Today I hit a milestone on this endeavor. I sold my 100th box. To be honest, I have been disappointed and disheartened by how long it has taken me to get to this point. I was embarrassed that it has taken 8 months to get this far and even debated sharing the number.
The fact is that even with the highest hopes, biggest dreams and best of intentions, life gets in the way. This is not my full time job. I am not a website wiz. I don't have a marketing team. I live (in my opinion) in one of the greatest cities in the world, where there is always something to do and friends to spend time with. I truly enjoy traveling and place a high importance on exploring and seeing how people different than me live. So for all those reasons, I have not given Brave Box the attention it deserves and demands.Despite a surprisingly strong start, unexpected roadblocks have nearly halted orders at times. Seeing "competitors" put my efforts to shame. Navigating the complicated legal paperwork on the road to non profit (thank God for helpful pro bono lawyers). Having to search for a new box producer while still staying true to my branding because my current company raised their minimum to an insane amount. Getting the boot from selling on Etsy because my entire product is not "handmade". Realizing I am three weeks behind on writing a blog post because of a move and a trip. When you just feel like you're failing at something you're really passionate about, it's enough to make a person want to quit. Once I got over the shame of reaching 100 this late in the game, I started to realize just how f$&cking awesome that 100 is...regardless of how long it took. Those 100 people had a bright, cheerful box arrive at their door during probably the most trying time of their life. Someone who couldn't be there with them physically was able to give them tools they would find useful when they felt absolutely miserable.
I have a new found appreciation for each box now, arriving at this milestone. #24 is just as important as #99 because each one represents a living, breathing person affected by this disease.
I wanted to share my thoughts on this because the way I felt discouraged with my progress is I'm sure how most people going through treatment feel...like nothing is ever good enough. It's inherently important to recognize each victory, no matter how small. Each chemo session under your belt, each scan that shows diminishing spots, each month of remission. It's easier to focus just on the battle and not be overwhelmed by the entire war.
Adopt the mantra "progress not perfection". Nothing is perfect. If it were, we wouldn't be living in a world with cancer. If you feel like it's just not working, take a step back and then try again. Each step forward, no matter how small, is a victory in its own right.
P.S.- My 100th order came through on the website system as #1043. For those of you who know how my Mom said "I love you" this was pretty cool to see. :-)