“Something is going to come out of this. Something new. This can end you up in a whole new place—a better place, a much more open place”. – Pema Chodron, author
Your business is a toddler now. Look all you have gone through to get to this point! Remember when we talked about your business being a baby? If not look here. You are still responsible for the health and wellbeing of your business. By now, you know all about sleep deprivation and thankless sacrifice! Doesn’t matter how tired you are. Doesn’t matter if you only have two brain cells that survived the sleepless nights. You still must find ways to nourish, care for, and protect your business, aka “toddler”.
Like many parents who are new to the “Toddler Hood”, as a business owner you may find that with every new event, accomplishment, and trial you are searching to see if others are having similar experiences. You look for seasoned vets who might know the answers to help you through your trials. You may find yourself searching more online, buying books, joining community groups, and asking friends and family for help.
My business celebrated its 7th birthday on January 1, 2017 and my human baby is 1.5 years! Oh how the time goes. This parenthood journey continues to parallel business building in so many ways, IT’S JUST WILD. As I thought about this post for the new year, I reflected on my journey as a mom and business owner and I have a few new tips for you. HAPPY NEW YEAR and HAPPY NEW GOALS!! 2017 is the year to beat all business years!
LET’S GET STARTED…
1. A Plan For The Day Keeps Insanity At Bay.
Ever had a day with a toddler where you just wing it? Let me be more specific. Have you ever decided to run several errands, that may last a few hours, and you don’t pack anything but a diaper bag? You don’t plan what to eat. You don’t bring but a sippy cup of juice. You” just wing it and go with the flow. [PAUSE] I am literally giggling right now because that happened to my hubby. HA HA HA God bless him, he really is the best. I remember the call I received from one frazzled daddy who didn’t know that our son wouldn’t like any of the food he bought him. Lesson learned. [CONTINUE]
Trying new things in business is not a bad thing but you have to have a plan A and B. Sometimes you even need a plan C. It’s great that you want to start a new practice, or open a second location, or start a new service. Now what plan will you write out to prepare for this goal? What if the business or service takes longer than expected to take off? What will you do if it doesn’t work at all? You need to answer this for yourself. “I don’t know” is not the right answer. There really wasn’t anything terribly wrong with my husband free flowing the day with our toddler. The problem was not having a plan in case the free flow stopped working. You can avoid TONS of stress if you take a moment to write out a solid PLAN.
2. The Word “NO” Can Be Just As Lovely As “YES”
Can you image the chaos that would ensue if you were afraid to say “no” to a toddler? Drapes get pulled down from curtain rods, electrical sockets get tampered with, neatly folded clothes get thrown around the room, random people are called on your telephone, and parents get jelly fingers on their clothes and in their hair. There is a time and place for everything. There is absolutely nothing wrong with saying “No” when you know it will prevent detriment to yourself and/or someone else.
You can hurt your personal health, relationships with others, and your business growth by saying “YES” when you should be saying “no”? It doesn’t matter how great the idea, how wonderful the person asking, or how much you would like to start that new venture. Let’s all practice more self care and balance. That starts with being honest and courageous with yourself and others. If the time isn’t right, kindly decline. You won’t miss anything. If you really want to say yes, plan it for a better time in the future.
It’s amazing how too many “YES” responses can get you so busy that you are too busy for the most important projects in life. You end up accomplishing a lot of things but never the most important things.
3. Long days and longer nights. It’s going to happen. Just put a time limit on it.
I call it partying like a rock star. That’s what happens when your day starts early in the morning and your toddler decides they are absolutely not tired until 11pm. You might find yourself wondering, “Well how long is this lovely little party going to last? One night, one month, a year?” Good news for YOU! Your business isn’t a human being. So while my toddler might have me partying like a rock star for the next few months, my business won’t. YOUR business won’t. You won’t let it. Really, you won’t let your toddler do that either. All parties come to an end at some point.
Sometimes we get burned out as business owners because we see no light at the end of the tunnel. If you do #1 above, you will be able to put a time limit on how many days you sacrifice family time, energy, sleep, money, etc. because you will know those long days and nights have a deadline. If it stops being fruitful, you will stop what you are doing and develop a different plan.
Hope you apply all of these in your business! All the best in this new season!