I just finished a project that took me over a year to complete. It was my own personal, artistic marathon, per se. I knew it would take me a long time to finish it before I even started it, but I wanted to do it...so I did. It was fun and it stretched me and my skills in amazing ways. Here are 5 things I learned:
1. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Many times throughout this project, I wanted to stop and cry, "UNCLE!" I felt unqualified and untested. This was bigger than anything I'd ever done before. I had never had the lead on any project this huge, but I knew that I could figure it out. There were a lot of prayers that went up asking for ideas, guidance, and resources.
2. Communication is key. I had to communicate clearly and often with my clients. Expectations cannot be unspoken. We all know what happens when we assume... I also learned that every client has a different communication style. It's my duty as the project manager to figure it out and work it out.
3. If I expect it, I must inspect it. Apparently, this is an old business adage. Prior to hitting a speed bump along the way, I hadn't heard it. Now I know. Now I inspect what I expect. I could probably write a whole novel on this idea now, but I'll sum it up by saying this: it's okay to be nice when offering correction, but it's not being nice to not offer a needed correction.
4. Just do it. When I went to the original project consult, the client asked me if I could handle it. It was a big project, and since he is a friend of mine, he knew I also work a full time job (outside of this), in addition to raising a family, and teaching at my karate school. I only hesitated for a second before I responded that I could. Because I said I could, I did it. It terrified me, but I'm so glad I did it.
5. "Excitement comes from the achievement. Fulfillment comes from the journey that got you there."-Simon Sinek I came across that quote from Simon Sinek this morning after we had the open house to welcome the kids to their new rooms. (In case you missed it in previous posts, this giant project was the remodel of the student center at my local church. It was 7 large rooms in all and a rather large hallway.) This quote is a great summary of what this process has been for me. I'm very excited for it to be done, but I loved the process along the way. I got to paint huge murals and detailed pieces. I had to coordinate several other workers and pieces and timelines. It all came together in the end and it's fantastic!
I'm very proud of how it turned out, and I'm proud of me for getting it done. I tell you this not to brag or be vain about what I did, but to encourage you. I am not any better of a person than you. I may have developed some serious time management skills, but I'm really just a normal human being. If you have something that you are called to do, then do it. It is not lofty or dreamy or whimsical to want to step into the gifts that God gave you. It's what He created you for.
Go. Make it a beautiful day, friends.
If you'd like to see more of the details of the student center remodel, you can follow me on Instagram for fun snippets, or you can jump over to JensWallsTalk.com to my projects page. I'll be updating it over the next week or so. Stop by often.