Opening your hand
I had a dream where my hand was closed into a fist, tightly around something frail and precious. Between my skinny fingers, pattern paper cuts and all, I could see signs.. it was my business.
It was bits of thread, shreds of lace, and a sequin or two, crammed into my fist, with the sharp end of a pair of scissors, poking between my fingers. I was holding onto it so tightly that if it were human, it’d most certainly be choking. In the dream, I opened my fist and braced myself for it to run away. Instead, more business fell into my hand.
It’s easy to white knuckle this thing - to hold onto the wallet tightly, to pinch the pennies because you know some ridiculous expense is just around the corner. It's easy to be weary of anyone who wants to ‘help’ your company. I didn’t start with a business loan, an investor, I didn’t even have a savings account! I started with nothing.
I was terrified of hiring permanent help out of fear of not earning enough money to pay us both - a very legitimate fear. What if that’s the only business I got this month, and I gave it all away? This isn’t a non-profit! I kept the mentality that I wouldn’t set myself on fire to keep anyone else warm.. and the stress and anxiety of only taking in what I could handle myself almost killed me.
All new businesses go through the growing pain of learning when to hire others, and when to cling tight to your net.
But the work always comes.
I opened my hand. During the first few days, I brought in an assistant to help me handle the things that were driving me insane. She handled them, and I instantly saw it - I had no business doing any of those things. It looked a lot like ironing, sweeping, and seam ripping. I was able to turn my energy to doing things only I could do. A week later, I realized just how much my business was able to breathe. So much so, that three months worth of work fell into my hand while she was busy taking care of the rest.
Two weeks later, I had to hire nine stitchers within two hours to repeat a business process I built for one of our main pillars (band merchandise), so that I could focus on the projects that came to me. That project alone would’ve taken me a month of working past midnight daily - but between 9 stitchers and one assistant, we could expedite the process in 10 days.
The moment I realized that if I opened my hand, my business could move and flow freely, the second it began to. The fact is, opening your hand allows God room to put new things in it.. beautiful things.
Don’t build a taller fence- build a longer table.
The more open I became about the work we do here, the more that came in the door. I can’t help but see the direct impact of something as simple as removing my grip and allowing things to come to us. I get to cut a ton of paychecks to people I love in this city - people that SO MANY OTHERS would call ‘competition’. What a strange word for people who want to sit at my table and eat with me, help me achieve something downright insane, and make money with me.
In the span of three weeks, my entire business model got flipped upside down, and I'm so grateful for it. I’d challenge you..
What can you let go of? Can you afford to keep white-knuckling it?