Follow me long enough and you learn a thing or two...and that's also why you won't see a traditional blog. Been there, done that, still do that for another business of mine, but this work for me deserves something different. Below are my instagram posts where I share what I know. I also posted 2 articles I wrote... It's my thoughts, it's my life, it's my business(es) and it's what I have learned. I don't hold back. I just tell you what I know and what you do with that information, is entirely up to you.
So click below....
I had one of those big calendar planners on the wall. I taped it up at the end of December. It was so crisp and clean, begging for my big plans. But, I didn't plan any meetings, events, launches.
Instead, I took a marker and blocked off every day I would not work in 2016.
Seriously - does that sound crazy to you? When's the last time you took some time off?
When is the last time you actually stepped away from the business, took off the blinders and looked at your world in a new way?
Go grab a marker - I'll show you how it's done.
First –Scratch out Fridays. 3 day weekends from here on out.
Second – Scratch off days off of your partner or your kids. Spend some time with them.
Third – Bye bye holidays - all of the major ones.
Then…pick a month. An entire month. I picked June. I had tried it last year and it went ok so why not do it again?!
But why stop there? Scratch off the month of December as well.
Look at that calendar and all those dark scratches. How does that feel to you?
Not surprised if a panic would set in looking at 4 months off.
Ok Ok I totally get it if it feels totally unrealistic at the moment. But I think it is good to put your vision out there first and work from there. Because if it is an extra day or an extra month off - it will feel unheard of and the little gremlins will start to chime in "You aren't working enough." "What will your clients think of you?" What if..." Give them a listen for a moment and when they get loud, breathe more evenly and pay attention to the voice of wisdom.
My voice of wisdom starts out small in moments like these, holding back to see if I already know what to do. When necessary she will pipe up loud and strong. This time, she whispered. "It will be ok. Let's just see how this goes."
She's right. Let's just see. Worst case, you go back to working and it's business as usual. For me this past year, little did I know that my income wouldn't be impacted, I would have fun travel while launching new services.
Ok, Let me be honest.
I am a recovering perfectionist and overworker, extra pleaser, make everyone happy kind of person. I spent several years working too much and neglecting my relationships. This is the part I am always trying to coax into relaxation. I can still work hard, but when I need to work. I didn't get to this place overnight and my hope is you are challenged to look at your own life and see what you are doing with your time.
How it's really done
One step at a time. Start with an hour. Get into the routine of that hour being off and for you. Then challenge yourself and step by step your will acclimate. So go ahead - take the marker - pick your first hour. When's it gonna be?
You probably haven't done this because of all the voices and the reasons that tell you not too. It's a HUGE fear that you will lose - money, relationships, and so on. But....
Here is what you will lose when you take time off.
- Mindless activities and busywork. Gone are the days of social media scrolling, Meetings and projects are only if they have a clear purpose and if they can be efficient and direct. You will learn the art of saying "no, thank you."
- No more spinning your wheels or multitasking. You have limited time and you need all the focus on what is in front of you.
- You will lose time and gain time on the other side. Parkinson’s law is applicable here – whatever time you give a task – your task will take all of that time. Sometimes I would sit down to write website copy and hours later was still sitting there. Funny if I gave myself an hour then it would only take an hour. Once I shorten my work time, I gain time with my family.
- So long perfection! You can tweak things all day long. Heck, I could edit this blog over and over. The truth is, dedication to getting information out there with a vulnerable heart, and soul matters more than your font choices and color templates. First step is to serve - that is priority.
- You lose the business identity as your sole identity. When I am not working, I am a mom, a derby girl, a wife, a daughter and a friend. No one else cares about the coach/therapist and how efficient I am. But in order to be the best at those other roles, to have an integrated healthy life, I needed to become a better business owner. When I am not hustling, it is hurting other areas of my life.
Time off is a gift to your business.
If you learn to let go for a moment, trust what you have created in the world to continue to sustain and not fall apart just because you wentcamping without cell service, you can learn to take more time to nurture your life. Time off unleashed space to be creative, connect with others, to discover new interests and expand your view.
For me- My relationships improved. I fell more in love with my husband. My daughter and I had more laughter and when there were tears, I was present to help her through them. I had deep conversations with friends and was able to be their for some amazing celebrations. I began to feel more at ease in my skin and had time to play in new ways with kayaking, paddleboarding, and swimming.
Become a better person.
Look at your life. If you are reading this, I know things aren't perfect because there isn't such a thing. But you know that you need more space in your life. Even if you take off an extra hour, once a week. Turn that phone to airplane mode, unplug and recharge. A little change can awaken even bigger shifts in your business and in your life.
You woke up this morning, thought about meditating and then rolled over to sleep some more because the child slammed up against your body is getting bigger by the day and these moments are so precious and few. So you sleep with a foot pushed on the lower part of your back, trying to savor the moment.
It's ok you slept in til 6am.
Your husband kissed you goodbye as he left in the early hours to catch a train to work. (Gosh he's cute.) He's happy in his work even though you want him to stay home.
It's ok to let your love follow their dreams too.
You woke up, made breakfast, packed your kiddos lunch and felt annoyed as you constantly said "get dressed" to a child who just wants to watch one more pokemon show and who you want to get to school so you can work on your projects. You weren't annoyed at her - let's just clarify. You are annoyed that you aren't excited to be getting her ready. This is what you wanted and now that you have it, you don't feel so competent most days.
It's ok you love your work too.
You dropped off your child. How is she already in school? You told her to be brave and be kind. That's all that matters. When you tell her, you are really just reminding yourself too.
It's ok to not care about the grades, accolades and awards.
You "went to work". Which today looked like a barstool at your kitchen counter. Some days its a coffee shop or your business partners' kitchen counter. The cats meowed incessantly. It kinda made you want to scream but you know you love them. You start off the day looking at what's on your schedule. You have some calls. You have a podcast interview. You write a blog. You forget to drink that huge water bottle sitting right next to you.
It's ok that you aren't perfectly self-aware all the time.
Your friend calls you from her 9-5 job. You wish she would join you on the dark side of not working for "the man". Secretly you just want to have another person in your life that understands what its like.
It's ok not everyone wants to do what you want to do.
You talk to a client and watch the largest light bulb go off in their head. This is why you are here. If only the world could see this and experience it. Your passion wells up. It feels so synchronous to be doing what you are doing and at the same time to tell other people about it makes your stomach do flips and question your existence on earth.
It's ok to say you are a bad ass.
You move on to work with another creative project that is just yours. It feels special and new but it fits into a small part of your day compared to all your other responsibilities. With classical music in your headphones, you hope your brain waves sync better that way. You are deep diving into writing when you look at the clock at it's time to go get your kid.
It's ok you aren't ready yet.
You pick up your kid, take them to the store and fight off every request of "I want that, I wish I had that." You kinda would give them everything they asked for but you know it's not what they need.
It's ok to say no sometimes.
Off to dance class. You scroll your inbox while your child throws her hands in the air and jumps around. You envy how free she is in her body.
It's ok to love your body too.
On the ride home you listen to a podcast hoping that some bolt of lighting will strike you from the headset and split your heart in two, evoking the most transformational event of your life. Your child is in the car singing her ABC's in Spanish. You can't remember what you were listening to because you are so excited she figured out there were two C sounds in the alphabet.
It's ok to pay attention to what matters most.
You head home, start dinner and in walks your husband. You sit at the table doing your best to avoid a battle of "eat one more bite", trying to teach your child to listen to what their body needs. You listen to his day and get excited for what he is teaching. When asked about your day you only can muster "it was good." You are used to a life where you can't talk about what you do and now you find it hard to convey what you do everyday.
It's ok you can't always explain how you feel.
It's your husbands turn for bedtime routine which means you get to work a little more if you want. Then you remember you didn't meditate this morning, dammit.
It's ok to meditate at night.
You don't feel tired so you open up the laptop and watch your friends' edited lives scroll before you on facebook. You are filled with joy, jealousy, confusion, excitement, and annoyance all in 4 swipes down on your track pad.
It's ok to stop comparing now.
So you open up your laptop to write this blog. Because really, even though its for the reader, it's for every client past, present and future, your daughter, your friends adn for you. You don't want to hit publish but you do because you know we are all in this together. It's the only way people will know that
It's all ok.