by christina britt lewis
so i may have redesigned the bookshelves at my little cottage by the sea.
tried not to. lasted almost 2 weeks.
sometimes it's hard to differentiate between your inner voice and your inner ocd.
tried to force myself to relax, rest, read, write, NOT work.
i did come here to write, but writing for me is more therapy than work so that doesn't count.
the thing is... when you do what you love for a living... you LOVE to work.
work IS my happy place.
that does not mean it is always easy.
starting our lives over and building this company is the hardest thing tim and i have ever done.
but nothing feels more fulfilling than accomplishing something hard.
nothing brings more happiness than a job well done.
deep satisfaction comes when you can say to the world "look what i made!"
we are psyched to teach you how to start your own thing!
we can't wait to tell you how to be a voice, not an echo.
but a few of you have written and told us you can't find your voice.
you don't know what you love.
you are all grown up and still don't know what you want to be.
you don't need to know how to start, you need to know how to know what to start.
we hear you.
know you are not alone.
i did not rearrange my bedroom growing up. i did not know what i wanted to be.
that sense of a "calling" is a very rare thing.
for me, it was a choice, not a calling. and there was some trial and error involved.
ask yourself these questions...
what do you feel naturally good at?
what comes easily to you?
what subjects did you like most in school and why?
what kind of activity are you doing when you lose track of time?
when was the last time you felt really proud of yourself and why?
there isn't one right answer to anything, but these questions can point you in a good direction.
my first attempt at doing what i love was a little catering company.
cooking comes easily to me, but i hated working weekends and cooking huge amounts of food.
i learned that the thing i love isn't so much the cooking,
the thing i love is long candlelit dinners with my people.
i learned that i love creating a warm and welcoming environment at home.
cracking lobsters at the crack of dawn on a saturday morning until my hands hurt, not so much.
ask the people who love you.
sometimes they are able to give you insight into the things you can't see for yourself.
there are so many great books too.
cole loves this one... bornforthisbook.com
and please consider this...
not everybody wants to work 80 hours a week for themselves to avoid working 40 for someone else.
and that's what it takes. it's a dedicate your whole life to it sort of thing.
tim has a day job that makes him come alive.
kelly could rule the design world on her own, but loves a steady salary and lots of work-free vacations.
be easy on yourself if being part of team and not going it on your own is your thing.
we need you too. we need all of us. be who you want to be. not who you think you should be.
only you know what makes you come alive.
if you are waiting for some aha! moment or voice from the sky or sign from above,
stop waiting. it doesn't work like that. like just about everything else...
this is a choice you make.
and only you can make it.
and then start.
we'll help you with that part.
it's not as hard as it seems.
if we can do it, you can totally do it.
don't ask what the world needs,
ask what makes you come alive and go do it.
because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
- howard thurman and us
christina and tim
so many of you have written and told us your stories.
tim and i are so happy to hear how kelly's story inspired you.
she inspires us all the time too...
click here to read her story...
How I landed the job: From corporate America to interior design
- Charlotte Agenda
thank you for inviting us for coffee and dinner and wine... you are all so sweet.
we would if we could, but we rarely have time for chick-fil-a drive thru. ok, who has time for chick-fil-a drive thru? that is a total time suck, but you know what i mean. and why is it so good? and do you know how hard it is to find one in san francisco? but i digress...
teaching and encouraging people to make their own way in this world is our favorite.
believing in others before they believe in themselves is our superpower.
we are ridiculously proud of every new business we have helped start.
if we could sit down for coffee around our kitchen table with each one of you, we would.
if we could gather all of you kindred spirits together for a big weekend workshop, we would.
but that idea has proven costly and hard for our brothers and sisters far away.
let's sit down for a one on one kitchen table conversation... but... like... on the phone.
we will teach you how to start.
you all tell us you already know what you want to do, but something stops you from starting.
this will not be just a "you can do it" pep talk...
we will walk you through the process of starting step by step.
by the end of the 90ish minute phone call you will know how to start. done.
here is what making your own way in this world does not require...
here is what making your own way in this world does require...
that's it. the rest you can learn as you go. and here is the thing...
perseverance is not a gift or a skill or a talent.
perseverance is not something you are born with or without.
perseverance is not something you study in school...
perseverance is a choice.
we do what we love for a living, because perseverance.
we are not broke anymore, because perseverance.
we made our dreams come true, because perseverance.
i am writing to you from a cottage on the side of this mountain in the middle of the caribbean...
every day, i walk down the mountain to the little village.
walking back up is so wicked hard, you guys.
i almost die.
when i look up to where i am headed, it looks so far away and impossible.
when i look up to the top, i can't breathe and start to curse the day i was ever born.
when i look up to where i want to be, i pray a kind islander will drive by and rescue me.
when i look down at my own two feet...
when i look down at the road and force myself to take the next step...
when i persevere one tiny baby step at a time...
i make it all the way to the top.
starting your own business is just like that.
we will teach you how we climbed our mountain, step by step.
because if we can, you can.
this will be our theme song...
every generation gets a chance to change the world.
pity the nation that won't listen to your boys and girls.
'cause the sweetest melody is the one we haven't heard.
is it true that perfect love drives out all fear?
the right to be ridiculous is something i hold dear.
oh, but a change of heart comes slow.
it's not a hill, it's a mountain as you start out the climb.
listen for me, i'll be shouting.
we're gonna make it all the way to the light...
i know i'm not alone.
christina and tim
click here to tell us what stops you from starting.
kelly and shelley and uncle bill and jason...
oh man, you guys, they saved installation day yesterday!
we could not do what we do without the team of dedicated and talented people who make it happen.
our people are the very best of the very best and they are so much fun.
i mean, shelley brought homemade fudge. c'mon.
and just look what they did...
this redesign in plaza midwood happened while i paced up and down their front porch
talking on the phone with news people, contractors, hvac angels...
so many of you are giving and sharing and making a bedroom for jalaybrian happen!
you guys have given almost half of our goal in only 2 days!!
we are completely overwhelmed by the goodness of you the people.
jalaybrian's grandparents are weepy with gratitude.
it is so good to come together and be united about something.
it is so beautiful to work together to create the world we want.
it is so empowering to not just look for the helpers, but to actually BE the helpers.
what a bunch of world changers you are.
my favorite thing about THIS redesign is that we kept the chairs they already have.
kelly and i disagreed about that at the initial consultation.
kelly was right.
the old chairs feel all anthro and collected and not what everybody else has in such a good way.
surround yourself with smart people and then listen to them.
this i have learned.
my other favorite thing is that we turned the playroom into a cozy family tv room AND playroom.
we repurposed the sofa they already have in here.
my favorite playroom trick is to skootch the sofa forward into the room.
that way you can hide all of the toys behind the sofa and feel all peaceful and zen all the time.
hehe... it's the little things that make me happy.
big love and hugs and gratitude to you,
christina and tim
at the redesign company
click here to help us make a bedroom for jalaybrian