One thing I know for sure is that I have had many different experiences in this little life of mine. So many that I will call myself a Jane of All trades. My interests reach far and wide and are extremely varied. The common thread that runs through them is that I've learned life lessons from each and every experience. Things that I never expected to learn. Surprisingly what I've learned has been much more about life than about the skills involved with each new interest. I'm going to dedicate my Monday blog posts to these life lessons. Each Monday I will share a different "Lessons Learned While..." I hope you enjoy!
Three lessons that I learned while painting furniture were picking, process and perseverance.
1) Picking-Let's talk about picking for a second. As an up-cycler of furniture, my goal was to transform trash to treasure. Start with something ugly and revamp it into something fabulous. The process could take 1 hour or 60 hours depending on a few things like: how large was the piece, the type of wood it is, the prep work involved, how many finishes it will need, do I have to rebuild any part of it etc. As I became more familiar with the time involved with the various steps, I was able to make wiser choices. I began to choose pieces that would take less time, but that would have just as extravagant results. A transformation is a transformation. I learned to shorten the distance between Point A and Point B by being a better chooser.
Life Lesson: Choose your way wisely...we all have the same number of hours in a day.
2) Process-I learned that my "plan" was often not what mattered. I needed a plan to get started...right? It generated motion. As I would start moving along, there were many reasons that appeared, that would make it clear my original plan would not work. I would have to detour.
Sometimes what I envisioned was just not physically possible. Sometimes it would take much more time than I had available. Sometimes it would not be functional if done a certain way. Sometimes I would accidently damage something.
What that meant was DETOUR. Stop, pay attention, change directions.
Life lesson: Go with the flow. Plan and set a goal, but pay attention and be ready to respond. Life moves quickly and sometimes a change of plans is in order.
3) Perseverance-Starting and owning a business is no joke. It's not for the faint of heart. A situation arose about halfway through owning my furniture business where I could have thrown in the towel-to be honest, maybe should have thrown in the towel. I just couldn't. What bothered me the most is that I committed to myself (and someone else) that I would be all in for a year. They were ok with releasing me from my commitment, but I couldn't release myself. I stuck it out. It wasn't easy. In fact it was very hard. In the process though, I honored myself and was reminded that I have chutzpah. I show up when I need to. For myself. And others. I can persevere.
Life lesson: When I commit I show up. It allows me to live with myself.