What Mary Oliver taught me about business

“When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real. 

I don’t want t offend myself sighing and frightened, or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.” 

—Mary Oliver, When Death Comes 

You may have heard that Mary Oliver, beloved poet, died this week. If not, I hope you take some time to appreciate the beautiful art of her words.

And when you do, think about the things you create.

Even if you don’t consider yourself an artist — you’re a business owner.  A service provider. A travel designer, maybe. You create experiences out of nothing but your own creativity.

So don’t forget that the way you feel when you create your services, publish your sales pages, serve your clients is going out into the world with your name and heart behind it. 

Yes, we work within the confines of supply and demand, changing trends and logistics of border crossings and online payments. 

But you’re working a massive feat of creativity every day. So remember that, the next time you wonder… 

“Why am I worn out simply from decision-making all day? 
Why am I stressing and second-guessing every word I say about my business?” 

I know putting your creations out into the world is difficult, and scary, and personal.

But you’re making of your life something particular, and real. 
You’re not simply visiting this world, you’re creating something with it. 

And if that’s not art, I don’t know what is.