Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Don't Cling to the Can'ts

Editor's Note: Today we bring you another awesome piece from the one and only Alisha Olandesca. You can visit her on the web at and say hello on Twitter @stainlessstyled!

Businesses fail for a number of reasons: cash flow problems, issues with the executive leadership team, economic down turn...the list can, and does, go on. 

In my humble opinion, the reason that we fail (or fail to start) is because we cling to Can'ts. For the majority of us, Can'ts are simply Wont's in disguise. 

When we began, I  said flat out, "I can't operate a business.". I was terrified. This point of fear was the first time I had to actively choose to turn a Can't into a Can. I had to take control of a thought process that would only hold us back. 

Maybe I Can't operate a business. So? So....what. What am I going to do? What should I do? Well, at the very least I can help my husband work towards his dream, a la Gen 2:18. The 'Help Mate' God chose for my husband needed to step up to the plate. Instead of tackling an entire company, I started by simply honoring my wedding vows. Here is where marriage as a sacrament, changed my life. The choice to honor my vows had shifted my paradigm.

Conversion takes time. At first I was better at replacing the Can'ts, than changing them. The uncertainty of life was becoming more than I could cope with. I needed to feel in control when my business was in it's infancy. At the end of the day, there really is only so much you can do. So I began to pray my rosary. At first I prayed for me, for us, and this. Then God showed me that although we were in the middle of a struggle to hold on to an opportunity, many of God's people struggle with no happy ending in their sights. The unemployed and underemployed, the working poor and single parents, the mentally ill and uneducated. I was always aware of course, but now it hit me like a ton of bricks. It could be that the Francis Effect had wiggled into my subconscious and coming to the surface. In any case,  Mary showed me what it meant to take my discomfort, and turn it into a visceral prayer offering for those who's Can'ts are not simply Won'ts in disguise. 

My husband is a model for me, in that his care for the poor runs deep. Between his example and Mary's urging, I found myself at our drop in shelter serving lunch more often. I saw steps forward for the ones that let me serve them. Steps involving adequate mental health care, affordable housing, or education. Almost insurmountable obstacles for folks that are so vulnerable.

I finally sunk in that in my position of relative safety and security, I could actually do anything. I could change Can'ts to Cans by taking the necessary steps forward. I could be an astronaut if I really wanted to! A few big steps, with a million little steps in between, and I was on the moon.

Entrepreneurship was a viable option for me now. I would take my blessings and run with them. I most certainly can operate a business. I just need to figure out my next steps. Each step, one at a time, is all that God has asked of me. Yes I can pitch and negotiate, present and balance. 

Now that I'm walking the path that God has set me on, I don't cling to my Can'ts. I let them go because Mary holds my hand, and Jesus leads me forward. 

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