Have you ever gotten to the point where you think that you failed so bad there is no turning back…
You’re done, game over, the end. I have been there multiple times, but I have to say the worst had to be with the store. The day I knew that I was not happy with what I was doing and that I had gone against a lot of my goals for the store, was the day it became just a business.
Full disclosure, this is one of the hardest subjects for me to touch on, things are still up in the air and the lack of stability makes me feel like a failure at times. I’m still working on it so here is the bare truth: I had a dream that I could start a business, make it work, hold a job, sell only things I stood for, help women with equal pay for the jobs I would create in places where they didn’t have a chance, help children in need, have a life and succeed at it all. Well turns out that a business almost requires more than a small village, holding a job and acting like I was a small village is draining. Finding things that support what you stand for is hard, especially if you want to have decent prices for people not to feel like your taking advantage of them. Creating jobs for women in third world countries has its obstacles that I can’t even start to list. Having a life? Ha! Ask my friends how often they see me go out for a drink or to hang out. You don’t even have to go that far ask my boyfriend how many days I’ve seen him in the past three months? About 15 days. I know you might not be in the same place, maybe you feel like you failed at school, maybe where you are now is not where you planned to be by this age, maybe it’s your family, or your job, whatever it is I feel like we have all been here once or twice. Failure.
The business got to a point where I was just dragging myself to do what I knew had to get done, it was not fulfilling what I had set out to do with this business. I truly and honestly felt that if I took a step back to regroup and realign the business with the original goals people would see how deep in this hole I was and think I was a quitter. I kept pushing, not realizing how much it was taking out of me and how unhappy I was. I started to feel the weight of how much I had bottled up, I started to feel like I was faking it, acting like things were just fine. The days became harder, even just to get out of the house, to respond to people that would check up on me. Sometime even just getting out of bed was hard. Anything that involved the reality of what was going on would make me cringe. I felt like I just quit on it all.
I don’t have a magic potion or a cure it all remedy but I do know when things changed for me. This is in no way me trying to convince you of anything (trust me I am not a good sales person, something else I learned though this business). I just turned to what a lot of us do ONLY when we are in desperate need, I started to pray. I know, “oh, now you want to talk to God!” Now that I am crashing and burning I wanted to reach out. Maybe you don’t pray, maybe you don’t even believe in God, maybe your God’s name is different than mine, doesn’t matter, we all have seen or even posted that social media post: “Asking for Prayers”, “Send prayers my way”, “Pray for [Insert City Name Here]”, “#PARYFOR [City Name]”. Sometimes life just takes us to a place where we feel helpless, we just need help from above and at the very least you have seen someone else get there. I was so there.
After getting over my guilt of praying out of need, I started to ask for guidance, “What now? What do I do? How do I fix it?”, I desperately needed a next step. Slowly I started to feel the urge to help others. I was always random, a guy on the street, an old lady load her stuff, I listened to a friend, little things started to help me feel better. Not all at once but very seamlessly i started to feel a little better and a little lighter.
I took my first trip to see if my goals were even an option. I stopped buying things that I didn’t stand for. I kept praying for help and the funny thing is the only thing that seemed to helped was helping others. I personally feel God likes to play “Where’s Waldo” with the answers we pray about. A lot of times the answer is hidden in plain sight, blending in with the background. I wanted help and I got help from helping others?? Whatever it was, it worked, it was motivating, kept me going.
One day I sat with my best friend (aka the wall I bounce the crazy ideas from), and I ran the idea of pausing, regrouping and relaunching the store. My friend was all in and she understood where I was coming from. Then I ran it by my family and they were in too. I had the back up now i had to take the jump. So I jumped. I started to plan my travels to seek who we could provide jobs for and the day before my first trip I had someone talk to me about single mothers in a mountain of Ceiba, Honduras that needed the help, it was like perfect timing. I looked into children that we could support through the business. Step by step things looked like they were looking up.
The final step to fully jump was the legal requirement for this all to work, it was also the hardest part. We had to go through so many loops it almost all seemed impossible again. I had to find a partner, who was able to fly in just to sign the documents, who i could trust with my business, I had to file paperwork in a legal system that I’m not used to, I had to meet with lawyers about once a day to make sure we met the one million and one requirements.
On the very last day of my trip, an hour before I had to fly out I got to sign with my sister (who flew in 30 hours before just to sign and then head back) all the documents that will be the structure of the new Elohim + Nim and our sister brand which’s name I will reveal in the near future. At the end I felt so exhausted but so fulfilled because it was something that had meaning and God had allowed it even when it seemed impossible. I had 45 minutes to get to the airport, pass security and board my flight, but those 45 minutes were some of the best minutes because I got to sit and soak up the miracle that God had just done. If you would have been there, you would have understood how impossible the task was. I’m telling you, it came down to ten minutes where we couldn’t find the place to sign the documents and we had to decide if we would keep looking and possibly lose our flights or find the place and sign before leaving. It was in those 10 minutes where I felt the miracle happened and it was perfect.
When I finally got home I made an effort to keep it all going and not let it stop at that one miracle. I started trying to make time for those people really mattered and tried making little breaks where i could do thing I loved. I got a chance to go to the beach with my nieces, which I have to say was one of the highlights of this summer. After some long pondering I finally got the strength to take the step and I put the store on pause while I align everything back to the intended goals. I am not going to lie and say that a rainbow appeared above the store and I knew this is the last hard decision I have to take or that angels sang as I pressed the button, or even to say that I felt happy when I did. It hurt a little, I did still feel like I failed, but I had a visible goal at the end of this tunnel.
This relaunch will not only be just for the goals of the business but also for my focus. Most of all I was taught that faith doesn’t only require the believing in the miracle but, sometimes Gods requires us to step in that faith and make a move even when it doesn’t make sense. Best example God used to show me this was the story in 2 Kings 4:1-7 about the widow who had nothing but a little oil left. If you get a chance to read it just know that me writing this does not mean that I’ve gotten to the happy ending, I’m still pouring oil and I can’t see what God is trying to do but I going to obey and trust in in his perfect timing. A funnier example I can give you is “wax on, wax off”, ahaha.. I know Karate Kids (i feel old), but no lie I had a moment when I was trying to understand what God had me doing things that had nothing to do with what I thought I needed and then those words popped in my head out of nowhere. God likes to be funny with me and that was one of those moments but I understood it so clearly, it was his way of explaining it to me. Sometimes it feel like we are asked to do things that don’t have anything to do with what we are asking for and God makes this full circle and brings that image to competition. The very situation you’re in could be the very spot where God has you to prepare you for that big dream.
So to answer the title question, in my perspective, failure is just a stepping stone.
With Grace + Humbled Heart,