It has been one of those weeks when all I can do is think how tired I am. (Do you feel me?) I am not sure why this week more than other weeks. No matter the reason, I was exhausted!
Of course, that causes everything else to go downhill. As my friend Kathleen says, "only a first-world problem, though." None of my issues were truly issues as far as food on our table, clean water in our glasses, and clothes on our backs. And, for that, I am truly grateful!
I really should stop writing right now because I am blessed beyond measure in all things that count. For the sake of this business journal, though, I will continue.
The Never-Ending Post
One of the difficulties I encountered this week was a never-ending post. I worked and worked (and worked!) to finish the third post in a series on scheduling (why to schedule, working the fringe hours, & working in insanity when kids are awake and home).
This week's post called "3 Mindsets for Working in Insanity" nearly drove me INSANE. I knew what I wanted to say but couldn't find the words to do it.
And when I did finally find words, I found too many. The sentences just kept oozing from my fingers at that point.
Yet...when I went back to revise the work, none of it made sense. (Some of you are like, "Hey, that is how all of her stuff is. Is she just figuring that out?! Bless her.")
I believe the difficulty writing this post caused and was a result of my exhaustion this week. Does that make sense? To be the cause and also the result? It was a cycle I was in these past few days with everything I tried to do.
Needless to say, I finally got the post finished, a day late and a dollar short...but finished. Once posted, I immediately saw 2 typos. No, not in the body. Just in the title. No biggie (said sarcastically). So, I then spent another 15 minutes redoing the graphics that accompanied the post and then re-posting.
Seriously doing my best! My best this week just happens to be around 3rd-grade level.
The Time Frame
I first began to think I could actually attempt this entrepreneur thing when I heard a podcast by Dan Miller. In this podcast, he interviewed Patrick McGinnis, the author of The 10% Entrepreneur. It was in this podcast that 2 huge concepts converged, giving me the insight that I could try my own business while staying home full-time with my boys.
When I decided to tackle Inspire to Engage (to really go after it!), I employed Dan Miller's suggestion of 15 hours a week on a side business and to spread that time over 4 categories--research, content/product, time with clients, and marketing.
In my early weeks, I was almost religious about hitting his suggested time per category, except for the client time...for the obvious reason that I had NO clients. Then, a few weeks ago, I decided to take a short break from the rigid time slots and to focus on writing...to get in the habit of publishing 2 posts a week. I still aimed for 15 hours a week in total, just relaxed how I spent those 15 hours.
Well...I am here to report that the little break worked (and will be ending). It revealed 3 important things to me. I learned:
1.) I love to write.
In fact, I am good with spending all 15 hours a week doing that. Yet, that will not make me money at this point in my business. (And money is not everything. But, it is still something.)
2.) I would spend all of my time writing.
That means that I am not reading other people's blogs or insightful books. That means I am not researching and growing myself. I am only spending time in my own thoughts (which is a scary place at times).
3.) I need structure to cause me to do scary things.
Dan Miller's time suggestions--3 hours on research, 5 hours on content/product, 4 hours with clients, and 3 hours on marketing--force me to focus on areas that are scary to me. Marketing...slap me in the face now. Time with clients...ha! I have none. But, that is the point with this business thing is to get clients. Right? Thus, I must spend time marketing and planning how to meet with clients.
All of that to say, I am returning to Dan's time suggestion for each category...at least loosely. I must push myself (and quit hiding behind my computer).
The Act of Mowing
Spring. The warmer temps along with pop-up showers make it ideal for weeds and grass to grow. Here comes mowing season. My husband and I still do our mowing with a push mower. Our lot is only about half an acre, and we enjoy the exercise.
But mowing gives us more than exercise. It gives us quiet time. The repetitive action, being in God's creation, gaining a sense of accomplishment, and the purring sound that drowns out other noises make for a perfect time for your thoughts to wonder and for your prayers to ascend.
It was during this week's mowing that I asked God to help me have the energy to do daily things and to grow a business, a business I know He is guiding. The longer I mowed, the more He revealed to me.
First off, the post I wrote this week (the one that took me so long and brought me to my knees in exhaustion) was about ME! I am the one who needs to work with honor around her children and not work in frustration. It is not healthy or beneficial for any of us and definitely not Godly.
I can imagine God shaking his head at me and laughing softly to Himself. You know, the way we do when our children try really hard at something but don't quite pull it off. We say things like, "Bless her heart. She thinks she is doing a good job." That is what He thought about my attempt at helping other mothers. He wondered when I would realize the post and the process of writing it was about self-reflection on my actions and about drawing me closer to Him. (I hear you, Father. Sorry it took so long.)
Second, I realized in my quiet time (aka mowing session) that I was hiding behind my computer. I was busy writing all the time so I wouldn't have to think about other things like...coaching clients, when to meet with them, how to meet with them while balancing my mother duties, and actually how to get clients. You know, just good ol' fashion fear.
In high school, we had a passionate English teacher, Mrs. Chandler, that told us how she loved to bush hog her property. As a teenager, I thought that was pretty funny, maybe even strange. As an adult, I get it! Time with your thoughts and time with our God. Much is revealed while mowing, bush hogging, or what task that draws you closer to Him.
Weekly Time Sheet Summary
Yall, forgive me. I just. can't. do. it. this week. I already have revealed that I spent much of my time writing this week (+ one great mowing session!). So my summary would be something like this...lots of time on content (writing), a little bit of marketing on Instagram, and read a little in Seth Godin's book It's Your Turn.
Total Time = about 15 hours