steve duross - craftsman. artisan. entrepreneur. musings on running and growing a small business

a patch of blue sky

imagine standing in a vast moor. now imagine it's raining cold and hard. no shelter. no escape. just a patch of blue sky off in the distance, with the hope that if you keep moving toward it, everything will be fine.

that's pretty much how i felt most of last year. if you've read my blog, you know i don't mince words. thoughts are wonderful but sometimes business is about what you feel. it's not truth, nor acumen nor talent. simply standing still and asking myself "what is it i feel?" can inform my approach to whatever presents itself in a very powerful way. this past year i have been in that field with one single purpose. to reach the place where they sky is blue. now, a year later, i can look behind me and see what an amazing journey this has been.

time takes time. even the village idiot can come to that conclusion before me. i become the March Hare Through the Looking Glass (an annoying literary figure if ever there was one) forever vexed by the murder of time. in the book Alice hypothesized that "the March Hare will be the most interesting, and perhaps as this is May it won't be raving mad - at least not so mad as it was in March." obviously i am much slower than the hare as it is well past may, but somehow, i am not so mad as i was last march. as for interesting? who can say. i do know for sure i'm not a complete dullard.

something i find infinitely fascinating is having my dreams come to pass. seeing the things i imagined actually taking hold. blossoming. materializing into my reality. i've been told i overreach. of course i do. that's a given when setting out for a lofty goal. the struggle has always been about finding my way back to earth. and this time it was far more tedious and difficult than i could have imagined. it has been a seemingly endless field of rain, and a wonder if whether that patch of blue sky is moving away from me or is it coming in my direction? now we know.

at present my work life is a whirlwind. not the kind this house experiences at the holidays, but rather the bustle and kinetic energy of commerce as daily life. the salon continues to grow and hum. people are responding in the way we imagined. the yoga studio classes get larger by the week. a testament to sarah's vision and abilities, not mine (though i like to feel as though some of my suggestions fit into her vision). rob and james are building production, and if i don't break them with my constant demands for the store, we will soon be wholesaling. then production will move to a larger building and purpose. the store is the blessed constant. my rock. these days cory and sarah make it their own, and even when i come though the door and point to a number of things that need tending, they already have it well in hand. finding my purpose has been half the journey. watching others as they find theirs is satisfying, if not sometimes a bit alarming. making oneself redundant is a feat i have yet to master. and that moor with the distant patch of blue sky? one of the more frightening metaphors of my lifetime that i hope to make literal on a hiking trip in Scotland in the not so distant future.

make no mistake, i have a long way to go before this metaphor is complete. but i'm halfway there and the light coming toward me sure is beautiful.