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Why do Strong Foundations Matter Anyways

I’m not sure if you all noticed … but I quit my job a few months ago 😅. I’d been working with Blueprint 58 for almost seven years and although I absolutely loved the work that I did in the community, I had to make a ridiculously hard choice: Social Work or Design.

So, I took a leap of faith.

In 2015, Becca and Adam invited my husband and I to support them with development, marketing, and programming at Blueprint 58. This was such an amazing opportunity for several reasons: (1) I was able to serve in the community I went to school in, (2) I was able to use my MSW, and (3) I had the ability to dive into program development, design, and marketing all at once. And that’s exactly what I did.

A year later, I also found myself with an opportunity to start a business in creative design. Initially, the goal was to add a little extra income to our family. But by the end of 2021, it was clear that the business was no longer a side hustle. We completed our first six-figure year which is amazing because “on average, 39% of all businesses bring in over $100K in annual revenue in the USA.” 1

This brings us right back to the leap of faith I mentioned earlier. At the beginning of 2022, I was extremely overwhelmed and struggling with both depression and anxiety. My business was thriving but it was overwhelming to juggle 8 jobs, 4 kids, my marriage (and I intentionally didn’t mention mental health because … well, I wasn’t). I just couldn’t do it anymore. But when I considered leaving my business, it felt like I never really gave it a fair shot. So, with Becca’s encouragement, I gave my 6 months notice and prepared to transition out of my position at Blueprint 58.

On my last day, I remember thinking, “OK, now I’ll have time to think and really run this business well.” But you know what? That’s not how things went at all. I actually just fell apart. The reality of full-time entrepreneurship was hard. I thought I had been doing it, which I had in some ways, but there was also a huge learning curve for this new space. Finances were unstable, our son was diagnosed with dyslexia, our marriage felt very shaky, and I was constantly second-guessing my decision. I felt like I sacrificed my family’s stability for my dream.

If you peek into what it’s like building something big and audacious, it takes so much of you. It takes stamina, grit, consistency, and patience. It takes turning up the volume on your cheerleaders and muting the naysayers and occasionally the “well-meaners,” too. It takes looking at the thing you’ve built with love, filled with holes, and trying to figure out how to make it better today, tomorrow, and beyond.

So, at this point you might be wondering… does the good outweigh the chaotic? Absolutely it does. As we close out this year, our revenue has nearly doubled, we just celebrated 10 years of marriage and I’m grateful I was able to have faith that something beautiful could come out of something so difficult.

When I reflect on Blueprint 58’s journey to build something beautiful, I can see my own journey so vividly. I can relate to feeling so close, yet so far. But can’t we all? If you’ve ever tried to do anything challenging, then you’ve been exactly where Blueprint 58 is now. What does help and support look like in this space? 

The impact of support in this “birthing” phase of the process is absolutely vital. As dramatic as it sounds, how we support them as a community in this moment can be the difference between triumph and defeat. This is our moment to truly build something beautiful together, brick-by-brick.

I support Blueprint 58’s campaign because I believe we should champion the do-ers in our community and I believe in the impact that Blueprint 58’s community building will have in creating a safe place to continue doing the work that they’ve faithfully done for over 10 years.

Support the Brick-by-Brick campaign here.

Rebecca Stanley

Becca Stanley is co-founder and Executive Director of Blueprint 58. She has eleven years of experience working with youth, and a degree in child development from the University of Georgia. She and her husband Adam are high school sweethearts who lived in the suburbs together for four years before moving downtown to Adair Park. They have three children of their own (Jayci, Caden, and Isaiah), along with many youth who have found a safe place to land with their family throughout the years. She loves cheese dip and diet coke, reading and photography, and is particularly passionate about both community development and loving your neighbor.

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