Challenge Accepted!

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What will you do in the next hundred days?
By Elizabeth Cutright

Last night, I had the opportunity to watch a good friend complete another chapter in her latest adventure. I’ve mentioned my adventures with Spruced and Mindy Nelson before, and last night Mindy graduated from the Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) core 14-week Self-Employment Training course.

The main hall of the Montecito Country Club was packed with friends and family, all eagerly awaiting to see the graduates deliver their “elevator pitches” and receive their completion certificates.  As the evening’s event began, applause and appreciation could be felt all around, cradled by the rooms high-beamed ceiling and thick walls of spanish adobe.  Lights twinkled from massively stout chandeliers, and I as I waited for my friend’s presentation, I idly wondered if the fireplace anchoring room’s south side was big enough to fit a VW bug (or a Mini Cooper).

Each of the participating groups elected a member to speak about their experiences, and Mindy was her section’s representative.  She gave a speech entitled “The Next Hundred Days,” and in it she talked about what she and her fellow participants had accomplished over the course of the program (“we talked…we listened…we masterminded”).  Taking the theme further, Mindy discussed what they’ve overcome, what they’d learned, and what they planned to do with their next hundred days.

One of Mindy’s comments resonated with me in particular….

“What didn’t we do?,” Mindy she asked, “we didn’t get too discouraged…we didn’t stop supporting each other…and we didn’t give up.”

The speaker for the other WEV sections provided equally inspiring insights and calls to action.

“Sometimes we don’t know how strong we are until we don’t have a choice,” one speaker explained as she detailed her fight against cancer and how that challenge informed and influenced her WEV experience.

“We are all living different chapters of our own lives,” she went on to say, before thanking her fellow students, teachers and mentors.

Another speaker began by detailing her experience with sky diving, saying “1800 feet is just a number on a piece of paper when you’re signing up, but when you’re standing at the open door of that plain you wonder, ‘what am I doing?’”

“This program felt a lot like skydiving,” she added, before advising the crowd, “you’re not too old and you’re not too young,” to being a new life.

Addresses everyone in the room, one of the WEV instructors spoke about entrepreneurship as an act of faith.  He counseled current and aspiring entrepreneurs to make a plan, set some goals, establish accountability and “share your vision.”

“Sharing your vision reiterates your enthusiasm,” he explained. By talking about your project, telling your story, explaining your plan, you can inspire others to feel excited about your project. They’ll have faith you can succeed and that faith “lifts you up in unexpected ways.”

There really is nothing better than watching a friend succeed.  As Mindy flawless delivered her elevator pitch and gave us all a high-five as walked away from the podium to join the other graduates, I couldn’t help but think my own endeavors and projects…the ones I’ve completed…the ones I’ve abandoned…and especially the few that are still floating around out there, just waiting for a little TLC.

Regular followers of The Daily Creative Writer know that a few unexpected events (including a torturous move) derailed my blogging efforts.  While I’ve remained faithful to my morning pages and my Artist Dates (though somewhat less so), finding the time and inspiration to get to these pages has been difficult.

So I’m going to hitch a ride on Mindy’s coattails and see if I can’t pump a little energy back into all my creative writing endeavors.

Mindy finished her speech asking, “what will you do over the next 100 days?”

I know where I’ll be…

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One thought on “Challenge Accepted!

  1. I know just what you mean in not always being here blogging, I had months go by with one post last year. I think it’s great you’ve kept up the artist dates and morning pages, I wax and wane with those too!

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