I stopped when I saw it. It was written on a stark, white background with words scrawled in black calligraphy ink, “Passion initiates, but faithfulness completes.”
I pinned it.
Clicked on that little heart so that it would save to my “Favorites.”
I promised to remind myself of this quote on those days when I am so, so tired. Or, even worse, uninspired.
There’s no words to describe the feeling - walking away from a meeting where we've picked out fabric samples for our newest designs or just heard a story from one of our women in India. This little fire in me lights up, and I feel like I could just conquer the world. Kind of like driving with the windows down Ward Parkway while your favorite song plays. Or the very start of a run - you know, the first couple of minutes when you feel invincible.
Before you hit mile two and you feel like your lungs are going to explode.
Or before you hit a red stoplight and have to turn your music down because now it’s just awkward.
Inspiration is beautiful. But it’s fleeting.
And the truth is - you can’t build a company on inspiration.
You build it on faithfulness.
On writing when you feel like you have no words. Or working when you feel like you have no energy. Despite the failures, despite the mundane of the everyday things that just have to get done.
We love hearing stories of successful people talking about their beginning failures. Maybe because we can identify with them, draw hope from them. When we hear their stories - of how they overcame, how they diverted, changed course - we are encouraged because we already know the end of their story. We know their last page, their “happily ever after.” We know that they made it.
We look at our own lives, and we can’t quite say the same. We’re on chapter five and the ending is still very TBD.
But what if we could take confidence in knowing that our last chapter is already secure, and that it’s a good ending, a beautiful ending? That nothing is wasted - not that mistake, or that wrong turn. All of it is working towards something, something that we just can’t quite see yet.
I think one of the secrets to success is really believing, no matter what, that your success story is already written. That you’re just in the middle of the book, but your grand finale is just a couple chapters away.
I was in a meeting today about nonprofit law, and they were discussing the three core requirements for being a director of a nonprofit. These are legal obligations for which you are held accountable for. There’s three duties that you are responsible to uphold:
- The first is the duty of care. This requires you to use an attentive eye, exercise caution and wisdom with the steps and decisions you take. Violation of this is negligence.
- The second is the duty of loyalty. This requires you to always put the interests of the corporation, or mission, ahead of your own. Violation of this is personal gain.
- And finally, the duty of obedience. This requires you to be faithful in order to protect the vision. I looked at the powerpoint slide, so intelligently constructed by a brilliant legal mind. And there it read, “Guardian of the mission.” And I realized - You guard your mission when you are obedient. When you are faithful.
It’s not about sending that email. Or shipping out that package. Or responding to that phone call. It’s about guarding your mission. And when you start to look at it that way, it connects faithfulness (that small, seemingly insignificant task) with passion (protecting your vision).
I believe that some people are naturally gifted with passion - energy, joy, excitement. They’re the kind of people who can lead a room. They show up and everyone leaves totally pumped. They get the whole crowd encouraged, fueled up and ready to make waves, start movements.
And there are some people who are naturally gifted with persistence - strength, determination, willpower. They’ve got grit when the going gets tough, they will not bow down or throw in the towel for anything or anyone. They’re the ones you call when you know you need something done - they never give in or give up.
It’s pretty rare to find someone who has both of these qualities naturally. So be honest with yourself, because you need elements of both in order to win. You will not reach page 315 on passion alone. And that last chapter is the best part.
We say in our By Grace manifesto that we strive to be women who are that rare combination. Not naturally, but because we have cultivated that balance of relentless persistence with passionate vision.
Dreamers + doers.
Passionate + faithful.
Until next time,