Its 7:30 am and my blog post should have been queued up and scheduled to go by now. As I edited and finalized it, it suddenly dawned on me, for reasons I won’t go into here, that I can’t use it. I was suddenly scrambling for a solution. I need something quick. So I started clicking around frantically, looking for inspiration (which by the way, is not a good mental state for finding inspiration).

Which got me to thinking about inspiration. And needing it in times of uncertainty. And my new blog post began to roll out.

I’ve been in Chicago now for three months, possibly the darkest months of the year. And we’re all emerging from the cave. Yesterday, my road bike arrived from her journey from Idaho. And as I hopped on last night and pedaled away, WOW all this mental garbage flew off me – it’s awesome – you could have seen it if you were there!

All the little stuff fell away. And I made room for the big ideas, the Inspiration.

And I thought about Marlo Scott, who quit her corporate job to start Sweet Revenge in New York City – a grown-up, hip version of the cupcake shop, paired with cocktails. All my favorite words in one sentence. She inspired me.

I think what I love most about Marlo’s story is, (believe it or not), not so much the cupcakes, the wine and the hip bar in lower Manhattan. It’s the fact that she planned her business for three years, finally opening in 2008, in the midst of a recession for which her three years of planning had not planned. She actually stood out on the street in front of her store and couldn’t even give away her cupcakes.

She had done extensive research, some serious differentiation, and had a very clear vision for her business.

I’m pretty sure standing out on the sidewalk trying to give away cupcakes as she wondered how she was going to make payroll next month was not part of that vision.

Today she is the Entrepreneur Magazine cover girl. And while her life may seem enviable, I am quite sure she has a whole new set of challenges she is dealing with. I haven’t met her.  Yet.

One thing is certain, there will always be uncertainty. My point in bringing it up, is that I’d love to hear from you, and how you deal with uncertainty and where you find your inspiration, you know, on those days when that barista position that came available at your coffee shop sounds appealing.

  • Outlet – What is your outlet for clearing your head? – a hobby, a sport, a form of exercise. My bike, my skis, my yoga class.
  • Commiseration – Misery does love company.  I love reading about others’ challenges and how they’ve succeeded.
  • Inspiration: Who are your role models?
  • Keep it in perspective: For gods’ sake, it could be worse!
  • Pull it off!: I have a good friend who was an executive at Microsoft. She is strong, self-confident and assertive and I love turning to her for advice. We had a great discussion about uncertainty. She said it’s all in how you pull it off.  “I worked at Microsoft for YEARS and I couldn’t believe all these people were turning to me for advice.”  It made an impression on me, because I was surprised to hear that from her of all people.

Are we all just pulling it off? Can anyone be certain about things?

Thanks to Mulatto Diaries for the image and beautiful quote.