Entrepreneurship, Joy, and Disorientation

A few weeks back, in the midst of an exhaustive and stressful week, as I was venting to my partner Dustin, he asked me "is anything bringing you joy right now?" That simple question made me stop and think for a few minutes, pulled me away from the stress, and gave me the opportunity to recognize the things that were bringing me joy. At that particular moment, the things that came to mind were spending time with my family and the excitement of getting Cream & Amber merchandise ready to send to our crowdfunding backers.

There are so many parts of this whole entrepreneurship thing that are exciting, fun, and fulfilling. There are also parts that are challenging, nerve-wracking, and overwhelming. There are a lot of things that they don't teach you in your Luther College Entrepreneurship class, that's for sure. There have been moments where I have felt disoriented about the whole process, especially because there's no way to guarantee that we're making the right decisions along the way. Which is why, when I stopped at Unmapped Brewing in Minnetonka this past Saturday, their Disorientation Belgian Tripel seemed like the right beer to match my mood. 

 Disorientation - Belgian Tripel by Unmapped Brewing (ABV 8.5% / IBU 23)

Disorientation - Belgian Tripel by Unmapped Brewing (ABV 8.5% / IBU 23)

But through all of the challenges and the disorientation, I've learned that it's important to remember why we started this journey in the first place, and to focus on what's bringing me joy.

When I think back to the time in my life when Cream & Amber was just a glimmer on our future radar, I remember that I was not content or happy with working a "regular" office job, and that I felt what I wanted to do was still out there. I remember that when Katie and I would talk about starting a business together, the thought seemed impossible but it was also something I connected with right away; the idea of turning our passions into a real place where we could bring the literary community and the craft beer community together motivated us to start planning and preparing. Remembering back to these times grounds me, and helps me focus on moving forward, through the challenges, to make Cream & Amber come to life.

So if you've had a tough couple weeks, if the Minnesota winter is getting to you, think about what is bringing you joy today and focus on that. I will end by sharing two things that brought me joy this past week:

1)  I reached out and talked to two of my awesome strong women friends on the phone who are working toward goals of their own. Talking to them reminded me how powerful it can be to connect with others who support and love you, especially if they live far away or if you haven't seen them in a while. 

2) As mentioned above, I checked out Unmapped Brewing in Minnetonka with my parents over the weekend. I'm so grateful to have their support as Katie and I start this business, and I also just really enjoy hanging out with them (I'm not a teenager anymore, so I think I can confess to that now). The beer was great and it's a cool space if you haven't checked it out yet! I loved the map artwork in the background of my picture above.

Lastly, a big thank you to Dustin for asking the question that inspired me to write this blog post. I think he was being a bit sarcastic when he asked it, but I'll still give him a little credit. Happy Monday, I hope you go find some joy today!