I mentioned last week how I almost had a “come to Jesus” meeting on the addiction I had to my business, right? I also talked about deliberate ways I unplugged from my business to try another way to show myself that it was OK to spend time on parts of my life that mattered.
Did that process pop up overnight?
I have to say it didn’t. I saw signs of this as early as 2014. In 2013, it was interesting, because I felt very much God spurring me on to work hard and cast a wide net. And I did.
However, in 2014 and beyond, I started to feel the weight of the Lord telling me to shift my focus. The biggest issue with it? I didn’t change with the directives or the times. Whether hard wired into me or an inability to embrace and work toward change, I just kept putting more heavy work into my business because action yielded a booming business, so why wouldn’t LOTS of action?
It took me a good seven years to realize I forgot to make a massive shift in the focus of my work, to SCALING it to meet the needs of more people and allow me to learn to work smartly instead of hard.
What did I notice initially that made me want to take this step?
I noticed that I got to the point where I was so physically and emotionally exhausted that ANY work felt like too much! By 2022, I couldn’t lift a finger to support my business without being completely bowled over with exhaustion. I got tired of laying down for hours and days, too tired to do anything meaningful or productive. I literally could NOT get out of bed. I had hit a wall with my business. And suffice it to say, I’m not proud I got to this point, but I am grateful I chose another way, to save my business, my life, and my family.
What did I try first to change things within my business?
I first tried hiring an assistant. That worked for a while, but as Bob Kiyosaki talks about, I began to mull over the idea of transforming from a business owner who just gets along, to creating systems. The next step after this will be leveraging those systems to help others so I can help others succeed, too.
Focus on working smarter not harder.
I remember distinctly thinking one day that an 80-hour work week would yield the same results as 5 hours a week. I wanted those 75 hours back, so I began identifying systems I could implement, with the help of a business coach.
What traps did I fall into?
I kept falling into the traps of analysis paralysis, all-or-nothing thinking, perfectionism, which obscures the success of 95% work and makes you think that extra 5% is where the hidden money is. That extra 5% sucks the life out of you!
Where did I seek my guidance?
I started looking for help by paying expensive coaches to help me with mindset. I also looked to others I thought were successful and had all the answers. On the screen, I thought they had the life I wanted, so no doubt they had the answers for me too! I paid for courses that really pushed me to get to work myself (although I didn’t). For so long I expected there to be a golden ticket outside myself that held all the answers for me. Ultimately, I realized with the help of a strategic business coach that the answers were inside me and I just had to pray and trust my own intuition on what to do. I also realized I did an outstanding job lying to myself about the real issues plaguing my business, so I had to learn to really dial in and listen and discern what the true issues were.
What trouble did I have with that?
Other people’s suggestions and solutions were not mine. I could keep spending hard earned money to find my answers, but ultimately, I had some hard work to do. There was no avoiding doing the hard work ahead of me. I also learned that timeless spiritual lessons can truly be applied to every area of my life. I had learned to serve in my spiritual life, but why would that not be a lesson in all life? The vast secrets we often long for are the first lessons we ever learned in life.
What did I finally end up doing?
I ended up pulling the plug on my former ways and deciding enough is enough. What I should have done 8 years ago when I first felt led to change my practices is what I ended up doing in the end. I didn’t always have the info I needed when I first started to discern it was time to change my business practices, but I was wholeheartedly dedicated to seeing that through to completion and implementing those practices in my business. I think we think sometimes that delayed obedience is disobedience, and I do tell my kids that. I’m here to tell you there’s mercy if that’s you. It’s certainly me, and there’s margin and mercy for me, who took a long time to listen.
I ended up stopping every single practice I had been doing for so long. I then was able to evaluate each process as it came up. How beneficial is this right now? What is my end goal for sharing this information or sending this email? What is my end goal for scrolling social media? How will I connect with others? How do I need to show up right now? Each practice filters through these questions, then is evaluated for whether it needs to be completed.
Where am I now with that process?
I am two weeks into a new month with this new approach, and I am relishing the peace and quiet. We have traveled quite a bit this month for my husband's college homecoming/college visit, so I've needed that extra time and peace of mind. Now I’m working on the framework I need to be able to serve more people. So, I’m not starting over where I ended on August 30, but am anticipating serving more people. How can I show up in the tasks that help people, in a new way, that position me to serve more people? And how can I do that in such a way that harnesses the peace and prosperity we experienced in abundance in September?
What do I notice now that I’ve been taking these steps?
Now I notice a clarity to move forward into my calling of serving others out of a heart of love, including those in my house. I notice now I want to soak up all this life has to offer, to be present every day leading them in service, as well. Now I notice that I have only so many sunrises on this side of heaven and my desire is to bask in those in the presence of my Father, knowing I am giving Him my all to everything to which He calls me. And I recognize He is expanding my territory, and all I need to do is breathe deeply, enjoy the space, and evaluate the situation in front of me. I need to rest and trust that I will develop that way to achieve more with better focused effort, to reach more, and serve more people as they need it.