I've been playing catch-up with my to-do lists since April started because I've been hit by quite a lot of work over at The Petite Co., and I'm not complaining. I've been loving working with these new clients, on smaller projects such as headers and social media visuals, and on bigger projects such as event branding and full-on website redesigns. It's been an eye-opening, learning experience, and I'm grateful for it. But I'm not going to say that I was this grateful and joyful the entire month and a half, because I wasn't. And I'm human. And that's okay. Even though I was hit by gracious, talented, awesome clients, I was also hit by a whole lotta bills, premiums and stress. That's what this blog is for really -- I want to share with you my true journey, no sugar coating, just plain entrepreneurship. The good and the ugly.
Today I wanted to write about something really close to my heart, and I was debating whether to make it a Small Business Hour topic, because celebrating small victories really came to me when I was neck-deep in my business and work. But I soon understood the full depth of celebration, and it went far beyond business and stretched into my life, so much so that I realized that it would benefit everyone reading this blog, entrepreneur or not.
We're so hard on ourselves. I've said this time and time again, but most of us are way, way too hard on ourselves. We might be cynical or judgemental towards someone else (I'm going to be the first to admit that!) but I can almost assure you that we are always the hardest on ourselves.
I was hit with growing pains this April (and now, May). I was solidly booked for April and May (with projects that would very well spill over to June) and handling enquiries, billing, taxes, running eCourses, B-School, Creating Fame, Lucky B Money Bootcamp all at once. And I'm a one-person team. I was stressed out, very overwhelmed, and at one point I wanted to refund everybody and be done with it. Go into early retirement or become a full-time housewife. I not only had to settle my work, but also had to keep the house and office clean, cook meals and accompany my hubby on his off-days.
I was tired. I had never been this tired, also because I have never been this busy. My business had always been kinda mellow, but I knew that this was the breakthrough I was waiting for, yet I was ill-prepared for it. I felt like giving up. I just wanted to hide under the covers and sleep. And then I realized that it was all because now that my business was (ahem) close to booming, I had to show up. Fully. No more half-heartedness. No more 2-hour video breaks. I had to take my work seriously and my working hours even more seriously.
And then, the second wave hit. Being so serious led me to burnout. I was constantly feeling not good enough when clients needed designs changed, I felt like I couldn't get any color combinations right... I even felt like the logos I designed were crap. I just felt like maybe I wasn't meant for business ownership at all.
So I stepped away. For 3 days. The internet helped, since it was down for a good two days. I breathed, and reminded myself to look away. To go back to my roots and my core, to remember why I started all these. But most importantly, I reminded myself to look back on how far I've come, what I've accomplished... Instead of constantly worrying about due dates and the future, and what I haven't got to doing.
I realized how many achievements I've let slip by. I close to never celebrated anything I did in my business.
So in those 3 days, I started celebrating that I've kept up with a blog (a post every week, almost) for about a year now. I've kept up with monthly Freebie but Goodies as well. I also had a rapidly climbing readership. I created the signature Legacy Planner. I paid for B-School. I hit my highest grossing month ever. I paid bills, and taxes. I have a hefty retirement and insurance plan. I clear my inbox every, single, day. I've worked with people from across the world, in many different countries (South Africa, America, Canada, Portugal, Singapore...). I've given business advice to people more than ten years my senior.
It's not an ego boost, this post. It is simply a reminder that sometimes, we don't celebrate at all. I celebrate even doing the laundry every single week, cleaning the office and keeping everything orderly, week in and week out.
Stop focusing on the things that you haven't got to, but focus on those things that you have.
After I told myself that, I really felt ten thousand times better. I felt like every client was a learning experience, and that I should own my talent and work with them to create something magical, instead of stressing over how I thought they thought of my designs. That everything was indeed figure-out-able, and that I could work with every client to slowly refine things. I saw my work differently, as an honor and an opportunity instead of a chore.
When you realize how much those things that you seemingly dread has helped you move forward, and you recognize them as achievements, your whole view shifts.
I am also getting ready to pay a developer on a project. I have never done this before, because I've always been a do-it-all gal. Another win in my book!
So even though today's post is more informal, I encourage you to glean from my experience, so you can avoid the burnout like I did. Focus on why you started in the first place, and how far you have come. Sometimes, we forget to give ourselves a little pat on the back and a small reward. You deserve to be treated better by yourself. :)
So go, celebrate your lives today. Celebrate all that you've done, all that you're about to do, and celebrate your greater purpose.
Joined Start with Legacy yet? This exclusive, 4-week workshop will start next Monday, 19 May, on 12nn Eastern. Let me help you for free -- declutter your life, rediscover your legacy and start making things happen!