This is dedicated to all of the business owners and entrepreneurs grinding to make it work. (And now I have "Juicy" in my head)
I am a total Excel geek and can knock out an annual budget for a client in 30 minutes flat, but I still haven’t finished my 2017 budget.
I can see the branding pitfalls and strategic holes for my clients, but struggle to define a specific niche in my coaching practice.
I can build a nutrition and exercise program for someone based on their needs and limitations, but find myself indulging in 6-layer dip on a weekly basis and eating things I know will make me sick.
I struggle with consistency and creativity, but get inspired and amped when my clients need it most.
(I could go on and on… DM me if you’d like me to)
This seems so counter-intuitive and ridiculous, but the more I share with other professionals on this topic, the more I realized I’m not alone.
Take the graphic designer who for three years did not have a complete website of her own.
Or the political fundraiser who was confused about her own direction and platform.
Or the IT engineer who could built a full system (I’m not going to attempt to know the ins and outs of IT), but couldn’t pay his parking tickets on time.
Or the matchmaker who could align the values and goals of her clients to make “the perfect couple,” but struggles to define boundaries in her own relationships.
These are just a handful from my clients and other encounters, but I’m sure we have some professional/personal skeletons in our own closet. So what’s the missing piece? Why are high functioning professionals stumbling when it comes to translating their professional strengths into their personal lives?
Back when I was a CrossFit Coach, I had to make myself work out. I despised the time in that environment. Why? Because it felt like work.
The dreaded four-letter word: WORK
For some reason this word has the ability to suck the fun out of every activity. It can take a high engagement hobby that you want to do into an obligation or chore which will tank out your engagement into a “have to.” Is it the financial piece or the time expectation? Whatever the trigger it can make our stress level shoot through the roof.
So what do you do?
How do you get your happy back if your hobby has now become your full-time gig or if your once enjoyable job has tanked into the pit of despair?
Here are a couple of options to explore.
1) Go Gently – My mom says this to me on a weekly basis and it’s usually after I’ve beaten myself up for not being where I think I should be. Be gentle with yourself. You are one person doing the best you can with what you have. Once you can speak kindly to yourself, you can move onto the next step.
2) Ask for Help – Yes, this is a shameless plug for coaching, but in the case of the IT professional, campaign fundraiser and web designer, this was critical to build a plan that worked for them. Once they realized that what they were doing wasn’t working for them, they sought outside resources.
3) Focus on What You’re Awesome at and Delegate the Rest – If you are maxed out on programming, the last thing you’ll want to do is manage your timesheets or budget. This may be a key time to hire a Virtual Assistant or Project Manager. No one says you have to do it all to be successful. Focus on what you’re passionate about and what makes you money. There are tons of solutions out there once you’re ready to release control.
4) Stay Accountable and Challenge the Status Quo – “I’ve never been able to…” “I’ve always done it this way…” yadda yadda yadda no longer will be tolerated. You are aware of your strengths. You are aware of your challenges. You have a solution or two to apply, so go out and do it. You’re a bad ass MoFo right?! I mean you wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t! Get yourself an accountability partner or a coach to check in with on a regular basis (daily or weekly is recommended). Do what works for you. If you know you do better with a group, check out networking groups or mastermind groups in your field. If you like the lone wolf track, go one-on-one with someone.
Sure this may seem simple, believe me it’s not. This takes time to reprogram yourself, so be patient and gentle. Ideally you need to start thinking of yourself as the CEO of your life – not the consultant. (Stay tuned for another post about this mindset shift)
Who’s the Boss? You are The Boss (not Bruce Springsteen).