ETA turns 9 today. Happy Birthday Dad! This blog post is for you.
I have invested over 18,000 hours, and counting, into my ideas about what ETA can do. And I could not be prouder to remind you that all my effort is because of the things my Dad taught me to love to do.
My Dad was a man who through out his life grew in his art form- the place where his genius lived- in ways, as his daughter, I stood in amazement to watch. From seeing him defend and win every case he fought for the common man as a criminal attorney, to his stories about being the starving artist whiz kid who zipped through Harvard law managing a dance band and eating toasted peanut butter sandwiches, to building a foundry business from scratch in a small town in Wisconsin and employing most of the town–my jaw routinely dropped in amazement seeing how happy it made him to do all he could do, to help as many people as he could, with his genius.
When I started this adventure 9 years ago it was a deliberate decision- very much so. The grind of retail, wholesale and distribution- 20 years of owning and running musical instruments shops- was simply too long. Especially in a business that I started on a whim figuring it would last no more than 2 or 3 years. My hope was it would last just long enough to count as my own (creative) version of an MBA. I am still hoping to the outside world it does, honestly. I have earned it, without a doubt. But my success caught me off guard, and it took me 20 years to realize I had long ago graduated and forgotten to move on.
During that time, I had come to learn that I deeply wanted to help my employees and customers grow and succeed more than I wanted to be a slave to my vendors; putting money into their pockets for products that they were milking instead of investing into. So I decided it was time to change my life and get it going in a direction that allowed me to better express myself and use my abilities and gifts in a way that hopefully, ultimately, would give me more control. By making my own products I could be responsible for their health and well being in the marketplace and allow my ethics and values to guide me.
ETA has always been about self expression and figuring out what to do with the genius you have and how to make it support you. Too often the things we think we want are not truly who we are or are meant to become.
As a child, I craved a close family. I wanted to be mommies pretty little girl and get my hair and nails done at the salon and play dress up in her closet until I married prince charming like my mommy. I wanted my mom to be my best friend too. But that’s not what I got. If I wanted to find someone who could be my mom, I had to go up the road to my girlfriend Rhonda’s house for starters.
All the same I learned a lot from my family. Through their actions they taught me about ethics, and values, and how while love can never be bought, only through love can money & trust flow. Politics and challenges at the foundry were routine family discussions over dinner. We talked about the employees, and who had baptisms and weddings in the foundry’s chapel too. And every so often there was the lesson that came from what having a moral compass can do for you; if you follow it in all of your decision making.
When I married, it was not in my deck of cards to get pregnant. Although I had birthed a child- my business. It just took me up until ten years ago to realized he was now 20 years old, fully grown and ready to leave home. It was time to let go and move on.
This adventure building an audience for ETA is about using all my skills and talents, and growing lots of new ones too, to see just how many people ETA can ultimately help to rise above themselves and flourish. I have diligently worked to build, through experiments and testing, a curated (increasingly customizable) system, I believe can help more people learn how to take what they love- their true genius- and prosper from it. There is no doubt that what we love will bring plenty of tears and struggle- that’s the kind of effort true love makes us do. But if we can use our gifts to give the world something we will be proud of, what more can we expect from our time here on earth?
So it seems the appropriate time to crack open a bottle of champagne and give a toast.
Dad, here’s to 9 good years striving towards our highest purpose and best self. Congratulations! The resources, opportunities and people ETA, IAEOU and now Learning Flies most needs are showing up and being presented to us now. It indeed has been the magical year of finding our wings to fly no longer solo but as a team into Version 2.0. And while some may say it’s ridiculous to have any dream take this long to realize, a dream worth working towards and living for means a whole lot more.
What is your ETA to transform into your best self? Are you ready to become your own version 2.0? Remember what Einstein said: The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking. Are you ready to change how you think about who you are and what you are capable of doing?
About Lisa Canning
“Vowels are to words what creativity is to the world~ basic and necessary.” What motivates you to explore your creativity?
For daily inspiration and creative education join me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EntrepreneurTheArts
Need a magic creativity wand? Let’s start with the clarinet and see what it inspires you to dream and do.
Lisa Canning is the founder of Lisa’s Clarinet Shop, IAEOU, Entrepreneur the Arts and now Learning Flies too.