In My Shoes
In the beginning
Life is an experiment. Some experiments lead to amazing discoveries. Others leave you with slightly patchy eyebrows. Regardless of the outcome, the key is to continue learning, continue exploring, and continue growing.
I began the ShoePax journey with a truckload of ambition and a modest plan to build an empire. Millionaire, shmillionaire. I'll take a "B" out front, please. As any entrepreneur can tell you, building a business is no easy task. Get ready for a hailstorm of "oops" moments and an endless litany of problems to solve. Don't get me wrong, there are sweet victories too. The first time you see your product in a store can be one ultra cool experience, and when a client raves about your work, you can't help but feel a little gushy.
Throughout all these ups and downs, you are constantly assessing your position. Where does the company stand now and where do we want to go? What works and what is shaping up to be a flaming pile of...? well, you know. As I was examining the situation, what I began to discover was that the traditional way of doing things (aka. the "you should" way of doing things), was not getting me where I wanted to go. All of those "shoulds" in business assume you are wired a certain way, and what if my wiring happened to be completely different? The traditional route, although a valuable course for building a business, was simply not my authentic path. Much in the same way I knew at my college job fair that a corporate desk job was never going to bring me fulfillment, I felt deep down the traditional way (and reason) for starting a business didn't reconcile with my gut. Nothing felt right, and as a general rule, I don't proceed with plans (of any kind) that don't feel right. So, I shelved the project.
THe Back Seat Driver
There is a common misconception that getting a day job and a steady paycheck can make your troubles go away. Ok, I don't think anyone actually believes that, but as my career shifted into an entirely different realm that, in theory, should have quieted my inner turmoil, instead, my gut kept talking. It began as a subtle nagging, really. "Let it go," I thought. Just walk away. But, pretty soon I had a lippy backseat driver on my hands. Clearly my intuition had something to say, and its plan was to keep talking until I listened.
My hang up was never that I wasn't going to be the billionaire that I once pictured. My hang up was that I believed God had entrusted me with a great idea for a reason. Somehow I was meant to do good, real good, with this little shoe bag, and walking away from the idea was like leaving an incredibly valuable gemstone on a park bench, where nature could just bury it. I wanted the world to see this gem's beauty. My brain started working overtime to figure out how I could give the idea to someone who had the right wiring... someone who could build ShoePax into an amazing brand and use my piece of the pie for charity.
That's when my greed stepped in. Even in a best case scenario, the percentage of profits earmarked for giving were not enough. You can't force a business to adopt your values, nor should you try. Just as I believe it's my duty to follow my own authentic path, they need to follow theirs. "I can do better than that," I thought. I'm willing to stretch farther. Who cares if my business ideas don't fit the usual mold? Why not break the rules and give ShoePax a solid chance to live up to its tagline and Change the World One Sole At A Time?
So this is the experiment kids. I couldn't muster the strength to leave a whole lotta giving on the table, so instead I'm changing the rules and drawing one simple solid line. I'm coming directly to you and only you. No middlemen. No big box stores or online giants. No extra markups. Just you and me and an innovative shoe bag pouring some love into the community and giving help where it's needed.
We make choices all day long. We choose what to wear, what to purchase, and where to buy. We choose our values, how we use our time, and the direction we want our lives to go in. I choose to try something way outside of the box. I hope you will choose to help me.
Become A Miracle
I challenge you to become a miracle in our world that, at times, can seem so broken. Something as simple as doing your job well can be a miracle to a client who needs your expertise. Make eye contact when you order your next coffee. Really listen with an open and compassionate heart when a friend needs to talk. Take ownership of your actions. Live with integrity, even when nobody is watching. Love people even when they seemingly don't deserve it. Love yourself. Fight for those who can't fight for themselves.
As my favorite economist always tells me, "what we focus on expands." Look for opportunities to become a miracle for others. These little actions rarely cost money, yet have the potential to transform lives.
God blessed me with (what I believe to be) a great idea. For all you ladies and gents out there who love your shoes, or perhaps just fall into the neat freak category like me, please consider giving ShoePax a try. It's one of those products you never knew you needed until you use it. Then you wonder how you ever got along without that clever little bag.
One thing you can know for sure is that your purchase will make a difference in someone's life. You won't know who and you won't know when or where, but your hard earned dollars will serve as a miracle to someone, and what better gift is there to the world than that.
Thank you for your consideration and support.
The Big Guy
All that is good comes from Him. He has given me the ideas that keep me up at night, and the resources to put them into action. We don't truly own anything in this lifetime. It's all simply borrowed for a finite amount of time. I only hope I can learn to use my unique toolbox to build something meaningful in this world.
That's me sizing up Santa Clause at the ripe old age of three. Apparently, my enthusiasm for taking a deep dive into the learning pool started early. I can't help it. I just overflow with questions and I love to explore what motivates people and makes them beautiful. Everyone has a superpower... discovering what it is is the fun part.
How do you begin to describe the love you feel for the people in your life who have your back unconditionally? I won the lottery with my family, and I am very aware of the magnitude of that precious gift. Thank you for your love, your support, your humor, and your damn good packing and shipping skills. You make all of my dreams possible.