The Beauty of Being in Business

This week didn’t feel ‘beautiful’.  I had my plan that I had worked out with @Cat Stancik the prior week.  I was refreshed from a retreat with @Victoria Whitfield and I was working from my 9 Principles of Sustainable Business Success. I would get up before the kids to get going but my motivation was low.

Why didn’t it feel beautiful? 

I wasn’t sure when I would have to toss all my plans out the window and focus on my family.  I was motivated to take action on my business but the chunks of time were getting smaller and smaller. By the end of the week, there was only enough energy to handle existing client work and putting out fires.  There are probably a few smoldering fires still.

“Pause, plan, move forward” wasn’t working.  It was more like, “pause, plan, put out fire, pause, plan…” repeat ad nauseum.

The challenge? The intersection of family and business had become a 16 car pile up. 

I needed a hard reset.  You know where the police, fire trucks, tow trucks, ambulances all come to disentangle the cars, clear the intersection and get the traffic moving again.  Perhaps installing a traffic light would help to manage the flow in the future. 

But the beauty of the situation is that as the owner of my own business, I get to create the flow. I can direct how much traffic comes from my business or my family life.  And when the cars are backing up on one side, I can put more time there until I get back to a state where cars flow from each direction in turn, balanced.

This week was basically a full stop on business to let the family flow through until the cars had cleared out.  Next week, I’ll be back to a more balanced approach.  It’s easy in the chaos to begin to believe that the 16 car pile up is happening to you instead of for you but the reality is that these moments are a great reminder of the opportunity you have because you are in business for yourself.  As traffic conductor you can engineer a system that works for you. 

Once I noticed the pile up, it was in my best interest to not add any more cars to it.  How do you handle the intersection?  There are so many options and variations.  What works for you?

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