As I not so subtly alluded to in my April newsletter, in an attempt to just write the intro this article was born.
The last two years have gifted us an opportunity to prioritize our lives, both personally and professionally. My idea of stress and success is very different now than it was two years ago or even 12 years ago when I first started my business.
There was a time when my definition of success was starting my day before sunrise, often with back-to-back clients, and not finishing until after sunset. I made myself available on nights, weekends, and even some holidays! My success, my goal, was to be EVERYONE’s go-to coach and trainer. Once I achieved that goal, the bouquet of emotions that grew were not ones of gratitude or pride. They were burn out and exhaustion. I had made myself so available to everyone except my friends, my family, and most importantly, myself, that I had nothing left to give. I still didn’t feel fulfilled. I still wanted more. But - more of what? More clients? More work?
No. This is where I learned that my previous definition of success was actually one of stress.
After the onset of the pandemic, I did the unthinkable. I raised my rates and lowered my availability. I created healthy boundaries. I learned how to click the do not disturb button, schedule messages, and turn my notifications off.
As we grow into who we are supposed to be and become pet parents, homeowners, competitors, business owners, then wives, and then moms, (as in my case!) we add responsibilities to our plate. As we grow and add those responsibilities, the greatest responsibility becomes to ourselves.
My first priority is myself. As a matriarch, my emotional health is imperative to keep this family together. I create space for myself by scheduling that space. Anyone that knows me knows I live off of google calendar and Trello lists. By creating space for myself I can keep my emotional health healthy and can be the best version of myself for my family, friends, and clients.
My second priority is my family. My family includes my USAF & LEO Husband, Matt, our McQuaid Senior, and soon-to-be USAF Son, Matty, our horse, Kane, and our dogs, Piper & Ella. Between classes, work, unexpected bomb call-outs, and upcoming military obligations, our time together is precious. I create my space and schedule my clients around important things; Family-No-Phone-Dinners, Matt’s days off, and Matty’s choir concerts or football games. While the two-legged family members are a hair busier than the four-legged ones, naps, rolling in the dirt and other organic matter, and trying to snack on mice are also quite time-consuming, so I also make quality time with Kane and Piper, and Ella.
My third priority is my friends. As I have grown older, my circle has grown smaller. I no longer associate with people that are dramatic, insecure, or make me question their morals. I have a circle of empowered individuals that seek their own definition of success and that are genuinely proud of each other’s success. COVID Is still a thing, and we are busy, so calls and virtual dinners have kept us connected. It is a wonderful circle to be a part of.
I would argue that my top three priorities are the pillars of a person’s foundation. You need a strong foundation to be a successful business owner. Not vice versa. Shifting my mindset has allowed me to be the best coach to my clients and ensure they have the proper support along the way for their own journeys.