Spring – a time of new beginnings. Thank goodness for that!!!

This year was the year I was going to let my team run the business, and I was going to start working on the business instead of in it. I took my first real holiday in a decade, I didn’t work, and I took a month to rest, rejuvenate and was ready for a big year working on new and exciting projects.

Well… I am sorry to say Bree James, it certainly didn’t go to plan.

Today is my first day back on my projects. The first four months of this year I’ve learnt to walk again (knee surgery – who knew walking was such a complex task). I then had two months of working on new projects, and then the past three months have been, well, hell lol. It’s been all in, back in the trenches of my business which I never seem to get out of.

It’s been a big year of change for people in my world, which means I’ve had to pivot, and trust that it will all work out. I rarely share my tough times as I like to be positive (or in denial lol) so I can keep on keeping on.

Sitting here this morning I realise why I am so damn tired. Out of my 12 staff, four have left and been replaced (moving towns and all those reasons people leave). That opened up an opportunity to rejig 11 roles in the business. Only one person in my office has the same job they did a month ago. My team have done exceptionally well during this challenging time of change. Not only have they been patient and trusted that things will work out, they have dug deep and done what it takes to keep the show on the road.

Through all of this is I have learnt 9 things:

  1. Sometimes the world slows us down so we can only do the really important stuff. You get laser sharp on the work that pays the bills, the relationships you have space for, and the life you are living now. I’ve had to stop doing the work that wasn’t making any money even if I enjoyed it. I’ve had to stop being so in the future or I was going to go insane. I have had to stop wasting energy on things I can’t control.
  2. It is during the hardest of times you see people for who they really are, both good and bad. On one side, it’s a time of sadness, emptiness and loneliness (and resentment too I guess towards those ‘friends’). On the other side there is surprise, love and gratitude for amazing people who you didn’t know were there, and those that you knew were there who stepped up to support you. (Thanks to those who did, you know who you are).
  3. That after a storm, there is always a rainbow. Sure, I’m sad that I’ve had to put some projects on hold or let them go, and that relationships that I didn’t think would change have, some for the better some for the worse, but things always have a way of working out.
  4. That being in business is a lonely space most of the time. If you are feeling alone, you need to reach out to people. If you have worked too hard for too long and relationships have suffered, you need to say sorry and then make more effort. Being in hospital and only having your husband, and one friend and family member visit makes you realise you’ve got some massive changes to make.
  5. That it’s ok to need help. I am a fiercely independent woman. Didn’t I have to let that go?! Having to be waited on, needing help to go to the toilet and shower, was humiliating and very challenging for me. I was forced to allow people to help me.
  6. Sometimes we have to go slow, to go fast. There have been things I have been working on for years. But I am glad I have been slow, it’s made me fine tune, and ensure that I have the right people in my life to achieve them, but also that the project is really what is in my heart to be dedicating time to.
  7. That health is everything. I’ve always been pretty healthy, I rarely drink, I rarely eat anything bad because I want the best energy I can have every single day. But I don’t invest enough time in down time, or exercise. Knee surgery has sure made me make both of these a priority.
  8. Bad habits are hard to break… yes I said I’ve had to invest time in looking after myself, but as soon as crap hits the fan, you stop. Twelve weeks I’ve not really done my rehab, I’ve worked nearly every day and not had any down time, and I am exhausted. It’s so easy to fall back in to the trap.
  9. That family and friendships are the most important thing to invest in. As the primary bread winner in my family, it’s not easy. I am spread thinner than vegemite on toast for a tourist sometimes. But I know my limits, I know what I can handle, and I know that I can get through because I have to – for my family. They are my biggest asset, but not my biggest investment sometimes. It’s hard. I have to invest most of my best time, and best energy into my business. My family gets what’s left of me at the end of the day. I work on this every day to try and improve.

Despite all of this years’ hurdles, I am still smiling and staying positive – most of the time – but it’s not been easy.

I’ve thought about joining the circus. I’ve thought about booking a one-way ticket. I’ve thought about giving up.

But I haven’t.

It’s times like this we find our grit. We dig deep, we remember why we do what we do, or we pivot in a hope to make life better.

Let’s see what the last quarter brings. 2019 is going to be my year.

My 11 year start up is going to be an overnight success soon I can feel it!

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