In the beginning there was…
An idea. When I get excited about something I can find it difficult to settle my thoughts as they dart around like dragonflies, making them almost impossible to capture. So I’ve started to catch my ideas in my Samsung Note II (which I absolutely love and would like to tell you about some other time). This way I can forget them for the moment knowing that they’ve been recorded somewhere. And then when I have the time to give them focus I can refer back to my notes and rekindle the idea.
The idea for this website has been brewing in one form or another for a very, very, long time. So long it borders embarrassing, so I’m not going to give you any actual timelines. I’d prefer to think it was an idea that needed to age, like a fine wine. For the past five months I’ve had the pleasure, and privilege, of participating in a program called EntreActive. EntreActive is a pilot program delivered by Business Victoria and supported by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. The program’s goal is to help persons with disabilities and an entrepreneural spirit develop a business idea into an organized business plan that can be executed at the completion of the five month program. Oh, but it is so much more. This week was the conclusion of my participation in the program. It was an intimate celebration where each of us were presented a Certificate of Completion. There were participants from past programs, some cake (yummy and gluten free from Origin Bakery located here in downtown Victoria, BC), laughs and a few hugs. It was really interesting to hear the variety of businesses that the other participants have started up. Success in the program is not always defined by the culmination of a business plan. Success could be finding out during your market research that your idea is not viable, or that maybe being self-employed is not what you thought and not for you, or that maybe your idea just needs to be developed a little further before being pursued. There could be a number of reasons why someone may decide not to go forward with their business, but what ever decision someone comes to and the knowledge gained just by their participation is considered a success.
Changing course. I went into the EntreActive program with the idea of developing my idea of opening a GYROTONIC Studio, Body Kinesthetics into an eventual full-time business. The GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® is an exercise modality I was introduced to while I was training and performing classical ballet. I have found it be so much more than an exercise method and regular practice has had a profound impact on me physically, emotionally and spiritually. Its benefits were something I wanted to share with others. Part way through the program though, it became evident though that my business model was not sustainable. (There is more to this that I will expand on in a later post – that having to do with living with a disability and the special needs and considerations that surround our lifestyle, health and finances.) You will continue to see posts and references throughout this website to the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® because of the impact it continues to have on my life. No business = no business plan. A fortuitous comment. Early on during the EntreActive program, our mentor made reference to a phrase said by Tad Hargrave, Marketing for Hippies…”your deepest wound is your truest niche”. This resonated quite deeply with me but I was still unable to see the forest through the trees an dhow I could apply this my situation. A later, fleeting comment (or rather compliment) by a coursemate sparked a conversation and rekindled an old idea that had been simmering. I had been searching for a way to blend my passion to seek knowledge and the desire to share that knowledge to help others. But I still wasn’t able to put my finger on how I was going to do it or what it might look like.
But of course! Able I Am (AIM) and this website Conquer Chronic Pain.Network were born of that moment. Living with chronic pain can be a very private affair, an often lonely and misunderstood one. This website is a forum where I am hoping to share with you what I learn and create community. As we journey together I hope we find in each other inspiration, support and the tools to live our best lives while living with chronic pain. This will be how I express my unique voice and contribution to you. For those of us living with chronic pain or a chronic illness, self-employment and working from home can be excellent options to consider, allowing us the freedom and flexibility to accommodate our condition as it fluctuates, all the while offering a way to express our unique voice and contribution in the world. Do you have an idea that’s been brewing for awhile or a dream you would like to pursue? What’s your biggest obstable? Please share your comments below and maybe together we can take one step closer to realizing it. Blessings, Jacqui