I never imagined that it would take me three years to launch my blogging/coaching business. When I embraced the title of Mother/Blogger/Coach/Business Adventurer, I didn’t realize just how much patience and persistence it would require of me.
I could easily use my family as a scapegoat. I honestly don’t know what I was thinking to attempt to go into business with a newborn, albeit an angel. My family does indeed require more of my energy than I ever anticipate. No matter how gracefully I juggle it, the predictably unpredictable nature of kids doesn’t easily work with business. I’ve often had to take calls with kids’ demanding my attention, making me feel less than professional. Yet, I know in my heart that this elusive professional/personal balance is what I crave, and I would never have been happy as a traditional stay-at-home-mom. As much as I love being a mama, I have a deep desire to express myself professionally.
In truth, my blogging/coaching business been more of a creative project than a business I launched my website, Darcy’s Utopia, just the day before my daughter Teagan was born.* It felt as though I had gestated both my business and my baby, and I simply needed to get both out in the world, even though I wasn’t anywhere close to actually launching my business. I can now see why I needed the time and space for my own personal transformation, before I would be ready to offer my wisdom to the world.
My slow launch is in part because our Olivia Beach Camp Cabins family business has kept me (us!) far busier than I ever imagined. Somehow it was much easier to find the creative energy (even while working full time with two kids) to design and implement than it’s been to set up business systems, respond to guests and manage maintenance…sometimes it feels like the part-time job that never ends.
Gracefully, I feel like help is finally on the way. Tomorrow I’m beginning a ten-month Small Business Management Program through Clatsop Community College. I’m really excited, and also know that I have a lot of work ahead of me. I’m glad to feel like I’ll have the support to be truly successful as an entrepreneur. I’ve secretly wanted someone to hold my hand and/or kick me in the pants. (Thanks to Portland Pearl Rotary’s Helping Hands and Lou Radja who both served this role in my earlier business development!)
If I’m honest with myself, admin/management side of business has steadily kicked my ass for the past three years. While I’ve made progress, it’s sometimes felt like it’s been two steps forward and three steps back. The odd thing is that I used to kick ass on higher level project management that required far more complex admin, but somehow it’s all felt much more challenging. It’s no wonder that I haven’t earned a real income, when I’ve updated my financials just barely in time to file taxes. To make matters worse, Miel seems to be a business/tech savant, which makes me feel all the more mismanaged.
The real point of this reflection is to finally take responsibility for my own success, which starts with owning up to my first three years as a semi-failed business owner. Even if I end up hiring/delegating most of my business administration, I’m certain that learning the nuts and bolts of business management will help me to grow into the successful leader that I know I’m meant to become.
* I unexpectedly conceived both Teagan and my business plans at about the same time. For the first time in my previously happy career, I had a bully for a boss, and I quickly realized that for my personal sanity I had to make an exit strategy. Serendipitously, I broke my ankle on the job and was laid us for six weeks to heal and reflect. I soaked up Chris Guillebeau’s $100 Startup: Fire Your Boss, Do What You Love and Work Less to Live More and began dreaming of a whole different lifestyle for our family. Serendipitously, Hubby was too tired to pick up my birth control pills, and low and behold, my due date turned out to be September 1st, the same day I had told myself would be my cutoff date for leaving my day job. As I gestated Teagan, I hatched my right-brain-business-plan, collaging for hours after the family was in bed. I became certified in Simplicity Parenting, which led to me to Mama Bliss Coaching School. My initial business plans may not have earned me any money, but my personal/family transformation has been worth all that I’ve invested over the past three years. Now it’s like I can feel the sprouts ready to burst to surface to flourish…I can only imagine how wildly successful the next three years will be!