Do you find yourself more so in the peaks or valleys of life? Much can be said about how one responds to the situations that spring up in life which cause doubt and other unsettling emotions. Having a firm grasp on even the smallest things in life that may weigh us down can make a difference in how long we remain in the valley.
I’ve noticed that I am a very reflective individual. I have found that great reflection often times comes in the valley. I have learned so much about myself and how to approach life just by being in the valley. I’ve learned to find COMFORT in the valley because I know that it's not a place I will remain for long. Once I come out of the valley, I know the peaks of life await me and that I will grow stronger with life's ups and downs.
During my journey as an entrepreneur, I have found more valleys than peaks. Just when I think things are moving and that I have the momentum to keep rolling, the brakes are applied and I come to a screeching halt.
So let’s begin. The year was 2008. I decided that it was time to do something about the uncomfortable way I was making two to three sports bras work to provide me with support during workouts. I asked a dear sister in Christ of mine, whom is a seamstress, to teach me how to sew. I went out and bought a sewing machine and began taking lessons from her. During the lessons, I come up with how to make ONE sports bra work.
Fast forward to the year 2014. I find a company to make the prototype. This became an endeavor that took way longer than expected. While the prototype is being created, I am also working on the legalities of things. All the while, money is going out and NOT coming in.
Fast forward two more years. I am now working with a manufacturer and we continue to make adjustments and come up with a style that is suitable to meet the needs for moderate impact activities. Not quite the high impact, but the manufacturer led me to another manufacturer that may be able to help.
Throughout these years… As one can see, it has taken A LOT of time to bring my idea to fruition. My COMFORT comes in knowing that I have been supported throughout all of these years by family, friends, and women who are just waiting for a doggone good sports bra. I also have the CONFIDENCE that both sports bras will change how well-endowed women work out, in turn scaling up their CONFIDENCE.
In the valley... Throughout these years, I did learn that some things are truly out of my control, but that I could CONTROL my next move. While in the valleys, I was still problem solving to ensure that I did not give up on my dream. I have this poster that reads “Dreams are not something to wait for, they are something to work for”. Working in the valley brings forth creativity and greater determination. If I simply waited while in the valley, I would not be any further along than when I started. Even in the valley, work must be done. Most importantly, work on self.
On the peak… I have yet to make it to the tallest peak of my journey, but those little heightened adventures are what keep me going. When God’s peace leads me to and through a new door, I am reminded that I will get to where my vision is and all of the effort (and money!) would have been worth it all. I have met some wonderful women along the way. Men have been supportive as well, which is interesting because soon, they will not have the pleasure of enjoying “the bounce” we women tend to bring while working out (j/k but not really).
I’ve learned to turn those valleys upside down and stand on them as they become my peaks.
Oh, so I have to pay for this now. More rewards coming my way as I charge this to the credit card.
Oh, so this fabric won’t work. Okay. let’s find a more economical one that saves me and future customers some money.
COVID-19 has shut down production. Ok. Time to reevaluate business goals. I now have time to connect with others in the industry. Hey. Pausing isn't so bad.
So… Acknowledge when you are in the valley and that you don’t have to remain there. Get stronger in the valley as you climb your way to the peak. The COMFORT found in the valley is not a state of not going anywhere, but of peace. That CONFIDENCE felt when you are at your peak is something to be reminded of when you are in the valley in order to maintain CONTROL. What will you take from your valleys? What do you see at your peak?