By: Stella Orange
As I take stock of my last ten years in business, it occurs to me that I’ve accomplished many of the things I’d set out to do:
- Work for myself
- Use my skill of writing
- Pay my bills
- Meet interesting people and travel the world
- Work in a beautiful space with loads of natural light
- Do work I believe in
- Walk or ride my bike to work
I’ll be the first to admit that my original intentions were rather humble, even self-centered. I don’t say that as a put-down; I say that as a matter of fact. In my early thirties, my vision was centered in an individualized idea of success.
But now that I’m *here* — ten years in — I am bored by the mythology of individual success. For me, there’s no juice in it anymore. Yes, I still relish my solitude. Yes, my creative process involves me withdrawing to my “hermit’s cave.” Yes, working alone continues to have its charms.
But as I peer into the future, I find that I’m most intrigued by (and hungry for!) experiences where people work together, to create and give birth to things that none of us could do by ourselves.
I’ll tell it to you straight – I did not arrive at this vision of the future through my thinking mind. And early on, when Rebecca and Sarah and I started this business together, Sarah and I had a series of conversations about how maybe we were not being rational in starting Las Peregrinas, but we were going to do it anyway.
Thinking about the next ten and twenty years of my life, I realize there are new skills I need to learn. Most of them involve communicating with and working masterfully with other people, refining the skills I’ve developed around trusting myself and my own process so that there’s room for collaboration, collective wisdom, and shared leadership.
As Sarah said recently, “The people who will rise to create their visions for the future are those humble enough to accept that they will need to learn new things that they don’t yet know how to do.”
I do love a good challenge, and as I think about it, I love that there is still so much to learn, so much to be curious about. Hallelujah!
So as I sit here, I find myself in awe of the journey. And, frankly, in awe of the journeys of many of the people we talk to and work with, who share our core value around working together, trusting the expertise of other people who are as masterful at their work as I am at mine, and what I call “trusting the tussle” (which is code for: “not freaking out when someone disagrees with you, and instead believing it’s part of a larger creative process that will yield an even more innovative solution, if only you let it”).
Stella is cofounder and copywriter at Las Peregrinas, a creative and consulting agency. As our resident word nerd, she writes copy and points out the stories everyone is living and telling through their work. She is also fun at parties.
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