Dear Fellow Dream Chasers,
Have you ever wondered how to manifest something you've been yearning for? A piece of the puzzle, perhaps a piece of you that you've been missing? What about trying to move on after a break up or a break down, or both?
A life coach once told me we have to sometimes break down to break through.
It is in the break down that we can often get clear on what we are committed to, and then with that clarity take action toward doing something about it.
Recently I chose what I would call a great re-organization of priorities in my life. I chose to break up with my girlfriend. I chose to move out of the WalknTalk boathouse, and I chose to pack all of my belongings into storage to once again journey out to Get Lost To Find Myself. This time, without a lease, or anything holding me back, I chose to position myself toward the infinite abyss, and jump!
I planned an inspiration vacation to Porto, Portugal, a place I had spent many years traveling to. In those years I had experienced so many strong evolutions in my life that I decided to return to the source.
During my return I was gifted a certain amount of clarity about what I truly value in my life moving forward. And the most forward, front of mind value was and is, FREEDOM. Of course freedom comes with its price.
In my case I have chosen to build a life as a designer, maker, author, and entrepreneur. For many years I have wondered how I would manage to train someone to make the WalknTalk journals and products. I even wondered how I would carry the overhead if I were to choose to build out a workshop outside of the one in my apartment, (The WalknTalk Boathouse studio), while still living out my dream of learning fifteen languages.
(The galley loft of the Boathouse studio)
Some of you who have read my book STITCH, The Artisan Entrepreneur, may recall that I used to work with the Amish to produce our leather journals and quality leather goods. As that had presented certain challenges with production, I had scaled back to master the process "in house".
While unsure of how I would create the best scenario for making the WalknTalk leather journals, I knew I would manifest it.
And the magic of Porto and creating an inspiration vacation would bring the solution into existence.
(Me in front of Ponte Luis)
Driving to Rochester, New York, for Christmas after spending two months in Portugal, I called an old friend named Harry from student exchange.
We met in 2007 as exchange students in the Czech Republic, and even vowed to grow our hair long at the same time sitting on the same river bank talking about the same thing... Self Creation.
(Me on the left with my guitar, Harry on the right, by my side. Prague Castle in the background. Attending a Rotary Youth Exchange conference in Prague.)
Years had passed, and despite a few times visiting each other in the US and in Prague, we spent the better half of ten years on our own paths.
Harry loved his WalknTalk journals and Visionary frames. Most of all, he loved WalknTalk. He understood the brand, and he knew the journey I had been on from the beginning. I told him of how I was crushed not knowing what to do about making the journals. I explained the pain points and concerns of outsourcing to China or another local company in the States. I had learned a few production lessons that taught me the importance of being small and might before working with too large of production runs. There's something about keeping the process organic.
What I needed was an artisan who wanted to do it. Someone motivated to be a maker, and build the brand with me. Someone who was patient, who had vision and heart.
"I'll do it," he said. "What? Come on, you're not serious," I said.
"Yes, I am serious. I want to make the WalknTalk journals, and the other products as well, if you'll teach me."
"That would be amazing, honestly it's a big commitment to learn, and for me to teach you. Dude you realize I would have to drive all of the machines to you in Oklahoma, right?"
"I know. I'm serious though, and I won't back out."
Harry made good on his word, and so I began to joyfully unpack the machines, cutting dies, and materials from storage.
It felt right.
My family thought I was crazy. "Oklahoma, what? Who is this guy? Can't you find someone here local in Rochester?"
What they didn't understand is that I have another brother in Oklahoma. Someone I can trust, and who gets the brand. Someone who believes in the message and understands the philosophy and core values all of the journals and products have been inspired from.
Harry's good heart, and strong hands were a blessing from the universe. All I had to do was transport about seven hundred pounds worth of gear to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Twelve hundred miles and one week later, I was there.
"Fortune favors the bolds" and "the universe likes speed"...
"The best way to kill opportunity is by waiting, it works every time" -Hans Phillips
Needless to say, Harry was super stoked!
And so was I...
(a picture is truly worth a thousand words...!)
We got straight to it.
And before we knew it. Harry was making journals and wallets like a pro.
I was pumped, and excited to finally have a process in place to build the dream sustainably moving forward.
To be honest I was pretty nostalgic leaving my machines behind, and gave them all a pep talk before leaving, assuring them that Harry would take good care of them.
For anyone who has ever created something from scratch...
And I do mean from scratch...
Be Optimistic and Celebrate the Journey.
Who you became, and what you created...
Came from a part of you that is eternal.
And will continue to take on different forms until the day our ship comes in...
Keep believing... It's out there ;)
Thank you for being a part of this journey, and supporting the cause of inspiring 1 Million people around the world to Get Lost To Find Yourself, and create themselves and their lives on purpose.
Now is a great day to start.