Last year was a crazy year of change for me. So much change, that in ways it became overwhelming. I had moved, mourned the final loss of babyness with my baby going to school, I changed my company name and basically had to start from scratch. Last but not least, my favourite uncle died. He was always my advocate and believed that I could always do more and be more. It was hard but I wasn’t scared of change. By the end of last year, I was exhausted, had put on weight and needed a good break. So, I have had six weeks.Six weeks to read, ponder and make changes that I needed to in order to be able to continue. Business is hard, but oh so exciting!!
Why am I telling you this? We are all business owners, or managers that at times need to put down the tools and take some time to reflect. Reflect on what went well, what didn't go so well and what could be improved. I decided to get a few self-help books out of the library, spend some time planning and see where that leads me. I needed to find what was wrong and find solutions. NOW!
It's important to me that I am continually learning things (I'm on my third qualification (ok maybe 4th or 5th) but the point is I am not stagnant just have a large student loan (arghhh). As business owners we can’t afford to be stagnant, or we get left behind really fast.
My journey towards the end of last year was firstly to help myself. Not in a selfish way, but stress was taking over everything I did. I wasn’t sleeping very well, and most nights woke up at 3amthinking (ok stressing) about things for the next two hours. E-V-E-R-Y-N-I-G-H-T! So, I was tired, not making good decisions and it was all shit! I felt like a failure and I felt that everything I did was wrong. My mindset was in the pits of despair. I had to make changes immediately. The saying doing the same thing over and over again hoping for something to change is insanity. Well I was going mad! I made the decision to stop working! Just for a few days. After almost a week, I started breathing again. I cleaned out my cupboard. While cleaning out the cupboard I found an old goals notebook and I saw what I had written down as a solo parent…but the funniest thing is the goal was still what I wanted. So I made my first change! The first thing I did was I changed my schedule. I worked out what 20 hours looked like in a week to me. Then I started getting regular exercise…aim was 5 days per week. It wasn’t always possible but I did my best. Slowly I noticed things were changing. Not in huge ways, just step by step. I started sleeping a little longer, every now and thenI would wake but go back to sleep. It was bliss.
I watched inspiring You tube clips from Facebook, and read “Chicken Soup for the Soul” to help start a change in mindset into a positive one. I started a gratitude journal with just one thing I was grateful for each day after watching Kristine Kuzmic’s video ( see here https://www.littlethings.com/n...). My journal wasn’t something flash, but just a notebook I personalised that I purchased from the Warehouse. I think my partner thought I was going a little crazy as I got out magazines and was cutting out letters from them. No they weren’t death threats…but used to form the words “Gratitude Journal 2018” and I glued them into my notebook. I found my favourite pen, and clipped that to it as well. And I wrote in it each night, starting from the 31st December, the day my uncle died. Ok not every night…I did forget occasionally when I was tired but generally I remembered.
I started reading Anthony Robbins “Awaken the Giant Within”, and learning so much about what makes a person tick. My background in Psychology also helped me, because I often understood immediately what he was saying without the explanations. It’s a heavy book, it takes a lot of inward reflection to realise that you are doing it wrong! My partner saw another book I would be interested in called Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath at the Op Shop for $1. I read the book, and thought bummer they want you to purchase the test…huh?!?. I looked at the back of the book and blow me down the person who bought the book never used the free voucher! In the back, there was a scratch and get the product id code and take the test for free! BOOM! So I did that too! I wanted answers! To say that finding my strengths was enlightening is minimising how it has helped me. I understand a little more about what makes me tick. Why my goals didn’t align with who I was, or what I was best at.
I finally felt that I could sit down and right out my goals. So I did.
I took information and found that the goal setting form but they weren’t quite enough. They were missing vital things. I needed more. I was also using Robbins’ guide to setting goals but I was still feeling like I was lacking. So, I reached out to the WE Network (an amazing group of supportive women) and asked my perplexing questions. Rachel Lewis the women behind the group offered some really good tips. With that I was able to further break those goals down. I was starting to feel momentum and excitement about it all. What tied it all together and made those goals concrete was having a conversation with two amazing ladies, Kate Wright and Tracey Olivier. These two ladies answered my questions, and guided me through what I had in place already, and then they helped me to nail it! Tracey helped with mindset, and Kate the nuts and bolts. Last year I stressed over money, however money isn’t my focus or motivator. It didn’t work when I worked for a money focused company, and it was not working for me then. Helping people is what makes me tick. So my question to myself is now…how many people can I help in a year! That realisation was fabulousness wrapped in a slice of crispy bacon.
Now this is a crazy long ass blog, but hopefully you understand that it has been a journey over the last 6-7 months, from self-sabotage/failure to one where the future is so bright and I am so excited. Things are happening and they are fricken exciting. So, what is my point? If something isn’t working seek solutions, find people who can help you up, and keep searching until you get the answers. Inside us we often have the answers, but we need to find the right people to extract them, plus we need the time to do so. So take time!
My six weeks off wasn’t just about having a holiday and to hell with everything else ‘I am running away’; it was a process that I needed to go through because I was seeking more. My goals didn’t align with my values, and I was making the wrong decisions and letting my mind take control of me and the negative thoughts.
I am not quite there yet. I am excited about what is going on, but I know that growing a business is never ending and to make it a success is hard work. To say I’m not nervous would be lying, but I amlooking forward to the challenge with great anticipation.
There are people who are there to help. I am one of those people. I want people to continue to develop and I want to work with people who aren’t just happy with the status quo. They want to be the best in their industry; for people to beat down their doors to work for them. I am excellent at seeing the good and wanting to support and nurture that in the people I work with. I also want to impart my knowledge, because there is a lot of information in this grey (hahummm…) matter. Maybe that is why I need to colour the greys away a little more these days.
Today I still sometimes have sleepless nights, I am learning to change my thoughts and not allow those Negative Nancy’s to take over. I am learning that I am in control and can achieve anything when I am focused on what makes me sing. When I sing, it means I happy and my values have been met. I am learning to walk away, take a breath and come back refreshed. I am learning that change should come with excitement rather than fear.
With my learnings at hand, it is time to scream at the top of my lungs, scare the shit out of myself, and get up on the world stage and tell people my story. By the way this is just one of them 😊
Thanks for listening!