Over the last year I have had my share of EBBS and FLOWS. I was so excited about starting a business and began the process of taking the necessary steps toward readying myself for the big six month start-up. Everything appeared to be working well at a nice pace until I got a phone call that ended up spinning me into a whirlwind. The phone call was about an opportunity to work with a potential NFL draft pick. Therefore, I began the “NEW BUSINESS HUSTLE” of prepping myself for this potential client by moving into overdrive. I was so excited and ready to embark upon an incredible journey of entrepreneurship that I knew would be an exilerating leap into the world of consulting. This meant late nights, lots of research and spending a few dollars to get going. Bear in mind, I work full-time, go to school full-time, I am a full-time wife and mom of four kids and active in my church; but I got this!!!. Mentor(s)…check! Business Plan…check! Logo…check! Website…check! Social Media…check! I am primed and ready.
I was astounded to hear my own words spoken out of the mouth of this potential NFL draft pick on ESPN. I was blown away and felt, “Wow, I can really do this!” I began working with the family member who initially called me trying to devise a plan for this potential client. In the mean time, I started making phone calls to family and friends that I thought would be able to help me with some leads. All of sudden I go from a snail paced start-up to four “potential” clients. I received hopeful expectations of contacts and information from reputable sources feeling as though I was well on my way. I began telling family and friends what I was doing just so that I could hear the same excitement I was feeling about my new adventure.
In the meantime, Sequestration is no longer looming and goes into effect. As a government employee I got furloughed right after spending money to get this business underway; but I got this!! I am still in my HUSTLE AND FLOW!! I was so psyched that I got way ahead of myself with providing “free” advice thinking that I had developed a rapport with the representative of the potential client.
All of sudden, the information I was waiting on from friends never materialized. I was heavily criticized by one of my mentors at a time when I thought I was making significant progress. The phone calls just stopped out of nowhere with the representative. The potential clients wanted and received free advice [that they used] but did not want to set up a contract for business. Tensions started to develop on my job with a co-worker. I started flunking two of my graduate school classes. The high I was feeling started to ebb fast.
Now I feel like a failure who has wasted precious time and money. I stooped into a funk replaying all of the negativity I could think of in my head to explain why it just wasn’t meant to be. After my aunt chewed into me explaining how I had no reason to hang my head low, my husband and a couple of close friends providing many words of encouragement, I decided to pick myself up and move foward. Still in the back of my mind I am thinking, “Who am I to think that I could start a business at this late in the game of my life?”
I frequently spoke with one of my mentors who gave me a lead about pursuing my writing once again. Now I am seeing a small flicker again. So I subscribed to the recommended site and started to submit pitches in response to queries for articles. Within the first couple of weeks or so I got requests to feature my writing in two articles. Feeling psyched again, I started a much talked about blog. For the last few years I would submit posts on my Facebook page with incredible responses from my family and friends. Surely I would expect their support to come pouring in now that I have my own forum at http://www.ShannonAyersSpeaks.com for them to follow me. After sending out a request for support from my well over 1000 friends on Facebook, I only received about maybe five or six Facebook friends who now support my blog. What I did receive was a bunch of likes on Facebook and over 1600 views on my blog but not much support or feedback on my posts.
Once again I began to feel the downward slump of trying to figure out what in the world am I doing. Someone just stopped by and literally started to ramble on about dogs. I was trying to pay attention because she is really sweet but I just didn’t want to be bothered. So I gave a big smile, nodded and gestured to show I was paying attention all the while feeling like, “Wrap it up sister!” But then she said something that caught my attention that had no relevance to her ramble. She said if you build a strong enough foundation everything will be alright. WOW!!! That brought it all home for me. Of course I felt guilty for not paying attention at first because she gave me a profound word that fully described “THE HUSTLE OF MY EBB AND FLOW“!
What I came to realize in that moment was that all of this I am going through will make me stronger, wiser and better for a more firm foundation of what it is I desire to do. Okay, I know this is no news flash that you have to go through something in order to be something or do something. What is more significant to me is the lie we tell ourselves when what we see does not match up with what we desire. It speaks to the scripture that reads, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and evidence of things not seen.” What good is faith when you can see everything right before our eyes? What then would have to believe in? What reason would we have for HOPE? Why would I need a God who can supply all of my needs and give me the desire of my heart if I had no reason for HOPE?
So, all of this is to say that while I am not where I want to be, I have to keep pushing regardless of how low it seems at times. Maybe I will be a master consultant or a brilliant blogger. Maybe I will get this great job that stimulates both my mind and my pocket book simultaneously. Or maybe I will just be a voice to encourage others to their dreams. I don’t really know what the future holds, but as long as I rise another day, I will live for the hope that someday my dream will be fulfilled…and that alone is a blessed gift.
Blessings and Inspiration,
Shannon Ayers Speaks