I seem to be having trouble posting my Empire Building Kit reviews on the exact weekly schedule that I had hoped for.  This is not from any lack of interest in the program or in a diminishing of enthusiasm for meeting my goals; rather, the deeper I get into the program, the more information I am processing and the more I’m feeling like I’m foraging ahead on my own.  The training wheels aren’t yet off, but I’m beginning to notice that I’ve had them on.

This is a GOOD thing for someone trying to run a successful small business.  All the same, the past two weeks have been difficult for me.  I’ve come face to face with my own insecurities, doubts and resistance.  Faced with standing at the doorway of my future, I’m realizing with greater clarity what I really DON’T like doing, and what I really LOVE doing. Photo of Rainy Day Umbrella Lady Pendant by Joana Miranda

While that might seem like a no-brainer, contemplating the this-is-what-I’m-passionate-about-and-do-for-a-living “cocktail line” that you’ll want to share with your 3000 or more acquaintances and friends, isn’t so easy.

Am I shifting course radically?


But I’ve realized that some of my values are at cross purposes with one another, so, like a pilot checking the plane’s instruments and making adjustments to stay on course, I’m reevaluating where I am and where I want to be.

If, like me, you’re on a journey to follow your truest, most fulfilling calling, you might wonder what to do when the doubts and insecurities threaten to stop you dead in your tracks.  The good news is that you’re not the only one feeling paralyzed.  And as I’ve said before, putting one step in front of the other is the only way to move forward.  But don’t take my word for it, read this post on the Ittybiz blog by guest blogger Johnny B. Truant.  You might just find a way out of paralysis as well as learning how to eat a whole elephant.

Oh, and if you are interested, the pendant above is my work.  It is hand-fabricated in Argentium Sterling Silver and is a one-of-a-kind piece.  (Not visible in the picture is the tiny tag suspended from a chain on the clasp that reads “HOPE.” )  I’m offering this pendant FREE to the person over the next week who posts the most inspiring comment here describing their own personal experience with overcoming hardship.

Please note:  This pendant giveaway is now closed.  Congratulations go to Pam for her wise and inspiring suggestion for how to embrace and overcome difficulty in our lives.


  1. Pamela Frame says:

    Overcoming Hardship:
    First: take a breath and step back. Get a better look at the situation. Take stock when you are rested and don’t have too many other issues on your plate, if possible. Second: Talk to colleagues and friends. When you are ready to make a move, their ideas and advice will yield solutions. Write them down. Leave them for a day or more until you are calm and then consider them. Throughout this process stay in touch with artists who inspire you, experience their work, go to galleries and museums and seek out what really inspires all of us – our artforms. For me that is really the answer every time.

  2. Brenda Leach says:

    Hi Joana,
    I’m the other musician/jewelry-lover from Eastman. I think you are so bold for moving forward with your passion of designing exquisite jewelry! I love the quotes you post, and like you, I think alot about the same kinds of things. I’m sharing with you a very basic thought; in fact, I see it all the time in Baltimore (where I work) on bumper stickers. It drives me crazy since I tend to be a stickler for good grammar, but sometimes it’s best to hear the message rather than focus on the way it’s communicated. Here goes: “B’lieve hon!”

    • Hi Brenda,

      Thanks for cheering me on! I’m trying to “B’lieve,” but some days its harder to do than others. Good to get the timely reminder:-)

      How did your jewelry design class go? We’ll be in NY beginning in Sept. I’d love to finally meet you in person – maybe you’ll have occasion to come to the city?

      All best wishes,

  3. Brenda Leach says:

    Hi Joana –I’m the other musician/jewelry-lover from the ESM. I think you are so bold for moving forward with your passion for jewelry! I love the quotes you post. Like you, I think alot about the same things. Here is a very basic thought; it’s something I see all the time in Baltimore on bumper stickers. It drives me crazy since I tend to be a stickler for grammar, but sometimes it’s best to hear the message rather than focus on the way it’s expressed: “B’lieve hon!”

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