I wonder if this has ever happened to a nun or other entrepreneurs the way it happened to me. I just forgot to read the fine print of life . . .
My decision to start a private school was based on an obvious crying need in the community. My ideals and skills matched the need I saw all around me for an environment where students could drop by for an hour or two a week or for full time schooling to obtain the skills and/or encouragement they needed to function in the mainstream of life.
I was bright enough to seek the advice of a lawyer. I remember chuckling gently when he explained how small business works: ” . . . you keep what is left over after expenses.” I had envisioned a living wage coming off the top!
Yes, I had ideas. But I also had bills.
Somehow, over the years, the two made a kind of peace with each other, and I survived. Even better yet, my idea thrived – the idea that a warm caring environment could be affordably available for at risk and other students who need a pit stop for courage or skills once in a while.
However, it seems that there may be an unwritten vow of poverty hidden in the fine print for idealists like me who insist on trying to make the world a better place. . .
As time goes on, I have found it may not be a vow, but a valley of poverty one goes through to get to the path of survival, yea even success. This may apply particularly to entrepreneurs who have no source of capital other than sweat equity and a niche market.
Of course, I may spell success differently than some: satisfaction of a job well done, the love and loyalty of people who appreciate one’s service, and the joy of the work that I do.
It may have been, by default, a vow of poverty for my pocket book. But it never was that way for my soul! It has been the prosperity of creativity, communion with life renewed, and the exultation of charting one’s own course in a fulfilling life.