Campfire tales: exploring new worlds

Exploring New Worlds, Mei Pak for Oh My! Handmade

Change and the unknown are scary things for most of us. Blind faith may be the only thing that can provide the courage to start something new. This quote explains the concept:

“When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught to fly.”

― Patrick Overton, The leaning tree: [poems]

My “Starting Over” Story

At 19 I left my family and my home to travel halfway across the world from Malaysia to Minnesota. It was the middle of winter when I arrived and the temperature was below -20°F. The deathly cold was the initial shock. I had no idea until I arrived that I wasn’t equipped with snow boots, warm gloves, or a hat to keep my ears from freezing.

Even more challenging was the fact that I didn’t know anyone here. No friends, no family, no one to fall back on to except myself if anything went wrong. I had no connections and a completely new world to explore.

There were so many new things to learn about the American culture: food, slangs, etiquette. I wasn’t used to making friends from scratch. And as you know, most of what they show you on TV is very far from what really happens in real life.

As time went on, all of these things got easier. In my mind, there was one clear path: to make the most of my new life. My path was carved out and I started the hike with my map.

Starting a New Business

A new business venture can be just as scary as starting life in a new place. After all, the concept of running a business is foreign to you before you dive in. At first you have no idea what to do. It’s scary because you’re overwhelmed with ideas and to-do lists and have no idea where to start. You might not know the “language” of your new business.

There are so many things to learn when starting a new business, some of which you’ve never even considered: pricing, selling, social media, photography, copywriting, hiring, marketing, and bookkeeping.

Just like being in a new place, starting a business can feel lonely, especially when you don’t know anyone else in the same boat. You might feel…

  • Unprepared because you don’t have enough money to buy new equipment or to release a new product line.
  • Unqualified because you think your product photos don’t look good enough to be used on your Etsy listings.
  • Uneducated because you have no idea how to find customers or how to navigate social media.

Heart vs. Brain

How do you shake these feelings of uncertainty and unpreparedness? Your heart is usually excited to take on new challenges. Your heart wants to soar and do new and exciting things. But your logical brain talks you down with all the little details that make even the smallest task seem scary. In your heart, you might feel like taking on wholesale orders. But your critical mind knows you’ve never done it before, and it’s saying things like, “what if my products don’t sell well in stores?” or “how do I keep up with orders?” You might prevent yourself from doing better, bigger things because you’re worried about something.

Jump In

Some of us have tendencies to over think situations and not trust in our instincts. When exploring a new world, there are a million uncertainties and possibilities but sitting around without taking any action won’t do anyone any good. We’re waiting to see your awesome new product line. Stores are anticipating your wholesale line sheets. The world wants you and your creations in them.

Just jump in with both feet! As human beings we’re biologically made to survive. Once you have crunched the numbers and made your plan, trust that you can and will take care of yourself naturally, no matter what. What’s the worst that could happen, anyway? Always remind yourself that.

Even through hard times, there may be tears and frustration but eventually you always adapt and recover. So take on that new project you’ve been holding off. Your new world is waiting for you!

What is your “starting over story”? Share your experiences with jumping in and making a new life in the comments to connect with your fellow adventurers. 

Mei Pak | Craftivity

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Mei Pak designs a line of scented food jewelry at Tiny Hands. She sells in over 70 stores across the USA, appeared on TV numerous times, was featured on glossy magazines like Every Day With Rachael Ray, InTouch Magazine & Earnshaw’s and is praised by the likes of Hello Giggles, Incredible Things, Cool Mom Picks and more. On the side, Mei also blogs at The Pragmatic Designer and together with her husband, developed Craftivity, a webapp that helps makers, artists and designers reach more of their goals and be more productive.

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