In theater classes years ago, we learned that the number one rule of improv is being “Yes, and” at all times. Meaning, if you’re improvising a scene with a partner and that person says, “Oh look! There’s a pink elephant over there!” and you say, “I don’t see a pink elephant.” the scene ends there. On the other hand, if you said, “Yes, and…it’s heading right for us!” the scene keeps moving and stays interesting.
One of the biggest lessons Lisa and I have learned so far about starting a business – – and this doubles as a good life lesson – – is the need to remain flexible and open. “Yes, and” if you will. To everything. All the time. Even if it just sucks. Even if we don’t really see the pink elephant. Open to feedback, criticism, praise, completely new directions altogether. We’ve found that the less tightly we hold onto our ideas about what our company HAS to look like and how it HAS to operate, the more it grows in fabulous new directions we could never have imagined.
There have been disappointments along the way, of course. Boy, have there been. There were many times, especially in the very early days, when we had to talk each other off the ledge (which is why you’ll always find an emergency box of wine at the studio!). But you know, every single seemingly devastating setback we’ve encountered has been followed up, without fail and as if by some magic, with a better solution that we’d never even considered. We just had to remain open to the change.
I’ll grudgingly admit that it’s probably been good for the perfectionists in Lisa and I to have our hair messed up a bit by the hurricane winds of changes and new directions we’ve been forced to be open to. Safe and rigid is so last year, and we are ridiculously blessed to have such a wonderful community of artists, friends, family, boyfriends and girlfriends, Kickstarters, professionals ready to offer advice, and a whole host of generous people who have come out of the woodwork to offer their love, support and excitement about what we’re doing. Leaps of faith are not quite as scary when you have so many hands ready to catch you.
Every single step of this journey has felt like it is into thin air, but we’ve stepped anyway. Sometimes boldly, sometimes grudgingly, sometimes terrified.
…but always in great shoes.
We’ve got 13 days left on our Kickstarter campaign! Can you spare a few bucks to support a local, women- (and artist!) owned business? Practice your “Yes, and” right here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/817257653/hourglass-footwear-hand-painted-shoes-for-smart-wo