People ask me all the time “How do you do it?”
How do you run a business that – at least from the outside – appears to be booming?
How do you keep it all together with 1-year-old twins?
How do you have the time to produce so much content – blog posts, podcast episodes, newsletters, daily post-its?
The answer: I say no a lot.
My current reply – ooh, I’d love to but I can’t until June – is on repeat these days. And June is slowly becoming July.
I say no to friends who want a skype catch up who I haven’t talked to in a very long time. I have to say no to collaborations and blog interviews and omg! great! opportunities! for the sake of my sanity. And for the sake of my Bigger Work.
But before I was able to start saying no, I had to sit down and figure out what my Bigger Work was – what do I want to be focusing on? What do I want to prioritize? How do I want to be spending the precious time I have?
Because every choice and decision I make for my business is time that I’m not spending with my family, one more walk that my dog doesn’t get taken on, one more pilates class that I don’t get to go to.
One more quiet afternoon spent with a book.
One more long lunch with a friend.
One more day spent knitting or painting or drawing or doing that creative project I’ve been thinking about starting up.
It’s all about choices. And I’ve chosen to prioritize very few things in my life and very few things in my business. Because that’s how priorities work.
I also have to make sure that my business is supporting my life. That I’m making enough money to justify the time spent away, the nights that Tim puts the girls to bed because I’m still at the computer editing the podcast that was supposed to be published by 5pm and the days off when he goes to the park solo because I have more coaching calls.
Going beyond fine
I have to make sure that it’s worth it because the business I’d built up pre-babies was fine, but, at the end of the day, wasn’t worth it. I was working too hard and making too little – which was enough when it was just me. But not anymore.
I need better than fine. Much better than fine.
I realized that if I wasn’t happy in my business, if I wasn’t earning enough to make a difference financially, I might as well go out and get a job.
And, for right now, that is not what I want. I want my business to work and to grow and to do well. I want it all to be worth it. But it’s up to me to make that happen.
So I keep shifting and pivoting and making small changes to get it to a place where it works. I’ve been investing in support and systems, figuring out what I can outsource so I have time to focus on what makes everything worth it – my writing, my speaking, my teaching, my coaching.
And I’ve let most of the other stuff go. It takes me a long time to respond to tweets. I post my daily instagram shots but don’t converse with people in the comments. I’m turning off my blog comments and, as of this fall, will be taking all of my group programs off facebook so I don’t have to be on that platform every day.
I only have a few blogs in my reader and have let go of trying to keep up with the lives of strangers.
I don’t spend time putting on makeup in the morning. I wear the same thing every day – v neck tee from Target, jeans, and a cardigan. My hair is always in a ponytail.
I spend Saturday and Sunday preparing food for the week so that I can eat well. But we eat the same things all the time. I don’t worry about trying out the new recipes or watching the shows that everyone else talks about. I don’t watch SNL or Breaking Bad.
I do what I can to keep my life as simple as possible, because running (and growing) a business with 1-year old twins is a lot. And I love it. I love all of it, because I’ve created that for myself.
Start Stop Continue
Each month, I take stock of what’s working and what’s not, figure out what needs to shift and what I can let go of, so it feels like I’m constantly blowing things up, like I’m always changing and shifting and stretching – but it’s actually an evolution. I am evolving.
And without evolution, things shrivel. Without evolution, they become stagnant. Without evolution, species fade. And that’s not what I want for my business or my life.
And it’s not what I want for yours either.
So think about what’s working and what isn’t in your own life. Where do you need to step up your game? What do you need to let go of? What is it time to change?
What’s the whisper in the back of your head telling you? Because you hear it, but you’ve probably been ignoring it for some time now, convincing yourself over and over that what you’re doing is good enough.
And good enough is a myth. Good enough is settling. Good enough is complacency. I don’t want good enough for you.
If you have a business, good enough is bullshit. It’s time to thrive. (tweet it)
Because if you aren’t thriving, what’s the point?
*graphic by Erin Cassidy for Tiffany Han Coaching