Start Where You Are with What You Have

Start Where You Are

One of the principles here in the studio is to start where you are with what you have. You don’t have to wait “until”, until you have time, until you have more money, until someone gives you permission, until you’re older, until your kids are grown, until your partner gets it, until you leave your day job.

Whatever it is that’s in your heart, start where you are with what you have.

Want to tap into your artistic self? Grab a pen and some paper. Use your kids’ crayons. Dance to the radio. Sing along too. Try a new recipe for dinner. Collage with the flyers that come to your door. Watch videos on YouTube. Get great books from the library. That’s the beginning – and I want you to know it doesn’t stop there.

Let me tell you about a coaching call I had that made me so angry, one where I was the client. Even though it was a horrible coaching call it ultimately changed my life for the better.

One day I walked by this extraordinary yoga studio here in Toronto. It was in an upscale neighbourhood and was completely aspirational to me. I literally stopped in my tracks, my heart filled with longing as I stared through the huge picture window at the spaciousness, the hardwood floors, the white walls, the sparkling chandeliers. I wanted this. Yes, this. This was my vision of a studio. How would I ever make it happen?

This was a perfect topic to bring to a coaching call! And so I did. I shared my heart, my vision, the depth of my hunger and desire, to which the coach said, “Jamie, you know, you can create beauty in your life right now. Go cut some flowers from the garden and you’d be amazed at the difference that can make!”

I was LIVID.

I could have dropped the F-bomb and you know I say things like “Holy Noodle” and “Fuzzy Bunnies.” (Well, mostly)

Of course I knew that I could make beauty every day with what was readily around me. I’d been doing that for years. I knew what it was to make a beautiful side table with an upside down cardboard box and a piece of $1 fabric bought from Goodwill.

That next step was not my next step. It was actually taking me backwards not forwards. And it was my anger that let me know. Suddenly words tumbled out of my mouth and I stood up for my desire. I took a stand for my right to dream big – a stand I take for you too.

So, please hear what I am NOT I am saying to you.

I am not saying settle.

I am not saying make do.

I’m not suggesting you dream smaller.

What I am suggesting is:

Start where you are.

If you haven’t drawn or doodled or danced or journaled for years and you’re aching to, start where you are.

If you’ve been creative for decades and now want to make a living with your creations, start where you are.

If you’re aching to get out of your day job, start where you are.

If you have your version of a chandelier-lit wood floor studio, start where you are.

Every journey starts with the first step. Point yourself in what you think is the right direction and take it. Take whatever next step is available.
Make that phone call. Send that letter. Have that discussion. Invest $10. Invest $10,000. Invest your heart. Take the day off and go to training. Work over-time and save for it. Put a flyer up in the grocery store. Put an ad on Kijiji. Volunteer. Write a page. Take a picture. Submit a picture. Ask.

Look at where you are. Look at what you want. Take a step.

You can do it!


  1. Paula says:

    Wow, this is a great post! I can feel your passion and love he contrast in this post between the next step and starting where you are. I signed up for writing course for next month that cost me more than I’ve ever invested but I knew! I just knew it was right where I am. Thanks Jamie once again. I am always inspired or validated by your posts

  2. Angella says:

    I can attest to the truth of this. I started my daycare service in May this year with one baby and a few donated cots and toys. I made it look as pretty as I could but knew that it was rather ïnadequate”. However, we now have 4 full time babies and they love their space , they love us and they are growing and happy. What they need most is love and safety – and those are things you cant buy anyhow. I am so glad I started where I was , with what I had.

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