This is the true story of one mom (me) and her little business. I’ll admit that it’s a long one but I actually think that’s a good thing. All the hobbyist will be scared off leaving only the truly passionate and determined to learn the secrets.
THE NASTY LIE THAT I BELIEVED
Tell me (please don’t leave me alone on this) if you can relate: I am good at being busy. Seriously, it might be a talent, or more likely a curse when I consider just how good at being busy I am!
I can sit down at my desk and work till my head very literally has hit the keyboard and still have a never-ending list worth of “more” to do. I can go from cleaning, to blogging, to carpool, to dinner, to homework with the kids, to bedtime routine, and back to working and then crash on my pillow and wake up and do it all again. And the crazy thing is, I can sustain this kind of life for a long long, time. I know because I did it for years.
As women, we are hardwired to be caretakers, nurturers, givers. I like this about us, but if we are not careful, these wonderful attributes can be misconstrued in our own minds and we start believing that our worth is in our to-do lists. We feel guilt — a lot of guilt if we’re not being busy. So we fill our days (every last moment of our days) with stuff and then we feel better about ourselves. Or do we?
It turns out that despite all that I was doing, all that I was seemingly accomplishing…I didn’t feel better. In fact, I felt worse. I now had a whole new guilt to be consumed by and this guilt was so much more heart-wrenching than the first. I was terrified that I wasn’t giving enough; That my kids weren’t being given the mom that they needed and my husband wasn’t getting the wife that he deserved. And my personal health? Well, it got nothing!
My “why” had been this vision of possibilities that got me to start a business. The possibility of being able to create better experiences for our family through my income. That was what first planted the seed for me. But back then, that wasn’t even close to happening.
THE EPIPHANY IN THE BACK OF THE AMBULANCE
So why am I telling you this? Two years ago (I’m writing this in 2012) the kids and I were at the zoo. I was trying to take them to more and more fun places to curb the guilt of so often allowing my computer to take first priority. We were looking at the alligators. I started to get hot so I walked us outside. I felt the world starting to pull away and everything was beginning to go dark. I left the zoo on a stretcher and I will never ever forget the look on my oldest child’s face. She had sheer terror in her eyes as her mommy was rushed to the hospital. My body had betrayed me. I guess it was sick and tired of being forced to work on overdrive all the time.
In hindsight, it was a major blessing. I hated that moment, I hated what I had let myself become, I hated the constant busy-ness, never-ending guilt, and sheer exhaustion I felt ALL THE TIME. I resolved to change.
Being busy is not an accomplishment and it does not make us better women. In fact, it hurts our progress. When we are busy for the sake of being busy, we make for lousy wives, so-so moms, and overextended business owners… And not surprisingly — everything suffers!
There is a very vast difference between busy and productive. If we as women can learn to let go of busyness and instead embrace the right kind of productivity, we can enhance every aspect of our lives.
THE TRUTH THAT SET ME FREE
Now here’s the thing… I DON’T WANT YOU TO LET GO OF YOUR DREAM! That’s the ‘be reasonable’ answer, and I despise being reasonable.
I’m saying you have to get better, more defined dreams! When I was trying to figure this all out, I kept hearing things like, “well, it may just be too much for you” or “this may not be the season for you to be running a business,” but something in me just couldn’t accept that. I loved every single thing in my life.
I wanted to be it all, but I had to find that better way, otherwise, I would have to quit my dream.
Since you’re reading this post, I’m sure you can guess what happened… I figured out that better way. I learned how to organize my time and my priorities so that I could make sure that the people who matter most to me, felt it. I came to the realization that while I can be it all…I can’t do it all.
IT CAN BE YOUR REALITY TOO!
Let me share with you what has happened for me…As of today (2012) I have gotten my business to where it only takes about 12 hours a week to run, but brings in about $8,000 a month. I started working with the kind of clients that I had only dreamed about before. I was able to begin funding those experiences, and not just once, but many times over. In fact, my passport finally got some use…and then it was used again!
My Friday nights are now reserved for date night with my husband and my weekdays are filled with laughter from my kids…and my business!
I did it by getting very clear on what served me and what did not.
I got rid of all the distraction and I got very intentional with my work time.
Then I set BIG boundaries for my business. I set hours and I honored them.
I hid my phone. I turned off my computer (literally, just so it couldn’t tempt me!)
I turned off notifications. I even removed email from my phone for a while so I couldn’t get sucked in.
It’s honestly not that hard to do. We are all capable of making a few changes. The hard part was committing entirely. But now, I’d never go back!
Update as of 2021…
If you can believe it, things have gotten even more amazing! My mission is to help as many women as want it, to make the impact they dream of while fully loving and living in the process.
I told you that my dream for my business was to support my family and create incredible opportunities. It happened! I was able to take my family and travel the world. I supported us while my husband went through graduate school and then as he started his own career. I’ve been able to speak and teach all over, including my dream city London.
And I do NOT tell you this to impress you. I don’t want you to be impressed!!! I want you to be inspired. I want you to hear me when I say that if I can do this… A girl with Dyslexia, no college diploma, starting a business with 3 babies all still in diapers—making SO MANY MISTAKES.
So can you!
If you want to know how to identify the right steps that will move you closer to your goal, try this. Plus, I have lots of free resources. Pick one of those! Or if you want to take the next step, learn more about my growth coaching membership — aptly named, Growth Getters.
I’m so happy you found this message, because life is too short not be in love with it.
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