I’ve got 2 kids – one is about to turn 18 (how? how did that happen? It honestly feels like only a couple of years has passed since he was a tiny, skinny kid playing with legos and forcing me to sit through yet another episode of Spongebob Squarepants) and a little girl who’s 8.
They’re both so different in personalities (he’s laid back and introverted, while she’s vibrant and chatty and wanting to be with others all of the time.) I love them both desperately, expansively and wildly. I remember being scared at the realization of how much I loved my son when he came along. Like to the point where I knew I was capable of hurting someone with my bare hands if they ever hurt him. As a left-leaning, wooly liberal pacifist, this was a shock to discover.
When I was pregnant with my daughter I worried that I wouldn’t have enough love to include her in the same way – I mean, how could a human heart hold so much love? Surely it would implode or break in some way. Or maybe it would just splutter and I’d have to fake loving this second child for the rest of my life.
Of course, when she arrived I immediately realized this was bunkum. The heart expands and the love for her was just as fierce and intense as for her brother. I’ve friends who’ve got 3 or 4 kids and I’m told this is a process that repeats indefinitely. The human heart has this amazing expansive capacity for love. It’s glorious and intense. It takes us to the highest of highs and scares us to the depth of our being. To imagine something happening to one of these precious beings is too horrifying to do more than risk a glimpse at.
And no. I’m not about to say that I love my business like I love my kids. Far from it. Sure I love my business and it’s one of the key ways I express myself in the world. But I love it like 8% of how I love my children.
Business is (sometimes) Like Parenting
Having a business I care deeply about does remind me of being a parent sometimes – in that it requires you to be on your toes, be adaptable and resourceful.
(I should also point out that I don’t think to have kids makes you a better, kinder or more important person that someone who doesn’t. In fact, I hate the idea that you can’t be a ‘proper’ woman or feel real love unless you’re a mother. It’s just more patriarchal bullshit.)
Parenting gives you the bait and
In that sense, a business IS like being a parent.
When my business was starting out I was clueless about how to get clients and make money. And then I learned some stuff and began to make it work. I experimented and learned some more things and that income became consistent (small, but consistent). I learned some more things and felt like I had hit my stride.
Where I’ve Been
Scaling. Urgh. So much of the advice in the online business world is focused on building your client base to the point where you can scale your business – stop trading hours for dollars as they say, and start selling packages and products that require less of your time and create ‘passive income’ (Passive income btw has to be one of the biggest lies in the internet world – and this is the land of lies!)
I’ve never really wanted to scale. I LIKE trading my time for money. Love it, in fact. If I could spend all of my time working one on one with folks I would be like the proverbial pig in clover. I want to be all over my business doing every part of it. hands-on working with as many clients as I can handle. I’ve no need for a
So I’ve very deliberately built my business placing the values of intimacy, community, and connection at the heart of what I do. That’s meant lots of one of one work and a group program that also has a strong one on one component to it. And last year when it all finally came together it felt glorious and deep and in aligned and right. Just perfectly right. Like this was the most exquisite mix of work I could possibly imagine and I didn’t want to do anything else.
I needed to change.
My business had been built primarily on working one on one with lots of people. I know how to make money that way. I’m good at this work. I love this work. But this way of doing business requires me to be available to many clients over the course of a week.
And this doesn’t work for me at the moment.
Because my kid is sick.
My amazing, vibrant, funny, caring, wise beyond her years, 8-year-old daughter was diagnosed with acute asthma back in November and the past few months have been a blur of hospitals and sleepless nights and countless calls from the school when she’s having an asthma attack, and frantic drives to the hospital for emergency treatment.
From September to the present day she’s had more days out of school than in. At least once every two weeks we end up needing emergency treatment for her. I always have to have my phone on because even when she’s well enough to be in school there’s a high likelihood that I’ll need to go and get her and take her to the doctors or home
It’s been draining and terrifying and we’re not out of the woods yet. We’re moving forward with treatment options. And while things are slowly getting more consistent, the Doctors can’t tell us when it will get significantly better. It’s a case of trial and error, wait and see.
There’s been many a day when I’ve been brought to my knees with exhaustion and fear for my baby. And
The business I’d so lovingly built around lots of one on one clients suddenly became unsustainable.
I thought I had found my routine and then the requirements of my life demanded that it changed. That I changed.
At first, this was a mental wall I didn’t feel equipped to climb. I didn’t want my business model to change dammit, I liked it this way and I knew how to do it this way.
But just like wishing your baby hadn’t become a toddler or your 6-year-old would still eat broccoli, it’s a thankless, pointless endeavor.
Things change. Circumstances change. Needs change.
Sometimes those changes are instigated by you and at other times you need to respond instead.
The past six months has required me to respond in a way I hadn’t anticipate.
Sometimes business is like parenting. And sometimes you just need to focus your energy on the parenting part.
So now what?
I’ve been less present and visible over these past few months. I’ve not promoted anything or done a launch. My business was effectively put into maintenance mode while I figured out how to work with the new circumstances we find ourselves in.
But I also need to move forward from a place of alignment. I still value intimacy, connection, and community. I still love my work. I’m still a badass rockstar at my best in sessions with folks.
And I needed to find a way to turn this need for change into an opportunity rather than a consolation prize.
And I think I’ve found it.
I think I’ve found a way to restructure my services and my work that will still be deep and resonant and steeped in our shared values, AND allows me a more flexible working schedule.
Where we’re going
I’m restructuring and introducing some programs – all rooted in connection and with community placed firmly at the center.
My group program will relaunch later in the year and will be 9 months long (as opposed to 6 months as it was previously)
I’m reducing my one on one client roster from 10 to 5. This will give me space to fully serve those clients without burning out or compromising quality. There are currently 2 spaces available – if you want one of those, let’s talk.
I’m going to introduce the option to work with me in an intensive way where we can fully explore your vision, your message and translate that into a meaningful, actionable plan of action – more details will be coming in the next few weeks on this.
I’m soon to be launching The Meaningful Business Academy – a community, creative hub and activator designed for those folks ready to start taking serious, consistent action building their businesses but aren’t yet ready or able to hire a coach one on one.
Will it work?
That’s the thing with being a parent AND running a business. There are no guarantees and sometimes you have to try a bunch of stuff before you get the right approach.
And that’s the space I’m working from – being flexible, building on the things I KNOW to be true (connection, creativity, love, kindness, community
And the thing with being a parent is no matter what gets thrown at you – you’ll do everything in your power to make it work. To resolve the seemingly unresolvable. To find grace even in the most challenging times. To remember the bigger picture even when being pushed to the edge of resourcefulness. So you make it work in some form.
And if you’re resourceful and surrounded by support and community, you can make