Well the whole purpose for this blog entry today is to hopefully create hope and inspiration within the chaos!
Last month I was at an event for my business and my mentor (since day 1) came up with the phrase, "you built your business successfully during a time as if you were juggling in a hurricane". I later found out that as he thought of my business journey, that phrase simply came to him on the spot. Interesting that it represented my thoughts on my past 7.5 years, so well.
We all know what it is like to be busy. We understand when we have a plan and something happens to change it, what that feels like. We know how it feels to want something SO BAD that we would be willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen. We also know how it feels to be so tired we feel like giving up.
This is a story of persistence, patience, determination and gratitude. One that I hope will inspire you to keep moving, despite the feelings of overwhelm and defeat.
When I began my business in the company I have been aligned with since July 2009, I knew this was it. This was my chance to create my own freedom, my own reality. At that point in my life I had a 20 month old and a 4 month old. My dream was to stay home with them rather than returning to a teaching career that didn't feel good anymore.
In September of 2009, I realized that the products that I said yes to just a few months prior - were the very products that would help me not only be the healthiest I'd been but that they would be the foods that I would help others enjoy too. This combination became the ingredients to the best decision I made for my family - the decision to be an entrepreneur.
Being an entrepreneur sounds great - it is. However, why do so many people choose to be an employee? Well maybe because being an entrepreneur isn't a guarantee for success. Maybe because it takes working harder for yourself than you ever do for your boss. Maybe because people will ridicule you, talk behind your back, judge your choices and create their own assumptions about your reasons to join a network marketing company. Maybe it is simply because you don't think you could do it. There are many other reasons why people say no way...not for me. And I was almost that person. Thankfully I changed my mind.
During the first 1000 days, it was fun and damn hard. Sleepless nights, waking up every 2-4 hours to nurse my baby. Having two children at home full time day and night with no breaks until they would nap (I was lucky if they would naps at the same time - which was rare). I had my 3rd baby during those first 1000 days also...and as we were about to have our 3rd child, we bought and sold a house to move to a bigger place. Shortly after our move, our 3rd little miracle was born. Now two toddlers and an infant, and a shift working husband who was called out often with his K9 to search for all sorts of people doing all sorts of things. Trying to keep 3 children quiet in a house with a shift working spouse, isn't exactly an easy thing to do. Our eldest daughter was 4 and she began school that year (part-time). So a few days per week she was out of the house, while I still worked my business in the pockets of my time between feedings, diaper changes, walks to and from school, meal planning, playgroups and lessons and the list goes on.
Despite the craziness, I was determined to be successful at helping others. And by the 1000th day I had found myself in a place of earning 6 figures that year and every year since. How? Determination amongst the chaos. Never making my children the excuse, but making them my reason. Doing what I could do with the blocks of time I had that day and never beating myself up when I didn't do everything I hoped to.
Mentors recommended that I hire someone to babysit my children for a few hours a day...but I'll be honest, this wasn't an option to me, I wanted to raise my children and never miss a first. When I was still teaching, I missed seeing my oldest daughter take her first few steps when she was at the daycare provider's home. It wasn't negotiable, I was going to be there for all the firsts, all the trips, all the broken bones and scrapes. I was not willing to put my children in daycare for any length of time. I was building this business for them so that I could be home with them. (ps. if you are reading this and do believe in having hired help for your kids, I am not judging you or saying it is wrong at all...but it wasn't the right choice for me)
What is possible, truly possible and how is it possible? Here are a few of my tips that helped me reach my goals while having babies AND building a solid foundation for my business.
- Decide - My D-Day was September 1, 2009. I knew that VERY DAY, that I was going to do this, NO MATTER WHAT. No matter what others said, no matter how hard it would be, not even my husband's negative assumptions were going to stop me (he didn't understand my vision for 18 months - he thought I was crazy to think this business would one day replace my teaching salary)
- Believe - My corporation was born 1000 days after my decision day and I named it: See it when you BELIEVE it Inc. Belief has so much to do with success in everything we do in life. Here's an example. When my husband and I were told we only had a 2% chance of conceiving our own biological children we were crushed. But I never doubted for a moment that we would one day have our own children. I even bought a 2 year subscription to a parenting magazine months before we conceived our first of three children. (without fertility support). I knew that the only way that I would succeed in this business was that I had to have 100% belief it was possible.
- Do the work - Some people who say yes to this business have good intentions, but I'll be honest, the majority (yes I said it), 80-90% of everyone with good intentions NEVER start or NEVER continue to do the work. Why? Well, some may think it should be easier. Some don't make a decision. Some don't believe it is possible. Some simply use every excuse in the book about why they don't have the time. Guess what? I had the time...I made good use of the limited time I had each day. Sometimes it was 15 minutes, other times I was thrilled that I got a whole 2 hours. I did what I could and forgave myself when I couldn't. There is nothing that makes me more sad than when someone gives up on their dreams soooooo soon, when they really haven't even put much time into it consistently.
- Consistency - YES THIS IS SO IMPORTANT! Like with everything...if we do it sometimes but not each day, we don't "build the muscle". I often hear people say, "I have 4 hours to touch my business on Friday afternoon but I have no time the rest of the week." But what I know about this business and anything worthwhile pursuing/building...it takes consistency everyday. In my opinion it is better to find 30-120 minutes per day than it is to find 4 hours in one day only. I also know that this business is a lifestyle business. As I live life I do business and as I do business I live life...so in my humble opinion I feel that I have to work harder "not" to touch my business, than I do to touch my business. It isn't my entire life, but it is a big part of who I am. Many people who build this business assume it is separate from them. I believe that like with anything we are passionate about, we embody it. When we embody what we are passionate about - it becomes a part of us.
As I complete this today, my hope for you is that you always remember, nothing will ever be perfect. One of the best pieces of advice I received from a coach in my first year in business was: "you can NEVER predict what will happen at all times, business is never perfect". I tried to book my coaching sessions during nap time...and I would stress so much when it didn't go as planned. He reminded me that if I am looking for it to be perfect, I might as well stop now as it will never be. He also reminded me that measuring my success against imperfections, chaos and lack of structure in my day as a mom-preneaur is not going to help me, it will only hurt me from continuing. So from that day on...I've continued to do the business as I live my life. I have focused time when I can and try to roll with the changes as they come. I am grateful for this amazing opportunity and am so happy that I can help others looking to create the same type of success - MORE CHOICES in life.
Juggling in a hurricane might not sound very fun - and I certainly wouldn't want to try it in "real life", but a part of me is grateful that I've experienced the hardships, the challenges and the joys of staying true to myself and my family - to create something that continues to grow each day. I almost quit a few times, but I knew that if I did, not only would I let myself down, I would be the reason that many others wouldn't have the same opportunity as me (if they wanted it). I also knew that giving up on this dream also meant giving up on my family and our dreams together.
All the best as you continue to juggle in the storms of life!
Title inspired by: PK Smith