I’m mad. I’m annoyed. I’m frustrated.
Why? Because I am so so so tired of seeing women pushing themselves to the limit for their businesses. Sacrificing so much for the life as an ‘entrepreneur’. Wearing the fact that you hustle hard like a badge of honour (If you love the hustle and it excites you then stop reading here, because you probably won’t agree with much of what I have to say. And that is okay! We are all different.). That it’s celebrated when you stay up to 2am in the morning working on your business. That living off of minimal sleep is how you will be successful because you are working so hard to make it happen. Trying to keep up with ‘Miss Jones’ next to you because she has just had a five figure week and you are yet to hit three . Or building more and more income streams because you are told that is what the most successful people have. Trying to work like you don’t have children, yet you have 2 of them running around your feet during the day meaning you are up late to make up for it. Wearing 500 hats everyday because you have to do EVERYTHING yourself (another badge of honour… this is almost like business for girl guides…)
Well you know what. I call bullshit on it all. And I am equipped to say that, because all those things above?? I was that person. And given how many women I am hearing closing businesses or reaching exhaustion I think there are others out there too just like me. I was proud of how hard I worked. I was proud of earning no money for way too long as I chased my dream. I was proud of those 2am bedtimes followed with a 6am wakeup from one of my kids. But then something changed. I decided I don’t want my life to be that way anymore. I didn’t want to be in a constant state of fight or flight. I went into business because its something I love, and I was getting to a point of resenting it. It came to approaching burnout to get there.
I re-evaluated what success was to me. Just like the conditioning we are fed from the media about our bodies (that’s for a whole other blog post), we are fed what success ‘should’ be. I also stepped back and reflected again on why I started in the first place (something I always talk about with my Personal Training girls). And I came to realise that MY version of success is flexibility for my family and a regular wage. MY version of success is being try to my why of supporting women to achieve their dreams. It certainly wasn’t working myself into the ground and it also wasn’t being a millionaire. This was a major shift for me and my business and a weight off my shoulders.
This meant a different focus for my business and for me personally. Which is challenging! It also meant doing a lot of things I should have done years ago, like outsourcing and more automating of systems. And it has meant I am really passionate about helping other women to not feel like I did and to see a different way to do business.
So what have I changed? Well aside from a lot of soul searching I have started outsourcing things in my business that I either don’t enjoy or don’t align with my personal why. Things like accounts and graphic design. Can I do them? Yes! Does doing them fit my why? No, they are just a tool towards that but they aren’t reliant on me. Are they the best use of my time? Definitly not. Working on business growth is and spending time supporting women is what fills my cup.
I have started setting work days and boundaries. My calendar is blocked out 2 days a week for ‘me’ days, because I realised that was something I was missing. And I only have certain days that I do things now, I choose not to work late at night and I have learnt to say no. These are my boundaries. There are times when I need to work late or work on a ‘me’ day as things can pop up and sometimes there is a project or event that will need to be done, but setting these boundaries have given me space to breathe.
I have taken time to look at my own self care. I know that is a real buzz word at the moment, but the thing is its important. And when you are truly looking after yourself, then you are so much more productive in your business. My head is clearer. I am more creative again. My self-care is low-key and no pressure, it’s as simple as going for walks along the beach, with my music in my headphones and the fresh sea breeze on my face. It’s calming, it’s exercise and it’s free!
Do I have all my shit together now? Definitely not. I am still working out the best way to work in this new way of ‘being’ that I have uncovered. It can be hard to unwire the ‘shoulds’ that were in my way of working for many years. And just like the previous 3 years in business I am learning as I go in many ways. I am figuring out what works and what doesn’t, tweaking, pivoting and overcoming challenges as they pop up. But that’s the excitement of being in business!
But I now have a business that I truly love. My health is improving. My husband and family are happier. My business is growing. And I am happier and more successful (by my own definition)! And that really is the most important thing.
So let’s change the expectations, the comparisons and the celebration of ‘busy’. If you are not enjoying the hustle, them maybe it’s time to say STOP. You can make the changes so your business is how YOU always dreamed it would be.
Do you and your business need a little bit of nurturing? Get in touch HERE to work with me.