As a creative entrepreneur, I’ve come to realize that there is not a line between life and business. Entrepreneurship is not about building a well-designed brand or business, it’s about building a well-lived life.
- Whitney English
Life- This is one category that I know needs a lot of revision. I ran across this quote above as I was checking out the Day Designer by Whitney English, below. It really sat with me and was a little like an aha moment. It's a relief to find truth in what I already know- the fact that there is no line between life and business when you own your own business- but seeing it here made it more comfortable for me.
The Day Designer by Whitney English. I'll be picking up one of these ditties soon and you can too, here.
Intention #1: Start focusing on building a well-lived life rather than focusing so hard on the business. I believe there is a lot of wisdom in this statement- after all, just like they say a happy mom means a happy household...a healthy life will mean a healthy business will follow. I can honestly say that looking back, while this year was one of our best for sales, income, portfolio...it was also one the most draining for me. I believe I've only been operating on about 10% and giving the other 90% away to the business. I'm sure my staff has suffered, and I know my family has. My little boy is growing like a weed and if I can't enjoy his years now, what will I have when I'm older? Just the business. Doesn't sound very fulfilling.
Intention #2: Focus on being in the moment. I am the worst at this. My brain is constantly in motion all the time. If I'm at home I'm thinking about work. If I'm at work I'm thinking about things that need to be done at home. I'm often stressed when it's quitting time because I feel like my mountain to-list is still a mountain. I then take this out on myself and my family...which brings us back to the question: why did I go into business for myself if I was going allow myself to be like this? This needs to change.
Intention #3: Take some me time. I know a lot of the reason 2012 was a little draining was because I absolutely let my health take a backseat to everything else. If I got up early before the family it was for work, not working out. I used to be relentless about what type of food hit my mouth- this year not so much. I feel it inside and out as a result. This year I want make the commitment to being healthy inside and out, especially since we'll have a new little one depending on me.
Make a space lived in and full of heart and soul
- Holly Mathis
Intention #4: Make my house a home. I have a weird habit. I absolutely love to look at interiors, but I have the hardest time making my house reflect me. And yes, that took a lot to write that- because for me it means not only the decor included within, but the way the space feels. Let's face it, our house is probably a little too small for what we've got going on, but even small spaces should feel serene and should make one excited to come home. One of my top intentions of January is to organize top to bottom, throw out what's no longer loved or needed, and fill it only with things and momentos that make us happy. In other words, it's time to truly live an inspired life.
Intention #5- To become more disciplined. I know I can be more disciplined in several areas...finances, work, clients, everything. This goes back to just being more focused on what's important now, too. All of those "to-do's" for a successful business: social media, marketing, web copy, perfect sales consultations, client satisfaction...they all have a place, but not all at once. I read somewhere that when we multitask, we are only operating on about 10% brain capacity. Well doesn't that sum up a lot of things! So this year my intention is to be more disciplined about what I need to focus on, and delegate the rest. This will clear my plate and make space for more of what's important- whether it's more of the perfect client that makes me happy as I work, or more me and family time..I believe that by doing this, whatever is needed most will make itself apparent at that moment in time.
Intention #6- Stop caring so much. Can I tell you how much I care about what others think of me? It drives my husband nuts, and I'm sure it drives my team nuts too. I am constantly worried that my ideas won't be good enough or that they won't be well received. Or that my blog posts won't be read or liked, or even worse, I'll say something here that would make someone- gasp- not like me. Well, it's time to have a come to Jesus chat with myself, because I've realized that I'm driving myself nuts too. I put so much strain and pressure on myself to be "good enough" that I'm feeling it inside and out. It's high time this changes and I accept me for me. I have wonderful people in my life that do, so why can't I do the same, right? For now on I intend to care about things that matter most and let the rest just roll off my back. I wrote about the struggle I was having in this post and my need for an outlet...and I know this blog will continue to get better, not only for the readers, but for me. It will be a more inspired version of my blog, and if I apply this to all aspects of business, I believe my work will naturally become more inspired too.
Intention #7- Take a more active role as my role. This has quite a bit to do with my discipline intention above, but I decided to separate it out because it has so many components. My team needs me, my clients need me, and my business needs me too. In my 10% 2012, I was spread so thin that even though it felt like I was giving it all away to the business, in reality they were getting mini portions of me. So this year, with my better discipline and higher level of focus on the things that really matter, I'm making it an intention to carve out time each day, week, and month for each of these areas. From planning out my week and month, to holding regularly scheduled team meetings, to being an active participant in business operations- it's time to make these things high on the to-do list so they don't always seem so overwhelming and time-consuming.
Intention #8- Accept what I'm good at and let the rest go. I have come to terms with the fact that I am not a numbers person. Payroll, taxes, bookkeeping- it's just honestly over my head. It takes me more time to complete one of these tasks than it does to complete 3 or 4 of my creative tasks. As an effort to "save money" I chose to take all of these jobs on as my own last year and I can't begin to describe how cranky I was. Sorry team, husband, kiddo. It's time to realize that sometimes the joy you gain in your life by outsourcing is worth the money spent...and will likely bring in more income because you're able to focus on what you're good at rather than wasting time on what you're not. So my intent: Outsource, outsource, outsource.
...Most companies, and individuals, can tell you WHAT they do. Some can tell you HOW they do it. But very few can tell you WHY. When a company or individual can reverse the order of that equation, telling you first WHY they do it, then following up with the HOW they do it, and then lastly telling you WHAT they do, trust and value is created. Starting with WHY is acting from the inside out, not the outside in.
Intention #9- Find my why. Here's another inspiring notion by Whitney English (I think I'll be following her blog for now on!), and also from the popular business book Start With Why. I loved this quote because it holds a few intentions for me. The first is finding my "why". Why do I do what I do, and that translates to the business and life. Explaining how you do something is one thing, why you do something is another. I've always felt like Soiree does things differently than any other design and planning company here in Boise and beyond. There's a different feeling and quality we put toward each client and event, but it's hard to describe to a potential client. And after a while, if you don't take the time to figure out why you're doing what you do, it can actually begin to take a toll on you. I know it's taken a toll on me. There have been a few times this last year that I stopped and asked myself why I was doing this...it started to feel like I had no purpose. And that's a slippery, scary slope that leads straight to burn out city. So it's my intention to find my "why" by the end of the 2013. And if I find it sooner, you'll be the first to hear about it.
Intention #10- Finally, it's time to spend some time with God and my faith. For various reasons, my family has had a rough couple of years, but not as rough as some people have. It's time to truly trust in God and myself that we are on the right path, and if we're not, He'll show me the way. And that's all I will say about that.
So there you have it- I've posted my 2013 intentions for the world to see...would love it if you'd join me in posting a few of yours in the comments too. And with that, here's to living a truly inspired life this year!