Sunday, November 22, 2009

You Must Be Small To Be Great - Tama Kieves

A tree that can fill the span of a man's arms grows from a downey tip....a journey of a thousand miles starts from beneath one's feet. Lao-Tzu

From the free library magazine exchange bin, I pulled out the Oct. 19, 2009 edition of Forbes magazine, among others. An article entitled Inspirational Entrepreneurs talked about Elizabeth Tarpley's company Targeted Technology Systems which includes a keyboard for kids. In the article she states, "Seeing the MYPC keyboard being sold at places where I actually shop for my daughter was one of my biggest "wow" moments - seeing my vision travel from an idea to reality."

She goes on to say "I am a much stronger woman than I was three years ago....You really have to say to yourself, "Don't give up" and you have to stay firm on your dream and your goals. These have probably been the hardest three years of my life, but also the best years. I continue to get stronger and stronger."

When I read about women who've achieved a great deal, I have mixed emotions. Part of me is inspired, part of me is almost discouraged. It somehow seems even more impossible when you see the gleaming final image.

Tama Kieves addressed just this in her book, "This Time I Dance." She writes, "My writing sounded like a kindergartner's compared with Barbara Kingsolver's or Pat Conroy's, so I figured why bother.....Comparing your business potential or art to those who have already established themselves is cruel and pointless. Nobody starts out a gold medallist. Nobody begins at the Grammys."

She goes on to talk about reading everything she could get her hands on by John Steinbeck. "
And here's the amazing thing. His first novels were okay, but nothing to write term papers about....even John Steinbeck didn't write like John Steinbeck in his new-kid-on-the-block years. If we can't allow ourselves to be bad, we will never allow ourselves to be good......If we can't allow ourselves to be awkward and inept, then we will stay nothing but awkward and inept in one of those thin, dim hallways of creative purgatory."

And so I remind myself Elizabeth Tarpley didn't start out seeing her company's goods at the stores she shopped in, nor did Martha Stewart or anyone else. I'm going to guess there were some business plans along the way that needed some serious refining, but the thing is they hunkered down and kept at it. Best wishes to all of us in our awkward days;-). Eileen

1 comment:

  1. Here's to you-

    Happy New Year...

    All the best,