I have to admit I’m feeling a little spoiled. As I write this, I’m sitting in my home office, no super-urgent projects to speak of for once, and Danielle - owner of Detroit Maid - is in my kitchen whipping the shit out of a bunch of dirt. Danielle isn’t usually the dirt-whipper, she’s the #LadyBoss, but as she put it when she showed up on my doorstep an hour ago, sometimes as a small business owner you get to be “both the chief cook and bottle washer.”
And for the record, that chief bottle washer has spent more time cleaning my microwave this afternoon than I have in the past five years.
When I quit my j-o-b those many moons ago, one of the first things I gave up was paying someone else to clean my house. It had always seemed a little frivolous - but it was a frivolity I was totally willing to indulge when working 40+ hours a week and going to grad school. Once income stopped magically appearing in my bank account every two weeks, I figured a house cleaner was simply an expense I could no longer afford.
In fact, I pretty much figured life as I knew it was over completely. No more traveling, shopping, eating out, manicures, nights out… no more fun.
I’m 22 full moons into this “no paycheck thing" and I am surprised to find that there’s still travel and shopping and eating out and manicures and, on rare occasions when I can no longer take the state of my home - Danielle in my kitchen. Part of the reason I can still do these things is that I have reprioritized my spending and aligned it with what I most value. But, even more than that…
I have come to realize that I have always had more than enough, I just didn’t know it until I had less.
Lovelies, I made $60,000 more dollars my last year of working than I did my first year out on my own - $60,000! - and it NEVER felt like enough. If you would have asked me then, I would have told you that hiring someone to clean my house was a splurge that I couldn’t truly afford. The truth was, I could have easily afforded it back then.
I was stuck in the mindset of always looking for what I didn’t yet have - the next promotion, the next title, the next raise, the next whatever - because I was convinced that what I had was not enough. I was not enough, and never would be.
I was stuck in a scarcity mentality.
I’d love to tell you that it’s all sunshine and daisy and unicorn farts now and that I have fully adopted abundance and the mindset that I will always have enough. I haven’t - I am a work in progress. It’s a huge challenge for me right now, in fact, exactly because I have no urgent projects to speak of, because Danielle is currently scrubbing the shit out of my trash can (seriously, people clean those?!) and because life feels easier than it has in a long, long time… ease is completely unfamiliar to me and I struggle daily not to panic and lose my shit in this space.
First world problems, I know. I also know I'm not alone.
Are you battling the unfamiliarity of ease? Struggling with that idea that maybe, just maybe, you have enough - you are enough? You’re not alone and I’d love to hear your story. Drop a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With much love and gratitude,
Ursula Adams, MSPOD
A few years ago one of my favorite bosses, Ron, asked me to create a list of things that I was really good at and took great joy in doing. I spent a few moments writing… coaching, mentoring, facilitating, training, writing about lessons I’ve learned, strategic planning, brainstorming.
I scanned the list and then looked across the table at Ron, “To sum it up, sir. I like to tell people what to do.” And the following year I quit my job and went out to make a living doing exactly that.
Now, truthfully, I don’t actually tell people what to do. I listen to them, and then offer perspective and advice based upon what I know to be true and on my own experiences. In short, I give advice. REALLY good advice.
Unfortunately I don’t listen to it all that often.
Case in point, one of the lessons I share almost universally with every client is the need to create space for a mindfulness practice. Whether it’s meditation or walking quietly in nature or spending 30 minutes petting the dog each night - we all have to do something that gives our overtaxed brains some respite.
My go-to mindfulness practice is yoga. Not contort yourself in 110 degree heat super-bendy yoga, but the kind where you slowly stretch, breath and pay attention to what’s happening within the four corners of your mat. Unfortunately, I haven’t been to yoga, consistently, in almost a year.
Which might have a little something to do with why I’ve found, over the past few months, that I’m increasingly susceptible to extreme moments of anxiousness, worry, sadness and disconnection.
At the invitation of Corinne I went back to yoga recently. One hour - ONE HOUR - on the mat and I had clarity and a peace that was so tangible it shocked me. In the days following my return to the studio, I settled on answers for decisions I had been struggling with for weeks. I wrote more than I had in months. I slept better. I felt infinitely more balanced. I felt like I was firing on all cylinders for the first time in a long, long time.
I kept questioning myself - could it really be this easy?
The answer is yes. I don’t have the time to be in the studio 3 - 4 times a week like I used to, but I can go once or twice a week - and have been and it makes a big, big difference. Science says so, and my body and mind say so. Thankfully I decided to start listening to it all again.
We don’t have all the answers to what ails us, of course - but I am pretty convinced that most of us have at least some answers if we quiet our minds, listen and trust.
What do you know to be true for yourself that you are not paying attention to right now? Share your story below, shoot me an email at email@example.com or, better yet, come out to the SheHive and share your wisdom.
With much love and gratitude,
When I quit my job in 2016, I had A PLAN. Launch the SheHive, consult part-time on really interesting projects for two - three years while building the SheHive, go to yoga a lot, write a lot, coach here and there, live blissfully.
I’ve followed the plan pretty close. The SheHive is thriving, I’ve consulted on some really interesting work, I *think* about yoga a lot (okay, that’s been a big fail), I write a fair amount, and I get to coach a lot more than I had dreamed possible when I started this venture. But living blissfully? That piece has evaded me - particularly these last six months. I’ve been antsy and unsatisfied at best, and a hot fucking mess at worst.
Which is frustrating as hell because there is A PLAN and I’ve been sticking to THE PLAN. So why the hell am I not achieving the outcome I had predicted?
Because plans need to change as we learn new things about ourselves and the world around us. Which is the single most consistent piece of advice I give to anyone I work with - but something I somehow to apply to my own journey.
When it finally hit me hat I’m trying to force fit myself into a plan that hasn’t been updated to incorporate new discoveries, I decided to scrap the plan. Not all of it - but the parts that no longer fit. In particular, I had to examine the work I do outside of the SheHive.
See, I’ve learned over these past two years that I really value being part of an inner circle, that being part of a team I can form strong bonds within matters to me, that I like the work I do much more when I can build on it over long periods of time and that competing for contracts brings out the petty, jealous, absolute worst in me. In short, consulting doesn’t exactly suit me - at least not the way I’ve been doing it, jumping from project to project and client to client.
I reached out to my network over the weekend to let them know I was changing trajectories, that I was searching for part-time work or long-term consulting contracts and needed referrals. Which was a little scary - to publicly admit that I hadn’t figured it all out the first time around (or second or third or four-hundredth). You know what I heard back from my people? “This sounds like a healthy move for you.” “You always did say you liked working in teams.” “I get it. Let me see who I know that I can introduce you to.”
Because I have good people. And because, generally, people are good.
(And for the record, as soon as I told the world I was looking for a job, the most interesting consulting work ev-ah popped up the very next day because the universe really wants me to learn this PLANS CHANGE! lesson.)
Are you holding yourself accountable to old plans that haven’t been updated to make room for who you’ve become? If so, share your story! Leave a comment below, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or, better yet, come out to the SheHive and share your story. I swear you’ll find you’re not alone.
With much love and gratitude,
P.S. If you are holding back because you’re afraid to admit your plan didn’t work out - consider this your OFFICIAL PERMISSION to scrap the plan.