I’m having one of those Friday’s where I’m super reflective on the current state of affairs of this thing called ‘my life and business.’
Life has been darn busy, but heck, everyone is busy.
There never seems like enough time to fit everything in even though we all want to be doing more - more work, more clients, more visits with friends, more time to get outdoors or hit the gym. More, more, more.
I’m probably in a reflective state right now because of the branding projects I’m working on for some clients. When you ask clients the tough questions as part of the branding ‘discovery’ phase that make them reflect about their own business, eventually it has me, the questioner, reflecting back on my answers to these very same questions.
And of course fall brings on a new season of that feeling of wanting to do, learn, discover… so you could say I’m experiencing a ‘discovery season’ right now where I’m asking so many questions relating to life.
The more I realize, owning my own business has been in my genes from an early age.
My dairy farming parents are entrepreneurs (the farming community probably wouldn’t attach the ‘e’ word to their community even though they are!), my grandparents owned their own business when they started milking cows and many generations before that started the family farm that is now a fifth generation affair.
Some days, it is hard to believe I’m ‘running my own ship.’ Its not easy. Its damn hard. It comes with a lot of emotions and blood, sweat and tears. Not in the physical sense of course, but in the mental stamina that is needed to own your own business. Of knowing that you’re in full control of whether you do quality work for clients to keep the lights on.
And even though its hard, its naturally what I’m attracted to want to do each and every day, even though it ‘scares the crap out of me’ some days. The Rock Star Real Estate guys who Andrew has followed religiously for years, talk about it perfectly in their video of how so many of the best decisions they’ve ever made have been "crap their pants" moments. Ha!
To knowing that when I wake up each morning, I am the own who is in control of creating my own destiny, seeking out new clients and adventures, to working hard at random hours if need be, to always ‘being on’… it can be daunting, scary, fun and liberating all at the same time.
If there was anything the farming life taught me, it was and is to ‘always be on.’ And this certainly stayed with me throughout my career, whether it was in politics, or now in running my own business and in the environment our world seems to operate by now. (Does 9 to 5 really even exist anymore?!)
There are days that are isolating and lonely in the business world by yourself (which are so tough for this extroverted person behind the screen!), but the moment I’m able to share my magic with others, help solve a problem with them, provide solutions for them… those are the ‘sweet spots’ of owning my own business that provide such a thrill. I try and remind myself of this more and more.
The next exciting endeavour I’m undergoing is scaling my business. Asking myself, do I want to employ a person (or people!) and where do I want to take my business. This is a scary yet exciting thought that I overturn at least 50 times a day in my brain, especially as I approach the one-year mark of my business since starting Crowley + Arklie Strategy & Co.
This article reminds me why ‘freelance’ or owning your own business has become part of the ‘American Dream’ as the article references. Because we want quality of life. We want to be able to kick ass at what we do (hopefully loving what we do!) but we also want to enjoy the hell out of our lives. Can we achieve both? I don’t quite have the answer yet at 32.. ask me in a few more years ;)
And in this hustle-hard society that has created this hype around hustling hard, all of a sudden, this longing for more ‘slowed balance’ reminds me of just how thankful I am to get to do what I do and at the pace I choose (even though I have to get better at this slowing down thing!).
Being on my own is something I’m becoming more and more comfortable with even though at times it can still feel so uncomfortable… because this naturally is exactly where I’m suppose to be.