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What does it take to be an expert?  This is a question I ask often.  I think we take for granted the experts in our lives most days.  The people who stay with something year after year and persevere through the ups and downs.  The ones who take a challenge head on and face it with confidence and grit, knowing that it makes them better at what they are passionate about.  If leatherwork has taught me anything it's that being an expert doesn't just take years of experience, it takes fortitude and character.  When you fall down, you get back up and carry on.  Mistakes are part of the process and are actually valuable.  It's taken me a while to learn the value of being an expert and if I'm honest I haven't always wanted to be an expert, or maybe I haven't always been willing to do the work to become one.  But I can say that when I finally decided to sink my teeth into leatherwork and hone my expertise (I've got some learning to do before I claim real expertise!) a curious thing started to happen - I found real joy in what I do.  The work becomes joy and I feel fulfilled by it.   So, whatever is on your plate today, whatever you're leaning into right now, let me encourage you to make it intentional and look at the challenges you face with determination.  Look at the bumps in the road as tools that shape you into what you want to become.  The process isn't easy but it's the process that gets us to our destination.  If we give up halfway through we never know what it's like to make it!
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