By Lisa Slagle, first published August 3, 2015
On Thursday evening, I left work feeling absolutely elated. At work we had just launched our demo reel (which I insisted on naming our 2015 Wheelie Sick Edit), and I could not have been happier.
I felt like everything I'd ever done had led up to this moment.
In high school, I was obsessed with making edits. I constantly filmed and edited videos with my friends for our school news program, and in my free time, I wrote screenplays. (Yeah. I was a meganerd.) But I was passionate, and I was great at it, and writing and creating videos with interesting, little narratives is actually one of the things I like to think I'm best at.
I've actually been wanting to shift my business into a lot more videography for a few years, but I wanted to do this slowly and mindfully, since I see immense value in designing my clients' brands first and then creating supporting videos.
So anyway, there I was on Thursday afternoon, leaving work in my little blue truck, just stoked out of my mind, cruising down the dirt road to go home to a house that I recently bought all by myself with money from a business I started all by myself from scratch. Let me tell you what-- I was one empowered woman. The sun was shining. The air was warm, and my hand was hanging out the window. My favorite song happened to be playing on the radio, and my heart was so happy, I thought it might burst. I smiled. Two birds were chasing each other in the air, and I happily thought, "Even the birds are making this moment Movie Perfect."
And then BAM!
Those two adorable, playful, little birds smashed violently into my windshield.
Blood and feathers smeared across my viewpoint.
And one of them made the saddest tweeting death noise I have ever heard.
I'm a vegetarian. I adore the animal kingdom. I don't even kill spiders. Or mosquitos. Which is why I've been bitten by a hobo spider AND survived West Nile. I even go around saying "Two birds with one bandaid" to repair all the birds that everyone is throwing one stone at.
Killing two birds with one windshield put an abrupt stop to my perfect moment of sheer joy. I teared up as I spun the windshield wipers and watched the bloody feathers wash away in a few swipes.
As I pulled into my driveway feeling super bummed, I found this whole interaction very interesting. It was kind of a dark reminder to stay humble, that life is fleeting, and to remember that no matter how much success or failure we encounter, there's always just the common denominator that right now, we are all just alive on this planet.
Running a business is bananas. I screw up all the time. I succeed all the time. The highs and lows of running a business are amazing. One minute, I'm texting my best buddy with questions on what he would do in my overwhelming, borderline tear-inducing scenario, and two hours later, I'm sending texts like, "Oh yeah, dude, got that figured out. Things are more golden than a retriever. Ditch work and come snowboarding with me!"
Perspective can be difficult when you're the one calling the shots, dealing with every detail, and as my friend and fellow business owner, Mollie Busby pointed out, having to care about everything. (I'm going to write an entire email on that soon because I've been thinking about that concept for a month now ever since she said it, and I'm pretty sure those five words pretty much summarize what entrepreneurship means.)
In those moments of defeat-- when you don't win the bid or the electricity goes out and you still have to pay your employees, or even when you have to tell someone they're fired, just realize that there will be moments when you do win the bid or one of your employees sets up faster internet that somehow saves you money every month or you will find those special people who make your business easier and better and stronger.
And that's life.
It's all about staying grounded, remaining humble, and somehow strong.
No matter what happens in business, you have to balance those highs with those lows and remember that things change so quickly that perspective is the only thing that will give you that balance.
It's like saving two birds with one bandaid.
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