in the workshop

tell me who your friends are


and i'll tell you who you are.   pretty simple really. the idea that the people around us are a litmus test for how we show up in the world. choosing staff is quite similar. upon interviewing, it either clicks or it does not. if an agreement is struck, a bargain made, then we commence a working relationship. a bit of time passes, we learn about one another, and then we either prove, or not, that we are the people we claim to be.   on that score, i am either lucky or wise. i like to think both.

although the salon is still in it's infancy, i am pleased by the people who share my day. though it is just us four, i cannot help but approach this venture with the idea that this is a special group. a team. the kind of team who lifts one another and creates work of which we can all be proud.   everything throughout the building is beginning to hum nicely. the store is busy, the yoga studio gathering steam while the production team produces. the salon is taking a wee bit longer. building from scratch creates challenge so we try to be patient as well as ambitious. the difference between make or break is going to be our attitude. so for the moment i will not be listening to reason, responding to common sense, or climbing down from my lofty peak. whatever we have planned to do, i am going to cling to it through thick or thin, and i won't let a trivial thing like a seemingly inarguable momentary evidence of reality stop me from battling valiantly onwards. being forewarned hasn't made a blind bit of difference either. it is a grand adventure and we know that nothing is going to stop us. once we have defied gravity, re-written history and surprised all the experts, we can discuss what comes next.   for now, i know who i am. defined best by the people i choose to share my daily life.  

you just can't beat a broken drum

when i am hungry - and i walk down the street, i only notice the shops that are selling food. when i am choosing a color scheme and my eye is drawn to a certain shade of paint, i start to spot that shade on other peoples walls and fabrics. at this point in my life, i notice most what inwardly interests me. in this moment, i am interested in becoming more efficient and organized and stable. which is probably why i keep noticing how much is crazy and chaotic. actually, things are a lot better than they might feel. still... things are tricky. a balancing act of sorts. standing center in a flaming three ring circus. if i don't light myself on fire, we will celebrate.   when something like a business expansion begins to click, many people are cued to the idea of financial opportunity. of course ways to improve our financial situation could arise anytime now - roughly translated: means we will have ample opportunity to pay the bills and the taxes. having new avenues of potential growth gives us the possibility of making the most of what we've already accomplished. today someone referred to me as a re-entrepreneur. i laughed (in a really good way) for the speaker understood how we have come around full circle from our little salon with a basement soap kitchen and tiny storefront. hopefully i am developing a keener understanding and insight. not so much in regard to making money, but in seeing how new ideas and perspectives have imbued me with a greater sense of purpose. i can tangibly state that all the old rules can be broken. all the old restrictions can be ignored. all the old reasons why progress was previously not permissible can be seriously reconsidered. the goalposts have been moved. we are playing a different game now - and it is one in which we are far better qualified to excel. so i assume we are finally living into all that we have built together. time will tell. our first duty is to carrying on the legacy of customer service, quality and craftsmanship, opening our new world up to all the people who have inhabited it, and in finding a way to knit tightly together what so many refer to as a lifestyle company. that is, if at first we do not go mad.  
if you can’t beat a broken drum, what must you beat in order to become unbeatable? at the core of team duross & langel - we aspire to be unbeatable. be it virtue or vice, it is one of the defining characteristics we all share. and we own it as if for no other reason than it is the truth, and that it binds us as a team. for those of us who adapt become a part of the densely wound cabal that ascribes to the notion that there is no there there, no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. for us it begins and ends with today. making the best soap or lotion, working in the tightest fade of a haircut, or finding solitude, strength and grace within the walls of the yoga studio. now if only we could all. just. sit. still.   but that is to ponder another day  

falling is not an option

if you've ever read this blog, you might know that last summer i climbed a medieval castle situated on a dormant volcano above a little town in Austria. in hindsight it sounds much more dramatic than the actual experience. however, though fixed rope and double safety clipped, had i fallen it could have been disastrous. the trick was to find balance. feet firmly planted, clip, clip, climb. don't look down. check side to side. see that the other climbers were okay, get balance and move on. i had no idea at the time how much of a lesson it would be for the year that is now unfolding.   in an airplane that is experiencing turbulence, it has been remarked that you've got nothing to worry about as long as the flight attendants look calm. new ventures like the yoga studio or the salon experience quite a bit of turbulence. as a seasoned flier of the entrepreneurial nature, my adrenaline rises with the pitch and roll. i must love this otherwise why would i continue to do it? but not everyone shares my enthusiasm. at times i wonder if i've forgotten the journey. what was it like the very first time? or the second? by now i expect life to be full of alternate realities but there is no way i am going to pitch off the side of a mountain. it's all a part of the thing that happens when you stand both metaphorically and literally 432 meters above the valley floor hanging on a rope willing yourself not to look down while you're getting your footing before you climb. now apply to opening a business.   a few years back when we had our brief (albeit eventful) sojourn in Haddonfield, we realized that a little soap store in a little town was going to do well enough, yet not well enough to warrant the amount of energy expended. life can be a bitch sometimes but we rolled with the flow, reabsorbed the store and emerged stronger than ever. part of the success was in seeing the reality of the situation. to go back into the flight analogy, think of Haddonfield as an aborted trip with an emergency landing. now many of the passengers are a bit jumpy about flying. i don't think much about it because that's the job and we landed safely so what's all the fuss? this is the part where i wonder if i'm just a little dead inside.   life is good. business is good. we are blessed. things roll for a while and everything is smooth but when you expand and grow, especially opening three new ventures in three months (batshit crazy..) nerves can get frayed. maybe i go a little dead inside just to keep the fear at bay. everyone else is doing a stellar job but thinking that if they could do more, things might go faster. it never works that way. things go in their own time and six months down the road takes six months to accomplish. i forgot what it's like to be at the beginning. for those standing at the place where the journey has just begun. they appear to me as frazzled by the long hours and the responsibility and the worry of "what if.." that place is no longer a part of my journey. it can never be. in some ways it never was. i never had anyone who would catch me if i fell. i only knew that if i fell i would get pretty banged up. i've had minor tumbles in my professional life. mostly bruises and broken bones that mended. sometimes fast. some more slowly. but always where the bone was broken it became stronger than before.   here is what i know: we learn. always. we adjust. if diligent about perception, we become more sure footed. we begin to focus on the moment. we don't look down. we don't worry about getting ahead of ourselves. and eventually we will look back and remember that falling is not an option.