There's something interesting about following Big Dreams.
In the course of following your path, you learn skills, meet people, and join others on a similar journey. The whole thing is a pretty normal part of pursuing what you love. It all feels very ordinary.
But sometimes those ordinary experiences converge in the most unexpected, extraordinary opportunities.
And that's exactly the kind of thing that is going to be happening for me the week of September 26th.
An Unexpected Email
A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from a member of the Etsy Advocacy Team. He wanted to know if I was interested in being one of the 15 sellers they would take to Washington, D.C. at the end of September! This group will speak to members of Congress about some important issues that are facing microbusiness owners like myself.
After doing a bit of my own research on the issues they presented, and then pinching myself to make sure this was actually happening to me, I accepted.
I'm going to Washington!
This isn't the first time Etsy has asked small makers to join their team in speaking on Capitol Hill. In July of 2015, Etsy brought 14 makers to speak to members of Congress about some very important issues that would deeply impact small makers if passed.
This time around, Etsy is bringing makers to help personalize the issues at hand rather than hiring a large team of professional lobbyists to lead the charge. After all, while Etsy itself is a decently-sized company, it relies completely on the success of microbusiness owners--so if microbusinesses are deeply impacted by federal legislation, so will Etsy.
The 411 on Microbusinesses
What are microbusinesses exactly? Microbusinesses are typically considered to have 5 employees or less and don't have access to the typical financing that commercial enterprises have (seed capital, traditional business loans, etc).
I'll be going to give a face to microbusiness owners everywhere.
After all, 5% of the American workforce are employed by a microbusiness—more often than not, their own. That comes out to over 5.9 million Americans. Millions more buy from & support those microbusinesses. It's no surprise that they are a huge force in our nation's economy!
When they consider the legislation that is on the table, they'll be personally and profoundly impacting my daily life. And possibly yours. And, for that matter, possibly the lives of your children, too.
The Effect of Dreaming Big.
As the date gets closer, I'll share a bit more with you regarding the specific issues I'll be discussing with my Congressman. There are some big changes on the horizon for microbusiness owners that could have a big impact on the future for independent makers.
In the meantime, I want to end on a personal note. It is so important to keep pursuing your own dreams. I'm so excited (and surprised, and a bit speechless) that this opportunity has unexpectedly been presented to me.
But I believe that it's part of a larger picture—one that's not unique to my story. It's your story too.
These opportunities are all around us, all the time. Some are grand adventures. Others are mini adventures.
I think these are important threads that connect these opportunities. Each experience weaves together with the ones before it, building a tapestry that can't really be discerned until you stand back and see the larger picture.
I truly believe that unexpected opportunities come to us when we pursue our passions with smart steps & authentically embrace who we are meant to be.
You never know what adventure is around the corner.