Today on my LinkedIn feed, there was a post by a company I'd interviewed with about their new leadership training program and for a brief moment, I got a case of the FOMOs. They were the last company I applied to, and honestly, the job was perfect! Everyone on the senior leadership team seemed great, I really respected the person I'd be reporting to, it paid well, and it was only FIVE MINUTES away from my house. In the Greater Seattle area, this is totally unheard of! My consulting business was still young and I'd just started working with my coach, learning the marketing and sales process that had been such a mystery for me. When they called to tell me they wanted to hire me, my heart sank, because it wasn't until that second that I'd fully realized how much I loved my consulting business. I think it's a common situation for a lot of us when we are getting ready to start our businesses. There's such a push pull between the perceived security of the familiar, and that pioneer, 'I really want to work for myself' call.
I was really enticed by this company - more so than any other opportunity that I'd received in those early years. And I'd received quite a few, because I was constantly in this state of flux and fear. Can I do it? Should I do it? Is it selfish NOT to work when we need the money? Is is selfish TO work when my kids are SO little? It will make a person crazy second guessing and shoulding all over oneself. I knew that consulting was the road for me because instead of focusing on all the great positives this position would bring, I thought about how I'd miss school chapel every Tuesday, and Kindergarten Reading Rotations, and co-op preschool. I realized that I was not in a season of my life where a full time job was something I really wanted to do. So, I put on my big girl pants and let them know that I had to turn down their generous offer, because I needed far more flexibility than a full time job afforded. As soon as I did that, a huge weight lifted off my heart and I knew it was the right thing.
It was after I had concluded that I had to turn the job down, but before I actually told them, that I got a call from a former colleague that I hadn't heard from in ten years. We are both praying people now, but neither of us were when we worked together. He felt strongly impressed to tell me that whatever I was doing, I was on the right path, and that I was developing a platform that was going to help more people than I could ever imagine. It was eerie!! "So, don't take the job?" I asked, half laughing. "No. Don't take the job." Make of that what you will, but no one but me and Tony even knew about the offer.
Since then I've forged ahead with a clear conscience. I've made every effort to stop second guessing my decisions. Like most women entrepreneurs, I can still get caught up in the 'not enough' guilt. I'm not hustling enough, I'm not doing enough. Not enough time with the kids, not enough time prospecting. I know when it's all getting too much. It's that exact instant where I start resenting all the blessings in my life because they're interrupting my...what? My continued insistence on recreating the hamster wheel I'm so determined to stay away from?
Humans have got to be the only creatures so blindly stubborn that we'll push aside relationships and relaxation to pursue business goals that, once met, we believe will allow us greater liberty to pursue relationships and relaxation. Hello crazy town!
Building my consulting business has absolutely allowed me the freedom and flexibility to do the mom things I want to do when my kids are young. My challenge is relaxing and enjoying these times and these moments. And as I tell my clients, our job is to relax into all these seasons. A new business venture is not unlike a newborn baby. You spend so much time preparing for them and imagining how awesome it's going to be, and then it happens, and you realize you know absolutely jack poop about keeping it alive and thriving. Everyone tells you to enjoy it, and all you want to do is sleep and go back to life how it was before, when everything was so much easier and more predictable. And then some time passes, and you don't drop it on its head, and you realize one day that you miss those early days of introduction and newness. I'm pretty sure it's NOT just me.
Not everyone IS called for the entrepreneur life, but if you are called for more than status quo, it's okay if it's hard sometimes, or scary, or you feel like you're the least qualified person in the world. It's okay to apply for jobs when you feel like you're not cut out for this and it's okay not to take them. The companies you don't work for will be just fine (as painful as that is to acknowledge). And YOU will be just fine too. Because if you're called for more, it's for a reason. You have a purpose to fulfill. And my experience is...you can make it easy, or you can go through it kicking, screaming, and freaking out...but you WILL do this, and you'll look back one day and probably wish you'd enjoyed the journey more.
I know I tend to add needless complexity to the simplest of situations and it's definitely a temptation for new business owners. We're constantly caught in the in-between of...are we being insane for doing the same things expecting different results, or are we being persistent, and not giving up before the miracle happens? When should we be in acceptance, and when should we be in solution? What makes this especially hard are all the people who want our money promising they, and they alone, have the keys for the next, best, sure thing. I don't know about you, but I've pretty much come to the conclusion that the next, best, sure thing is staying the course, being teachable, sticking to what you're good at and (you knew I was going to say this) having a team or person in your corner who helps you stay accountable to your purpose and your passion.
So...here's to you. Here's to your journey. And here's to not dropping your new baby...errr...business on it's head.
I work with entrepreneurs and new business owners as a strategic mentor. People work with me one-on-one, as part of my group coaching program, or by taking my courses. Reach me here to see if I can help you build or grow your dream business. And, before you go, don't forget to get a copy of my free guide "How Savvy Women Grow Their Businesses"