It’s often, in times of transition and uncertainty, that you can gain the greatest clarity. The other day I was walking through my grandmother’s garden, and noticed the beautiful blossoms that were covering the yard. The fierce “El Nino” weather patterns has the garden blossoming bigger than it has in years, while the unseasonably hot weather over the past few days has withered some of the petals of the flowers, and they’re far from perfect… but you can’t deny their beauty. Oh hay… I feel a great juxtaposition coming.
Entrepreneurship and business is the same way. The idea of having a lifestyle that you design and a financial reality that you control, is so beautiful… but there are times that the pressure and heat of the work can make you feel withered, weathered, and less than perfect.
I recently hit a time feeling just like that. There were some clients shifting their direction and budgets. I was having a hard time committing to a content and product development schedule. I just started to wonder what I was doing with my life and my businesses. I knew that the problem was less about what I was going to do, and more about shaking these feelings that I was not going to be able to do it. As a life and business coach, I already knew what I would have recommended to a client. I just had to be willing to follow my own advice. I went back to basic the basics. The little universal blossoms of wisdom that I knew would get me back on track. I shared 5 of these tips on my Instagram account, and decided it was a good idea to put them all together in one place.
Integrity is one of your greatest assets.
We have hit a time in business and life, where it’s no big deal if you break your word or fall short on your promises and commitments. It’s especially true if you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur that is starting out, or looking to expand, and you’re relying on relationships and potential opportunities to move your business forward. You will not always run into people who have integrity, but if you find that their words and actions aren’t matching… RUN FOR THE HILLS! Your integrity today will guarantee your business successes tomorrow, people invest in people they can trust.
As women, it’s even more important to maintain your integrity in business, because you’re fighting a different kind of fight. One of the most disheartening things I experienced when I started out, was how cut throat women in business are. I survived some serious bashing and mudslinging from a business relationship turned sour, by maintaining my integrity and my chill during the storm.
Accountability separates the victors from the victims.
You are completely in control of your future and your success. It’s not a motivational quote or some inspirational message, it’s the truth. You have control over the decisions that you make, the people you allow in your life, how you prioritize your time, and how you manage your resources. It’s all on you! If you’re at a great place in your life and career… then compliment yourself on staying the course and getting it done. If you’re not at a place you want to be in your life and career… look in the mirror and decide today will be the day that you change. Accountability is a harsh reality, because it’s so much easier to focus on what happened to you in a tough time, then what you did to contribute to it. The best part of all of this is, you can turn it around at any time. It may not happen in a day, a week, a month, or a year, but start making the positive changes you know will give you the results you need.
Some of my favorite excuses in this world when it comes to my business, has been the lack of time I have because I’m trying to build as a single mom. My struggle is legit. My challenges are real. But once I got real with myself, I realized that less of my struggle was with the time limits I had due to raising my son alone, and had more to do with the energy and time I was putting into dwelling on my barriers. For every problem, there is a solution, and if the solution isn’t perfect, there’s a work around. There are a million life hacks out there. It just takes you finding the strength to focus on overcoming your challenges versus giving more life to them by constantly worrying about them.
With a clear vision, you’ll never be lost.
There are times when nothing that you plan works out. There are times when advisers, consultants, the media, or even your Facebook timeline can convince you that you’re not doing enough, or that you’re on the wrong path. It’s possible. But more than likely, you’ve lost sight and therefore lost focus on what you originally intended for your business and your life. It’s no mistake that the vision and mission of your business plan is at the beginning. You have to clearly understand where you want to go, but you don’t have to be tied to your path to get there.
The path to our destination can get to be blurry, when the distractions of life come into play. Many times as women, we have to delay our dreams or slow the pace, to accommodate our families and our children. I used to freak out about the delays. Had I missed my chance already? Will I be able to compete with these younger minds with more time and less obligations? But it was during those moments when I was away from all the hustle and bustle, that I got to create and craft some of my best content. I still struggle with whether it’s relevant, but I always know that it’s authentic. Don’t lose focus, and don’t fear slowing down.
Balance may be a myth, but the pursuit of it will set you free.
Work/life balance is one of the things that entrepreneurs struggle with the most. So much energy, time and effort have to go into your business to find the success that you want, but in doing that, other important things like family, health, and relationships. There’s no great formula for how to have it all, but understanding that it’s important, and continually looking at and nurturing all areas of your life, will release you from the burden of feeling like you’re failing in a particular area of your life. Think of balance as something in motion instead of a place in your life that you hope that you’ll one day arrive.
Women have to deal with an extra struggle with life/work balance. I feel like we have greater pressure to keep up our roles in the family, while we’re chasing our dreams. But if you ever read or listen to talks from some of the most successful women in business such as Shonda Rhimes, Ericka Pittman, and Sheryl Sandberg, they constantly explain that there is no balance in work and life when you’re pushing to reach a certain level. But it’s not a completely fruitless attempt. Each of them give a different perspective in their books and interviews on how to be in the moment at all times, whether you’re with your family, at work, or working for your charity. You’ll need to learn to accept that when you’re “all in” dealing with one area of your life, another are will suffer. But then you just go and focus on that area for a while, and you’ll find a rhythm that works for your life.
Self-care isn’t selfish. It’s essential.
Summer is right around the corner, and a million reasons that you may be thinking about your health and fitness routine. But did you know there is a direct relationship between your business health and your physical health? Your energy levels and clarity for decision-making can be altered if you’re fatigued or deficient in certain vitamins. If you haven’t learned to manage stress, you may find yourself facing depression, in times of crisis when you need to be at your best. There’s even a huge benefit to taking time off to decompress from a situation, and come back with fresh eyes and a new perspective. Don’t feel like the time and money you take to workout, go spruce up, or splurge on organic groceries is wasted. There’s nothing selfish about making sure you’re equipped to handle your business.
To my fellow female entrepreneurs and business professionals who may think they are being a martyr by neglecting themselves. You’re not. As women, we have even more demands on our bodies, but it’s also important that we keep up a good look. It’s not petty or shallow to make sure when you show up, you show up your best in every way. As a mother that works from home, there’s so much temptation to show up to places in my yoga pants. But reality is, your first impression will leave a lasting impression on your clients, customers, and partners.
What are some of the ways you regain your focus in business and life? I’d love to chat about it below!