Over the last 3-years, my creative pastime, Jana Nel Design, has been shaped and moulded to birth this special day: a day that has commanded many late nights, endless patience, sacrifices, and every ounce of determination within me.
This Friday marks my first official workday as a self-employed, small business owner.
I've finally traded the mundane sense of ‘security’ a corporate 8-to-5 offers, for a brave new journey where I get to utilise and transform the creative gifts I’ve been blessed with into a new career path to pursue Jana Nel Design full-time - crafting beautiful handmade ceramics and pouring my heart into freelance design and marketing projects for like-minded brands.
In the lead-up to my resignation – my Type-A personality took charge - I drew up ferocious to-do lists, devised strategic plans, and I can assure you everything was perfect for my new beginning as the very first employee of Jana Nel Design.
But, as constant as the sun rises and the moon fades, fate has played her hand in my ‘perfectly formulated plan’ – two weeks after my resignation, the COVID-19 virus made its appearance in South Africa – resulting in an uncertain and difficult reality for all small business owners. The workshop-events, markets, and projects I was working on for April, May and June, were immediately postponed or canceled. Having my perfect '3-month kick-off plan’ crumble at the hands of a virus, made me question my brave decision to resign, it made me fall into a spiral of doubt - disbelief that pursuing my dream is still a valid and sensible path to pursue… until I realised:
- This 'un-perfect' situation of uncertainty is something every entrepreneur faces daily - uncertainty is now my new normal, (with the impending coronavirus or not). Embrace the unperfect and uncertain - there is an opportunity hidden in each and every challenge.
- God did not bless you with your own set of unique gifts and talents, just for you to hide them away when the going gets tough. Be brave and steward your talents wisely.
- Even with all your to-do lists and planning, life rarely works out the way you've planned. There's only one conductor for your life-path here on earth - God's hand is in every detail, every day and every situation, trust that He'll always guide and protect you to fulfill your dreams and deepest desires.
- It’s only by God’s good grace that I’ve come this far and it’s only by His grace that I’ll be able to conquer this entire new landscape and face this new reality head-on with a true entrepreneurial spirit.
In a time where we’re all still trying to navigate our ‘new-normal’, you might have the luxury of time to explore old or new creative hobbies - I hope that sharing my infectious passion for creativity can ignite one or some of the creative treasures that are hidden in your soul, or perhaps encourage you to overcome creative self-doubt and to escape the unrealistic expectation society places on us to always strive for perfection.
"May this be the season where you keep on creating, even in the uncertainty, even in the waiting"
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