Basically....How I Run My Business

Just a little doodle I did!

Here's something I've never shared with all of you before.  Last year--and even a few months before last year--I started working on major plans to open an actual brick-&-mortar Dirty Footprints Studio here in Arizona.  We're talking serious plans where I pulled in the help of a serious business coach, a few business consultants, and even some folks from my bank to help guide me to make this happen.  I did market research, looked at various buildings, and I even had a "business plan"--which in my case looks more like a FEARLESS® Painting / map--then it does anything Warren Buffet might see come across his desk.

But anyways, my whole reasoning behind beginning this journey was three things.

1.  Even though my heart really wants to make Dirty Footprints Studio's world headquarters in Costa Rica, I felt why not give it a start here where you are already.  Sort of a "test run".

2.  It seemed like the next step I should "logically" do in building my business.

3.  My pride and ego wanted the challenge of making this happen.  I'm admitting it.

So, forgive me,  I'm going to leave a lot of the details out and skip right to mid-August.  It was summer time here and I found the perfect place.  It had huge ceilings and very cool cement floors--perfect to get messy on--and it was in the perfect area--and I wanted it.  I wanted it bad.

It was a bit out of my budget--but my clever mind came up with endless possibilities to make it happen.  I told Hansel, my friends, family, and business consultant team--and everyone was just as excited as I was and supportive up the kazoo.

Then shortly, one day I woke up, ready to take on the world, and started driving to the place to talk to the leasing agent when I felt it.  I knew.  Like I had heard before years ago when it came time to quit my job--that same strong and confidant voice came to me again and said No, don't do it.  Not here.  Not now.  Not Arizona.  This is not your dream.  

And every ounce of my body knew this was not what I was suppose to be doing.  I grabbed my cell phone, cancelled my appointment, and turned around and went home.

A week later exactly I learned that I was pregnant.  And I was beyond relieved that I never went through with the building.  I would have been way, way, way over my head--and Dirty Footprints Studio which brings me so much fulfillment and joy to my life already--would have turned into a trap for added stress and hardship with the new circumstances at hand.

The thing is--during my whole planning, researching, and hunt for the perfect place of Dirty Footprints Studio, I was not being directed by my heart.  I could tell you countless times that my heart yelled at me to slow down, be quiet, and just listen--but my mind pushed ahead.  My mind had a better plan.  And my ego, above all, knew what it wanted to quench it's desire to always be the best and to fulfill some crazy BIG dream.

But the truth is, I let go of having a BIG dream anymore.  Years ago my BIG dream was to quit my job and finally live a life in alignment with my truth--a life that I was certain I could support myself from as well. And I did that--I am doing that now.  But in truth--that's as BIG as it gets.  And I'm happy with that.

My real dream is a dream that both Hansel and I share--and have shared for a very long time.  And that is to have our own place in Costa Rica.  We want to be near the ocean and live off the land and in alignment with Mother Nature--and all I really want is a cute little space to host FEARLESS® Painting retreats and to paint and do yoga in.  That's it.  And ok, maybe to some that seems larger than life.

But to me it feels simple.  Sweet.  I envision it without drama or glitter and loads of hoopla.

It's quiet.

On top of it all--I don't want to touch the masses.  I don't want to save the world or reach a million fans.  I just want to be around kindred souls--and I'm honest enough to know that any kindred soul of myself is few and far between.  I just want to attract those folks.  That's it.  Put on my love antennas and gather us together in Costa Rica or until then--online or Sedona.

I want softness.  I want light.

When I was planning, researching, and doing all those things to open a Dirty Footprints Studio here it was never soft or light.  It was hard, rigid, and driven.  It was strategic and highly analytical.

That was the biggest clue that it was all wrong.

All very wrong.

Now, I don't want you to think that I move into anything ever blindly, for that certainly isn't true.  I am a Capricorn that appreciates her research and the comfort of knowing that my mind's on board.

But my captain is my heart.

And many times there has been mutiny on this ship of mine--where the heart became lost at sea.

Luckily, I've gotten wiser with age--and now turn the ship around sooner to rescue her,  even if it means a longer voyage to my destination.

Even if it means letting go of ever having a BIG dream.


Quinn said...

Chills, Connie. I totally resonate like a windchime with you on this. I've found the same feeling - it's the easy, flowful, fluid feeling that comes along with the decision led by the heart. On the other end, it's hard, difficult, unmoving- and that's when we try to force and struggled with our lives to happen in the way we *want* it to.

I'm learning more and more that life moves through me. My job is to get out of the way and let myself be led.

Linn said...

Wooow, you just made my heart sing.... It was you were me and I you. This is what I have felt for years now. Not the costa rica dream. But the space, the silence, the no drama and ego driven place. Aligned with life, every breath and time for yoga and being like Quinn says so beautiful in her comment: let myself be led by life. I do not feel the need to be the biggest, the best, the shinest or that my life is incomplete. I have what I need, that is my beautiful daughter and husband. I am so lucky who have a hubby who also want to live in alignment, in truth and an egoless way of life. I do believe in the dreams as you do. I must say your story here is such a good example of what gifts and knowledge life gives us. If we just listen, just be, connect and yes love. Thank you deeply for sharing this♥ I have followed your blog for a long time, and I love what you share. You are such a generous and bright soul. Also for 21 secrets, it is not "just" art, it is life wisdom in every class. What a gift, what an honor♥

Maggie said...

"Turn the ship around sooner" ... I just love this. Letting go of what I thought I liked or wanted (or was going to become)in order to find true alignment is harder and messier - and more beautiful - than it might sound. Thank you.

Bonnie Rose Bryan said...

One of my fav Zen quotes: "When the mind is quiet, the heart listens." This totally applies to this post... following your heart is the best thing you, me, anyone, everyone could ever do! <3

Sheri Ann Ponzi said...

Amen! What a fabulous reminder. I've been pinching myself lately,realizing I too have the life I've been dreaming of. Spending my days doing what I love with the people I love most in the world. That is as BIG as it gets. Yes indeed! Thank you for filling my heart with this truth yet again.


Amanda Fall said...

The BIGgest part of all is exactly this--your heart. I love your Costa Rica dream and think it's so beautiful--who needs glitz and glam when you have soul and softness? THAT's what this world needs more of. You, exactly as you are.

I'm reminded of a Julia Cameron quote where she cautions artists/creatives against coming close to their dream, getting caught up in a path that seems so right--but is so very wrong, because it isn't YOUR path. Your specific, divinely given path.

And HURRAY for you knowing that path--and sticking to it--and sharing this journey with us all.

Christy said...

I little voice in me said "Me too!" as I read your words about listening to your heart! Simply inspiring!

I hope your and your growing families dream, of that lovely life, is fulfilled! I'm pulling for you. No matter where your path leads.

Rita said...

I've had that happen to me a few times in my life. No matter how intent I was and how far into the process, it was loud and clear--ringing in my very soul--and I had to listen and change direction no matter what the cost or what anyone else thought. Glad you listened!! In fact thrilled for you that you listened. :):)

Daisy Yellow said...

Connie, Thank you for sharing this, so heartfelt. Quite thought-provoking for an analytical girl like me.

Nelda said...

Wow, your post is like a message to me today. I am in the midst of the very thing you describe, "I felt why not give it a start here where you are already." Now, eight months later, I am feeling out of alignment. and now I have this "thing" to liquidate. Thanks for the gift of your beautiful honesty and heart felt words. I needed so much to hear them.

Cindy said...

Great post! I am so glad I stumbled on to your blog through Barbara Winter and FB.

I believe that their are a lot of us that believe tenaciously in our small and essential dreams

nanlyn said...

Yes, the quiet dream. The softness. The light. So beautifully articulated, Connie. That resonates in my soul, too.

Alice Braga said...

I love the doodle. I love the metaphors. I love the honesty. Thank you.

Cynthia said...

so glad to know that I am not alone in feeling my way through my life. I had that overwhelming sense of what to do two months ago and in the matter of half an hour had figured out how to quit my job ... my dream job ... so that I could focus on school. It was shocking that I would consider it but I knew it was the right thing to do.

Just a week in and I am so grateful for that choice and for how everything else lined up to allow it.

Roberta said...

Boy did you hit the nail on the head with this post ;} As I'm reading your post the thoughts...a soft place to fall, be happy where you are at and be careful for what you ask for...all come to mind. I guess many would say that we are just getting mellow with age when it comes to "dreaming big"...but life has a way of showing us the way and it doesn't always have to be hard and driven...but then again when we are younger we just don't seem to "hear it" unless it slaps us down Wishing you all the best in your journey to finding the best things in life...and they are the simplest and truest things. That is surrounding ourselves with those that we love and enjoying what nature has to offer it views, food...the air we breath ;}
Fondly, Roberta

scamp (aka Shirley) said...

Inspiration to my heart, Connie. Thank you.

Rita alias alatvian said...

Wonderful post! It resonates with my heart for 100%! Thank you so much for sharing! And good luck with whatever you do!

Indigene said...

When I read this post, tears came to my eyes! I understand exactly what you mean. I'm another Capricorn looking to live my dream in Taos, NM or Sedona, AZ with my kindred spirits. Here's to our courageous dreams and making them a reality! Ginormous hugs to you!

Lesley said...

Wow, thank you for sharing your life. I'm still here in the middle of Ohio looking for more kindred spirits, and ready to move closer to the ocean, but my daughter needs to be here for now. My heart keeps telling me there is time for all my dreams. I worry, so it's nice to see how others shift and change and live and still reach for their dreams. You have been important in my life, Thanks for not giving up on your dreams and for encouraging others to reach for the stars too! Big hug! Lesley

california corporation said...

I believe no matter what your hesitations are, if you are focused enough on your goal to make it a reality, no force on heaven or hell can break you from getting there. And it always helps if there is one person who believes you and pushes you to get there.

Selena Mcbride said...

Thanks for sharing this inspiring life-story of yours. I feel motivated after reading this. You're right, to become successful you really need a passion for what you're doing.

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Hannah Wilson said...

Any type of business will always have its challenges whether it's big or small. Having a good business plan though would help a lot in keeping you focused on what needs to be done. I've been in a corporation in Nevada for five years already and we have faced several challenges along the way, but it's what helped us grow into a big corporation.

Bennie Ruiz said...

It's always good to love and appreciate each and every single aspect your company have. This way, a business owner could ensure that the his/her company could manage to stand long enough in the industry and could manage to face any kind of hardship cause they are already knowledgeable in running a company.

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