One of the big questions we hear alot is “What motivates you to do this?” Quietly that statement implies an idea that choosing a life of building an art business is one that baffles some people. And if i could be honest I would tell you that at a different part of my life, when i was honing my career, building my expanse in corporate America I could not imagine trying to scrap for my own paycheck. It was easier to settle in, and put up with the dynamics of the work world in order to accept a paycheck.
In 2010 when we both experienced an epic death of our careers initially it felt like epic failure. But the truth is it was an epic death of the indenture to corporate world, and it was the opportunity for parts of ourselves to come to life. Total Left Brain analytical skills gave way to the opportunity for right brain creativity to come to life. Motivation intially stemmed from the basics of Maslow’s law…. shelter, food, protection….. In order to keep our home (paying a mortgage), eat (secure groceries), and stay warm (pay utilities) we had to find streams of revenue. And what seemed like just getting another job in the past was a source that dried up due to many factors, among which include a shift in the economy, downsizing of the sheer number of jobs available, employers that were becoming much more selective, to possible age discrimination. Yes, its not easy to find employment when you are over 50, well educated, and perhaps not the “eye candy” of youth. But thats ok, we both dug in deep and began to explore what else can we do.
In 2015 our motivation has grown significantly:
- Our products are a brand – the quality, and availability of our products directly reflect our intention to bring good things to the world. We want to keep our products healthy, made with the best things we can find and buy. We are motivated to keep researching and creating products that meet needs.
- Economic benefit locally – as we partner with local artists for various support products we like the idea that the money remains local, and affects other artists who remain local. When we buy pottery from our artists we know they are benefiting from the sale, and that money does remain in the region. We are motivated to keep our sourcing of ingredients local when possible, or socially responsible where possible.
- We are motivated to build our business because we see the need to find employment for others who have had their life turned upside down. I would have never believed life would hand out such challenging turns, yet all around us are people who have been wrecked by the tsumani of economic change, or total and complete health upheavels, sudden and unexpected changes that were not planned for. We dont want to rescue people, but we want to give opportunity for them to find dignity again, restore sense of self worth, life purpose, and financial stability.
- We remain motivated to maintain some sense of financial stability ourselves. And the business is directly tied to the ability to pay bills, and survive.
Motivation comes in many forms. We love the idea of carving our own niche… developing a source of revenue that can’t go away. I am learning that events that happen in life are meant to redirect us to the course we should have been on…. The quote above is one that feels like it is true of me…. “I always wondered why somebody did’t do something about that, than I realized I am Somebody.” Yes, I can bring a message with a meaningful solution that nobody else has been able to see.
But not all motivation is pleasant to discuss. Quietly i don;t like to talk about the sense of loss of purpose, and worthlessness of being tossed aside from a career that I received great reviews doing. Nor do i find much purpose in the strong sense of discriminatory practices the work world exhibits for those who look older than 30 something. I grew up in an era that honored age, and the wisdom attributed to those who offered history and insight. Careers were expected to be for a lifetime, retiring with great pomp, a gold watch and a dead turkey. But in my work life things changed quickly…. The seeming security of a career has eroded away in the torrent of economic change, leaving us with the idea that we will have 6-10 jobs in a lifetime, and will be no longer sheltered in a role with meaning. Yes, my motivation was to find solid footing, away from this emotional and financially difficult place. And i am motivated to change or influence the culture to change from an anti aging path…. Good people have skills and talents for a lifetime, and it should never matter what they look like, how old they are, or what obstacles they have overcome to be where they are.
I am motivated to find that purpose in this life that was imprinted on me when i was created. I believe God gives each of us real and tangible reasons for our life…. and i am motivated to never miss this. With almost a reckless abandonment to the traditional way of living, i want to find those purposes and uses that change the world, ignite others for change….. become a soul on fire to warm those who have sensed the sharp chill of a cold and biased culture. Yep, that is big stuff, but it is satisfying to feel the freedom from so much that has held me in bonds of frustration and underemployment.
How are you coping with motivation? What might your life’s journey teach someone else that would enrich the world, encourage others, or benefit society? I would love to hear… please leave a comment.