I have a friend who used to run a flower shop. “Anna” is a doll – fun, warm and thoughtful. As I was getting to know her, she admitted that she was glad she didn’t have the business anymore. It turns out the shop had been nothing like she had expected.
Anna and her husband refinanced their home multiple times. Repeatedly they found themselves pumping cash into their business, but that was only until the next crisis arose.
Anna often worked extra hours for months at a time when she had employee problems or staffing gaps. It wasn’t what she had in mind when they bought the business, especially as she tried to juggle time with her children and large, extended family.
She was complaining to a friend of ours for the umpteenth time when he suddenly said to her, “Hey – why don’t you just sell that business?”
“SELL IT?! Are you kidding me? After all the time, energy, and money we’ve put into it? I couldn’t do that. No – I wouldn’t do that. But, but, but…maybe I just need to sell that business.”
Anna was so surprised when the words came out of her mouth. A goal she had worked so hard to achieve – owning her own company, might be coming to an end. But as she went home that night and thought it through, she realized he may be right. She said to me, “I realized I only liked a small part of it. I didn’t like working with the City to obtain permits. I didn’t like arguing with farmers or wholesalers about prices. I didn’t like going to the accountant every quarter to work on my taxes. And I CERTAINLY didn’t like firing people!”
As you can imagine, they did sell the shop. And Anna, as well as her whole family, was much, much happier. It turns out that she got a job at a church, and part of her duties include helping brides who want to rent the church with their floral arrangements. She gets to do all the things she liked to do, and skip the ones she didn’t.
I admire Anna. She made a brave decision, admitted what wasn’t working, and moved on with her life before things got worse. I’ve had a lot of goals in my life, and I’ve achieved a lot. But I can tell you that it’s also all right to let go of a dream, or let it morph into something else, however bittersweet that may be. Let your natural gift call to you, and try to leave everything else behind, even if it’s only for the rest of this week. In the words of novelist George Sand, “I know that I have found fulfillment. I have an object in life, a task…a passion.”