Creating this new website has been a good opportunity to have a clear out of webpages, reorganising and refreshing our content. And in so doing, it occurs to me that I could probably be doing with a mental clear out on a more regular basis too.
I'm great for telling friends to take care of themselves, that they have to put on their, ahem, facemask first (sorry, Lockdown humour) in order to be able to manage their daily load, and that they should only surround themselves with positive things and discard the rest. A strong core strengthens branches and leaves.
And then in the usual way of a busy mumpreneur, I neglect to heed my own advice! I get caught up in the usual daily grind: arise and shine, check calendar, dispatch cubs to school, work, switch to Multi-Task-Mummy of an afternoon delivering children to activities with required accoutrements, work in car between runs, prep meal while snatching moments of work, do daily battle with domesticity, diary To Dos for tomorrow, collapse into bed. Not forgetting the odd bit of romance with Himself of course. I run around like a headless chicken having had slightly too much coffee, being prompted to breathe by my ever-so-clever smartwatch when the stress level gets just a touch too high :-)
Credit: Doodle Mum @doodlemum on Facebook - not the taxi sign though; that was my cheeky addition.
I reckon it's part of the learning curve of being an entrepreneur, or in my case, mumpreneur - it's hard to pass on any opportunity when you're starting up, so it's easy to fall into 'mission drift' and get over-run (check me with the business jargon).
There have been so many things I have learned this past year in starting up this business. I'm clear on where it is that we need to get to, but the troublesome bit is that there is no clear path on how we should achieve that. There is no rule-book, no guidance paper, no clearly delineated path. Such is the strength of the entrepreneur: being able to adeptly find a path to his or her end goal, jumping hurdles and weathering storms along the way.
But there really is a huge chasm of What If-ery to cross on a daily basis:
- What If we should be targeting a different audience?
- What If we should be trying that other method?
- What If we should be using social media more? Or in a more targeted way?
And the biggie: What If we lose out on a massive opportunity by saying No because we're just too flipping exhausted to chase down another lead??
A gift from a friend who knows me well.
I think it comes down to what you can and cannot control. I learned this lesson a couple of years ago, and it is a fantastic simplifier.
Not so easy done - especially in Covid-19 times. Covid-19 Image Credit: Forbes
No sooner have we timetabled a plan, made the necessary bookings & orders and started the marketing when the world is turned upside down. So we reschedule, rebook, adapt and go again. And a week into the new plan, the world is rotated a few more degrees. So back to square one again...and repeat.
So not only do we need agility, determination and resilience, we also need endless adaptability.
And hope. That things will revert to what we knew as normal. And we can have just the usual set of unknowns for a new business.
It's like the great Joni Mitchell says: you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone.
Life was busy and complicated before Covid-19, but now that we've been forced to radically change our everyday routine and lost the ability to plan anything more than a week ahead, we've realised that we had it quite good really. At the very least, we knew what to expect of each day, and how things were likely to pan out. Not so anymore - and who knows when that will revert.
But is that a bad thing?
Isn't it good to have a bit of a rethink now and then?
I know they say if it ain't broke, don't fix it - but shouldn't we always try to improve our thinking, our approach, our systems? Surely there's always room for improvement?
I know the customer is always right, and more than one customer means more than one opinion, so it's as well to listen to all suggestions and see how to improve our offering.
(Mr Fox might say I listen to everything and then do it my way anyway, but I disagree. And I know that's right because I'm allowed to be contrary; in fact, I rather think it’s one of my best features. A vixen of mystery.)
I have a friend who moves furniture around her house once a year (probably more often now that we're in Lockdown and there's little else to be at). Far from an act of insanity, there's method to her movement: not only does it force her to clean out the dust lurking behind furniture, it gives a new perspective on the room. And when you have 5 kids like her, there's the added benefit of finding things other than dust and forcing such things to be dealt with. So with moving and swapping and trialling each time, she finds a new look for the room and is really quite happy with the exercise (after exhaustion passes).
Credit: Lena Chizhova from Pinterest
So, as our lives change in demand and expectation, so too the dynamic and usage of a family home changes. And with changing it up in a room, or sometimes swapping rooms entirely, it gives the opportunity to make the house a little more efficient and user-friendly.
I think this is a great approach. I'm going to use it for this venture. No doubt there will be other viruses in years to come, or natural disasters, or even natural but unexpected seismic changes in our lives. So no harm to mix it up every so often to refine and refocus our efforts.
-- and just in case we ever find that we have perfected our venture (if that is even possible!) and find ourselves bored, the Peter Principal will have us moving on to something bigger or new. So one way or another, we’ll keep happily challenged and entertained - natural disaster or natural ambition!
So I'm adopting a Clear Out attitude: to regularly examine what I'm doing in my everyday life and whether this is helping me get to my ultimate goals. I'll keep what is working and discard what’s not.
I’ll find the good in what we already have, instead of realizing good fortune in hindsight. And I’ll adapt with changing times, embracing the opportunity to review and refocus.
We all deserve to be happy and successful - hard work should bring good reward.
So let's work clever and be kind to ourselves - Be You, and not just You trying to be You in the midst of madness, but the Best You enjoying your life and knowing you're in the midst of your own success.
You are Fabulous. Shine On.