“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

Brilliant and relevant words written by Theodore Roosevelt that I believe will never go out of style.  Being 20 years old, married, and somehow running my own small business with my husband of three months, has left a lot of people’s eyes rolling. This is understandable, but it’s usually from those gawkers that I frequently get asked,  how did I start? What tools did it take to get started, and what tools do they need to begin their endeavor?

People often tell me about their amazing dreams, plans, and goals, but they always seem to conclude with a lousy excuse of why they just can’t start. There is typically a laundry list of obstacles staring them down, and it’s continued long enough to the point that they believe that they’re inadequate to pursue their passion. Sometimes it’s due to a lack of resources, a lack of finances, or a lack of emotional stability and mental preparation. All valid reasons.

So, I tell them the same thing, every single time.

I tell them the story about how we started with nothing but a God-given vision. And by vision, I mean a literal vision that Jesus gave us only weeks after moving back into our little city of Redding after a summer of traveling.

Our business wasn’t something we thought up, planned, or brainstormed together; It wasn’t even a passion that was bubbling up within me that I just had to start. We got a very simple and specific vision; we felt God say “GO” and so we went.

I had zero experience with starting a business or creating a product and selling it. I was barely a calligraphy artist, and I definitely wasn’t the best in my city, let alone the country. It was intimidating, for sure. But, we felt Jesus in it. And we had a dream- to bring Heaven into homes through simple custom words of ink onto paper. And once you have a goal for what you’re doing, it’s easy to have the conviction for it and to truly believe in why you’re doing what you’re doing.

If you have a dream bubbling up in you, and if you’re serious about turning it into a reality, then there are a few questions you should ask yourself,

What’s holding you back?

Is it not having enough experience? A good tip is to surround yourself with people who are already doing what it is you want to do. Pick their brain, ask them questions!
Is it a lack of resources? Go over your finances and figure out what you really need to begin. Yes, we’d all love the dream studio, the highest quality of tech equipment and the gas money to travel to the dream locations. But sometimes you have to start small, and that’s totally okay.

You want your dream home, but you’re not married or don’t have the finances just quite yet? I would suggest taking care of the home you’re currently in! If you want to switch things up that badly, check out some local thrift shops and repurpose some old furniture or have a garage sale to make some extra cash to buy some new furniture.

You want to start a fabulous blog and build 700k but don’t have a computer or consistent following yet? Well, you have to start somewhere! Every successful blogger had to start somewhere, too. Consider reaching out to some influencers you look up to and ask them if they have any tips for someone who’s just starting! Also, be intentional with the following that you’ve already built. Create the feed and content that you want to dish out! Create excellence, and don’t compare yourself. Because nothing kills creativity faster than comparison.

You want to do photography but only have an iPhone? What’s holding you back? Tag along with some local photographers! Ask to borrow a friend’s camera! Use your iphone for the time being. Because the truth is, some of the absolute best photographers I’ve ever come across, only shoot and post with their iphone! But they’re damn good and damn passionate for what they do.

What’s truly holding you back? Is it your lack of resources? Or could it be the lie that you have to have it all together to be successful?

Begin where you are, with what you have.