Busy, but I aint Complaining’!

 “In my busyness, I have learned to give God thanks…”

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There’s not enough time, in a day…but what else is new?

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!

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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!

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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!

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Productive & Present – Is that a Thing?

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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

Generational Wealth

“My great-great-grandchildren already rich, that’s a lot of brown children on your Forbes list” – Beyoncé

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While scrolling Facebook, this morning, one of my grammar school classmates posted a screen print of a conversation between her and her daughter.  Her daughter was telling her mom that the school had been on lockdown, because of a shooting that happened just steps away from her.  My heart became heavy, and I ventured to think about why all the senseless killings, in our schools and amongst our youth overall, are taking place. What could be lacking? How do we close the gap? Why don’t our children know the value of life, and the cost of taking one?

We, as parents, are working really hard, to make a living and make sure our children don’t have to worry about some of the things we may have coming up, and to leave a legacy for generations to follow. We want them to have assets, money, college paid for, so on and so forth. Generational wealth, ya know?

“…rich in love, in spirituality, individuality, kindness, service, consideration, and more.”

However, wealth goes far beyond the things we can acquire and leave behind.  We have to make investments in ourselves and children, to ensure that generations to follow are mentally, physically, and spiritually healthy. I always speak about how, people favor my mom’s children because of who she’s been to them.  Her being, a kind, caring and prayerful woman has caused people in return to be really good to us; and I, as a mom, am consciously sewing the seed to do the same for my child.

Moreover, what we tell our children about themselves, the environments we place them in and what we do in front of them, directly affects their behavior.  Children need to hear their parents tell them that they love them, and moreover that love needs to be shown, daily. Our children have to be rich in so many things, that don’t involve money, to ensure that they, along with their lineage, are “wealthy”.  They must be rich in love, in spirituality, individuality, kindness, service, consideration, confidence and more.

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In addition to working hard, as parents we have to monitor what we allow or children to be influenced by. We can’t watch and laugh at trash TV, where women are fighting over men, and belittling themselves, and expect that are children won’t be influenced by it.  EVERY thing we do, affects our children and generations to follow!

Boundaries: Where Necessary

Boundaries: Where Necessary

Boundary: a line that marks a limit.

Having real boundaries set, were not a real thing to me until I had a child. There were boundaries that I had subconsciously set, based on my moral compass, and time.  However, having a child made me really think about things that I could no longer allow or participate in, to ensure I was spending my time and energy where it was most important, with my child.

As I begin to grow in motherhood and as an entrepreneur, I began to set more and more boundaries. Boundaries were necessary in order for me to be to be organized, to have peace, and ultimately to be successful.  I was, initially, very reactive in setting boundaries, setting them only after a point of frustration.  Then I realized the benefit of proactively setting them to avoid frustration, confusion, and wasted time.  I also learned that when setting boundaries, I had to eliminate emotional inhibitions.  I couldn’t be concerned with how people would feel (if my heart was in the right place) and I had to focus on what was best for my child and my personal success.

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If I Don’t Kill, We Don’t Eat!

If I Don’t Kill, We Don’t Eat!

“If I don’t kill, we don’t eat!”

Three years ago, my daughter came into my life! I did not come into hers, and I do not move in a fashion that suggests such, either. I don’t mean that in a mean or aggressive way, more so in a realistic way! I am often asked, how I handle and how I balance.  The answer is, how I always have.  I get it done!  I don’t make excuses for myself, and I definitely don’t use her as an excuse! If I don’t kill, then we don’t eat. So, I do what I have to do, it’s simple. I focus on one thing, getting it done! I have moved this way since she was born, and so, this is second nature for us.

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The Power Trip

“Being powerful means helping someone else find their voice.”

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POWER.  What comes to mind when you think of being in power? Being in control, in charge, strong – flexing your muscle, having it ALL.  That sounds like power, right? Power is having the ability to orchestrate the results you want in a given situation; it is having the wherewithal to delegate and to make decisions that will largely affect others.

WRONG!!! Power is leadership, and how your leadership can impact those led by you! It is using your position and resources to benefit others, in a positive light! Power is using your leadership to inspire and create more leaders. “Lifting as we Climb”, a mantra coined by the National Association of Black Accountants, is what having power is all about.

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Fail Early – Fail Often – Fail Upward

Fail Early – Fail Often – Fail Upward

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford

Failure, defined as a lack of success, and the omission of expected or required action.  It is mentioned with negative connotations and associations of shame.  I challenge you today to replace point of view, and magnify all failure as data points – data points for what will not work, measurements for improving, and understanding your resilience.

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