Dear Lord, I thank you for life, for today and for loving me. Thank you for your grace and your mercy towards me. Thank you that you’ve chosen me. My life is not my own, it belongs to you. Oh, Lord I ask that your will be done with my life, show me, lead me and guide me toward the paths that are ahead. I want to be used by you, my heart’s desire is to put a smile on your face every day I am alive.

This has been the theme of my prayers for over ten years. During college, I struggled with trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. My purpose. When I embarked on my entrepreneurial journey as a business and life coach I knew I was on to something. As a coach, I positioned myself to help other people reach their dreams, overcome fears, and dig into their strengths. It was and still is a very rewarding role to play. Even though I was enjoying that season, the struggle was real. I worked alone. I had to figure everything out from marketing to legal. It was overwhelming. Going into business for yourself is going to test every ounce of what you’re made of.

It wasn’t until a few years into my business that I realized that I needed certain things to keep me moving forward. I needed help. I needed peers, like minded people that I could relate to. People that understood the struggle. I needed community. I needed encouragement. I needed a safe place to be open about my faith and my journey. A place that spoke my same language. I needed honest feedback, delivered with a dose of grace. I needed quality of information, people and resources. This realization is what led me to the crazy idea of building something to fill this gap. It was the beginning of Grit & Virtue.

So, what happens after you say yes to the mission, to the idea or vision that has been placed on your heart?

Usually, what happens is that you experience an overdose of excitement, happy dances, and confetti, quickly followed by a gray cloud of doubt. You begin to question if it’s actually possible. If there’s really a need or if it’s just a small idea that has no potential. However, to move forward you have to start before you’re ready, and that’s what I did. I began to pray for clarity and discernment. I didn’t want to move forward with anything unless I received confirmation that this was all in God’s will. So last year, I booked a retreat to the Santa Cruz mountains for some quiet time and reflection.The goal was to quiet my mind and hear from God. It was an amazing time, but I only received a glimpse of clarity. It took the next few months to ideate and pray, and then the pieces began to fall into place.

Soon thereafter, I got my husband involved. For anyone that knows my husband, they know that he has a contagious drive to get things done. He immediately caught the vision, and hasn’t stopped working with me to make it happen. I remember one Saturday we carved out time for a strategy session that turned into a branding, marketing, and dreaming session. That weekend things became tangible, and when you begin to actually see what was a concept in your heart come together in real life it gives you unstoppable momentum. After that session we knew that we weren’t going to stop until we launched something we were proud of and something that addressed the frustrations, needs and desires of our community.
Being in business as a solopreneur for years, I knew that going into this venture I didn’t want to do it alone. I didn’t want it to be built around me. I wanted to build something bigger than myself. And to do that I needed a team. I needed wise counsel from people that have been there and done that. I needed people that believed in the vision. So I began to pray for a team. It took months before I mustered up the courage to reach out and share my vision. Once I took that step of faith, everything fell into place. In a matter of no time my team caught that vision and began to embark on our journey with us.

What I’ve learned from building a team is that to attract A players, mentors, and partners, you have to have a vision worth pursuing. Something that will outweigh the long nights ahead. The fear of the unknown. Your vision has to be real. It has to come from a place of humility and it has to solve a real problem. Once we had everyone in place, we began to take off.

So, what does it take when you’ve said yes to the mission? I’ve learned that it takes vision, because the road is long. You have to look ahead of the now and plan for what’s to come. It takes confidence, because you have to believe in yourself in order to get up every morning and tackle what’s ahead. It takes sacrifice, because there will be long nights ahead of you and weekends that you’ll have to give up to work on your mission. It takes courage, because you’ll have to make tough decisions daily. It takes humility, because you’re going to get things wrong and you have to ask for forgiveness. It takes prayer, because life happens and we need God to meet us in it. In our journey so far we’ve experienced many battles. We’ve lost loved ones. We’ve been faced with the grieving process of a miscarriage. And through it all, we’ve leaned on Jesus. It takes Grit, because the journey isn’t easy. There will be times that your flesh tells you to give up, but you have to persevere. We’ve been faced with business decisions that may seem like the end before even getting to the beginning. It takes Virtue, because building something with purpose means ensuring that it’s honorable, based on integrity, and that it’s coming from a place of authenticity.

So there you have it. We are ordinary people aiming to do something extraordinary for women on a mission. We are just getting started, and can’t wait to see what the future holds for Grit & Virtue. Thank you for being a part of our journey!

On our hustle,

Charlena Ortiz

An accredited life & business coach, writer, and founder of Grit & Virtue. My passion is found in helping you on your journey of becoming who you were created to be, while living out your mission with clarity, conviction and confidence.

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