Big visionaries behind small businesses share their insights and experiences in this series. Learn how to share your brand story here.
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Last year you may recall how I pulled the kids from daycare over the summer to take give my budget a break. And if so you may also recall how I vowed to not do it ever again because during that time, I'd realized how important our daycare school was to their development, and how I came to realize it was an investment in their brains rather than just childcare necessary so that I could invest in my brain and build a business.
This year we're doing it again. I was really torn about this because on the one hand, I actually wanted to spend the summer with my kids, put them in camp, have that "school's out!" experience. But at the same time, detatching myself from the computer is traumatizing. Even when the kids are at "school" I barely have lunch or coffee with friends during the work week.
Enter in the Budget Breakdown, my committment to our financial plan (thanks to daily reminders from the Daily Worth). To follow our Budget Breakdown, there must be a break from full time daycare this summer while I fit work into of time when the kids are safely occupied (naps, supervised backyard pool sessions, videos). Let's be honest, full time daycare these days is like enrolling your kids into private school that you never planned for as you always thought you'd send your kids to the public school. But for those first 5 years - what do you do with the kids when you're working?
Key for me surviing this summer without daycare include these things:
- Setting a schedule.
- Modifying said schedule.
- Recognizing my visual and emotional triggers.
- Making a daily "to do list" on my phone of very small and very large things, and turning off my "Dream Faucet" of ideas if a majority of those items haven't been crossed off yet.
- Include in that list my household chores (part of my visual triggers - dirty kitchen + piles of laundry).
- Going easy on myself. It's mentally exhausting to beat youself up every day for not getting something done or feeling like you are letting others down.
In Day 4 of this summer "vacay", I'm trying to stick to my plan of quiet time in the morning to read a book (on paper - not digital), enjoy coffee, and hopefully jog if my husband doesn't have to leave too early in the morning (cardio is key to my sanity). I'd forgotten how physically and mentally taxing it is to balance little kids all day when you're intensely keeping an eye on them on a sidewalk, reasoning with them over really silly things, and just loving them when you're trying to get something done - be it cleaning the kitchen or writing an article.
As I sit on my front porch swing, reading The Glitter Plan, I realize one very important thing that in truth, makes all of this forced "disconnection" okay: unplugging has been a big key to our business growth at Tin Shingle for both Sabina and myself. It helps us identify the big picture moves we can (and should) make, and how to execute them. Last year during the summer vacation, I was a silent caller like everyone else on the #TuneUps that we did. I'd call in and listen to Sabina give buzz building advice while I was at the park with my kids. I was an "outsider" and I was hooked. I loved being a part of our calls as they re-energized my business soul. Sure, I talk to Sabina all of the time - she's my business partner. I'd forgotten that I'm one of the luckiest business partners ever because Sabina is not only a natural cheerleader, but also a strong driving force. If I get scared to do something, Sabina is the one who will stare at fear with a crazy eye and push forward. On our #TuneUp calls, I was hearing that as an outside person, and realized how crucial it was to have this #TuneUp be a regular, weekly meeting that people wanted to show up for at the same date and time. So we made it happen! Now our members get that Sabina (and my own) virtual cheerleading & instense push forward every week! They wanted to commit, and we let them commit. And they did. They wanted it, wanted to depend on it, and it's been a big change for us for the better. This happened when I was "disconnected."
So that will be my mantra. Unplugging is good for the company ;) Because even just this morning, while reading The Glitter Plan, I got another Big Idea that involves a #smalbizbookclub. In keeping with my rules, I'll investigate it when my original to do list items from yesterday are crossed off. But I'm really glad I had this epiphany - my major schedule shift will be good for the company as a whole. Sure this new plan includes mini "freak outs" and requires me to learn as I go, but practice makes perfect!
Thanks for listening. I'm back to possitive thinking - wish me luck on this journey! I'm keeping pictures of this adventure in my personal Instagram feed.