Resilience. I talked about it in my last newsletter. I told you about some really amazing, really resilient women in my life. What I didn’t share was my own story. I didn’t tell you that my own superpower is resilience. I also didn’t realize when I was starting that recent newsletter, how soon and how much I’d need to tap back into it this very year.
Right now we have a lot going on here on the homefront. My fiancé Sean and I plan to be married in 2019, and the reason we’re not doing it sooner is because we have a lot going on. A lot of planned personal business—some medical issues we’ve each needed to address for too long and some other life “housekeeping”. I won’t go into all of those details, or over-justify why it makes sense to us to wait, but I will say that planning a wedding (as joyous as we are) on top of everything is still a lot.
Also, if you’re joining me over here on the blog because you watched my Instagram video, thanks for heading over! What you probably didn’t pick up on in the video are the physical issues I’m dealing with from my recent wisdom teeth extraction. Now, I know a lot of you may have experience with this, and maybe even some of you have your own awful recovery story.
As for me, I’d been told for years I needed to get this procedure done. Still, I’d put it off even though I’d been cautioned it could be significantly more difficult and likely to create complications the further over 30 you are.
It turns out they weren’t kiddin’! I have what I hope is temporary nerve damage as a result. This has left numbness, tingling, and waves of intense pain through my bottom lip, jaw gums and chin. The numbness is from my left top lip all the way under the bottom of my chin on the left side of my face. Last week this left me with a very prominent lisp, (which I’ve since learned to compensate for). However, the current prognosis is that feeling will likely return, but it may take several weeks or even months to fully heal. Additionally, the healing of my gums is going quite slowly and painfully. All of this has made it hard to work, eat, talk and generally concentrate. Mostly what I’ve wanted to do was sleep.
But, there’s been little time for that. Besides the dental surgery, recovery and planned visits from out-of-town family over this past month, a very complicated and very time sensitive opportunity has come up. This has left me to weigh the pros and cons of and make some weighty decisions about. Although this is a potential major blessing to get excited about, it means it will be a significant long-term time and financial investment, and as such, will unavoidably take a lot of my focus.
Lastly I will share with you, that there are two other things in my life looming above all of it: a battle with addiction issues and chronic depression. Sean and I have struggled with both for years alone, and now as a couple, we struggle with them together. I’ll tell you that although we are recovered from some of the most dangerous forms of addiction, if you have any experience with addiction in your own family, relationships or personal history, you know that often, addictive behavior just finds a new area to present itself.
So, why am I sharing all of this with you?
It’s my aim to be transparent in business as much as possible. I view any challenges I have as an entrepreneur as an opportunity for others to find acceptance and inclusivity and for any successes to hopefully serve as inspiration and an encouragement. Transparency in other fields of business may be a gray area and something business owners have to decide for themselves. For me as a coach, I truly believe it just helps better forge deeper connection with and gain clearer insight into my clients and community. Being open and candid is what feels right to me.
I’m also sharing because I know being an entrepreneur is a challenge even in the best of situations. Being an entrepreneur while dealing with the very hardest issues that life serves us up, feels very much like walking two uphill battles—constantly jumping from one mountain to the other. Constantly praying that when the foothold slips for one, you will find a stronger grasp elsewhere to help pull yourself up with.
At times it’s a hell of a balancing act. These are the times that we have to show ourselves grace, reevaluate our priorities and tap into our unique well of resilience. And by the way, resilience is born out of these most difficult of times. Life has to be a challenge for you to know what exactly you’re made of.
For me, as I’ve shared before, this first year of business needs to be much more about my own personal development than it is about charts, spreadsheets and analytics. I truly believe that to have a strong long lasting business, you have to have a strong foundation. And as an entrepreneur, you yourself are that foundation.
So, for me starting a business has been about creating reasonable goals, figuring out a consistency commitment I can keep and allowing space for self-care, down time and inner work. That is, it’s been my intention.
I’ve found though, that what I feel I should be doing often crowds out my best intentions. There’s that word I try hard to point out to clients when they find themselves agonizing over what to do next. I say, pay attention to your “shoulds”. Ask yourself why they’re there, who told you so, and if they truly have anything to do with who you are and what matters most to the heart of you.
And yet there I am, just like the meme says, “shoulding all over myself”.
I should have more blog posts batched and ready to post. (Who’s counting?)
I should be more consistent with my social media. (By what measure?)
I should be setting impressive financial benchmarks as an entrepreneur. (Who exactly am I impressing?)
How can I be a coach to other entrepreneurs if I’m not? (BTW, this is the very Imposter Syndrome I’ve blogged about, rearing its head in my own narrative.)
I should quit.
I shouldn’t quit.
I can’t quit.
I don’t want to quit.
I am stronger than this.
I am resilient.
You should share this.
No one needs to hear this.
Someone needs to hear this.
Someone definitely needs to hear this.
Recognize this tape? Maybe you have one of your own.
And, maybe you’re asking with all of this going on, what comes next for Arise and Bloom Coaching and what comes next for me on a personal level?
Further still, you may wonder what to do as a new business owner when you find yourself in a situation where life is throwing genuine curve balls?
First let me share what comes next for Arise and Bloom:
The first is that I won’t be adding new 1:1 coaching clients for at least the next two months. I’ll continue to serve my current caseload of clients and allow my focus on them to help me refine my future offerings, which leads me to…
I’ll be spending some much needed time focusing on some exciting brand changes and developments for 2019! Stay tuned; I’ll be sharing more throughout this year.
I’ll be scaling back on the blog. I LOVE writing and blogging and it’s been so fun having a new post to share with you the first three Tuesdays of every month…BUT, I want to be able to give more attention to other areas of this business, so although I will continue sharing my voice and coaching tips through the blog, it will be less frequent.
I’ll be looking for new opportunities to collaborate and continuing to seek to align those connections with the things that resonate the most with me personally and professionally.
More reevaluation. More prayer. More faith. But…most of all a lot more good stuff to come. We’re just getting started here!
And as for me, Rene’…the coach behind Arise and Bloom:
A focus on my healing, and overall health and wellness. This includes giving better attention to my diet and fitness, both of which I’ve sidelined for this past year.
Allowing time to just enjoy, create and rest.
Hopefully taking some steps forward in other new ventures (prayers gratefully accepted!).
And again… More reevaluation. More prayer. More faith.
So, what are some tips to handle unexpected life events when you’re starting or running your own business?
Take a step back.
Sometimes we’re so busy with the doing and the rushing and the productivity, that we don’t take time to look at the big picture. Sometimes when you give yourself that much needed moment to reevalute (be it a few hours, a day, or a month…whatever makes sense to allow yourself), you can see the areas that have room for revision, letting go of, or shelving for a better time. Make these evaluations part of your business framework, and also allow for them when the unexpected hits.
I suggest every new business owner have a coach, a cheer squad (these are the friends and family you can count on to give you positive feedback and encouragement), at least a couple of other entrepreneur friends to bounce ideas and concerns off of, and maybe even a therapist. That last one because…um, you’re human too.
Each of these roles serves a different purpose and each one you’re going to need more of at varying times. Above all…don’t isolate. You’re not bad at this. You’re not weird. And you’re definitely not alone.
Put on your own oxygen mask first.
This is the best analogy ever and the most wise. Comes right after, “you can’t run a race with a broken leg”. Typically, in business you’re there to help someone else do something, get something, appreciate something or understand something. None of these things can be of the highest quality if you’re gasping for air. Basically, take care of yourself, so you can take care of your business and the people you serve.
Be prepared to renegotiate with yourself.
This is almost the same as #1. The only difference is that #1 is about allowing yourself the time to review things, and this tip is about allowing yourself to make those changes when you see they’re necessary. It means that when you first start a business, you may have a very clear idea of what you want it to look and feel like. You may think you have it all figured out, but you never, ever do the first time.
You have to be ok with scrapping some things and doing others you may have never thought you’d do. Don’t stick to your guns so much that you’re unable to grow and expand when it’s time, or when you need the bandwidth for something else.
Add it to your “resilience file”.
Every time, and I mean every time, you hit a wall and find a way to pick yourself back up again, give yourself acknowledgement. In fact, stop right now, and take a minute to write down all of the times (personally or professionally) that made you at one time or another think it was curtains, that the world would end. Write down all of the times that you had no idea how you’d make it to next week. Don’t worry if that time was one that ended in a divorce, or a lost job, or a financial mistake. Write those down. And keep that list going. Write down all the things that had your knees buckling. Sometimes we forget the things we thought we’d never recover from. Remember when you’ve walked away head held high. And here you are, stronger. Wiser. More resilient.
Yes, resilience may be my super power, but it just may be yours too.