For anyone considering starting something new, be prepared for change.
Change and new, obviously those two words go hand in hand. Obviously if something is new there is going to be change. But I’m not just talking about the obvious “this used to be this way and now it’s that way” kind of change. I’m talking about the stuff you never seem to think about until your buried in a fallen forrest of unrecognizable material…kind of like that funky stuff in Stranger Things.
When John and I first started Letters in Motion, we had an idea, a mission statement, and his teeny tiny room that he was renting for $400 a month. Because the rest of the house was owned by a 20 something who was allergic to cleaning (that better have been the reason for all the filth), we pretty much only stayed in his room. That space changed from a traditional bedroom to a storage unit filled with event supplies, letters for the kids, a whiteboard for all of the madness to rest at night, and a mac that gave us the tools we needed to create everything that is now Letters in Motion.
At times there were 6 or more people in that tiny room working on LinM plans or studying for exams. It changed all the time. It changed for whatever John needed with that space at the time.
We experienced something similar after getting married and moving the LinM office into the spare bedroom of the house I was renting. We talked about using the extra space for a closet for John since the closet in our room was mini sized and MINE. But instead we decided that a closet may throw off the work vibes of the office, so we pushed the rolling closet into the living room by the tv, where it lived for many months. We hung up inspirational posters and maps that assisted us in visualizing our goals and staying on task when the nights are late and all you want to do is sleep. We changed up our dining room AT LEAST five times to refine our living quarters and streamline the daily tasks with a more systematic set up. Change happens. Be flexible.
Eventually, the office moved into the Northwest Tennessee Entrepreneur Center where we were renting a space (and graciously given several months at no cost) for about 6 months. At this point, we could finally refine our home life and create the unlimited resting space for our non-working hours. It was excellent. But change happens. Be ready.
We bought a historic downtown building and have made the most of our space with an area for the studio, a window display for our LinM product, our living room couch to lounge and brain storm, and a strong workshop area with our macs and studio equipment. You would think everything would finally be settled. You would think after 3 years of this, that we would have it all figured out— but with anything new comes a lot of change. Change all the time. And you have to make sacrifices.
After Trivia Night this Tuesday we came home around 9:00pm to an empty living room. I’m talking zero furniture. Zero chairs around our messy kitchen table covered with enough stuff to fill an episode of “Hoarders”, and a messy kitchen because I was too busy rushing out of the house earlier that day to take care of any of the dishes. When you’re starting something new, you do everything you can to succeed in your goals. You move all of your furniture a few blocks down the road. You give up having a closet. You take turns remembering to carry the coffee and press and creamer back and forth between the house and the studio so that you can live a caffeinated life that day. You do what it takes to survive, and you use your space for what you need of it at the time. This week, I haven't needed a home. I’ve needed our business to have enough seating for a successful event.
New endeavors are exciting and scary and costly and really test your faith. But if you want to do this, you need to be ready for all of it— not just the happy, shiny good parts where your house and business can both be pristine at the same time and you get to sleep 8 hours a night. Be ready for the new, and brace yourself for the change.
But hey, YOU can do this. YOU can do anything :)