Exactly a year ago I was taking part in a training called “Find yourself”, targeted at young, unemployed people. I was the oldest in the crowd as I was approaching the ceiling of the age of their target group. It was an experience I will never forget as it helped me to shape who I am and what I do today. But not in a way that I just made it sound like.
The lady hosting the training was a very self-confident, middle aged woman who has kids my age herself. I was confused whether or not she had business of her own, but she was confident in her advice of starting one, or at least seeking employment. She didn’t shy away from criticizing everything that clashed with her views and opinions, including the participants, their looks, opinions or behavior.
During a two-day training she expressed an opinion, that if someone didn’t find themselves before the age of 29, then no amount of money will help such a loser to achieve that and she would never want her money to be invested into such a lost cause. Here she was criticizing the effort of European Union funded program on behalf of Labour Exchange to fund and thus help to kick start businesses dreamed up by young people.
I don’t know what made me talk when it came time for the trainer to distribute her business advices. At the time I was in the process of teaching myself how to spin and my dream was to make and sell hand-spun yarn to people who appreciate and are willing to pay for quality and unique hand made items. I passionately talked about this idea of mine and many many ways I am going to diversify my activities, products and services, just to her face frown up even more.
After giving it a couple seconds of thought she was ready to crush my hopes and dreams right in front of everyone. Any hand-made business is not profitable, it is not going to work unless I seek financial assistance from the government, nobody needs yarn, it is such a niche thing to do etc. I am sure most people sitting there thought “wtf, who makes yarn? spin? who spins these days? who is this delusional girl?” and it was greatly fired up by self-confidence of hers while “crushing” my dreams.
But I said at the beginning that it was an experience that helped me out at the beginning and I didn’t exaggerate. After her speech, during a brake, I approached her to thank her and let her know that back in the day, my small, insecure self would be devastated by her answer to my craft-business idea, but today I am shocked by how little affect it had on me. Actually, it made me believe what I do even more.
I didn’t want to do normal things, things that unemployed youth is encouraged to do. I wanted to do my things. Also, I didn’t start this to appeal to masses, to make regular looking yarn and crafts, that would definitely sell. I wanted to make weir looking yarn, different, something that would stand out in a crowd, something that would wear it’s uniqueness as a badge of honor and wouldn’t get crushed under first criticism. And I always knew that somewhere on this planet there are people, who want to have that uniqueness and weirdness and can pay for it.
I told her how really it didn’t matter how much money I would make, because this is something I spend ALL my time on, so every euro is a win to me, since I would be doing exact same thing even if I crumbled under criticism and insecurity.
I was so so proud of myself. I have bad days filled with self- doubt, but mostly I wake up and go to sleep with a smile, because I love what I do. My yarn, my embroidery comes from love. And it’s the best.
I wish everyone reading this, whatever you do – love it!