A few days ago, I was blessed to be able to attend an entrepreneurial event up in Denver. For those of you that know me, I absolutely love attending any event that showcases success, harnesses inspiration and ignites the fire of entrepreneurialism. On the 80 minute drive back home, I felt drawn to call several of my close friends. It was the last Saturday before Halloween, so many were busy, but one wasn’t, and we had a life changing conversation. Why is it that the best conversations happen in cars?
So before getting into the details, let me explain a few things.
About 3.5 years ago, I was first introduced to the idea that I could work from home and make an unlimited income. I had never heard of this concept before. I also had never heard of personal development before and was instantly hooked. And on top of both of those things, this idea came from a power couple that was very successful and my husband deeply respected. Plus, their business contained something I was already passionate about, so, of course, I jumped on the wagon.
I’ve later learned over the past year, that there are actually a lot of work from home opportunities that also have the ability to earn unlimited income, focus on personal development and inspiring others. When I realized this, it was the exact same shock that hit me when I first learned that several churches have the exact same beliefs. (I grew up LDS, so when you learn that several churches and spiritual philosophies believe things you thought only one place had, it’s shocking!)
So- How do you know if you are in the right businessfor you?
To answer this myself, I spent the last 6 months exploring all aspects of working from home. I’ve been interviewing millionaires, touring their homes, traveling to meet with the next up and coming successful network marketers, attending tons of meetings and conferences, sitting down with very successful real estate investors, watching webinar after webinar about creating 6 figure blogs, reaching out to publishers about book deals, having long evening conversations with life coaches, reading book after book and more– trying to figure out what my best business path is that will lead to my ultimate potential.
And from this 6 month experience, I’ve noticed a few things. Every single one of these opportunities told me that I would be a perfect fit for them. Which, deep down, I knew couldn’t be true.
I’m a romantic.
I’ve always known this and in choosing my husband, I knew after a few months of dating that he was my soulmate. Which to me means I knew he was the person that would take me from who I was at the time and through his love, make me a better person and lead me to become my ultimate best self. Though totally different from each other, when together, we have always been unstoppable. And that force, that tangible, magnetic energy that we have, is something that we thrive on. After 10 years in the dating world, this was the only time I felt this way and I knew it was meant to be.
How is this like choosing a business?
Well, the truth is not everything is really a perfect fit for you. If I could go back in time, I would love to have had the wisdom to tell all my prior business partners that before partnering with me, to go explore every work from home venture, do some self-reflection and know for sure that my plan was their “soulmate plan” instead of jumping to enroll them and get them started. But, don’t we love hindsight? (To be honest, I actually do-it creates wisdom)
Why is choosing a business like choosing a spouse?
Well, because your business becomes your life. Entrepreneurs work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week at a 9-5. That is the mindset. Successful entrepreneurs mold their lives into their business and it becomes difficult to see where one ends and the other begins. You no longer do something “for a living”. What you do, is how you live. You never fully “clock out” as an entrepreneur, just like you never clock out of your marriage. (Because the moment you start doing that, your business starts to die- just like a marriage would). You have to invest a significant amount of time and money to get launched and launching can take months to a few years before you start seeing the larger rewards-which is very much like the dating-early marriage stages.
So, the bottom line with this concept is:
If you can’t connect to your business, feel that magnetic tangible energy that you know will make you a better person, chances are, you won’t stick to it through sickness and health, for better or worse, for richer or poorer or death do us part either.
But if you have the heart of an entrepreneur, your opportunity- your divine calling is out there and waiting for you.
So, back to the car conversation-
My soul sister, as we call each other, felt inspired to ask me a question that actually brought me to tears–which I quickly bit back so she wouldn’t know (or maybe she could tell the energy shift-probably).
She asked me, “If you only had a year to live, what would you do?”
OH MY GOODNESS!!!! If there was ever a question that could quickly get you back on the right track in your life, it is definitely this one.
I knew what I was going to say, but before I started speaking, she told me what she thought I would do. And magically, it was exactly what I was about to say. It’s amazing having such great friends and mentors in life that although you don’t talk everyday, or even live in the same time zone, you just know each other.
This question brought me more clarity than my 6 month journey did.
And, I’ve always felt that tears like the ones I had are an indicator that your mind and soul are communicating and in agreement.
If you knew you were going to die in 365 days, whatever you would want to do is the biggest step toward knowing your deepest priorities, life calling and purpose. You generally choose what you’ve always wanted to do, but over the years made excuses as to why life got in the way of achieving it. But when you “think” you only have a year left, your subconscious mind shifts and suddenly all your obstacles melt away leaving you free to do what really matters.
I used to think that I needed an unlimited income or money to do what I really wanted to do. But this question liberated that limiting belief. Thinking about how every new morning would bring me to 364, and 363, and 362, I no longer saw my excuses getting in the way of my path-I just saw a way to do it.
And it just so happens that what I’d choose to do with my time is a business that covers all the ingredients of my life purpose (check out that blog here), has the ability to earn unlimited income, inspires others, fulfills my truth, supports my authenticity and is most definitely my “soulmate” business plan.
So, when choosing your business, or discovering if your business is your life purpose:
1.) Know that you have options. Sometimes marrying the first person you meet works out, but I’d say for most of the population, you’ve got to do some searching.
2.) Make sure the plan fits your wants, needs and desires and you see it as your “soulmate” business.
3.) If you’re unsure if your business is your soulmate plan, ask yourself, “If I only had a year to live, would I spend my time doing this?”
What is your soulmate business plan? What would you do if you only had a year left? Comment below and share.
We all had a profession we wanted to be when we grew up. The usual doctors, lawyers, astronauts, photographers, or in my case, a musician, writer and actress. But why do we identify with any of those said professions? For me, it meant accomplishment, recognition, creative outlet, time freedom, financial freedom and making a positive impact in the lives of millions of people. Those 6 factors make up the ingredients of my purpose on earth.
So then, what happens? We go after them. Sometimes for many years. Through failure and success. But, so many times there comes a moment when we decide that we can live without the ingredients that lead us to our potential. We get tired, we get jaded, we get broke.
My identity has shifted so much over the years. I’ve been painfully shy, a social butterfly, an actress, a model, a fiancee, a wife, a mother, a military wife, a home business owner and more. I’ve realized that my path doesn’t matter as much as how my path makes me feel. My path could have any label or street sign above it as long as it leads me to where I know I can unleash my ultimate potential and then live in that state of being for the rest of my life. I could be walking down the “actress” path, the “network marketer” path or “real estate” path as long as all my ingredients are included and combined in a way that fills my soul with the nutrition it needs to thrive and fulfill my life’s purpose.
I’ve realized, that profession means feelings. Not job title.
Through my many identities over the years, my path has changed. And I’ve fought the social norms that accompany going against the grain. I’ve never chosen an easy path. And I don’t know why. I’ve always gravitated towards the ones with a 99.9% failure rate. And then I’m surprised why it is so hard or why I haven’t hit the level of success that I feel I can earn in the time frames I give myself.
Old patterns are hard to break though. It took me 25 years of living in the same cycle to escape the circumstances I was raised in. But once I did, I started to thrive for the first time in my life. But it wasn’t what I thought it would be. Retraining 25 years of habits can’t happen overnight or even in a few years. In fact, I’ve probably spent close to $30k learning the success habits I need to combine my life purpose ingredients in the best way for me to try to tap into the energy of my soul and find true empowerment. And the perfectionist in me feels I was probably a bit hasty in saying yes to so many willing to sell me a personal development program or mentorship program in exchange for selling a product. But the shaman in me reminds that it was what I needed at the time to grow closer to the person I need to become.
I’ve always felt this dissonance in my soul. Sometimes its quiet and creates music in the space around me. That’s when I know I’m aligned with the right thing at the right time. And sometimes the colliding notes grows so eerie I can’t hear anything past the immediate things that need to be changed. And that’s when I need to do the hard things. The things I don’t want to do but know need to be done. But the worst time is when all I feel inside is silence. Because that is when I have no idea what to do.
Every stage in our lives prepares us for how we need to grow to reach the next one. And right now I’ve been faced with silence for many months. And it’s been rough.
I sometimes catch myself saying “I’m surviving right now”. But, there is nothing worse than labeling yourself a survivor. Because surviving is barely living. And barely living keeps you stuck.
I know failure is required for success. But I’d love to stop fighting the 99.9% for a little while. I’d love to enjoy being where I am at now. I’d love to stop worrying about finding capital for business ownership. I’d love to play in the sand with my son and enjoy the last few weeks I have with him as an only child. I’d love to finish updating and decorating my house and live in a space that reflects who I am and a place I feel proud of. I’d love to work in an industry where I can teach others what I have learned, help them over the rough patches in their lives and make a difference for millions that are going through what I’ve been through. I’d love to stop chasing money and live first. And I’d love a mentor that could teach me how to do all these things without spending thousands of dollars first or requiring me to build a company’s dream by selling that company’s products. And if there isn’t anything out there like this, then maybe I need to invent it.
I’ve realized that being involved with something that technically includes all the ingredients of my life purpose isn’t enough. I need to make sure that they come from a place I agree with. Processed ingredients and raw ingredients yield totally different results. One leads to disease and misery and the other leads to vitality and longevity. As I grow and dive deeper in my personal development journey, I’m getting more in tune with these specific details. And the more I tune in, the easier it is for me to say no to things I would originally say yes to. And say yes to things I would have never thought I would say yes to. Growth and change are amazing.
Although I don’t know the street sign above my path right now, and the walk is quiet, I know that I’m still headed towards progression. Sometimes you just have to point your compass north and see where doing the right things for you at the right time for you will take you. And when you can see more, you will know more and can choose more effectively the title of the path you need to walk to reach who you really want to be. And find comfort in the temporary moments where you don’t always have to know to keep progressing.
We went camping for the first time as a family this weekend. Fishing, campfires, one big tent, s’mores and deep conversations about life are sometimes exactly what you need to reset, refocus and feel on a deeper level that you are taking the right path in life. We even caught some of the giant meteor shower too!
As summer comes to a close, we welcome back to school season, changing leaves, snow and all the best holidays of the year (IMO). I don’t usually think about my birthday already, but with the big 3-0 coming this year in December, I can’t say it hasn’t been on my mind. A lot. Plus, I’m not sure what to plan for it being 9 months preggo when it hits.
So, I’ll just say it, I have been a little reluctant to leave my 20’s behind. I’ve felt I’ve needed more time. I wanted to be at one of the higher ranks of doTERRA by now (not starting over), I wanted to have one of my films in a major film festival by now and I definitely wanted to have the means to retire if I wanted to (but let’s face it–I probably would never ever retire haha).
It’s interesting how when you’re 20 you feel like you have your whole life figured out and then all of the sudden you are almost 30 and wondered how the time went so fast.
But sitting in front of the fire, watching the embers die down and throwing in more sticks to bring it back up–is truly memorizing. The sticks and wood go through a total transformation. What was once a giant pile of dead sticks is now a tiny pile of nutrient-dense ash. I probably sat in front of that fire for hours, just meditating and thinking. I’ve always been one to need to think and then sort out my thoughts on paper later.
And all this thinking lead my husband and I to play with fire a bit….
I realized at the end of my camping trip that I’m actually happy to be rid of my 20’s soon. People often mention that the teenage years are crazy and mixed up–but I can assure you that teenage years are a breeze compared to the choices that lie ahead in your 20’s. You have college, figuring out what to major in, figuring out what job you want, deciding who to spend the rest of your life with, getting married, starting to have kids & build a family, deciding where in the world to live, buying cars, buying houses, raising kids, choosing a career…. the 20’s are the hardest years of your life because they are the deciding years that set up the rest of your life. And it’s scary! It’s scary to move from action to action, literally making things up as you go along and hoping for the best.
I wasn’t ready to make a lot of those choices, but started making them anyway like we all do. It is kind of like how my husband and I were playing with fire. It’s fun, a little risky, a little scary but at the end, you’re warm, happy and can sit back and enjoy the fruits of all your hard decision making.
For me, what I’ve loved the most about my 20’s was being able to be rid of weight of my past. I had a very difficult childhood and transition into adulthood and being able to find the man who’s now my husband has been the greatest blessing of my life. He’s helped me put all that baggage in the fire and I’ve watched it slowly burn over the years into a small pile of ash–ash that keeps blowing away more and more until I’m sure one day, it will all be completely gone for good. It’s amazing.
Looking over at my son (who slept like a champ in the tent!) and my ever growing preggo belly, I’m happy. In 10 years time, I’ve accomplished being a mom, started the learning process of owning my own business and started 2 companies too. And just because this isn’t where I thought I’d be when I was 20, I’m glad this is where I am now.
I’ve found that success happens when we are ready to appreciate it. And if it comes too early, it doesn’t last. It’s time to be focusing on being more thankful for the person I am now and the person I am becoming.
When we left our campsite, I was a little sad to go back to the real world (but extremely excited to shower & put on clean clothes!!). It’s such a simple way to live to just wake up in nature, surrounded by fresh air. Decide to either go hiking, fishing or exploring. And then be home before dark to start the fire, make hot chocolate and enjoy dinner together before snuggling up in sleeping bags for the night. It’s good to remember not to let life get too complex and regularly go back to the simple life, especially when times get stressful.
I truly think that almost all stress in life is self-induced. And taking time off, with no cell phone reception for a few days, can be just what the doctor ordered to be reminded of what matters most.
Home-based business….Let’s be real. Here are all the things your coach won’t tell you until you’ve figured them out on your own. I’ve been through it all-success, failure, desperation, cry fests, paydays, arguments, self-doubt and self-mastery owning my own network marketing business and quite frankly, I’m done. Well, I’m not “done”, but I am done with all the BS. So, here is my story, filled with advice that your upline leader will never tell you when you get started.
First of all, if you haven’t yet, check out my first graphic below:
Okay, got it? There is the truth! But why oh why would you subject yourself to such false appearances when you start your new biz? Well, the 2 years of me sucking at it would say because you’re trying to get people to believe your life is better than theirs. (Ouch!)
“OMG I LOVE NETWORK MARKETING! I GET to stay home with my kids, plan my life around my job AND get paid to do it too! Wouldn’t you like to do the same?” (Um…no thanks I like my life, K THANNNNKKKSSS!! lol)
Now, really who hasn’t heard that before? AND, thought that before? And truly, who wouldn’t want that? Really?
I know I definitely did and I signed up even before I could afford it. In fact, I believed in the dream so bad that I would often put my account into the negative paying my autoship on my products. I believed in it so bad, I quit all my passions and focused on learning how to be a network marketer as “full time” as my motivation would last. I believed in it so bad that I sometimes over-approached all my friends and family trying to get them to “join my team”. I believed in it so bad that when I was about to miss my big goal, I would buy thousands of dollars of more product myself, just to hit it. I believed in it so bad that when literally everyone on my team quit, I believed it was their loss and not mine…even as I gathered household belongings to sell on yard sale sites just to make ends meet since my network marketing paycheck evaporated when they quit.
Now, there is nothing “bad” about belief. It can be a good and really powerful tool to get things done and achieve results. But when belief causes you to make horrible financial choices, push away friends and family and eat rice and peanut butter sandwiches surrounded by thousands of dollars of essential oil products–then YES!!! It has entirely gone too far. (#guilty)
Like I said, I sucked at network marketing. And it took me 2 years to figure out that I sucked at it. And about 6 months later to decide I was tired of sucking at it and was going to succeed.
Now, back to first my question: Why oh why would you subject yourself to this business model? I told you what my sucky self thought. Now here is what my grown up self has to say about what actually happens when you’re achieving success in network marketing:
It changes you in ways not possible otherwise. It has the potential to help you grow for the better, launch you into the absolute best version of yourself and unleash your limitless potential for greatness.
Yep. It’s pretty awesome.
When there is part of you that longs for something more and to be greater than yourself, then this business is for you. Because you HAVE to have a burning desire for success in something (not based in network marketing) to have a future in network marketing. We call this our why.
Is it private school for your kids? Living on a boat and sailing around the world? Get out of debt (not a good reason bytheway–but a good start to it your reason)? Finally doing that thing you’ve always wanted to do? Etc. etc. etc.
Before network marketing, I had no real network. I had no real friends. I thought I did though, but I didn’t. I worked in the film and modeling industries and LOVED it! But the people weren’t often sincere and there are a lot of scam artists out there too. I had several friends come and go. And sure, there was drama and the pay was either incredible or completely terrible, but I had passion and drive for it. And you could see immediate results when you saw yourself on film or in a photo and could instantly tweak and adjust your technique for absolute perfection. I was at home and had found my calling in life.
It wasn’t long before I started to gain a reputation for myself in those industries and started getting more respect. I also found my crowd of professionals and real friends at this point too! It was also around this time I got married and had had my first child. Having a baby gave me perspective. I wanted more natural options for healthcare. I wanted better food. And I also wanted a steady paycheck–something that doesn’t happen in acting or modeling, unless you are an A-lister.
So, when I was approached about doTERRA, it was literally a no-brainer. All my needs for holistic healthcare were met, the products not only worked but exceeded my wildest expectations and it came with a business plan that promised a steady residual income check that would “never” go away after you got it. Plus, the people that signed me up, took my husband and I to a $30,000 private resort in Las Vegas and picked up the tab! I wanted to be able to do that one day! The whole experience was extremely powerful and etched into my mind even to this day.
So, what happened?
I think you may have some clues from my sucky self perspective.
Mistake #1: I gave up all my passions to “dedicate” myself to doTERRA.
I watched from online and recorded phone calls many top leaders and they all seemed to have massive paychecks and nothing else in their lives besides doTERRA. So, I thought to have a massive paycheck I had to have nothing else in my life besides doTERRA. So I put modeling and acting “on hold” until I had built up my massive paycheck. Or at least that is what I told myself. And guess what? You will actually get a lot of praise for doing this. You will get a lot of praise for “going all in” in “dedicating” yourself to your business. And when you suck, your ego is fragile, so this praise actually helped me believe even more that I was doing the right thing.
This is a huge mistake because after 2 years of building (and sucking) at doTERRA, I began to resent it because I had none of my passions in my life. Selling essential oils and memberships for a network marketing company and the entertainment industry are no where near the same!! And with putting my passions (and truly what I feel my calling in life is), totally on the back burner just for a paycheck is no different than the person who gives up their dream to work in a call center. I didn’t even tell people I did acting and modeling anymore and would get mad when my husband would bring it up in public. Why? Because people found it far more interesting than my network marketing business and then I had less opportunities to talk about my business and recruit (omg I know…smh). I started to feel trapped and I wanted out. And hey, what happened? My business collapsed and I had the best reason in the world to quit and get out…but I couldn’t… and I’ll say why at the end.
Mistake #2: I bought into my ranks.
Now this mistake will make sense to network marketers, but maybe not to those not in the industry yet.
The term “buying in” means after you’ve exhausted every possible person you could sell to, you buy more product that you don’t need just to hit your sales goal. Sometimes you do it and sometimes the people above you do it. Either way, for someone that sucks at network marketing, this a technique that keeps you mediocre. Some might disagree with that statement, but in the beginning, it gave me a false feeling of success. And to the leaders below me, it gave them a false feeling of success.
A false feeling of success is bad because when the time comes to actually work towards that same goal or a higher one, it feels incredibly hard or even impossible. Then, the success feeling vanishes (because it was false anyway) and you start to resort to cheap methods to bring in sales volume because you don’t know what it really takes, and the structure starts to fail. Plus, now you’ve spent all your profits. So, yay!! Let’s celebrate achieving a new rank!! But tell no one you went broke buying-in to the process. #notcool
Mistake #3: Telling these 3 white lies
This is a huge mistake in any industry. White lies are still LIES! And I found myself repeating things I didn’t understand from leaders I barely knew, sharing other people’s success stories that I did not understand or know the full story behind and down playing the actual amount of work it takes to make a profit in network marketing.
These are detrimental in maintaining trust of those that follow you. And I learned this in the hardest way possible.
If I could go back in time, the biggest things I would tell my old leaders about this business would be the truth behind these 3 white lies:
1-“The product sells itself”
The saying “the product sells itself” is a total white lie. YOU must sell product to get YOUR name on a paycheck. End of story. Plus, I’ve never once seen any of my products get on the phone and follow-up 8-12 times for those difficult clients. Or send out newsletters. Or create Facebook groups. Or teach classes. Or do a text blitz. YOU DO! (p.s. if you are in a company where the product literally sells itself–where the product makes your phone calls, sends your texts and invites to your meetings, and even teaches your meetings–please prospect me!)
2-“You can write it all off in your taxes!”
Does anyone really know what this means? It sure sounds good. Here’s the truth: When you write-off your autoship and other business expenses, this does NOT mean the government will reimburse you for those expenses. I’ve found I get back about 50% of what I spend in my tax return. But I also am married. And I have a kid. And am about to have another kid. And I own my home. So, you might get a lot less than me back if you don’t have all those things. Banking on your tax return making up for what you spend on your business is not something you should do. Getting a tax return is a BONUS! Once you start making a lot of money in network marketing, you won’t get a tax return at all–instead you will owe taxes!
3-“You can make money working part-time!”
If you only knew how hard and how many hours I’ve put into network marketing, it would shock you. If I told you the crazy schedules of some of the top leaders that have “leveled” with me on how much they actually work, it would shock you. I’m sure there are some people that can kill it in this business working 10-15 hours a week, but coming from someone that sucked at this, it takes a WHOLE lot more than that.
See, for me, I would have been fine knowing this in the beginning and wish someone would have told me. I feel like the truth will not only set you free but is a recipe for authentic success. But for many, we are taught to share the white lie that you can make money working part-time. This is a white lie because yes, you can make “money” but you can’t make a “profit”. Making money and making profits are totally different things. Profits come with full-time work only. End of story.
Mistake #4: Not building your way
It’s important in network marketing to not “reinvent the wheel” as they say and plug into proven systems that work. But what about when you don’t like those systems? What if they try to get you to do things you don’t feel comfortable doing and disguise it as “getting out of your comfort zone”?
Hmmm… now we are in a dilemma!
I battled this for a long time of doing the proven system, gaining success and hating what I did for a living, but trying to love it and telling others I loved it too…trying to convince myself. (gahh white lies to yourself are the worst!!)
My advice here is to just build your business in a way that speaks to you. It’s YOUR BUSINESS!!! Not your uplines, not your downlines, not your sidelines, not anyone else’s but yours!!! Build it your way! Take what you want from the systems and leave the rest behind.
Will this cause you to build slower? Maybe. Will this cause you to build faster? Maybe. But will you be happy and yourself in your business? YES! And the more happy, alive and feeling like yourself that you are, the faster your business will grow.
So again, after knowing all this, why subject yourself to building a home business?
Well, here’s why:
How is this possible? The first time I pulled this off, I worked 36 hours that weekend. Then, the 2nd time I did something similar, it was 36 hours throughout the week. And the next time it was 36 hours throughout the month.
However, whether you work 36 hours in a weekend or throughout the week or spread it out over an entire month (only consider this when you have a large team of active builders), 36 hours of consistent work is the place where things start to turn into success.
And the more I put in those types of hours, ditched my mistakes and added in personal development (see more on this in the next little bit) was when I started not sucking anymore. And when you stop sucking, it starts getting more fun and rewarding. And more doors start to open. And you notice yourself changing, growing and evolving for the better.
Because the truth is:
Network marketing is one of the best ways to start getting the same amount of financial gain for less work as you consistently work overtime.
So what does all this even mean? Here is my final review:
Network marketing doesn’t suck–you do– until you’re ready to no longer suck.
How do you stop sucking?
Loads and loads of personal development. Read the crap outta those self-help books. In fact, buy the entire self-help section at Barnes and Noble. Actually don’t do that, but you know what I mean. Start to meditate. It’s not weird unless you make it weird. Record yourself saying positive things about you and listen everyday. I’m dead serious–you have to do this. Take a cold shower when you’re feeling lost or in a funk–it works to suddenly inspire and as a bonus it gets all your leg hairs to stick out so you can get a great shave later in warm water. Workout, take care of yourself and have a life vision that you can review everyday. Cut out all negative people and influences from your life. Stop complaining cold turkey. Create a vision board–check out Pinterest for ideas. Get 7 hours of good sleep and do something everyday that brings you closer to your goals.
And if you’ve taken the time to stick through it during the times when you’re figuring out how to keep your passions your passions, how to stay yourself, how to sell and make it not about selling (even though it is about selling), how to not overspend, how to not cheat your rank, how to stand up for your business despite what others may want for you, and how to stop spreading those white lies, you will be ready to lead an honest team to their highest successes–which will, in turn, take you to your highest successes. And when you build an honest team, no one will ever want to quit and your paycheck will be something that will last forever.
This process happens to everyone-the only difference is the time it takes to get through it. Some people get through it in a week, a month, a year, or in my case– 2 years. And if you stick with it and don’t quit, you will be able to reach those higher ranks and paychecks.
And I know this because I sucked, decided I was tired of sucking, and made it through the transition. And if you want to go through this transformation too, haha, I promise you it will suck, but it’s sooo worth it.
Do you ever find yourself going into robot mode? Wake up, shower, get dressed, get the baby dressed, head downstairs for breakfast, pour the cereal, turn on a show, clean the meal, then start your day?
Let me just cut to the chase right away. The secret of balance is choosing to do simple and easy things consistently and saying yes to the things that bring you closer to your best self instead of giving in to things that entertain, but do not serve you.
Let’s break that down through looking at real life. How about my real life?
Here are 2 realistic schedules I’ve followed. One chooses easy and the other chooses hard.
Let’s start with choosing hard:
Wake up when my son wakes up, grab my phone, scroll through my notifications and newsfeed, finally drag myself out of bed after my son’s antics get to be too much, find clothes on the floor, tie my hair back in a pony tail, go downstairs, make breakfast, remember I have somewhere to be in an hour, turn on cartoons for my son, run upstairs, get ready, drag my son the the appointment, decide to run errands while I’m out, come home, look around, decide to either work from home or do a DIY project based on how I feel at the moment. Start on it, get interrupted a million times by my son, get annoyed because I just want time to get things done, finally take breaks for snacks, lunch (usually something boxed, canned or sugary), then back to the grind until I reach a stopping point or until my husband gets home. By this time, I realized I forgot an appointment, the house is chaos, I’m feeling like a robot/slave and the moment my husband gets home I’m annoyed, angry and expecting him to take over. And when he doesn’t, I throw my hands up and get back to work feeling like I have no help in the world. Throw dinner together and put our son down for bed all by myself, glaring at my husband from afar. I then sit on the couch and scroll through my phone until I fall asleep on there, wake up around 1am and move upstairs to bed.
Now, let’s look at choosing easy:
Wake up about 10-30 min before my son wakes up. Leave my phone charging and pick up a book and read. Feeling grounded, I head to the bathroom, jump in the shower and get dressed as my son wakes up. I get him dressed and we head downstairs for breakfast. I step into my home office and look at my whiteboard for the daily plan. I see if I have work or home deadlines and know what to expect for the day. After breakfast, I start the laundry and dishwasher and head outside for a morning walk with my son and meditate about the future. I then get back ready to either work on the house or work from home (I switch off based on deadlines). When my son interrupts, I take welcomed breaks to help him get engaged in an activity or make a snack or meal for the both of us. Because I’m not panicked for time, fresh foods and healthy options actually stand out. Then go back to finish up my project or work day about an hour or 2 before my husband gets home. I use this time to straighten up the house and freshen up. I turn on some music and get my son engaged to pick up his toys on his own. When my husband gets home, feeling accomplished, I welcome him, ask about his day and give him time to unwind and play with our son. We make dinner together and finish up the night watching Netflicks and going over the plan for the next day and tag team the toddler bedtime routine. Then, we both go to bed before 10pm, read and relax before falling asleep.
So what happened in these 2 highly realistic daily schedules? The difference lies in these 5 habits.
1.) Create a schedule
Something as simple as taking 20 min on Sunday or Monday morning and mapping out all the events, appointments, activities, play dates, grocery runs, mommy/son outings, work days vs house days, etc for the week make a huge difference in how in control I feel about my life. I use a white board in my office and each week I put all the top priorities into the schedule. Don’t get too ambitious here, just put in your top deadlines and must-haves (over-scheduling can lead to feeling overwhelmed and lead to failure–so just put in the basics).
2.) Make a checklist
Next to my weekly calendar on my whiteboard, I write out a list of tasks I want to get done for that week for myself and for my husband (I let him do his own list). This way, we both know what to expect out of each other. Plus, there’s some science behind this too–if you don’t write down a priority, chances are, it won’t happen.
If there is a book I want to read and a house project that needs to get done, I will listen to the book on Audible while painting or whatever it is that I’m doing. If I need to work that day, before I sit down at my desk I’ll make sure the dishwasher, washer and dryer are all going and my son is set with either a puzzle, paint set or movie. When I look at my task list, if there is anything that can double up, I make it happen. If I’m driving and running errands, I find this the perfect time to make phone calls. My son is strapped into his seat and I have the freedom to call who I need to. Plus, I have some anxiety with the phone, so distracting myself with driving actually makes it easier for me to make my calls. “Hey I’m on the road but wanted to touch base really quick about our meeting last week, do you have a minute to chat?”– is so much easier than staring at the phone in my hand in my office–plus it’s multi-tasking!
This could be anything that works for you, but for me, reading calms my mind, keeps me grounded and helps me feel like I’m progressing towards my goals. I try to read 10-30 min every morning and night. I choose personal development books or anything non-fiction. Reading uplifting and progression based material helps put my mindset in the right place to get things done. I notice a huge difference the days I skip this vs. when I take the time. Not a fan of reading? Well, I’d suggest become one (so many success & monetary benefits). Or do anything first thing in the morning that helps get you grounded and in the zone for success.
What are your self-care must-haves? The secret combination that works for me and many others I have coached is: mediation, avoiding negativity, working out, eating healthy & showering/baths. These activities should go in your schedule and weekly checklist until they become a firm habit. When I stop doing any one of these activities, I feel myself getting impatient, emotional, cranky, slumpy and depressed. Feeling those emotions should be a huge flashing red light that you are not doing enough self care.
How to apply these habits:
Is it hard to do these 5 habits? Actually, no, it isn’t. That is the thing with balance and success. It is easy to do but even easier not to do. And skipping one or 2 or 4 of these things won’t kill the balance in your life. But consistently not doing them will. The difference lies in your daily choices and the daily habits you create.
It is just as easy to pick up your cell phone first thing in the morning and scroll your newsfeed for 10 min as it is to not pick up your phone and instead pick up a book. (Believe me, I have this mental debate every morning! But resisting my phone for 10 min and picking up a book is truly NOT difficult–they even weigh about the same).
And choosing to take 20 min a week and map out your schedule, again, is not difficult. It’s easy to do and so easy not to do. The secret of balance is choosing to do simple and easy things consistently and saying yes to the things that bring you closer to your best self instead of giving in to things that entertain, but do not serve you.
Finally, let’s be really real here. Is is hard to load a dishwasher before doing something else? No, it really isn’t. (I know sometimes it seems like a big deal, but dishes are just dishes). Is it hard to choose a healthy snack over candy? No, it really isn’t. It takes the exact same amount of effort to reach for either one. Is it the end of the world to wake up 10 minutes before your kids do? Nope, you’ll be just as tired or awake either way. And if any of these things do appear to be overwhelming, habit #5 needs to be your top priority and become your best friend. The crazy emotions pop up when self care habits are out of whack. (In fact, I have a whole other blog post in the works specifically about self care. So stay tuned for that soon.)
So, long story short, choose simple, choose easy, and say yes. Say yes to reading first. Say yes to making a schedule and checklist. Say yes to making self care a top priority and say yes to adding simple ways to multi-task. Choose simple and easy consistentlyand over time you will notice a major shift in your life for the better.
Need more convincing? Don’t take my word for it. Check out the book, “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olsen.