Sunday, November 22, 2009

Nobody Told Me There’d Be Days Like These….

Nobody told me there’d be days like these. Strange days indeed. ~ John Lennon

I decided to share this writing in my blog from a few weeks ago because I realized that it is critical that people know about the good and the bad days that come with starting up a company! So often we have the tendency to share the good, but I believe it critical that people also know about the hard days, as it may help them to not feel so alone as they embark on a journey to start up a company and/or make their dreams a reality...

I don’t think they make stories this good (or maybe this bad?) that often! I know this one will keep me going for a long time to come. The funny thing is I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. So I guess I’ll write about it and feel better.

If someone had told me all the ups, downs and all arounds of starting a start-up company, I never would have done it. In fact, if you asked me right now, I’d say run! Run fast and hard the other direction and don’t look back. But maybe that is because you caught me on one of the tougher days. It really isn’t always this bad. Today is one of those particularly rough days.

The funny thing is I got a fortune today that said, “Your principles mean more to you than any money or success.” I cried. It was something I heard The Dalai Lama recently say when I went to see him speak about Buddhism. He said that when you are on your path and you are committed to a higher cause, your higher purpose and to the greater good, other things don’t matter. In fact so much so, that you begin to allow superfluous things to drop away. I believe this is true, even though it isn’t always easy.

That’s how I feel about the path of creating OneGiving™ ( It started as a vision and a dream a few years ago. I never knew how hard and, yet, fulfilling it would be. Today is one of those days that seemed harder than I could have ever imagined following your dreams and starting a company could be.

I went to Colorado for investor meetings and my business partner flew out and they all got cancelled. Now I had a bunch of meetings with my contacts so it made the trip worthwhile for me, but my partner flew out specifically for the investor meetings and they were cancelled. We are at the beginning stages of raising money, so expending resources when we don’t have to is not my idea of good business. But I guess sometimes in the process, you have to allow for whatever happens and accept it for what it is.

But it gets worse than this. So because our meetings got cancelled, we decided to head to the airport to try to catch a flight a day early to not waste any more of our time or money. I dropped my business partner off at the airport to catch a flight and I went to return the rental car. When I got there, I forgot to fill the gas tank, so I had to turn around and go get gas. When I returned, I locked the keys in the rental car, so we had to wait to get it unlocked before I could get my luggage out of the trunk .Fortunately for me, it only took a few minutes and I was on my way.

I got to the airport only to find that the only flight out was in 2 hours, would cost me an additional $300 and I might not even get on the flight. I decided to go back and stay with a friend and catch a flight in the morning. I called a friend or two to get a ride back from the airport and they were busy, so they said to take a shuttle back to their place. I jumped on a shuttle…and guess my luck? I was the 10th person to be dropped off out of 10 people on the shuttle – it took over an hour to get back to my friend’s place.

As I sat on the shuttle, I started to laugh. One woman asked, “Something funny?” I laughed, I mean what else could I do at this point, and replied, “Yeah, just a funny day overall!” When I got to my friend’s house, I collapsed. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. Why was this journey so hard somedays? Why me? Why was I doing this? Why couldn’t I just stop? Yet I knew inside, I just couldn’t. This was not about me – it was about something bigger than me. I started to cry.

Most days, I feel ok, in fact I feel great, blissful, joyful and happy. I know I am on my path, fulfilling my purpose, pursuing my passion. I am strong. I am capable. I am working on something – a vision and a dream that is bigger than me. It is not about me, yet I have to be strong enough and I have to have the courage to see it come to fruition.

Most people know me for being positive and an eternal optimist. I find joy and fulfillment out of inspiring others to find the positive in every moment. I love quotes that do the same and spread that love and light to others. But in this moment, I was worn down, exhausted and I fell apart. I was tired of being the strong one and holding it all together.

My friend was a superstar—she held my hand and said all the right things. She reminded me why I was doing this and that it needed to happen. She allowed me to be vulnerable. In that moment, I realized that for the most part in my life, I am strong, committed and passionate. I am a light to inspire myself and others – most of the time. But some of the time it was ok to be vulnerable, it was ok to break down and it was ok to cry and let it all out.

If I had been told about these days, I probably wouldn’t have taken the first step. Nobody told me there’d be days like these. But then again, if they had, I may not have moved forward in following my heart and my dreams to create OneGiving™. I realized that this too would pass. I realized that I could allow the feelings to come, I could collapse for a moment, catch my breath, and then pick myself back up and continue moving forward.

The funny part of it all, was that later that night, my business partner texted me and while she got on a flight out of Denver, she ended up getting stuck in Phoenix and had to get a hotel room there and stay the night. The next day when she finally got home, the airlines lost her bag. As I said, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, so this time I decided to laugh. What else could I, or we, do?

Not all of our days can be pretty or turn out the way we want them to, but the reality is, that I wouldn’t change a thing. If we are committed to our passion, then we are committed to the journey as well as the destination. While nobody told me there’d be days like these, I realized I could accept what was and use it as fuel to keep propelling me forward on my path and accept whatever else comes my way in this journey knowing that for me and right now it is the only thing, the right thing for me to do!

You can find me on Twitter @pilarstella and Facebook at


  1. your candor and authenticity is a connecting energy and a inspiring one.

  2. Thanks for your comment...I know that if we are allowed to feel and share what we feel, we may all take bigger strides forward for ourselves and others. So thank peace and gratitude, ;) p