This past weekend I was reflecting with my new pattern making friend about the personal stuff we face when we take on starting a business. We have to face things head on that have been deep fears. Mostly because we have to work with people and people bring up old things we spend our lives working through.
After years of mostly soldering alone with my business, I have begun to have people to work with. The team at CART Inc. in West Virginia, my pattern making software teacher, and Anne Tilley the pattern making teacher mentioned above. As I’ve gotten into this work I’ve realized that I have a fear of being able to dependably count on others for my most important life’s work.
Perhaps you’ve run into something similar with your work–I know that I can only build my dream work with a team of people. Building an innovative, job creating made to measure womenswear line in West Virginia is simply not possible on my own. And then I collide with my wall of fear: what if these collaborators, who I am deeply grateful for and extremely reliant on, decide they no longer want to work with me? What if I piss them off? I’ve got to go through this wall. I know I have to, but I keep bumping into it.
So Saturday I was on my way to go meet with my pattern making friend and the fear came on so hard it threatened to take my breath away. I had a 50-minute drive in front of me. I decided to just sit with it and ride it through. On the other side of my wall of fear was my friend’s homestead in Greensboro, North Carolina where my awesome new friend was going to teach me how to make the fit changes I needed to make on my blouse pattern. But before we could do that I’d have to surrender to the fact that in work relationships or otherwise, you have no control over how it is going to work out. (However, unlike grade school, you do get to choose your team.) Where it goes from there is a mystery, a journey into the unknown.
I am just embarking on the journey of learning how it feels when you work with a team of people who have your back. How to trust that the right people are there when you need them. To trust that you are deserving of excellent collaborators and people you can depend on.
When we can recognize our wall of fear for what it is, and have the perspective to know that great things await us on the other side, we can gently push through, build new types of relationships and recommit to walking the path no matter how intense that fear may get. That is the courageous path of the dream builder. I am there walking next to you.
Go fight win.