WE OPENED A BIKE SHOP! (Just in case you didn’t hear… )
It was hard. We’ve established that. But from this vantage point I can also pinpoint many reasons why all the hard stuff has been worth it to see the vision come to life. Here are 5 reasons why it’s worth the headaches and pain to try and start something new.
1. You get to know yourself better. In September I would have told you that I would be the last person you’d entrust to pull off opening a bike shop. I didn’t really know about bikes, but it’s not just that I learned more about “all things cycling.” I learned more about me. I learned how I respond to challenges. I figured out what stress looks like on me. I learned more about where I’m strong and where I’m weak. Then it was necessary to learn how to ask for help in those weak areas. It’s not just about bikes (or whatever you’re trying to promote/create/sell), it’s about management, relationships, authority, responsibility, and confidence. I’m more confident now and not because I pulled something off, but because I learned more about how I operate and function through the process. Success didn’t make me more confident, the process did.
2. You get to spend your time doing what you love. Few people are going to go through all this hard stuff just to do some random, half-hearted thing. You do this because you’re passionate about it. You only make it to the end because you’ve already deemed the end result worthy of the sacrifice. I would probably never start a pet-advocacy program. I wouldn’t make it to the end because I just don’t care that much about animals. The end result isn’t motivating enough. But… giving street kids a marketable skill? I’m on board. So I push through to the end. The benefit is that the whole process with all it’s sacrifices revolve around something that I love and I’m passionate about. Work wasn’t work. 12 hour days turned into 15, 16, 17 hour days because I didn’t care about quitting time. Doing work you love is important. It’s hard to do something big or great if you don’t love it. There’s nothing like laying down at night and being excited to start again the next day.
3. You impact lives. This is worth it because the whole point is to change and impact lives. Whether you’re trying to bring awareness, raise funds, sell a product, provide a service, create a community, or sustain a project or ministry it means more because it benefits somebody else. Have you ever seen that episode of Friends where Joey and Pheobe get into an argument about wether or not all good deeds are selfish? Hilarious… And probably a little true. (See the clip below)
When you’re done building and starting whatever, you get to see the result of what you’ve worked so hard to offer. With the restaurant I see employees who are supporting themselves and their families and they’re being empowered to start their own businesses. One day, I hope to see street kids who have found love and acceptance, learned an empowering skill, and have been supported in their dreams. That will be worth it… when their lives are changed. It’s coming. Call me selfish… but I love that part.
4. Your faith and trust levels grow. We talked about how this whole process requires more faith and trust and how difficult that process can be. Still, when it’s all said and done, your initial level of faith is higher than what it once was. You have earned “faith capital” that extends to your future projects, dreams, and efforts. It’s easier to believe that God will show up, that things will work out, and that ultimately the goal will be reached after you’ve already seen it happen once before. Think about it… if you climb a 14,000 foot mountain, you don’t look at anything equal to or smaller than that mountain as an impossible climb anymore. The second time you climb a mountain, it will have to be bigger and more challenging before it will test your faith and trust like that first experience.
5. You become proof. You get to be an example to all those other dreamers who want to change the world that it can be done. Maybe somewhere there’s somebody with a big idea and big heart to change an unacceptable reality. You get to inspire, encourage, and be living proof that with a little hard work, it can happen. You can open a bike shop. You can open a restaurant. You can start that non-profit. You can open the coffee shop. You can start that church. You can bring clean water to that community. You san enlighten the world to the problems and issues that others face. You can provide jobs for those women in the remote village. You can rescue kids from human trafficking and prostitution. You can feed the hungry. You can advocate for peace and equality and be heard. For me, part of what is making all of this worthwhile is that I know it’s proof that it can be done. It’s not about bragging rights, it’s about the inspiration and encouragement it can give to somebody else’s dreams.
This is what I like about The Journey. Throughout these past 10 years of missionary work, I’ve met so many people who have big dreams and passions. I’ve sat in coffee shops around the world and discussed the realities that our generation sees as unacceptable and wants to change. It’s one thing to sit across and say, “I’m sure you can do it!” without ever having tried to do it myself. The Journey has given me the opportunity to test the theory out and even bring others along on the experience. It’s not about burgers and bikes, it’s always been about inspiring you to believe it’s all possible.