Catena Creations anniversary: Two wonderful years

Thanks to author Anne Rice on Facebook, I found a great quote in a great column by Gail Collins of The New York Times. Her column is about the 90-year anniversary this month of women getting the right to vote.

She points out in the column that behind the suffrage celebration was “a 70-year slog” of people taking risks, rallying support, changing minds. And getting the last final vote from a 24-year-old Representative who decided that he had to obey his mama and change his vote. (Really.)

As I write this blog entry today, Aug. 21, I celebrate the second anniversary of the day I decided to start my own business. Because of that, I especially appreciate this wonderful quote from Ms. Collins’ column:

Gail Collins, The New York Times: “We always need to remember that behind almost every great moment in history, there are heroic people doing really boring and frustrating things for a prolonged period of time.”

Catena Creations was born out of the frustration of being laid off twice in a seven-month period in 2008. After the second time, I decided I’d take my fate into my own hands.

I don’t remember too many boring moments in the last two years – at least not related to starting my own business. Maybe the days in winter when it was so cold I didn’t want to move, let alone go out. Tracking mileage and receipts for tax purposes is not the most exciting thing in the world, either.

But frustrations? Oh, yes.  Ordering a new iMac while they were changing models, and waiting a month to get it. Walking the fine line between investing money in your business but keeping enough on hand for emergencies and paying taxes. Learning how to be a salesman for myself and my business to get new clients. Waiting for people to pay their bills so I could pay mine. Seeking the best and most cost-effective ways to network and advertise.

And most of all, riding the roller coaster of economic ups and downs as the single parent of a teen-ager. Very scary business indeed.

Everyone who’s ever owned a business, no matter how big it gets or small it stays, has had to slog through the slow times to celebrate the prosperity. We’ve had to persevere through the boring and frustrating and scary things to get to the good part.

For me, the good part is the freedom and creativity I have with this business. Writing stories, Web sites and blogs. Doing photography at football games and solar-powered car races. Designing brochures and Web sites and books.  Working nights and weekends for several weeks to respond to a request for proposal, and finding out a year later that it won! Doing some grant writing for yourself, and winning again, and ending up on the cover of a magazine because of it.

So, as I look back over the last two years with much joy and gratitude, I want to thank the clients who’ve made it possible for me to get here. The friends and family members who supported me. The mentors and leaders and advisers who taught me what I needed to know about running my own business. And my son, Jeremy, who has ridden the ups and downs with me and thinks I should keep going, no matter what.

Making new friends, winning clients and finding partners has made it worth the “slog” through the frustration and fear. Thank you all!