Well, It’s May 1,2020 and according to J.B. Pritzker we’re sheltering in place for yet another 31 days. I’m going to be completely transparent with you. This whole ordeal has been nothing short of surreal for me personally as well as for my small business, I Do Events. I’ve had a roller coaster of emotions that seem to change each and every day and I find myself in a state of gloom most of the time, but believe it or not there is an upside to all of this. Here is my story.
I officially started this company out of my bathroom basement back in 2005. A friend of mine had heard through the grapevine that I was looking to start a chair cover business and she signed up to be the guinea pig. That was all it took. I invested in the fabric and began sewing 400 chair covers and sashes for her wedding. I was working an intense accounting job full time and many of my colleagues and family members thought I was crazy. I spent all of my free time sewing and marketing this new company, but I WANTED to. I was so passionate about this idea and I was naive enough to just follow my gut and go for it.
For those of you that don’t know me personally I’m a perfectionist that has always operated at 110%. I’m definitely not the smartest or the most talented, but I’ll out work you ten times over. I’m typically quick to make decisions and I’m all in once the decision has been made. I’m your typical Type A with a bit of a stubborn streak who thrives on the climb. I’ve never been one to say “once I’ve hit here, I’ve made it.” I’ve always just enjoyed the challenge of growing and changing.
Fast forward 15 years. I Do Events grew year over year and many would call it a great success story, but over the last several years I’ve personally been a bit stagnant. Now don’t get me wrong my focus has always been on our clients and we’ve added new inventory lines to continue to grow, but my personal growth and climb has shifted a bit to raising my 3 children. My free time has been spent at sporting events and school functions and for whatever reason my decision making has shifted as well. Maybe it’s because there is more on the line. I have my family to think of, my employees to consider, the financial constraints of owning a small business, but I’m no longer quick to the trigger. It’s been a bit of a paralysis by analysis situation and I’ve been hesitant to just go for things when everyone else thinks it’s ridiculous. Where did my guts go?
Now here we are in an unprecedented time, where the company I’ve worked so hard for over the last 15 years is completely shut down. And it’s not because of a decision or a mistake I’ve made, but because of a virus I can’t control. Sure there have been days of wallowing and not knowing how we are going to come out of this, but there have also been days of excitement and passion. On those days I feel like I’m back in 2005 and I’m passionate about ideas and this situation has me naive enough to just go for it again. My guts are back!
So here’s my upside to this COVID-19 state of the world. I’ve crammed in so much family time that I no longer feel guilty working on my business. The passion and excitement I have for every phone call, email, and dollar coming in right now is overwhelming. I’m trying new things and I’m moving quickly. Will Design Boxes work, who knows, but I went with my gut and implemented them all in one day. Is our new website perfect, hell no, but it’s live and we’re going with it. I’m stepping out of my comfort zone from behind the scenes to live video feeds across the nation. I’ve been talking about shipping nationwide for years, so we’re just doing it and we’re doing it NOW! Friends, I’m climbing again and climbing is where I thrive!