“…impact, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder”
Before you read this post, lets first get out of head that popularity means you’re not doing purposeful work. That is the FURTHEST from the truth. There’s nothing wrong with being popular!
Now that we got that out the way, let’s get to it! It’s been a minute!!! I’ve been away, deep in Tax Season Valley! My busy season (kind of) ended last week, and I “celebrated” by having a spa day! I stayed behind and enjoyed the amenities this time, and used the alone time to really reflect on the work I’d done, and will continue to do, going forward. One thing I asked myself was, “What do I want my impact to be?” I further thought on if I’m moving in a way that communicates that, AND do people SEE me doing this work? I thought about how impact, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. What is impactful to me, may not be impactful to the next. I also asked myself, would I continue to do the work, if I never got recognition, but was sure that I was making impact.
Late last year, I began my love affair with therapy! Quite literally, one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. My decision to go was very impromptu and impulsive, but this is the one time that I was truly appreciative of my impulsive nature. I did not go because I was suicidal, depressed, or mentally ill! I went because I wanted to dump…Dump a ton of SHIT, on someone who won’t judge me and that is paid to LISTEN to understand, and not reply.
So the back story is, I lived in Chicago for a stint, and while living there, I feel like all of my girl-friends went to therapy. I never really gave it much attention, it was more like an “O, that must be the thing to do here.” So, as I tell you guys in every single post, I quit my job last year in March, and became a full-time entrepreneur. I remember there was a month, that was just a struggle (pay your small businesses on time) and I was ready to go back to a 9-5 for about 5 hours. The day after, we were good and paid, and the ebbs and flows of being an entrepreneur continued (with the rest of life) and I decided, I wanted a therapist.
If you’re anything like me, when I want something, I simply can not stop thinking about it, until I make it happen. So being an entrepreneur, I wasn’t sure that my health insurance covered therapy. I called and, it did! I immediately began my search for an African-American, female therapist, because….well, HELLO!
So I found my therapist, and I remember I had like a two-week window before my first appointment. Those two weeks were brutal because I drove myself crazy thinking about what I wanted to dump firs: work, single-parenthood, dating, new ideas, etc. Turns out I covered it all, in one hour (LOL), and ever since then, I’ve been back every week! I am no longer dumping, but I am just having general life conversations with my therapist.
Let me explain to you how much I love therapy (*cues Tony Braxton “Count the Ways”):
My therapist is SIGNIFICANTLY older that me! Old enough to be my grandparent! No shade. I don’t think she’s a 100% perfect fit for me, because she doesn’t 100% relate to a 34-year-old. HOWEVER, I really appreciate the blunt and unbothered aura that comes with an aging woman. I will at some point look for another therapist, but I have gotten comfortable. So, she’ll probably have to put me out first.
I don’t have any “real” problems, but therapy feels so healthy for me, that I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. My therapist recommended that I come once a month, instead of every week, and I was like, “Nahhh, ummm let’s try bi-weekly, first!” I tried bi-weekly and I told her, “Nope, I’ll see you next week…not interested.” It’s my me time, and it literally feels good to just talk through my week. I look forward to therapy, every week! It’s the one time a week, that I put work on pause.
Therapy really allows me the opportunity to think through and resolve life in a way that just feels good! My therapist does not listen to my scenarios and offer solutions. Instead we talk, and the conversations inspire new ways of thinking and processing behaviors and events, that I encounter daily. In the event, I don’t agree with something, or something doesn’t apply, I leave it right there, in that room.
I talk very candidly about going to therapy, and I encourage my close friends to go, as well. Now, what’s hilarious is, whenever I’ve told a guy that I go to therapy, there’s always a short pause, LMBO, as if they think somethings wrong with me. It’s quite funny! However, I always ignore them, and I really try to normalize it for everyone I encounter! As I navigate through working and engaging, I am shocked to encounter other women who are married, single, and of many stages in life, attending therapy! It’s refreshing to know, that we are taking care of our mental health!
Therapy, has been a game changer for me. It’s really a form of self-care that I don’t intend on stopping anytime soon!
“In my busyness, I have learned to give God thanks…”
Oh, hey y’all! Happy New Year! I took much of January off from writing to focus solely on my accounting practice and prepare for the upcoming busy season. So I’m back (kind of) to discuss how I manage my season of business, and the potential stress of it all!
Have you ever been so busy, that you begin to complain about it? Not sleeping, not eating (properly or at all), or even having enough time to do the things you need to do. Very stressful, right? RIGHT! Well…Welcome to my January – April of TWENTY-EVERY YEAR! It’s my busy season, as I am an accountant, and Co-Owner of J&F Advisors, PLLC (book your appointment online *wink*). This is the time of year where I have to miss a ton of invites, and my friends wonder if I’m acting funny because I don’t call!
Being busy use to really take a toll on me, until one day I had an epiphany! I was complaining about what I’d asked God to allow me to do! My prayers went a something like this, “God give me the knowledge and tools to grow my business. Help me to find favor amongst many, and the ability to present a favorable product to my clients.” Super good prayer! I didn’t think about what that growth and favor looked like, then; but I can SURELY tell you what it looks like now! It looks like….BUSY!
I am constantly multitasking, running from one meeting to the next, scrambling for time, and usually running out. In my busyness, I have learned to give God thanks, and to pray for the strength, willingness, and hunger to go after it all. I’ve also prayed for God to deliver me from this season of busyness, as he sees fit, because only He knows how I want to spend a week on a beach for my birthday (which falls during busy season).
The other option of complaining and being unappreciative; let me tell you exactly where that got me: moody, stressed out, and burnt out! Changing my perspective, changed my enthusiasm around the hard work that’s required to be a business owner, or to work a job at all! Heavy is the head that wears the crown. It helped me to realize that the very things I pray for, require hard work, tenacity, resilience, and PATIENCE!
Let’s not dismiss that fact that we get tired with everything that Mom’s juggle, and please don’t ever think that to be successful you have to skip out on sleep! I am a night owl, naturally; I also understand the value in rest! Running on empty will have you in a race that you’ll never win! So, I am not suggesting that you don’t get rest! Instead, I’m shedding a little light to say, appreciate your season of busyness, and work and pray for it’s ending. Realize that it’s apart of the “Glow Up”, and move along with your day! You got this, baby girl!
Today, January 2, 2019 is the likely the FIRST day, that I woke up, and made my child a hot breakfast before leaving for school.
One of my biggest challenges, with (I was going to say being an entrepreneur) having a career, is ensuring that I am giving my career and my child adequate attention. I’ve had a very demanding career for the last 10 years, and during some seasons, I’ve struggled with taking care of myself, because I was working so hard.
Throwing a child in the mix, shook things up a bit. Today, January 2, 2019 is the likely the FIRST day, that I woke up, and made my child a hot breakfast before leaving for school. Sue me, but she’s been eating school breakfast, for the last 3 years. Burnt out from working late hours and minimal sleep, my goal has usually been, to just get her to school before breakfast isn’t an option!
Balance has always been a sore topic for me because of work, and without the help of my mom (mostly), I don’t know how I’d do it. In hindsight, for two years my mom washed and folded my and my daughter’s clothes. She cleaned my home regularly (and still does whenever she’s here), so that I could have time with my daughter, when I wasn’t working. Outside of wanting to transition to full-time entrepreneurship, the most pressing reason I wanted to leave my corporate job was because I needed to spend more time with my daughter. I wanted to make time for the library, homework, or to simply enjoy a meal together.
I’ve had a very demanding career for the last 10 years…
Working and having a child (and family) is challenging because you want to continue to elevate in both arenas. You’re usually working to be promoted or to grow/sustain your business, and with motherhood, it is an ever-evolving job that requires continuous improvement and adjusting. I want my child to think back on her childhood, and know that she’s been a priority, that I took time to hug and kiss her, and to do meaningful things with her. My worse fear is that she will grow up to think that work was more important than her.
Over the last nine months, the biggest lesson I’ve learned, is that I have to be intentful and purposeful with my time! Ninety percent of the time, I work from home. So I’m still working all day, but planning my day/week/month includes planning time to spend with my daughter. I have set days, that we go to the library. Whenever she brings books home from school, I make sure that we read them at the dinner table. She gets about an hour to two of TV (mostly educational) every night, while I work, and then we try to get in bed at a decent hour. We pretty much do everything together, and on the weekends I can go really hard with working at least one full day, because she’ll stay with my mom, or her dad.
There is no perfect answer on how to balance it all. It requires adjustments, resetting, and effort; effort being the most important! Remember that your journey in business and in motherhood, is your own; and you don’t have to mirror any one else’s!
“You life is a reflection of what you hold inside of you, and what you hold inside of you is always under your control.”
With approximately three weeks left in 2018, everyone is moving full steam, trying to decide on how they can make the next year better than this one! I love the optimism that comes during this season, and how everyone is looking to tap into their gifts and what they want out of life. One of the best things I’ve done for myself, is to create a career for myself where I am also able to combine the things I’m passionate about. In doing that, my gift has made room for me! I have been presented with opportunities, allowing me to operate in my gift, not only providing me with financial gain, but with a feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment.
I had a talk with a client one day, and he told me “When you’re operating in fear, you can talk yourself out of so much.” He went on to describe how we become a meteorologist, a psychologist, a psychic, and so on, when we are thinking of why things won’t work. The weather will be bad, people won’t like my idea, it’s not the right time, what if I fail – excuses for not executing. However, what if none of those things exist, and you can truly walk in your gift! Walking in your gift does not mean that you have to quit your 9-5. Heck, your 9-5 could be the very place that allows you to do that. It does mean that you must have an honest conversation with yourself about what will suit you best, in this moment.
“You don’t need permission or creative license to design the life you know you are worthy of, so adjust your crown and prepare to rule.” ~ June Ambrose
I talk about, in many of my blogs, how I worked a 9-5 and ran my personal business, for SEVEN years, simultaneously. I switched jobs quite a bit, because non of them felt like a really good fit for me. In hindsight, I realized that I was the common denominator, and the only work that I have been truly happy with, is the work I’ve done for myself. I knew that at some point, I’d end up working for myself, but I did not know when and what would be the determining factor. Honestly, I didn’t know until three months out, that it was time to quit. In short, I was unreasonably busy, my business was growing, and being a present mom was important to me. Once I had that conversation with myself, I was ready to leave that day! I ended up waiting, three months, until I got my bonus!
Working for myself has also allowed me the flexibility to do other work, that I’m passionate about, like Corporate Momming! Starting this blog has allowed me to connect with many like-minded moms, and business women. It has further allowed me to tap into other ways in which people need what I have to offer. My gifts are still making room for me!
If you struggle with identifying your gift(s), it’s the thing(s) that don’t go away. The thoughts and actions that constantly resurface, even when you’re purposely avoiding them! Maybe you’re good at creating, planning, encouraging others, or something as simple as writing! Whatever it is, they all have the ability to allow you the flexibility to operate in them, as you see fit! Choosing not to, will cause constant dissatisfaction! Every job, and every tasks will become daunting experiences because you are doing the work to fulfill someone else’s vision and not your own.
This time around, while doing vision boards, grab pen and paper, and write down your ideas to go along with the photos you attach. Also include language around, ways in which you can find more fulfillment in the work that you do! Remove the focus from money (I can almost promise, it will come!) and spend time really digging into the work that makes you happy! Also, hold yourself accountable to that by constantly checking in and determining where or if adjustments are needed.