I seriously get this question all the time. So, “what do you do all day?!?” Especially in reference to running my small business, I receive blank stares in response when I say I need to set aside hours to “work.” Yet, I appreciate this line of questioning, because I’m in the middle of processing what I do, what I should be doing, and what I want to do. So bring on the questions! In the meantime, go on a bit of a scheduling adventure with me…
Because, I’ll be honest. I used to think the exact same thing of individuals who were constantly unavailable because they were “working,” and yet they were running a small business from HOME. I mean, how hard can that be? You make some phone calls. Sell some things. Write some articles. Post a few pics to social media. Drink lots of coffee. And there you have it. How much time could that take?
All the time.
All the moments.
All the thoughts.
All the questions, doubts, fears, responsibilities.
It all falls on your own shoulders.
Not your supervisor’s shoulders or your co-workers’ desks, but it is all your job and you are your own task master. This is both gloriously freeing, and incredibly crippling some days. Most likely you are also managing a home and caring for children AND investing time and money in a venture that you pray succeeds. There are not enough minutes in a day.
Or at least, these are the lies that my worst enemy whispers into my ears on the regular. “There aren’t enough minutes for you to be successful.” “There aren’t enough interested members.” “What you are doing doesn’t matter.” “You are inadequate.”
But I’m speaking a different truth into my heart, into my team’s businesses and into the ventures of all parent entrepreneurs out there. A recent stat I saw reported that 80% of women making over $100K a year were in sales. So the market is receptive and ready. And, I am enough to accomplish great things and change lives. You are enough. There is enough when you couple your dreams and passions with boundaries, relationships and faithfulness that keep you accountable. I’m learning this delicate balance.
Pardon my lengthy quotation, but I can’t help but share these words from Ruth Chou Simons’ “Gracelaced”:
I’ve been running a bit ragged lately and thinking that maybe I resist rest because I resist not being in control. I convince myself that my plans and dreams will fall apart if I’m not working around the clock to protect and prove them…to propel them forward. Staying ahead of the game in self-preservation has become such a normal pace in our lives that I think my heart’s forgotten that it isn’t what I was created for. John Piper said, ‘Sleep is a daily reminder from God that we are not God.’ I was created to rely on Him, to trust in Him, to run out of steam, to find myself incapable of doing it all. Unless God builds it, unless He’s in it, all the laboring is in vain.
It is at this juncture where my adventurous entrepreneur’s ideal schedule meets my inability to work around the clock, I stop and have a weeping melt down, and then I look for equilibrium again. (Sound familiar to anyone?) Now, I’m looking for that sustainable rhythm for this season, because I do. not. need. another. reason. to weep. And, as I delve deep, I realize that I resist not being in control. I’m pondering this perspective shift.
But, back to that schedule, for those of you (of which I was one) who don’t know what a mamapreneur’s day entails, let me go through a “typical” day with its tasks and work time blocks. There are pros and cons to not working in a typical office, but since I have worked just for myself, I find the results addicting and heady. The sky is the limit and I can actually build something and create it from the ground up. It’s a lot like giving birth, honestly. Not to mention, when you love the company and the products you represent, there is joy in sharing them. Building those relationships. Encouraging a team. Being mentored myself. And, so I’m learn how to manage my time so that I am present for my babies and present for my growing team of wellness educators.
Micah wakes up hungry. Make bottle. Consider eating a snack yourself 1:35 am
Micah wakes up hungry again. You wonder what it will be like to feed his teenage self 3:30 am
Abby climbs into your bed and would like a cup of milk 4:00 am
David’s first alarm goes off and he sends Abby back to bed 4:15 am
David’s second alarm goes off and you begin to not-so-gently nudge him 4:30 am
David leaves for work and your actual alarm goes off 4:45 am
Take morning supplements and apply hormone balancing oils. Brush teeth 5:00 am
Make bulletproof latte and workout 5:00-6:00 am
Consider how many days your hair hasn’t been washed and generously use dry shampoo 6:15 am
Grateful your mineral make-up routine doesn’t take long 6:30 am
Abby shows up in the bathroom and needs all the things. Meanwhile Micah is throwing his empty bottles in anger out of his crib. AND someone messages you on one of your business pages a super critical question that you attempt to answer while making a new bottle, a cup of milk, finding Abby’s bear, turning on Daniel Tiger, wishing for a someone to help you sort the baskets of laundry you now just consider your closet 6:45 am
Make breakfast, fix two unruly kids’ hair, keep Micah from throwing away important items in the trash, find matching shoes, find socks – matching not required 7:00 am
During breakfast, do a quick scan of email and all social media outlets to make sure that no emergencies are pending and all questions and needs can’t wait till later. Plan tomorrow’s playdate and next week’s dentist appointment. 7:30 am
Head out to community recreation center, so kids can play (Micah snacks in the car and has bottles packed). You now have 2-3 hours to complete the following tasks: post on social media, follow up on emails, help current and prospective Young Living members find the perfect blends of oils and supplements to support their wellness goals, work on collaborations with other entrepreneurs, write outline and organize photos for upcoming wellness courses you are teaching, file receipts for tax purposes, post in multiple business groups you participate in, go LIVE in a private education group to support your team, begin the article for the magazine you work with, plan the next month’s wellness theme, support downline teammates with business questions, and reach out to fellow bloggers so that you can integrate your common goals. Oh and make grocery list and write the last couple of thank-you notes from your baby’s birthday 8:30-11:00 am
Pick up whiny children from childcare. Apply Thieves waterless hand sanitizer generously. Lug two hangry children, your satchel, your diaper bag, and all the stuffed animals Abby insisted on bringing back out to the van. Situate both in car seats and pass out snacks before they famish from hunger in the 8 minutes and 30 seconds it takes to get home 11:15 am
Pull together lunch and focus solely on cuddles and getting ready for quiet time. Be ever so grateful you prepped your own lunch on the weekend. Cajole Abby into eating. Search high and low for enough food to fill up a ravenous Micah. Drink Ningxia for energy boost and mentally go through dinner’s prep. Factime with your mother. 11:30 am
Quiet time commences around 12:30 pm, but Micah has a dirty diaper and Abby needs more couch snuggles. Consider falling asleep with one or both of them. 12:45 pm
Follow up on all emails and contacts made in the morning. As a relational person, you love investing in the lives of your team and that takes time. Go LIVE in your business leadership page. Move the laundry. Defrost the chicken. Consider fixing your hair. Drink water. Take your Cortistop and Slique, because – for the love – you need stress and fitness support. Turn on diffuser with Lavender and Cedarwood. Few deep breathes. Write blog. Micah wakes up. Abby has turned the living room into an artist’s dream, but not your idea of organized and clean 1:00-3:00 pm
Play with Littles between dinner prep and the hours during which everyone melts down irrationally. Apply Peace & Calming. Hug your husband. Hand him the toddler and/or the baby – whichever one is in most danger of incurring your wrath. During dinner, give-up convincing Abby that she needs to eat and simply pour her plate onto Micah’s tray. At least someone appreciates your cooking skills 5:00 pm
Begin Micah’s bedtime routine. Pull cat hair out of his mouth. Rub on his sleepy time oils. Give him one bottle and plan for a second one. Turn on diffuser. Micah out. 6:30 pm
Make a cup of tea, touch up make-up, and head to nearest Starbucks to borrow their high speed internet while you teach an online class on Oils for Fitness + Hormones. Post on social media because (bonus tip) you get the most engagement at 7:30 am and 7:30 pm – both ridiculously inconvenient times for your life, but you have to work with the new Facebook algorithms. 7:00 pm
Arrive home to love your husband and watch Netflix. You can have one of your daughter’s stickers if you brush your own teeth and wash your own face. Stumble over the laundry baskets you didn’t sort today. Step on smashed snacks – a gift from Micah. Snuggle with Abby one last time. Answer a final round of social media notifications. Fall asleep wherever you happen to land. Oh, at least set out your journal with high expectations of winding down slowly 9:00 pm
I clearly don’t have this figured out yet. And I would love to hear what works for you. But I’m very intentionally trying to change my habits so I trust God more to bless my business. I’m choosing to not always check my phone and computer. My highest calling – above my business dreams – is being a wife and mother. Being a strong woman that is present for her children. Being a woman who seeks rest, knows rest, exudes rest.
I believe in what I do and the company I represent. I did my research and investigated compensation plans. I chose Young Living not only because their products have made the biggest impact on my health, but also because they have an amazing compensation plan. My mom has been using the products for almost 20 years, but building a business for less than 10. She already makes more money than I ever did at my corporate practice manager position. Homeschool moms that I knew growing up are making over $50,000 a month. They too dreamt dreams of financial freedom and figured out a way to make that work while raising babies and loving on their friends and family. And, Young Living is unique in that at a certain point the income that a member makes is “willable.” In other words, you can retire and continue to make your monthly check. Your children can inherit your business. What a legacy to leave…
But that being said, I want to build my business differently than my A-type personality would tend to dictate. I’m going to build in intentional rest. Choose times to work and times to play. I don’t want to be on a burnout cycle every 3 months because I’m burning the candle at both ends. These years require hard work, but they should also involve an abundance of joy. And faith. And hope. Passion and peace.
God has made us to grow weary, to call it quits in our laboring, and to rest. If you feel worn out, friend, it’s a pretty good indication that our infinite God made you finite for a purpose. He is reminding you that resting isn’t just a good idea; it’s His example and standard for us. Our all-powerful God does not grow weary, and yet He chose to rest on the event day of creation. ~Ruth Chou Simons
And for those of you, My Readers, who don’t espouse Christianity, let me challenge you that the changing seasons are also an amazing testament to our need for rest. Plants go into hibernation. The world is quiet and soft during the winter months. Spring only follows this season of earthly slumber. So I think this truth is universal for us all. Rest is needed. Often, I find that nature speaks most loudly to my heart. And, as Daniel Tiger so often sings, “rest is best.” 😉
So, how do you balance work and life? How do you dream big? How do you build rest into your life and prioritize being present with your family? What the heck do you do all day? 😉 Drop me a comment! Motherhood…entrepreneur dreams…they take a village, folks. A deeply committed village.