post about it! Do you want them to know they are getting to you? NO! You’re a good person, a talented painter and brave enough to start a business in a very public forum.

    Now. Stand up tall, tell the universe you are not going to let the haters get you down and go paint.

    Pep talk done. 🙂

  2. Carrie Holmes says:

    Don’t let anyone ever dull your sparkle.
    Now, go get your comfy slippers on and like Pia said, “Go Paint.”… Carrie

  3. Don’t give that person’s comment another thought! You do beautiful work, love reading your blog, and kitty is sooo cute! 🙂 Hope you have a great day.

  4. “What other people think of me is none of my business.” – Eleanor Roosevelt, first lady (1933 – 1945) and reform leader

    As hard as it is, sometimes you have to take this view on other people’s opinions expressed to you. Also, it helps to size up the issue and put it into perspective. Give it only the amount of energy it actually deserves like the rings in the water reflect exactly the size of the stone or pebble thrown into it. Will it really matter a week from now? a month from now? Most things don’t. Maybe there is something to be learned from it, even if it is simply to stay away from someone or a situation that brings you down. I will continue to start my day by checking in on your blog and being inspired by your postive energy and sparkle. You are truly amazing! Shine on!

  5. Hi Christen,
    So, the other day I was restocking my space at On A Whim and a man and his girlfriend came by. He looked at the price of one of my tables ($95) and complained loudly to his girlfriend that it wasn’t as nice as the other one he had seen and it was more expensive. When I nicely (with a smile) asked him if I could help him find something, he turned around (he only just then saw me although I was in clear sight) and gave me such a put down look. Hard to describe it. Like, “Who are you to talk to me?” It really upset me. I guess there are some nasty people out there. The good thing is that the majority are good but it is a shame that the nasty ones just linger forever in the mind. Maybe it is my own insecurity that let’s them get to me. Sorry for such a long post. Love your work and keep it up!

  6. Hi Christen!
    I’m sorry you had to experience such an unfeeling, insensitive remark. It has no creedence you know…only if you let it. The problem is that those of us are sensitive and caring are the ones who get hurt. The others, well, they never lose sleep over it. We do.
    Try not to ruminate over it. It is unfounded as you are such an entertaining, creative person. Grab a brush, play with your kiddoes…that puts it all into perspective.

  7. Hang in there Christen, one cantankerous interloper isn’t worth your grief! Keep on doing what you’re doing and the bad will fall away. x jess

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