A few days ago I was in sunny South Carolina, gathering with hundreds of fellow handmade business owners listening to the incredibly inspiring presentations by handmade royalty such as Plywood People, Rifle Paper Co., Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Rewined Candles, Super Make It, and Handmade Charlotte. These are but a few of the company owners who shared their experiences with us. This is The Makers Summit, a conference in Greenville, South Carolina and a golden opportunity to meet other makers and creative folks, company coaches, advisers, and industry professionals in a friendly, focused environment. Whew!
How did I get there? This is where the title “Embrace the Risk” comes into play.
At 11:30pm last Wednesday night I received a text that a last-minute Makers Summit ticket might be available. A friend’s children were sick and, combined with the impending snowstorms throughout the Northeast, she couldn’t make the drive. I’d read about the Summit for months, learned as much as I could about the stories and companies behind the keynote speakers and panelists, and knew I would do just about anything to get there. (I swear I’m not a stalker, but really? These folks are worth reading about!)
An hour later I booked my flight, loaded my backpack, and packed/shipped/emailed my way through the night. My three kids’ homeschooling plans were rearranged, work and social plans rescheduled. I called the hotel on the way to the airport to reserve a room. Despite the snowstorms, my plane arrived only an hour late. Turns out I found the only morning nonstop flight from Rochester to Charlotte, thus avoiding the canceled-flight-nightmare of the ice-coated JFK and Philly airports.
At this point, everything meshed together as if orchestrated far in advance. Friends attending the Summit graciously gave me a ride from Charlotte to Greenville, and the hotel’s shuttle service was available to ferry me to and from the events. An event organizer went so far as to personally welcome me, having seen my last-minute travel plans on Instagram, and offered a ride or food if needed. This was all before the event even began.
This sounds great, right? Maybe you’re saying to yourself, “I could never do that! Too last minute, I need more time to plan” or, conversely, “I do that kind of thing all the time! What’s the big deal?” Let’s just put it all out there: I fit into the former category. I used to travel and explore with abandon, but lately? No. I’m a planner and also a bit of an introvert. I mean, my company is built from my science projects, and formulas are often worked out in the middle of the night. I don’t typically “do” giant gatherings and certainly am not the life of the party. And really, last-minute flights and hotels are expensive and that alone grates against my ingrained frugality.
But! In the end, I took the risk. In fact, over the course of the four days away, I realized I’ve begun to embrace the risk ever since I launched On Hand Lotions. Last week, despite the overloaded work table stacked high with orders and experiments in various testing stages, this opportunity stood up and yelled in my face to Just Say Yes. So I did.
Keep in touch for more candid talk on risk, fear, and that pesky companion, guilt.