I would like to call this my annual blog post, but if Ellen could convince me, she would have me posting every month. So, I compromise and offer a few blog posts each year. This one is considered the annual because it is the month when I started working with Ellen at the El’s Cards Empire. One thing is for sure, we still have lots of fun, even when things are not going as we would like. Yesterday was a case in point, so the experience is fresh. We have plenty of work to do, an incredibly good problem to have. However, we had paperwork, administrative stuff, and an issue with an outside vendor. The time to resolve every issue took most of the day, and by the time we were done, it was almost supper time. We sat at supper and reflected on the day. Here is where we acknowledge that it had been a difficult day, we do not point the finger or blame anyone, we just acknowledge the day was frustrating. I think that by admitting something is frustrating and accepting that I am not sure how to fix every situation, it gives me permission to not try to fix it and only make it worse. Our solution last night was to have an extra scoop of ice cream for dessert and let the day end.
The good news is that I am celebrating my 6th anniversary at El’s Cards! It is time to reflect, like a birthday or New Year's Eve. It is a simple exercise to take a moment to stop and look at what this anniversary means. Each year has been a practice of repetition, we found a path that made sense, and doing the same thing over and over has made us better and more efficient. Last year was certainly a break in the routine. We had to find new ways to do things and adapt to all the changes. However, I do not want to get stuck in a shortsighted view. I have been doing this job for six years and Ellen has been in business over 20 years. This is a time to celebrate. We are not back to a full normal schedule, but the future is looking bright.
Years ago, when I was struggling with a personal issue, a question was asked of me, “to what length would you be willing to go to solve your problems?” I thought the question to be quite odd. At that time in my life it seemed so easy to walk away from problems or difficult situations. When I think about that question now, I think about things like integrity, maturity, and commitment. I thought a lot about that statement, and the action it required when I decided to leave someone else’s business and join my wife with her business. This was not going to be a flash in the pan type of effort, it would require a long-distance view. I did wonder if I could do it.
Here is the funny part. It is not like I have not been working my entire adult life, it is just that I had been working for someone else. Now it was time to work for me. I had, and have, all the skills needed for success. It is not a matter of acquiring anything, it was a matter of leaving some things behind. It was time to lean on integrity, maturity, commitment, and leave behind fear, doubt, and worry. Easier said than done, but I had to start somewhere. I love the quote (not sure who said it- I think it was on a commercial), “If I don’t stand up for myself, then who will? And if not now, then when?”
Each year on my self-employment anniversary it is indeed a time of celebration. The best part is the celebration is not mine alone. Ellen and I met later in life, it was a simple introduction by a friend. The ease with which we interacted was remarkable. Our time together has been the best my life has seen. So when the question comes into my mind, what length would I go to solve my problems, I do not put up any conditions. Sometimes it will mean more hard work, sometimes it will be to let go. All I have to do is be willing to stand and face my problems and not just leave, thinking that is the solution.
This new year is off to a great start, we had our reservations and were prepared for a slow beginning. Well, that has not been the case, we have been very busy. I would like to say thank you to all our customers, friends and family. Your well wishes and support are invaluable.
Just between you and me, I am happy to wrap your Mother's Day gifts for you while our wrapping paper lasts. Please just indicate which gift being purchased that you would like wrapped in the special instructions box in your shopping cart, before the checkout page.
We hope everyone can find many reasons to celebrate this year. Thanks for taking the time to check in with us at El’s Cards.