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Spotted Dog Farm Blog

How to Run 100 Miles. Or a Creative Business.

I read the best blog post yesterday - over at Oiselle.  Oiselle's high on my list to begin with - they're women-centered creative badasses, and they make the best running shorts I've ever worn.  I tend to yoga more than run these days, but their roga shorts are still my summer uniform.  One of the perks of being a creative entrepreneur that works out of a treehouse?  Running shorts as uniform.

(seriously, if running shorts are your thing check these out.)

One of their runners, Devon Yanko, wrote an essay yesterday about how to run a 100 mile race.  And it was interesting in its own right - I've sometimes thought about ultras.  But what really struck me was the parallels to creative entrepreneurship.

Yes, it's amazing to chart my own course and decide what I want my business to look like, and then chase down that vision.  But you know what?  It's a heck of a lot harder than just showing up for work and letting someone else chart your course for you.  Now to be honest I'm not all that great at being told what to do, so for me having my own business is a dream and I'm incredibly grateful for it.  But still... it can be hard.  When things aren't working out exactly the way you'd hoped, or a project that you thought would take a week is now on week 5, or your amazing new idea ended up being neither amazing nor new... it can be a bit of a gut check.  So this essay hit some of the spots I've been pondering lately.  I encourage you to check it out, but here are the parts that I particularly liked.



Yes! How powerful is that?  Our perceptions of our own capabilities and limits are the most powerful thing.  That's one of the things I try to keep in the front of my thoughts - change all of your possibilities just by changing your mind.  Because the only person who defines my possibilities - that's me.


This one made me laugh because it such a perfect restatement of one of my mantras of the last year: "prepare to be uncomfortable."  Because the sad truth is that growth never happens when you're inside your comfort zone.  In fact I had this exact same conversation with a friend of mine who's a new yoga teacher - she's so looking forward to teaching, and a little freaked out at the same time.  So, just like any new venture - get ready to feel uncomfortable.  Because it won't be easy, but it will be rewarding, if you can just make yourself keep going.  In fact, that leads in to some of my other favorite parts of Devon's essay:
This last one might be my favorite of all.  I tell Sam this all the time - and try to remember it myself - that perseverance trumps almost anything in life.  Talent is great, luck might be even better, but for the long run it's perseverance that gets you where you want to go.  And that's why this mug from Shop Compliment is sitting on my desk:
It's an homage to Elizabeth Warren, of course, but in the bigger picture it's the blueprint of getting the life and business I want.  In the end, what counts the most is determined forward movement towards the goal.  So for all of us out there:  nevertheless, we persist.


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In the Company of Women

You guys!  I've finally figured out who I want to be when I grow up.  It turns out, it's Jodie Patterson.  

Not that I actually know Ms. Patterson, but I just read her interview in Grace Bonney's most excellent book:  "In the Company of Women:  Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists and Entrepreneurs."  I love this book - who doesn't want some inspiration and advice?  As so aptly put by the Marian Wright Edelman quote in the introduction, "You can't be what you can't see."  And I think this is true - either see it in reality, or at least in your head.  And this book lets you see lots of interesting, dynamic, resourceful, successful women.  Count me in.

Here are the Jodie Patterson quotes that I particularly love:

"My best asset cannot be measured or copied or calculated - it's my mojo.  I always lay that on the table first."

"I'm not more confident than others, I'm just relentless."

"I have two characteristics that I love most about myself.  The first is that I never quit.  Never.  Exceptionally smart people always surround me, and typically I'm not the smartest in the room.  But I have the most grit, the most guts and chutzpah.  The second trait I love about myself is that I'm an optimist; I'm always looking ahead with hope."

Her unabashed confidence and fearlessness - yes, please.

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