Lessons learned from my first year of business
When I decided to run my own business full-time I thought that maintaining a nice work-life balance would be easy. I had these fantasies of waking up early, drinking coffee and answering emails with a smile on my face. I'd make healthy meals, I'd finish work before dinner, maybe I would join a book club, maybe I would start a new hobby. The world is my oyster after all.
Sometimes it’s like that. Most of the time it isn’t. It’s great in different ways, though it’s nothing like I imagined in my business owner fantasy. I have encountered unique and different challenges I never thought about (sales tax permits? accounting software? client management systems?) and when I finally figured them out it was BEST feeling. When I got a tax ID number and sales tax permit I felt like a #BOSSLADY.
STRESS IS SHITTY, BUT DON'T IGNORE IT.
Stress is sneaky. It manifests in bizarre, annoying, and sometimes terrible ways. For me, I get terrible neck/back pain that prevents me from sleeping. Then if I’m really lucky, I get panic attacks. Fun, right? The first time I saw Dina she told me I was an absolute hot mess, one of the worst she’s seen in months. I laughed and thought “PREACH!” while also being relieved. Dina is my massage therapist and all around miracle worker. I can’t tell her things are “fine” because she will start her voodoo magic (not literally, okay?) and be able to tell what a wreck I am. It’s wonderful. She’s my secret weapon and keeps me in check.
When I have to see Dina on a frequent basis, I know I need to take a hard look at what’s going on in my life. What am I ignoring, what does my diet look like, where is the overwhelm? It’s a reminder to take care of myself.
So that’s what I’ve been doing for the past few months. I am being more selective about what I focus my time and energy on, putting a priority on taking care of my body and mind. When I take care of that, it shows in my ability to provide better, intentional, solutions to my clients.
Now, when things fall through the cracks (*cough* blogging *cough*instagram*cough) I don’t beat myself up. I’m learning to be more intentional. I’m discovering what I want my life to look like both professionally and personally.
WHAT I’VE LEARNED IS BIG.
- When something isn’t working, there is a reason, pay attention.
- When something lacks passion, it lacks a future. This is okay. I repeat, this is okay.
- Not posting as frequently on social media does not make me less of a #BOSSLADY.
- Just because one business owner may do XYZ, I do not also have to do XYZ.
- There is not glory in overworking.
- If something gets me so excited that I can’t help but do a little dance when I talk/think/dream about it, that is where my focus should be.
- Look ahead and keep learning.
I've learned the most important thing is to take care of myself.
IT IS OKAY TO SLOW DOWN.
As long as you don't stop.