Over the past few weeks, I have been in interview mode, trying to find the next member of our team. I have spoken to many people, some young, some more experienced, some single, some married with children. Over the years, I have found one recurring theme...people on the search for career fulfillment. This is one search that I can certainly relate to, and it has been for me, one of the most important and valuable discoveries of my life. It was the discovery of passion. Passion for what I do daily. Without that passion, I would be one over-worked, under-paid, lost woman. I know how incredibly blessed I am to have discovered my passion at an early age (late twenties), and I am even more blessed that I am able to aid others in the discovery of their own passion.
So, if you are still on your own journey of discovery, this is my note to you...with determination, an open-mind, LOTS of hard work, and most importantly faith, you will find your fit. Sometimes it takes patience, other times it takes intolerance. I knew in my heart for years, that I was not in my right place. I witnessed business is ways that I knew were not only unfulfilling, but also unethical. I listened as my co-workers complained about their jobs, and sadly, I often participated.
I have shared this story in the past, but it is honestly, one of the turning points in my life. I remember vividly sitting in my car, before going into work, making a "deal" with God. "Just give me the idea, and I will give you everything I've got. I'll bust my butt, work 7 days a week. I'll inspire others and pay it all forward. Just lead me to my passion." I knew it was time to make a change, I just wasn't sure what that change was supposed to be. It was with this faith, that I quit my job, and spent three months in search of my passion.
That was December of 2006. In March of 2007 RuffleButts was trademarked and I was set on my journey. I'm not going to say it has been easy, it hasn't. I had NO idea what I was about to get myself into, but I count my blessings daily that I took that leap of faith. I went through some rough times....even ended up on the couch of a therapist at one point. But, I survived, or should I say, I'm surviving! Every day is pure craziness around here, and I wouldn't trade a bit of it for anything.
I spoke with a woman today that took the step of meeting with a life coach. To some, this may sound corny, I think it's genius. Your own private teacher to help you choose the path that leads to passion, what a great idea! This journey is not necessarily one for career, it is one of fulfillment. This may be a role as a stay-at-home mom, or a life as a pastor. It is finding your right fit, fulfillment for your life. For you, it may require a life coach, or maybe a life-changing book. For me, it was a chat with God. No matter what, I think it requires a conscious decision. The decision of discovery, of commitment, and ultimately of fulfillment.
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who are alive.” – Howard Thurman
I studied fashion design in college, and when I first moved to Charlotte I searched desperately trying to find my dream job in the fashion industry, but was unsure of exactly what I wanted that to be. In my search three years ago, I found Rufflebutts.
Fast forward a few years... After around 6 months of helping Amber, she moved further out of Charlotte, and I stopped working with her. I have had several different jobs since then, all of which were fun, but not what I wanted to build a career doing. I still dreamed of designing and working in fashion, but wasn't sure I would find that in Charlotte. Several months ago, looking for jobs, and still searching for what I really wanted to do, I thought about Rufflebutts. I had a strong feeling that I really needed to email Amber to catch up, and mentioned that I would love to work for her if there was ever an opportunity. It happened to be perfect timing, or maybe just meant to be, because less than a week later, I was turning in my 2 week notice, and preparing for a career at Rufflebutts!
The changes that have taken place in the past three years are amazing and it is so exciting to see how much the company has grown and changed! To see Amber go from working out of her basement, to having a big office with 15 people on staff and selling her Rufflebutts around the world is a true testament to what you can achieve with drive and passion! I have been back in the Rufflebutts family for less than 3 months, but am positive this is where I am supposed to be! I was invited into an office with an amazing group of people that all believe in the company and themselves, and I love coming into work every day. I finally figured out what that dream job was that I was searching for and can't wait to build my career here... and my favorite part of it? I help Amber with designing, which is what I have always been passionate about!
~Guest Author, and RuffleButts Employee: Liz