How Do You Know You are Moving Forward?

So I am sitting here pondering about what to write about today. I looked out the window and guess who flew in to see me? Mr. Pterodactyl (aka a pileated woodpecker). Just 15 feet away in full view. He visited me quite a while back when I was working to finalize our bag design, when I felt like I was banging my head against the wall. I wrote about it in an earlier blog post. Click here to read

If you haven’t ever seen a pileated woodpecker, I hope you have the opportunity. They are beautiful, big, and strong. More than a foot long with a bright red head, an incredibly long beak, and a boisterous call. As always, birds amaze me and usually have something to say if I am paying attention. I watched him head up the tree, one hop at a time. Almost like playing hopscotch. Moving forward with that “it will happen” attitude, looking for that yummy treat under the bark which he knows he will find.

The lesson I learned from him today is the importance of attitude. Good timing for me because I am recovering from the disappointment hangover after our Indiegogo campaign. But let’s just give that a go. No one wants to hear the boo hoo thing. (Not even me.) And as my dear friend and mentor, Jed, said  “I’m sorry that didn’t work out quite as hoped but it sounds like the learning gained and the “paradigm” shift for you will be invaluable to the business in the future. So…I’d say it was a success.” And he is right. My experience was a success. There is so much that I learned during our campaign that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise. A change of attitude changes your perspective in a heart beat. 

It is true that starting a small business isn’t a walk in the park. It comes with ups and downs. Getting through the downs is not easy. If it was, everyone would be starting a small business and making millions. But here’s the thing. You actually are in control of your own success. It is your choice to determine what is next. Do you fall into negativity by focusing on the things that didn’t work? Or do you learn from your experience and make the choice to move forward – focusing on the next step to follow your dream? They both use about the same amount of energy. So why not use your power to move forward? That feels a lot better.

But how do you measure moving forward? That is something only you can determine. For me, it is appreciating what I learned from my past “mistakes”, strategizing the way I will tackle my next challenge with confidence, and by believing I’ve got what it takes to make my vision come to fruition. But it is just as important for me to embrace where I am right now. Celebrating all of the wonderful things in my life today. Wild flowers in bloom, trees leafing out, hearing the song birds whistling away. That is just a few of the things that I can celebrate just by being in the moment. A simple moment of gratitude has the power to make a change in your attitude, giving you all the power you need to move forward.  

I would love to hear what keeps you motivated to follow your dreams, despite the obstacles on the way.