"A leader with little experience in feeling is a leader not ready for a following." - Abraham Lincoln
In his article "How to Stay Focused When You Feel Like Giving Up", successful writer, speaker, and branding coach Dale Partridge discusses the life of our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, and the reverence he has for he who set an example by persevering through trials that most people wouldn't come back from:
"In times of testing, it’s easy to lose sight of why we started. Losing confidence in our ideas is easy. But similar to Abraham’s story, we soon realize our fortitude is never for our benefit but the benefit of others. Giving up isn’t about the change that would occur in our life, rather it’s the end of what our life was going to do, going to change, going to fix, or going to stop."
Most business owners will agree that running your own business can be one of the most life giving experiences, but that it can be as equally and undeniably difficult. Hear from our founder, Molly Parker, on what she learned from her experience working with CAUSEBOX. (In case you missed it, we were met with unexpected circumstances that you can read about here.)
What was the most enjoyable part about working with CAUSEBOX?
- "Throughout this process, while we have endured unexpected hardships, we have also experienced unexpected joy from the working relationship with the CAUSEBOX team. Their incredible kindness, understanding, and willingness to work with us as we fixed the issue, as well as the CAUSEBOX customers and their grace to give us a chance while still believing in our brand in spite of what happened, brought incredible joy."
What inspired your integrity to right the wrongs?
- "We are who we say we are. Although the task to right this wrong was overwhelming, and the resolve was unclear, it was important for us to stand by the products we make while ensuring quality for our customers. Transparency is important to us in everything we do, from how the products are made to our mission. Maintaining integrity throughout this process was about fulfilling who we are. We also wanted to honor the deal we made with CAUSEBOX. We place great value in being chosen to be a part of their inspiring mission and we wanted to represent them well by honoring them for first honoring us."
What advice can you give to other small business owners to encourage them when they face trials of their own?
-"We wholeheartedly believe failure is fertilization. If you're unwilling to accept the bumps along the way, then you will never be prepared for greater things to come. Going through hardships and growing pains only allows for a brand/entrepreneur to grow in maturity, humility, and strength. If I can share any wisdom with you it would be:
1) Handle only one task at a time instead of looking at the entire process of what needs to be done.
2) When hardships strike (and they will), make sure you "rally the troops." Leverage your dream-defenders, those that support and encourage you. Don't try to do it all on your own!
3) Use the circumstances in a creative way to grow your brand even more. There are always opportunities to establish brand loyalty and model authenticity with new and returning customers."
Given the undesired circumstances, why do you continue to pursue entrepreneurship?
-"Hope for the future. Although we can't see or know what that will look like, we believe and want to become a brand that encompasses our tagline: Be a world changer. Spread hope. Live your purpose. For me, I believe this is my purpose. This is the way in which I was meant to spread hope. If I hang this up, I am not being true to who I was created to be."
What was your biggest takeaway?
-"We had a choice. We were either going to let it make or break us. If we choose to let our trials break us, we are forfeiting what our brand could really become. There is also the realization that the brand isn't all about me. We have more gumption for the next trial. Every successful entrepreneur knows there are waves of trial and error and embraces them instead of fighting to prevent them from happening. It humbles you to realize that the failures are what pushed you to your success. This hardship has prepared us to go to the next level, so we embrace it instead of trying to sweep it under the rug."
"If I learned anything from Mr. Lincoln’s story, it’s that motivation isn’t permanent. It is renewed each day. Vision isn’t indefinite. It is cast each morning. Discipline isn’t owned. It is fought for by the minute. And dreams are not free. They are realized by ruthless individuals unwilling to give up."