Chapter 3: Leap and hope to goodness the net will appear!

Chapter 3: Leap and hope to goodness the net will appear!

Dave and my life became more established in the South Luangwa, and it really started to feel like home. I became, if not khaki in dress code, at least more bush savvy. I was comfortable navigating a Land rover (in my mind more than Dave’s), adept at waiting for passing elephant without panicking and could pretty much figure out what type of big cat was in the area by the tone of a baboons’ alarm call.

I would spend my Sunday’s working on the jewellery project. I was enthralled and got a natural high each time I created something.

However, I was blocked and frustrated. I had a very strong work ethic but found I couldn’t fully express my core beliefs through a job. A great friend advised the book, The Artists’ Way by Julia Cameron.  This book uncovers your fears and helps you step past them. I realized I had to build my own company that aligned with my vision and values. ‘Leap and the net will appear’ was the book's mantra.. but that is easier said than done.

I started to design the core principles of Mulberry Mongoose. This explored my fundamental beliefs.

  • That people are inherently good and want to add value; but it's hard when juggling busy, stressful lives.
  • That being passionate about your work is the key to a good life. I wanted to provide meaningful careers with purpose and self development not just essential income.
  • That the joy people feel when buying something can be very positive and add value to the planet with the right business model.

I was so grateful for this time of reflection. It helped me dig deep to understand my why and find a business name that captured the vision. It felt like I was being led down a path and it flowed.

The day came when I had to step up and commit. This was no easy feat despite a very supportive husband. I remember walking along the banks of the Luangwa River and asking myself if I had the guts to build Mulberry Mongoose. I decided I didn’t! However, I felt a contradictory kick in my stomach, I had felt this same distinctive kick when I met Dave (following Dave to Africa had been equally scary but 100% right for me). Yes, it was intimidating, no I didn’t know how it would work, no I didn’t feel I could pull it off but…Oh my goodness, I must jump in.

I will remain infinitely grateful that I did, no matter what lies ahead these years have been the hardest, most rewarding, and most authentic of my existence.

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