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[ Creating a Life You Love ]

Life As An Entrepreneur

Have you been noticing a change in my emails and unusual (for me) blog posts? As I feel transparency is always best, allow me to explain what’s been happening behind the scenes to the best of my ability.

After I hit burnout in 2020, I took time to evaluate what I was wanting to gain from my business and life as an entrepreneur. I needed to decide whether continuing it was worth the stress and time away from my family. This is ironic since time away from my family was one of the reasons (along with several others) that encouraged me to pursue this dream of running a yarn business to begin with.

As you may (or may not have noticed), my presence in this business has swung back and forth. I have either been fully 100% committed, or resting and reflecting (again).

Well, last year I invested the most money I have ever invested in myself (with the exception of college) and enrolled in what I like to describe as a do-it-yourself therapy course. I decided to do this to help me in my life as an entrepreneur, but also as just a regular ol’ human. It ran for twenty weeks beginning in March and finishing in August. I then took a few months to let it all sink in, settle, and integrate it into my life. And then jumped back in and began going through the coursework again, which is what I’m doing right now because I believe I have even more to learn that I didn’t pick up the first time around.

One thing that had me stalled as an entrepreneur, as well as in life, is that I believed I could only do one thing if I wanted to do it well.

If you haven’t heard Natalie Portman’s Harvard graduation speech, I recommend giving it a listen. Towards the end, she talks about how sometimes doing something is exactly what you need, and how important it is HOW you do it rather than how WELL you do it.

From a young age, I adopted an all-or-nothing belief system about almost everything. For example, the answer was yes when deciding whether or not I’d attend college. Actually, it was never a question of if I’d go, it was already an expectation in my family. The question was more in regard to which college I’d attend, but I digress. I interpreted getting into a good school as taking the most challenging classes I could in high school. And a need to get straight As because that’s what you do to get into a good school. And once in college, I believed in order to get a good job out of school, I needed to study hard and do all the things. I believe I succeeded, as I received the distinction of Senior of the Year in my degree department. And of course, I graduated with honors. Little did I know I’d eventually find myself living life as an entrepreneur! I didn’t study business, but I do believe graduating college served an important purpose in my life.

However, I was so focused on being the best student, that I somehow missed diving into myself and asking what I really wanted after high school and after college. While I did definitely give it thought, almost immediate frustration surfaced so I pushed it away and decided I’d figure it out eventually. I don’t think this is uncommon for young people. At least I think most of the friends I surrounded myself with would likely admit to the same. But by always striving to be the best, I limited what I was able to pursue.

hands holding a wooden tray with three individual seedlings in compostable seed-starting planters

So allow me to apply my new understanding of life as an entrepreneur to Henlia Handmade and how this relates to YOU.

This is an incredible community that’s come together to support me, U.S. wool, and natural dyes. And although dyeing is labor-intensive and not currently very profitable, I love being able to offer this hard-to-find more earth-friendly yarn to our knitting community. I plan to continue doing so! This yarn is dyed for you and with you in mind. This is true EVERY time I warm up my dye pots and is what keeps me moving forward.

But the concepts I’ve learned this past year have been so life-changing for me that I feel like I have to share them with whoever is willing to listen. Hence, the blog posts about creating joy and affirmations and all the non-knitting posts I’ve been writing more frequently. 

So in an effort to continue working on my all-or-nothing mentality, I’ve been putting out into the online world whatever I feel is right for you, for us, in the moment, even if I haven’t completely perfected it. My belief is if it might help even one other person in our community, I’m willing to write it up and put it online. This post is an excellent example. Never in the past would I have considered being this vulnerable so publicly. However, whether it be yarn or knitting-related or what I’m calling life school-related, I’m getting it out of my head and into the world because I believe it’s critical for as much positivity and love and encouragement as possible to flood our online lives-a place where as a society we spend more and more of our time. If I can help just one person feel better about themself or find more joy in life, I’m going to do it.

What I haven’t yet figured out is if I can keep these worlds of mine combined, or if I should separate them into two different online spaces. Part of me feels like I should separate them because Henlia Handmade was started as a naturally dyed yarn e-commerce shop. At the same time, who couldn’t use more positivity in their life, knitter or not?

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Besides, my style of marketing is much more personal brand-like than a commercial e-commerce store.

So the conclusion I’ve come to, at least at this point, is that when you enter my minuscule corner of the internet, you’re getting all of me. You get the yarn and knitting entrepreneur AND my personal growth journey and pieces of my family too. And I think this is natural. Humans are constantly changing and growing and I truly believe that’s what makes us the fascinating and amazing creatures we are!

Thank you for letting me speak from my heart today. I value your time and loyalty and always want to be clear and avoid confusion as much as possible. Comments below and my email are ALWAYS open to you. You know how much I love hearing from you. If you ever have questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to reach out.

And in the spirit of today’s message, what have been areas of growth for you lately (physical, mental, spiritual)? Care to be brave and share alongside me?

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Mindy Kingery

When I'm not dyeing, designing or dreaming of yarn, you can find me painting, digging in my garden, hiking with my family or working on one of my many, many WIPs.

2 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing on your journey. While I am much further along in life (read older!), your heartfelt thoughts are so wise and meaningful, truly inspiring.

    I feel as women we do not tend to “compartmentalize” as men do. While I am totally for equal rights, etc., I find life tends to knit all its fibers together in us. So your decision to combine makes perfect sense!

    Your yarn is so lovely!

    1. Thank you, Sue, for your kind and encouraging words. I really appreciate them!

      You have a very good point about how women tend to blend together all (or at least most) aspects of our lives. That’s a very good point. Thank you for making it!

      Happy Knitting!

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