ten questions every entrepreneur should ask themselves
Generally, when I have a problem I can figure out steps to move towards a solution. If I have a fight with a friend, I talk to them about it. If I can’t let something go, I pick up a notebook and write until my hand aches. If I’m anxious or depressed, I start exercising, make something with my hands or go to therapy. But, I didn’t know what to do with an out of whack business life. i was having difficulties organizing my work life… figuring out what to focus on, staying true to myself in my business, carving out time for my husband, family and friends, letting go of my addiction to busyness, evaluating where i was and where i wanted to be and doing what makes me come alive.
then, I remembered 2013 craftcation attendees telling me about tiffany han’s life/business coaching amazingness. I thought business coaches were people who helped 9-to-5ers quit their day jobs and follow their dreams. I reached out to tiffany anyway, asking her if she could help someone who was already making a living doing something creative but needed to focus, evaluate and reboot. she told me that a surprising number of her clients were in similar positions and, she could help me.
When I craft, I watch a disgusting amount of romantic comedies. I love that I can look away from the screen for ten minutes while sewing and hardly miss a thing. I love the thrill of the chase and how we all know the outcome but nonetheless watch the whole film. I even love all the sugar coated goofy mishaps. But, I always find myself wondering what happens when the couple finally connects. What happens when two people get together and are living through… “what should we have for dinner tonight”, marathon couch sessions of sons of anarchy, accidental farts, getting the flu and all the rest of the unpretty or banal aspects of day-to-day life. what happens when you get what you dreamed of? That’s kind of how I was feeling about my business. I needed to work on how to keep it going, grow it and enjoy the whole damn thing as much as I could.
i signed up for a coaching session with tiffany. having never talked to a life/business coach, i didn’t know what to expect. i’ve sat in dozens of therapist’s offices. maybe you’ve been there too and seen the poorly rendered landscape paintings in every pastel shade, bookshelves swelling with self-help titles, the clock that either goes way too fast or too slow depending on your mood and of course the obligatory box of tissues. coaching sessions with tiffany are nothing like that. she’s not there to unearth your past traumas while your bawl your eyes out (though that may happen). tiffany is not a therapist. she is a coach. she listens and pushes you along, not only encouraging you to not waste your one precious life but giving you the tools to create mornings when you’re stoked to be waking up and going to work.
in only one session with her i made a few decisions that were difficult to execute yet well overdue. I closed my random nicole etsy shop, decided to stop being a vendor at craft fairs, put the rest of my stock at on consignment at delilah’s shop (the road less traveled store), withdrew from my creative writing phd program, started focusing on dear handmade life and began to try to take at least a half off a day off per week. the last thing has been very hard. but, don’t we all need a minimum of a half of a day of being in the sunlight with the people we love at least once a week?
the truth is that the work will never be done. for each thing i happily cross off my to-do list, dozens of things are added and the same applies to answering emails. it’s like i’m at a las vegas buffet with a full plate. then i eat a few things. when i turn around to go to the buffet again (yes, i need to return to the buffet, this scenario takes place in vegas after all) to fill my plate… it’s already full!
having your own business is like having a bottomless las vegas buffet plate of work. all the things will never be crossed off your to-do list. i have to learn to close the computer, turn off the sewing machine and go to bed or have dinner with a friend–at some point. i have to learn the benefits of taking a break. and…i have to be okay with it! the notion that an empty inbox or crossed-off to-do list means I finally get to take a break is false and let’s be honest, it’s never going to happen. I know now that my inbox and to-do list are things that will never be finished. They are living evolving things that shrink and grow. I also now realize that getting everything done, without adding new things to do is not necessarily a positive thing. If I have nothing to do, that means my business is not busy.
honestly, i’m in the thick of it now. trying to listen to and execute tiffany han‘s advice while still holding onto the old way i did things. i know i can’t have it both ways. yet, it feels so good damn good to know i’m moving towards goodness.
Have you had to Revaluate your work life? how did you do it? what kind of changes did you make?
if you want to get in on the radness of tiffany han…check out her individual sessions (open registration) or sign up for her Biz group coaching program (Registration open through 9/22; session starts 10/1) both are sure to light your fire.