Last weekend I went to a friend's 40th birthday party at the Yale Saloon, a country bar in Vancouver. In addition to line dancing and lots of great food and drinks there was also a motorized bull! The goal was to stay on the bull for 30 seconds which somehow was significantly harder than it seemed. Riding the bull was an interesting experience – at times I felt as though I was moving in slow monition, and then all of a sudden, unexpectedly, the bull would jerk one way and then back another way. The entire ride was completely unpredictable. Just when I thought I had it all under control and was excited that I had made it the full 30 seconds, the bull would pull up and I would tumble right off.
You can tell a lot by watching people fall off of the bull. Some people laughed it off and walked away, some looked upset and defeated, while others took a fierce look at the bull and jumped right back on determined to prove to themselves (and their friends) that they had the skills to conquer the challenge.
To me, riding the bull is like having a business. Especially, a business that has settled into a routine (for the most part). Most days, I can sit back and observe myself running the store but every so often I’m thrown a strange, unexpected turn of events. January, is always a slow month in retail, and for us store owners, the goal is to hold on and make it through to the end of the month with our head held high and the bills all paid. This year is an especially hard year for our store, in December sales were $15000 less than I expected and January has been slower than last year. We are down 13% this year so far. My PST is due today and there is no way I can pay it. I've never made much of an income off the store, but I've also never had debt for the store. I watched it slowly happening throughout the month, but now I feel like the bull is finally going throw me off. We'll need a lot of sales to make it through February intact. I’m hoping to have just the right balance of strength and stamina and patience to last through the month.
I learned a lot about myself from riding the motorized bull. I confirmed that I am fiercely persistent and my first reaction when the bull threw me off, was to stare it down and jump right back on. There is no way that bull was beating me! If I was ready to give-up on my business, I would have done it a long time ago. I live by the mantra, that you only fail when you stop trying. I have certainly stopped trying at various things throughout my life, but the Giving Gifts & Company store is way too special to ever stop trying at. So despite this nagging worry and fear and uneasiness that I've been carrying around for the last couple of weeks, I'll keep holding my head high, I'll keep breathing deeply and I'll keep practicing my art knowing that the universe may throw me off sometimes, but there is always a way back up. There is always a way to rise and climb and ride again!
PS - We just launched a brand new website for Giving Gifts & Company! If you'd like to help us rise and meet our goals for February, please enjoy it and use the coupon code: LoveGivingGifts for 10% off your first order.
PPS - You likely know by now that I always give gifts from the store, so if you are wondering what I got as a gift for my friend, Tina, I was thrilled to find the perfect necklace by artist Tracey Tomtene that says "Honour the path of your soul fearlessly." Even better, it has an antler charm and feather charm on it which work perfectly for the "cowboy" theme of her party. I hope she wears the necklace as a fun reminder of her 40th party and she is inspired by the message as she enters into the next 40+ years of her life.
As always, Thanks for Giving Gifts!