Life is all about choices. Some of our choices have a much bigger impact on our lives than others but we often don’t know which choices will lead us in those directions. For me, the seemingly large choices are a little easier because you can better understand how they will change your life. For instance, choosing PT school was a big decision, but I was sure that by making that choice, I would be able to financially support myself. I almost wrote ‘be successful’ (instead of financially supporting myself) but I think that success is a measure of so much more than financial security, and honestly really depends on your personal goals and values. Ever since I made the decision to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner I have been aligning my choices and decisions to become a successful entrepreneur. For me, success is about getting information to people who need it, connecting with other moms either in person or online, and building a wide platform of services with the goal of helping others. Would I like to be able to make money with this venture? of course! Who wouldn’t? But there are some choices that I am making that are going to slow down the process some.
What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur? In my mind you have two choices – either time or risk (and often it is a sliding scale between the two). If you have the time to build up slowly and are willing to do so, you can do what I am doing. Work on one project at a time; maintain a job that brings in needed income; and have patience. You can try to make the process go faster by giving yourself more time. You might consider quitting your job, sleeping less, and overall just spending more time each day/hour/week on your business to get it up and running and making money as soon as possible. “Soon” is relative though and can never be predicted. Neither option is better for one person over another.
For me, I made choices to marry my husband, have a child (with another on the way) and chose to live where I do. They were, and still are, the right choices for me, and they are worth it to make my transition from staff employee to self-employed entrepreneur take as long as it takes. I’m antsy to get everything that is swirling in my mind and on my list completed, but it will all happen in time.
Could I find more time? Definitely. I once heard someone say (Laura Vanderkam from this TedTalk) that we can always find time. If we are “too busy” for something, it just means that that “something” is not a priority. For instance. Let’s say your toilet starts exploding. You may not have had time to clean your bathroom, but you sure will make it after that mess. So where could I find time? I could sleep less. I go to bed around 9:30/10pm every night and get out of bed 6:30/7 in the morning. Sleep has been my go-to healthy living strategy for years, even through college. For me, getting sleep makes life better for me, my health, my happiness, and my family. I could spend less time with my daughter. I could send her to daycare more and have more time to work on my personal and ‘regular’ work projects. She has so many years ahead of her to spend more time in school that I am not willing to give up more of that one on one time. We could do less as a family. We often do at least one if not 2 family outings every weekend. If my husband and I did more of a ‘divide and conquer’ approach, I could have more time. I like spending time with my family and time is too short to give that up.
So why even try to be an entrepreneur? Because I have a message I want to share. I have finally figured out who I want to help and support. I strongly believe in setting a good example. I wouldn’t show up at a nutrition appointment with a client carrying a bag of MacDonald’s so I can’t give up my values of family, and parenthood, and general health hygiene to support moms in their lives. When Brené Brown talks about parenting she states that your kids learn by watching you and not listening to you. As I preach self-care, I must partake. As an obliger, knowing that self-care is necessary to impact those around me, it makes it so much easier to fulfill.
So for me, my big choices are the ones I make are day to day. Maybe I wake up a little early and decide to sneak down and get a little work done or maybe it’s a day that I need to sleep in. Whatever choices you make, you need to feel good about them. Regret is wasted mental energy and just prevents us from moving forward. Someday, I would like to see someone looking back on this article and say wow – Beth found her success moving slowly but has been doing this for how many years now? I also think that there is never an endpoint – there is always growth. Even the people I follow, who I see as successful, are never stopping. They are always creating more, adapting, changing. Life can rarely be predicted, but the one thing we know for sure is that it is constantly changing. This change requires choices. Are you making choices? Are you making the choices that you feel good about?
I am and I truly hope you are too.