Updated: Jan 21, 2020
So, running a business as a female entrepreneur is an interesting thing for me.
We see the #bossbabes all over Instagram and hear hustling preached as *the only way* for your business to grow.
Well that just does not feel good for me. And it doesn't feel good for a lot of other female-identifying entrepreneurs that I've spoken with too!
So what if we were brave and decided to approach our businesses differently? What if we chose the brave path of: celebrating our successes (even the little ones), prioritizing our wellness and rest, and aligning our business with our life (not the other way around)?
There are many reasons why I started my own business and have been passionate about working for myself. One of the main ones includes running my business in a way that makes sense for my season/stage in life and aligns with my bigger life themes.
I've worked really hard over the years as a recovering perfectionist and over-acheiver to ensure that I practice resting.
I've done a lot of therapy and healing to ensure that my old pattern of *not enough* doesn't run on auto-pilot and that I learn each day that I am more than enough and my enough-ness is not dictated by my production.
SO....why would I want to treat my business any other way?
If you're an entrepreneur, own your own side-business, or are considering starting your own business then really check-in with yourself:
How do you want your business to feel?
How do you want to feel when you work on and in your business?
In what ways have you grown personally? How might you want this personal growth to influence and impact your business?
What general themes do you want your business to reflect and how does this show-up in the everyday moments of operating your business?
Asia Suler of One Willow Apothecaries has a number of resources regarding what she calls "sacred entrepreneurship" and I love one of her nuggets of wisdom; "People often start businesses because they wish to be of service, but the primary purpose of a business is to help you in your spiritual growth."
What would it be like if you viewed your business and professional life through this lens? That your professional life (any number of hours each day and week!) is actually here to help you grow personally and spiritually???
Would that change things for you?
Either way, I often need to remind myself that because I am so passionate about my work and love developing my business it does not mean that I'm interested in hustling or working 12 hour days. Actually, my office hours are quite limited and my time at my computer expanding on my business is limited too.
And reminders are good and okay and normal. They're healthy for me as I continue to practice this new pattern.
Full disclosure: I'm still working on my mental work boundaries as I'm often thinking about creative ways to explore a concept with my clients or a new avenue to explore in my business development. And this is OK with me right now. It's okay because I usually feel passionate, fired-up, and enlivened by my business. So this is working. And I'm proud of myself because I'm aware of this and continue to make this choice.
Remember friends - we have choice. You do not need to buy into the story "that this is work and what work feels and looks like". You get to CHOOSE to believe and pursue the kind of work life that you want. It takes courage. It takes perseverance. It's helpful to have support. And it takes remembering what motivated you in the start.
I had a beautiful moment today where a client asked me "Briar what motivated you to do your personal work?", which is what led me to becoming a therapist and wellness advocate.
I paused. I remembered younger Briar. And I said "What motivated me was a sense that this couldn't be all there was to life (AKA the cultural story of getting a degree, getting a 9-5 job where you actually work 60+ hours, and buying a big house with kids and a marriage). Not for me. I wouldn't accept this. My soul and spirit craved more. It craved connection. Connection to myself and to something bigger than me. So I started my work to understand what I wanted to pursue and focus upon".
So let me ask you now, what motivated you to start your business? Or what's calling you to change your relationship with work?
Start there. One step at a time. And stay with it friend!
Yours in this brave path,