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The 11th Hour, Literally

“Why do you need to start a business? Why don’t you just buy these products yourself if you want to help people? Why go to all this trouble?” In all fairness to my kind-hearted accountant, he was being very practical to ask these questions to a 50-year-old housewife with no business experience. In fact, I was paying him to ask these questions to a 50-year-old housewife with no business experience. I bet he’s seen it before and often—lots of big ideas that crashed and burned and ended up costing his clients lots of money, headache, and heartache.

Not at all deterred by his questions and probable doubt but exhilarated by my big idea of doing good, I was very confident when I answered my accountant back in August. “Because, if I purchase these products, I’ve only done good one way. But, if I am able to offer these products to other people, then it’s like I can multiply the good, exponentially. It’s not just me learning about and helping alleviate the needs of others. I’ll be connecting who-knows-how many-people to needs that exist.”

But that was August, and it’s November now. Who-knows-how-many has a different connotation today.

Last month, a friend suggested I launch my business on Small Business Saturday. “It’ll be perfect,” she said. But, today was Small Business Saturday, and nothing about my big idea seemed perfect today. The confidence I expressed in August now feels like a similar snow job I tried to pull when I was called on by my college professors when it was painfully obvious to all of us I hadn’t read the material.

Today has been Small Business Saturday, and all day I have wondered, what am I doing? I'm suddenly worried about whether I will still have time to binge-watch Netflix when I let my website loose or post HWG on Facebook. Suddenly, I feel so stupid for thinking I can and should do this. 

Last night I had an intense dream about a “force” that was trying to choke me, right there in my bed; after I fought with the invisible thing and finally caught my breath, I got out of bed in my dream and tried to tell my husband what was going on, but I couldn’t talk. The “thing” had disabled my voice.

I think that dream has a lot of meanings for me. But, here at literally the 11th hour of Small Business Saturday, I’m deciding to defy the “thing” and speak up and let you know that we all have the opportunity to do some good just by shopping. (And, how easy is that?!)

Granted, my website needs a lot of work, mostly because I did it myself (which is already super-obvious to you, like when you feel the need to tell everyone your four-year-old dressed herself today, duh). You will most likely find typos (and, If so, please let me know!). I am not offering a shipping option yet only because the thought of that was so overwhelming to me it became another excuse for me to not launch my website (so, if you are an out-of-town friend and want to order something, email or text me!). I don’t even know how checkout works or if I’ll get paid. I’m not even sure if anyone will order anything anyway (the 'who-knows-how-many' doubt which is looming large today).

I’m pretty sure my accountant (and probably you) would advise me to delete the last several paragraphs because it is not a confident way to launch a business. But, I’m not confident. Maybe the “thing” trying to choke the air and words out of me last night was fear because I’m feeling very insecure--about this business, the website, reporting sales taxes, the salad I made for Thanksgiving, and a whole host of other things. No, I don’t know what I’m doing, but I’m not afraid of you knowing that about me. No more snow jobs. It’s in the open. I’m deciding I’m not going to be silenced by "it" today. 

It's after 11pm on Small Business Saturday, I’m taking the password off my website, and I’m letting my Facebook friends know about it. And none of it is perfect. But, imperfect is how I’ve learned to prefer things anyway. If I may, I’m exercising Imperfect Courage (which is the title of a book I’m reading right now by Jessica Honegger, founder of Noonday Collection). Or, as Joyce Meyer says, I’m doing it scared. But, I’m doing it, doggone it. 

I thought this first blog post would be about how Handiwork Goods got its name, but--if you made it this far you know--that obviously didn’t happen. But, I also want you to know, I really do hope my little business is a way of exponentially multiplying blessings. Through Handiwork Goods, I hope we will all—browsers, shoppers, vendors, artisans, and even this small business owner on what remains of Small Business Saturday—recognize, ultimately, WE are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good . . . Ephesians 2:10.

There. I said it.