To Stay on Track, Loosen the Grip

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To honor American independence and July 4, CircleAround is collaborating all month long with NAWBO (the National Association of Women Business Owners) in a series of posts exploring the following prompt: "What do liberty and independence mean to me as a woman business owner and female entrepreneur?" 

At 15, I had a crash course in freedom. I got sick. I died. But I wasn't ready. So I came back.

What I came back to was not a fairy tale. I wasn't on the best path. But this was a new beginning, and I resolved to change. I had overcome death — I could certainly overcome any obstacles. I had the freedom to make my life into what I decided it should become. I decided I would become unstoppable. And so, the journey began.

First, I needed to know where I was going — the destination. I needed goals.

Next, I needed a road map. So I broke those goals into small, manageable steps.

Then came the fuel. When I was greedy, jealous, or gluttonous, bad things happened. When I did things for the right reasons, it felt right. Giving felt better than getting. And the getting just happened the more I gave. Good intentions were the fuel.

"The way forward? Loosen the grip and make a series of short corrections."

Every once in a while, I would veer off track. Then I remembered a lesson from when I first learned to drive. Gripping the steering wheel tightly never made me go super straight. The way forward? Loosen the grip and make a series of short corrections. That was true on this journey, too.

Along the way, I had setbacks — failures. Those led to lessons, and each failure made me stronger. Some of the biggest lessons I learned:

  • I cannot choose how other people act, but I can choose how I react.
  • I do not let a bad thing ruin the rest of the day.
  • I inspire rather than criticize.
  • I make progress, not excuses.
  • I choose to practice reckless optimism.

I've been in some really bad situations. In all of those, I found lessons. I found helpers. I found mentors. I found courage to change. And I found my voice. I also found the word that overcomes any obstacle: "NOPE."

  • NOPE to the things that will kill you.
  • NOPE to the things that steal from you.
  • NOPE to repeating the lessons you've already learned. (Mistakes are tuition. Don't make me pay for the same class twice.)
  • NOPE to the distractions.
  • And NOPE to the negativity.

I packed supplies for my journey and picked up a few along the way. Those tools give anyone the freedom to be unstoppable. And one of the best lessons I've learned on the trip is to take the scenic route. Because sometimes the journey is better than the destination. The freedom is in the journey. 

This post is part of a series produced by CircleAround and NAWBO. Founded in 1975, NAWBO is the unified voice of over 10 million women-owned businesses and female entrepreneurs in the United States.

Kimble is a fascinating creature, often seen en route to somewhere or playing in the dirt. She has harvested four-leaf clovers in four states, and occasionally she survives airplane crash landings. She died when she was 15. She got better. She was born and raised in Houston, Texas, and has lived in Dallas, Waco, San Antonio, Venice Beach, Hong Kong, Osaka, Kyoto, Singapore, London, Orlando, Columbus, Chicago, Rockville, and Bethesda. She and her college best friend, Chris Bosworth, decided after 11 years of friendship to settle — ON each other and IN Nashville. They’ve been ecstatically married for 22 years and make their home in the city where they met, at Vanderbilt. Years after they started their married life together, they started a business together, On Promos, Powered by Proforma. They stick a logo on anything that’s not breathing.

GIRL SCOUT AFFILIATION? Yes. Camp Arnold if anyone asks. I still know the Arnold "Oatmeal" song. I saw a flying saucer with a counselor and two other campers on the Spillway. And I almost stepped on a coral snake, but Buffy killed it with a rake. Long story — great memories!


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Written By

Kimble Bosworth, NAWBO member

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